(Closed) a fairly long engagement…

posted 10 years ago in Beehive
Post # 3
Member
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Congrats on your engagement! I also am having a long enagagement (engaged 12/8/07, wedding 10/17/09) and we have already put a deposit on a reception venue.  We live in a big city and places go fast so I wanted to make sure that I was able to get what I wanted since so much of the overall expenses for the wedding are in the reception.  The other thing I will do soon is choose a photographer because they also book fast from what I’ve heard.  Everything else is going to get done later because there is less of a need to be on top of things.

Post # 4
Member
41 posts
Newbee

Congrats on your engagement 🙂

I would put together any and all information that you have into a binder so you can keep everything together.

You can start looking at reception and ceremony sites.  You might not be necessarily able to book any sites yet, but you can do research and see what it is that you like.  This also goes for caterers, djs, photographers, etc.

If you decide on colors and what sort of decoration you want, you can start shopping around and find great deals and better prices than if you are buying right beofre the wedding. (Granted you have a place to store all your supplies!)

HTH!

Post # 5
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

I suggest starting to research vendors, like start a shortlist of people you’re interested in finding out more about. Just a casual look, then write down the names somewhere to take a closer look at later so you’re not swamped with options when you’re actually trying to make decisions. I know the reason I don’t have a caterer yet is because I just got overwhelmed when I was booking everything else, and now the prices have gone up.

I’d also definitely look at figuring out contracts before next January in order to lock in the lowest prices you can. 

Post # 6
Member
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Congrats! I’m in a very similar boat. Start doing some casual research. Find some reception/ceremony sites that you like; think about taking tours – definitely inquire about when they’ll allow you to book…I wouldn’t tell them how far away your wedding is, though. I found that lots of places don’t get back to you or take you seriously (so frustrating!).

Post # 7
Member
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2005

We had an 18 month engagment…December 03 to July 05, and while it seemed like there wasn’t anything to do, you can actually get started on vendor research.

You have an advantage since popular vendors can book up to a year in advance, so start figuring out your tastes now and looking for the top three contenders in each category: photo, cake, food, flowers, video etc. That way, you have time to research them and to determine their style and your style. It’s not too early to start meeting with people either, so if you find one you truly like (and the price is right), you can lock in 2008 rates for a 2009 wedding.

Speaking of budget, nows the time to go through your finances and determine how much you can actually spend. Use a budget calculator (I believe the Knot has one), to see where you’re at and what you have to be on the lookout for in terms of price. I honestly wish I had done this one sooner; I had no idea about the budget calculator at the time, so we just purchased what we could afford…not exactly the most organized method.

Oh, and if you haven’t already, make a guest list. It’ll be a rough draft, but you’ll have an idea of how many people you need to find space for when you go venue shopping.

Ooooh, one more: find a timeline (online, magazines, books etc.) that will work for you and put the deadline to a week before you wedding. Then work backwards. This way, if any emergencies pop up (and we all know those last weeks are crazy-busy), you have that week fairly open to get things done in.

Dang, that’s a novel!

Post # 8
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Set a budget, draw up a preliminary guest list (it’s not really about who’s on it at this point, but rather how many people you’ll be inviting).  The number of people you’re paying for will drive your budget for everything else. 

Then, before the summer I would actually see if you can book the big three vendors as soon as possible: venue, photographer, and florist.  By doing it so far in advance, you should have your pick of the vendors you like because they are unlikely to be booked up yet.

Everything else can wait a bit.  Just start some sort of organization system to keep track of ideas, vendors you like etc.

Post # 9
Member
638 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2007

I had a short engagement – so I can’t contribute too much – but one thing I wish I had done even before we were engaged was research.  Keep an eye on the weddingbee blog and print out or make notes of any ideas that fly by you’d like to consider.  As you research site’s – save any inspirational images.  Really just keep your eyes and ears open.  Keep a binder of all your ideas 🙂  It’ll make the planning go much more smoothly – and help you not to have "I wish we’d done this" moments.

Also – even if you don’t go ‘dress’ shopping – I’d definately starting looking through sites and magazines and have some ideas of what you’d like to try on when the time does come.  I see a lot of sites/links pop up on weddingbee that I’d never heard of when I was planning.  It’s all really cool stuff.  I think I wish I could reinact my wedding every year – each with different themes, colors, dresses etc.  There is so much cool stuff out there!!

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