Are you newly engaged and don’t know how or where to start planning your wedding? We understand that the process can certainly be overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to start small and remember that you have plenty of time to get all the details just right. Though it can be tempting to get stressed just remember, this should be a joyful time.

Here are 10 things to do after you’ve said “Yes” (and called your mom and took a deep breath!):

1. Ladies – make sure to get your nails done.

Everyone (yes, everyone) will want to see your new bling! But also, a manicure is simply a great excuse to relax and enjoy some me-time before wedding planning takes over. Go treat yourself!

2. Determine your wedding budget.

This is certainly not the most glamorous or fun part of wedding planning, but it is by far the most important. Budget is a deciding factor in all your wedding choices, so we recommend that you get this out of the way as soon as possible. Also, make sure to involve your fiancé, or other relevant parties in the discussion, from the very beginning so there’s nothing to argue about down the line.

3. Start thinking about the wedding feel/style you are going for.

You don’t need to get into specifics just yet, but determining a general theme for your wedding (rustic, modern, etc.) can help shape the rest of your planning.

4. Get out your calendar.

Think of a couple date options for getting married, keeping in mind your plans and guests who may already have commitments. Vendors book up quick, so it’s nice to have a few options, and the earlier you start planning, the more you have to choose from!

5. Make a preliminary wedding guest list.

It’s a smart idea to determine the approximate number of guests you will have in attendance. This obviously falls in line with the idea of setting a budget. The number of people in attendance at your wedding will affect a major part of your planning.

6. Start researching wedding venues.

Of all the things you need to think about regarding wedding planning, venues fill up the fastest. Plus, your venue choice will have an influence on the rest of the smaller details of your wedding – so make looking at venue options a priority! Check out our venue page for some amazing options in Chicago.

7. Make a Pinterest board for wedding inspiration.

Perhaps you already have one, and can just review and add to it. Pinterest is a great place for inspiration on everything from menu to decor to your dress (or tux). It’s kind of fun to look through all of the possibilities!

8. Enlist helpers for wedding planning.

You really don’t want to plan a wedding all on your own. Sure, it’s possible, but trust us when we say that there are plenty of family and friends who would be honored to help you. Call up a close friend or family member and start delegating tasks.

9. Enjoy the process!

Remember, this is a once in a lifetime moment, so take time to enjoy it with your fiancé.

10. Call us.

Whether you’re looking for a venue, or the perfect catering options for your special day, or even just a sympathetic ear, we’re here to help! Don’t hesitate to send us a message. We can’t wait to meet you!