January 9, 2018

Kelly Strong Events: Engaged?! Part 2

image via Alice Corey Photography

For all of you newly engaged ladies, Congratulations!! ‘Tis the season for engagements.

I originally posted a similar post a year ago but with engagement season upon us, I wanted to expand on my original three tips. So here we go…you’ve said YES…now what? How do you start building your dream day?

Here are the first 5 things you should do to get started…

  1. Envision your day. What does your perfect day looks like? Is it set in the city, destination, family home, barn, near the water? Is there a venue you already have your heart set on? Are you drawn to classic & romantic styles or laid-back & casual? How many people do you imagine there – immediate family and close friends or a larger celebration? Do you want to dance all night to a band or DJ? Describe your dream day in as much detail as possible – write it all down
  2. Determine your budget. Speak to everyone that might play a financial role in your wedding – parents, spouse-to-be, etc. to determine exactly what everyone’s expectations are. I know this is not the first thing you want to do when you get engaged. It can be a difficult and uncomfortable conversation but it is incredibly important to determine right away. You do not want to start working on your wedding without knowing what is within your budget.
  3. Numbers. In step one, you and your spouse-to-be discussed your ideal number of guests. You talked about whether you would like to host a small or large wedding. When you’re discussing budget with family, describe the ideal scenario to your parents. For example, let your family know that you would like immediate & extended family and only close friends to attend – which excludes work friends and those not-so-close friends. Or, you’ve decided that your dream is to have only immediate family and bridal party attend. Discuss your ideal scenario with them and ask them to provide you with a first-draft list of guests. Pull all of the lists together, and you’ve got an idea of where you stand. You will need an estimated number of guests before you start looking at potential venues. If a venue has a maximum capacity of 150 and you have 250 on your first-draft guest list – that venue is either off the table or you would have to reconsider your list. In addition to venue constraints, numbers are going to have the biggest impact on your budget. If you want an over-the-top glamorous day, you might have to bring your guest list down to 100 guests to meet your budget.
  4. Start the Venue Search. Your venue (ceremony or reception..or both!) could be a big factor in determining exactly when you get married. If there is a church you have your heart set on or a venue that you love, contact them as soon as possible to determine their availability. If you have an ideal month that you would like to get married in, request availability for that month. If there is a specific date you are set on, you could be more limited with location options. When you see something you really like, request a courtesy hold on the venue while you continue the search. Most places will give you two-three weeks and some might even extend if they don’t have any additional interest for the date.
  5. Contact Vendors. Good photographers, videographers, florists, stationers, bands/DJ’s, and planners book quickly! Vendors may only take a certain number of events per year so really it’s never too early to request availability and book your favorite. Do your research and reach out requesting availability and package pricing. They will be able to provide this information to you quickly so you can compare all of your options. If you are going to work with a planner, they will be able to provide you with vendor recommendations and will collect vendor availability and pricing for you.


It’s hard not to jump ahead to the fun, design aspects when you get engaged. Pause long enough to consider these items before you begin to ensure a smooth and successful planning process. When you proceed in the correct order it allows you to create a cohesive, thoughtful design instead of various styles that might get pulled together if you jump around.

If you are recently engaged and are interested in working with a planner, stop by and provide a few details. Regardless of where you’re located in the US or abroad, we can help 🙂 I would love to speak with you!

Kelly Strong Events: Toronto Based Wedding & Event Planning

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Engaged?! Where Do I Begin? Part 2