1. Get a manicure
Funny, but true - you don’t want that sparkly new bobble to be overshadowed by some ugly nails! Go out and treat yourself to a manicure to show off your diamond! You can also find some pretty cheap, and awesome, press on french manicures now a days as well that will last longer!
2. Make your guest list
Open up an excel doc, word doc, Google doc, or whatever your preference is for being somewhat organized and start that guest list. Think of close family, friends, ask your parents about who they will want to invite, and make sure you have everyone that you would want to be there. Now go back and look at your list again. Are there guests that should be on the B list instead? Make sure your numbers are manageable. And remember, if you are having a true destination wedding, an average of 20% of your guests will not attend. There are also guests that you have to invite, but you know will not be able to make it.
3. Figure out your budget
Sit down with your fiance and start talking dollars. How much will each of you be putting into the budget? What about parents? Will they be helping with half, certain items like the dress and dinner or the rehearsal dinner? It may be helpful for you to check out lists online that show you traditional ways that the costs are split - here is a quick list from Real Simple. Once you have your budget, you will have to compare that to how many people you are planning to invite. Do the numbers make sense with your budget? Do you have to cut back on the guest list to ensure you have the wedding of your dreams?
4. Find a venue & set a date
Fair warning: Unless you have had your heart set on a location on Cape Cod since you were 8 years old and you have an unlimited budget, this part of the process can be the most stressful. But rest assured, that once you have the date and venue set it gets easier from here on out. It is always good to reach out to any and all venues that you think would fall into your budget. Check their availability and ask for their pricing. This may be another good time to get out an excel doc to start comparing your options. Every venue works differently, so it is not as easy as comparing apples to apples. Stay tuned for another post regarding what to ask venues before you book! But also check out this past post about how to choose your reception location.
5. Hire a planner
I have to do it and say that one of the best things you can do once you get engaged is hire a wedding planner. Wedding planners have connections on the Cape and can save you hours and hours of time in finding locations that fit your budget and your guest count. They can then go on to save you money and stress throughout the planning process. I am not just saying this because I am a planner, but when you come across other posts on the web regarding what to do after you get engaged, almost all of them say to do this! It is totally worth looking into!