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BellaOnline's Weddings Editor

Congratulations, You're Engaged! Now What?

Being engaged is one of the most exciting times of your life. Youíre in love and the whole world knows it. But now what? If you are like many brides, you may not know where to start. Keep reading for a quick guide to get you through planning the biggest day of your life.

The truth is unless you have been closely involved with the plans of your sisterís, best friendís or any other personís big day, you are going to be shocked by the cost of a wedding. For the average person, the thought of spending $20,000 to $30,000 or more on one day can be scary and even unrealistic. So be honest with yourself. How much can you afford? How much will your family contribute? Have a serious conversation with everyone involved about your vision for the day. From there set an approximate budget that you will use as a guideline when interviewing and hiring vendors.

Where will it be? Do you dream of a traditional wedding in the church you grew up attending? Do you want your feet in the sand? How about a private estate in the mountains? No matter where it is held, choosing the location should be one of your first decisions. If possible, consider a venue that offers enough space for both events. This will make it easier for you to manage and more convenient for your guests on your wedding day.

Assembling the perfect team of experts for your day is crucial in the success of your wedding day. Remember, it is not only about style and budget, but you need to be able to trust each person in carrying out your vision. Here is a list of the vendors you may consider hiring for your day:

Wedding Planner
Ceremony Venue
Reception Venue
Ceremony Entertainment
Reception Entertainment
Hair & Makeup Artist
Linen Supplier or Seamstress
Rental Company
Rehearsal Dinner Location

In an effort to secure your preferred vendors, prioritize your interviews with the professionals that need to be present on your wedding day. For instance, your photographer will probably only be shooting one wedding per day however your stationer or linen supplier can obviously service more than one couple per any given date.

While interviewing, always ask for references, review contracts line by line and be upfront about your budget. Most vendors will customize their services to fit your needs and budget, so it is important to be honest. This will save time and frustration for all involved.

NOTE: All vendors require a non-refundable deposit to hold your wedding date or start services. Be prepared to put out close to 50% of your entire wedding day budget during the beginning of the planning process.

Once you have your team in place, start thinking about the specifics. What type of flowers will you carry? What color of linens do you want? What songs will be played during the ceremony? If you are a bride that knows exactly what you want, great! If not, spend some time researching wedding resources, gathering pictures and talking with your vendors. As a general guideline, work to have all details and decisions made no later than one month before your wedding day. This will allow you to enjoy the days leading up to your union.

Itís time to enjoy the fruits of your labor! You are the bride and should not play any other role today. Put your complete trust in the team of professionals you have hired and enjoy one of the happiest moments of your life.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Beth Helmstetter. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Beth Helmstetter. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Christina Marie McBride for details.

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