Wedding Ideas

Where Do You Begin?

Posted on December 27 by New Jersey Bride

The love of your life looks into your eyes and pops the question to end all questions. You say “yes,” and all is right with the world—for about five minutes.

Alexa-Cody-Proposal

Alexa and Cody’s Engagement, Susan Anderson

Unfortunately, the questions don’t end there. In fact, the second that the ring goes on your finger is when they really start beginning: A summer or autumn wedding? A cocktail reception for 60 or a sit-down dinner for 300? Reserve the church or book the reception hall first? Or should you dash out immediately to buy your dream dress? With all the choices available to brides and grooms today, the possibilities seem endless. So where do you start anyway?

Alessandra-Alec-Engagement

Alessandra and Alec’s Engagement

Before signing contracts and picking out china patterns, sitting down for a good heart-to-heart chat with your fiancé is wise. According to wedding planner Carol Beaugard of Affairs of Distinction based in Essex County, “the two most important points [the couple] will have to decide are when do they want to get married and what is their budget.” Toni DeLisi, master bridal consultant and owner of Bergen County’s Memorable Events agrees that matters of finance are a critical topic and suggests getting your family involved early on in the process. “If you think that your families would like to either pay for or assist in paying for either some service or some amount then it’s best to know that at the beginning of the planning stage,” she advises. After that conversation, you can set your budget and work on the details.

Danielle and Nick’s Engagement

After determining a budget and time of year, both DeLisi and Beaugard suggest you next research and book a ceremony site and time. Then determine the size of your guest list, and start looking for a reception venue. “If they want a church wedding they need to coordinate their selection with a venue that will be accessible and available on the date of their event,” says Beaugard. Once these large decisions have been made, the rest can fall into place.

Lindsay and Jonathan’s Engagement

DeLisi also puts emphasis on the promise, rather than just the party. “The fact that couples are planning on making a commitment to one another for life suggests that they should strongly consider with whom and where they will exchange vows,” she says. In other words, it is important to think about who will officiate the marriage itself, before focusing on what will happen later.

New Jersey Bride Paris Proposal Story

Kirsy and Ariel’s Engagement

Finally, both recommend approaching this daunting task as a united front, with each party willing to be flexible when necessary. “The most important first step as a couple is to create a vision and plan for their perfect day as a team,” says Beaugard. A good marriage is all about communication and compromise. So is good wedding planning.

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