After getting engaged, a bride sets out to plan the absolute biggest event of her life. Between creating a guest list, searching for the perfect venue, booking vendors, and solidifying the details, the process can be entirely overwhelming. While there are no official rules on the first steps of the wedding-planning process, a bride can benefit by being well-prepared. To get a solid start on your wedding planning, refer to these eight mistakes that newly engaged brides often make—and learn how to avoid them.
1. Immediately Posting to Social Media
Moments after the proposal, some brides take to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to share the news—or show off the new bling on her finger. But before announcing your engagement to the world, spend some time enjoying the precious moment with your new fiancé. You may only experience this post-engagement bliss once in your lifetime, so don't let a screen become more important than creating memories.
2. Not Planning the Announcement
Another downside of social media announcements: They could stir up some hurt feelings among your family and friends. After getting engaged, take some time to determine the best way to spread the news. Your closest connections (like your immediate family and best friends) deserve a phone call or an in-person visit. But there's nothing stopping you from telling everyone via phone call, either. Do whatever is necessary to keep the peace and prevent upsetting anyone.
3. Rushing into Preparations
After getting engaged, you may be tempted to devote all of your free time to perusing wedding websites and flipping through bridal magazines. But doing too much too fast can lead to stress and anxiety. Take a step back and create a wedding-planning timeline to guide you through the process. Don't overload yourself with preparations in the first few weeks of being engaged, or you'll quickly experience planning fatigue.
4. Not Talking About the Budget
Most aspects of wedding planning are loads of fun, like posing for adorable engagement photos, trying on gowns, and taste-testing cake flavors. Unfortunately, though, you also have to face some tedious tasks like budget planning. Talking about your financial situation is stressful and inconvenient, but it's also highly important, since your budget impacts every decision you'll make during the planning process. You can't choose a venue, make a guest list, or book a caterer without knowing how much money you can dish out. Make sure to discuss your budget soon after getting engaged, so you don't wind up pinching pennies down the road.
5. Setting Your Mind To One Date—or One Venue
Some newly engaged brides have a specific venue or wedding date in mind, and they may not be willing to compromise. But setting your heart on particular details of your big day won't always work in your favor. What if you find your dream venue, but your planned wedding date is already booked? Or what if you're absolutely set on getting married in June, but you can't find a venue to accommodate you? Make a list of backup dates and venues, just in case your first choice falls through. Also, don't be afraid to compromise—you'll make amazing memories at your wedding no matter when or where you tie the knot!
6. Neglecting to Book Your Vendors Correctly
As a newly engaged bride, you'll be faced with an overwhelming amount of decisions. Everything from the DJ to the main course entrée is up to the discretion of you and your fiancé. Before going on a vendor booking binge, though, make sure your timeline is accurate. Secure your venue before booking anything else, since other vendors need to know a firm date and time for your ceremony. Imagine dropping a hefty nonrefundable security deposit on a catering company for a particular day, only to realize that your dream venue is booked until the next weekend.
7. Not Thinking Through Invites
Never send out your save-the-date cards before booking your venue. You'll risk ruining travel plans if the date and time of your ceremony happen to change during the planning process. Also, the size of the venue will determine how many guests you can invite. What if you send out 240 save-the-dates before realizing your venue can only house 150 people?
8. Not Asking for Help
When planning your wedding, don't rely solely on yourself, your fiancé, and online research. Friends and family members are probably eager to help, and the extra hands will make the entire process less stressful. Plus, if you know any newlyweds, they could offer valuable advice and insight about planning a wedding since they've just pulled one off!
If you're still feeling entirely overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional wedding planner. Remember that getting married is supposed to be a fun experience, not an anxiety-inducing burden!