So you’ve said yes. Now what? We’ve put together 10 first steps to help you get started.

1. Share the news
If you are like me you may have stayed in your newly engaged bubble of bliss for a few days before sharing it with the world. Or if you are like my friend Sarah, you will have started calling, texting and updating Facebook the moment the ring was on your finger. Either way being engaged it such an exciting time so start sharing the news!

she said yes

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2. Throw an engagement party
Now that the word is out it’s time to celebrate! Nothing better than telling your proposal story over a glass of bubbles with your besties. Why not share your engagement story and photos with us by sending us an email?

3. Get an idea on timing
Once you have announced the news you will no doubt get the question from excited friends and family “When are you getting married?”

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding on a date so sit down with your fiancé and discuss the various options. Do you want a summer or a winter wedding? Do you live abroad and have to factor in international guests travelling? Is it a popular time of year? Will the venue and suppliers you want be available? Once you have a rough idea on when you want to get married it will let you know how long you have to get things organised.

Phil and I decided to get married in December in Cape Town as it allowed our guests from Canada, New Zealand and the UK to combine our wedding with a holiday around South Africa. We also decided to give guests loads of notice so that they could plan their leave and save up some money. Cape Town did its thing and we had two weeks of uninterrupted sunshine around the wedding – it was easy to see what it has been rated as of the top destinations to visit in 2014!

4. Write the list
Creating a guest list is one of the most important things to do when you start planning as it will have an impact on the venue and your budget. In addition to your list, get your parents and future in-laws to put together a list of their friends. You can always cut down on the numbers a bit later on but it’s good to have a rough estimate to start with.

5. Set a budget
Before setting your heart on the style, location and venue for your wedding you need to decide on budget. Talk to your fiancé about how much you want to spend and if your families will be contributing. It’s rare these days that the bride’s parents pick up the full bill so decide on your priorities and what needs to be covered.

Get-organised-files

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6. Keep track
With so much going on it’s important to have a central place for all your information. I find Google Drive really useful as it allows you to create spreadsheets that can be shared with others. You can download the app to your phone so you have access to all your information whenever you need it. Create a new tab for each section so it’s easy to keep track of things.

7. Discuss what style or theme do you want
Start to have a think about the look and feel of your wedding. Have you always dreamed of a vintage wedding or do you like the modern look?

12-apostles-hotel-venue

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8. Start to plan where you’ll say I do and dance the night away
It’s important to decide if you want to have your ceremony and reception at the same venue or if you would prefer to get married in a local church. There are a few things to consider when looking at a venue so we will dedicate a full blog post to this in the next week or two. In the meantime below are a few questions to get you thinking:

1. What look and feel are you going for? Do you want a specific style or theme?
2. How many guests are you aiming to invite? This will eliminate a number of venues as many will be too big or too small.
3. How much of the budget can you allocate to the venue?

We understand that choosing a wedding venue can seem a daunting task as there are so many options and possibilities but thankfully there are some great resources available. Why not look through I do Venues for some inspiration. ALWAYS, always do a site visit of the venue and a walk through of how the day would work.

9. Book a wedding planner
Now is a good time to get a wedding planner involved if that’s your style. A wedding planner can relieve all the stress of the planning and allow you to enjoy the process. If you are planning your wedding from abroad having a wedding planner will put your mind at ease knowing that there is someone on the ground running things for you. If you would like us to get involved in helping plan your big day send us an email and we will get in touch.

We’ve saved the best for last…

10. Sign up to Pinterest!
With so many creative and beautiful ideas looking Pinterest is half the fun! If you want to keep your ideas a surprise you can create hidden boards that only you can see. These boards are invaluable as you start pulling together the décor and design ideas for your wedding. Have a look at a few of our I do inspiration pinterest boards to get started.

The above ten steps are a good way to get started but we know that there is a lot more involved in planning a wedding. To help you out we have dedicated a full post next week to a suggested planning timeline.