I Just Got Engaged! Now What?

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First and foremost, a big congratulations to you and your partner! 

When Dylan and I got engaged we were euphoric, floating on cloud 9, and sailing through rainbows. I hope you are, too!

Neither of us had ever been engaged before, let alone planned a wedding before! And frankly, how were we suppose to know what to do first?

Here are three steps to take after you get engaged:

STEP ONE: DECIDE WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU BOTH

The most important thing from the getgo is to make sure you and your fiance are on the same page and have a clear vision for the day.

Set aside some time together to really envision the type of wedding you both want. Talk it out or write it down. Have you always wanted an outdoor wedding? A grand party or intimate celebration? What does your wedding day look like, feel like, sound like, smell like, and taste like? 

Many brides start a Pinterest board (and if you are anything like me, several Pinterest boards for every area of the wedding). Pinterest boards are great for stirring the creativity and can be an excellent resource when contacting your favorite vendors to show them what inspires you.

Whether you have been dreaming up your wedding your whole life or you are just starting the dreaming process now, sharing your vision with each other is vital and will save you time when it comes to selecting the perfect wedding team for the day!

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STEP TWO: DECIDE ON THE LOCATION AND TIME OF YEAR

Before you even begin to try on a dress, the first question to ask yourself is what time of year do you love the most and where would you love to tie the knot? The time of year and location will have a major impact on what your wedding day looks like. 

As for location, the possibilities are endless, but the most important thing to consider is who you want there. If you want to have your wedding in California, but everyone on your guestlist lives in New York, there is a likely chance that not everyone will be able to step away during that time to celebrate you. This might especially be the case for elderly family members so deciding on what's more important (your guest list or the location) is essential. 

Time of year is also especially important to consider.

Due to the shorter days, fall and winter weddings have a shorter window for portrait photos. The sun typically sets in the wintertime between 4-5 pm, which means portraits will need to be done before that time to take advantage of the beautiful natural light. Because it's a shorter day in this regard, it would also be worthwhile to do a first look if you haven't thought to do one already. This would allow you to maximize the portraits on your wedding day.

Another thing to consider is the weather. When you get married in fall or winter, it's encouraged to have a plan B for inclimate weather (rain and in some places snow). That could be a tent from a rental company or an indoor plan B space. Unsurprisingly, some venues do not allow for outdoor fall and winter weddings at their location for this very reason.

Lastly, if you are having an outdoor wedding during any time but especially fall or winter, a light source like market lights will be vital to see and photograph in the space. As an added bonus they also look dreamy in photos! 

For spring and summer weddings the sun sets a lot later in the day (typically around 7-8pm) which means there is much more time to take advantage of the natural light for portraits after the ceremony including husband and wife sunset portraits, but it also means the possibility of excessively warm temperatures and direct sunlight.

Ceremonies located in the direct sunlight can be extremely hot and blinding. To avoid you and your guests squinting during your ceremony or feeling overheated (which will be captured on camera), plan for a ceremony space that is fully shaded at the hour you want to start. Not only will this make for more consistent photos due to the soft light from the shade, but it will also help everyone feel that much more comfortable in the space.

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STEP THREE: BOOK YOUR VENDORS

Now that you have your vision down, it's time to find the perfect vendors!

The first vendors to book are the coordinator, the venue, and the photographer. It's important to book these three vendors first because if they have a demand and you have a popular wedding date, your first choice may get booked.

Here's the deal with booking your vendors. When you book your wedding vendors you are also building your wedding dream team. It's going to take a team to bring your vision to life and so it's important to pick vendors based off of a couple of factors: the quality of their work, their ability to be helpful, and your ability to connect with them. 

As far as hiring a wedding photographer is concerned, it is necessary to hire a photographer who you LOVE. Here's why. The photographer is going to be there with you throughout majority of your day and through almost every single important and special memory. Whoever captures all these special moments is in a very important role. 

As a wedding photographer, I believe my job is more than just snapping photos. I want to be a friend, a resource, and your photographer all rolled up into one helping the day naturally unfold. To do that, I want to get to know you, the real you: the unfiltered, fun, crazy, love that exists between you and your partner. This is why booking an engagement session with your wedding photographer is so important. As an added bonus, you can do your hair and makeup trial for your engagement session. 

Planning a wedding can be a ton of fun! I encourage you to take these first steps to ensure that the process runs smoothly. In the meantime, I hope this blog post has given you insight on the next steps to take on planning your wedding. Please feel free to leave me a comment below or get in touch with me through my contact me page! 

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