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You’re Engaged! What to do Next? | 10 Tips to Plan for Wedding | Wisconsin Wedding Photographer

Yay! You just got engaged! Now you’re wondering what to do next? This list of 10 tips will help you to plan out what your next steps are and to hopefully answer some of your questions!

couple holding hands on beach with white outfits

1.Celebrate and Create a Vision Board: Take a moment and enjoy this and savor your engagement! Set up a coffee or wine date with your fiancé to come up with a vision for your day. This is the exciting part! Think about your wedding style and the amount of people you are looking to invite. This will help later on when it’s time to find a venue to accommodate these ideas.

couple holding hands walking away on beach with white clothes

2.Create a Budget: This can be a little tricky since you’ve most likely never planned a wedding before. Write down what you value the most. Is it the food, the venue space, Photography, wedding attire, etc.? The guest list and bridal party also play a huge roll in your budget. 

couple looking at each other with tree and tall grass in background

3.Select Your Wedding Date: Think about the different seasons and which would best suit you. Find a venue that fits your vision. Venues book out very quick here in Wisconsin, so this is something you may want to prioritize on your list. If you dream venue has a beautiful outdoor space, ask about backup options in case it rains. 

couple holding hands with engagement ring

4.Choose Your Wedding Party: From a wedding photographer aspect, the selection of your wedding party can significantly impact your wedding day. You already have a lot on your plate with wedding planning, adding certain people who will support you and your ideas for your big day is important. Think about who will truly be there for you on your day. Choose someone who will be respectful as your maid of honor and best man. Keep the wedding party minimal to avoid conflicts with the timeline. Remember this is your day and those who are there to support your relationship and celebrate with you are the ones that have the honor of standing by your side. 

couple kissing in front of lake with white dress flowing

5.Draft a Guest List: The size of your guest list will drive your budget. The amount of guests you invite determines the amount of food, drinks, wedding favors, chair rentals, cake and stationery you will need to provide. Keep the number below the venues capacity. If you are expecting a larger crowd then I suggest having two bars at your venue. During cocktail hour, guests gravitate towards the bar and it can get a bit crowded. 

couple looking at each other with waves in background

6.Choose Your Photographer & Videographer: This is a big step! You’re about to choose someone who will document your big day and capture your precious memories for you to look back on for years to come! Like venues, photographers tend to book out quickly since they only take on one wedding for that entire day and most will only take a select amount of weddings each year. I am typically 90% booked out for the next year by June. I only take on about 2 to 4 weddings each month without double booking weekends to allow myself time to edit photos in a timely matter and to give each of my couples my full creativity!

couple kissing on path with green trees

7.Hire a Planner: A planner the day of your wedding can ease a lot of stress you may have! Having someone dedicated to making sure the schedule goes smoothly and makes sure everything and everyone is where they should be can help immensely! They can help coordinate transportation and hotel rooms for guests. Even though a planner is an extra cost, they can help you stick to your budget and end up saving you money! 

couple in white laughing on beach

8.Engagement Session: This is a great way to learn more about your photographer and gain confidence in front of the camera before your wedding day! Many of my couples say their engagement session is a lot of fun and feels like a date being documented! I’m there to capture your love for each other and make you feel like models! You can learn more about how to plan your engagement session here!

couple in white cuddling on pier with lake view

9.Save the Dates: These are usually sent out 6 to 8 months before the wedding date. This allows your guests enough time to take off work and coordinate any travel plans. Incorporate your engagement session photos with your save the dates! Official invites with rsvps will be sent at a later date. 

couple in white holding each other on beach with flowey dress

10.Wedding Timeline: This can be a daunting task as you may not be familiar with how much time is needed for your wedding day. Consider whether you are doing a first look. I recommend a bride and groom first look for weddings that are in winter or when your ceremony is scheduled for later in the day. This will allow you to get the majority of your portraits done before the ceremony and while there is enough light and give you time to enjoy cocktail hour to mingle and celebrate with your guests! About one month before the wedding, I schedule a phone call with my couples to review a seamless timeline that makes the most sense for them!

couple in tall grass with pink sunset

Remember while you are planning for your wedding, to relish the moments and make it fun! Schedule dates in between the planning with your fiancé to celebrate your achievements. Happy planning!


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