After the “engagement glow” wears off, it’s best to sit down and have an honest discussion about your wedding—even if you don’t plan on getting married right away. Here’s what you should ask during your discussion, and what you should do with the answers.
When do we want to get married? Is there a date we want to set?
Even if you’re not in hurry to get married, it’s a good idea to discuss your future plans. Even if your special day is years away, the best wedding venue calendars fill up quickly. Plus, having a set date or year gives you a goal if you need to save up for your special day. (Use these tips for saving for your wedding.)
Couples can set a wedding date by contacting their favorite venue and asking for available dates or by choosing a special date. (Use one of these ways to choose the perfect wedding date.) Couples can choose a date based on a relationship milestone (i.e. day of engagement, first date, etc.), opt for a special family date (i.e. grandparent wedding date, birthday, etc.), or choose a favorite season.
Where do we want to get married? Is there a ceremony site or venue where we want to get married?
What city do you want to get married in? Where would you like to hold your ceremony in that city? Your reception? It’s okay if you don’t have any answers right away, but it is a good idea to start the discussion. (Use these tips for choosing the right wedding venue and narrowing down your options.) If you do have a top choice, contact the venue right away so you can make your vision a reality. (You can also hold your ceremony and reception at the same location so you don’t have to worry about transportation.)
Do we want to plan the wedding ourselves? What is our wedding style?
Some couples want to plan every minute of their wedding day, while others opt to hire a wedding planner to handle all or some of the details. (Read more about the pros and cons of hiring a wedding planner.) This is your chance to discuss how much of the planning you want to take on, and if you have the time to take on a long wedding planning checklist. (Some wedding venues have on-staff planners that can help with some or all of the planning.)
This is also your opportunity to discuss your wedding style, which can help you choose the right venue, menu, and wedding décor. Do you want an elegant affair? A modern wedding in the city? A casual wedding? An outdoor ceremony and/or reception?
Is there a vendor we really want to hire for our wedding?
Just like wedding venues, many wedding vendors’ calendars fill up quickly. If you have a wedding photographer, videographer, or caterer, now is the time to contact them. But before you do, make sure they are allowed in your wedding venue. (Some wedding venues require you to use an in-house caterer or other vendor.) If you do want to use a favorite caterer or photographer, ask prospective venues if they have an open vendor policy (along with these other wedding venue questions).
How are we going to pay for the wedding? Do we want a big wedding or smaller, more intimate gathering?
These two questions should be asked together because they are usually connected. While some couples want a smaller wedding regardless of the budget, others opt for a more intimate gathering because of costs. (Use these wedding budget tips as you plan after the engagement.) If you have family members or friends that have expressed an interest in helping financially, now is the time to discuss that too.
A conversation about your budget should also include information about your finances; this is your chance to get on the same page about how you’re going to save for your big day and turn your ideas into a beautiful wedding day.