The question has been popped and you are engaged, congratulations! Now that you are engaged you have officially entered the wedding planning season of your relationship. And with so many decisions to make regarding your wedding, it may be difficult to know where to start. As a luxury wedding venue we love to point our couples in the right direction to make wedding planning a little less chaotic. Here are the first 7 wedding planning decisions after your engagement!

tour venues

A lot of your vendors will not book your wedding until you have a confirmed booking with your wedding venue. Many luxury wedding venues, including Black Oak, will book up over a year in advance. At Black Oak, many of our couples opt for a weekday wedding if their season or date is already booked. Why? because the venue sets the tone & vibe for your wedding, not a date. We know some couples are set on an anniversary or other particular date, but we’ve seen too many times couples booking at another venue just to get their particular date, only to be disappointed that they didn’t get their dream wedding or had to settle for an “inclusive” wedding venue.

set your date

If you find your dream venue but your desired date is not available, you should consider an off-season or a weekday. Not only will you save an incredible amount of money, but you’ll also get to celebrate at your dream estate and not feel limited by options.

set your budget

Before you even scratch the surface of planning your wedding set your budget. Sit down with your partner and discuss the details of the wedding you have in mind. Considering what vendors are a priority and estimating their costs. Then talk with your both of your parents to see if they will be helping with any of the costs of the wedding. Some families follow more traditional roles when it comes to the finances of the wedding, while others do not. The things that cost the most are your venue, planner, and catering. So if budget is a constraint, we recommend hosting a weekday wedding, or an off-season wedding, and only hosting your best friends. If you parents or family are helping to foot the bill, they may have their list of desired guests, so keep that in mind too.

set your guest list

Determining who is on your wedding guest list can be a stressful item when wedding planning. When writing out your list of guests, be sure to consider your budget and venues capacity. Then decide on who is in your top tier and must attend. After that slowly add in other people you would love to see on your big day. Also decide if you will be having guests bring a plus one and if children will be allowed to attend.

your style

You may have an idea of your wedding style, but does your partner know what that is? And if they do, do they agree? This can be a tricky topic to navigate, so take it one step at a time. Create mood boards together and brainstorm what vibe you want your wedding day to be. Be true to yourself and collaborate on ideas! It is best for your wedding style to reflect your relationship and what you value most.

book your wedding planner

Wedding planning doesn’t stop at the end of this list! There are so many more decisions to make, meaning that you will need to do a lot of research and contacting. Hiring a wedding planner helps to eliminate the difficult work of finding vendors and reaching out to book. In the end a wedding planner will save you a lot of time, stress and even money!

book your photographer

Wedding photographers are a lot like venues in the way that they book up fast! Knowing the style of photography that you enjoy, as well as your price range for photography, can help narrow down your options. Then reach out to your favorite photographers and see what their availability looks like for your date. If you are having trouble finding a photographer in the area of your wedding, consider a destination wedding photographer that will travel with you!

When going into wedding planning you may feel stressed and anxious. However, when you take the time to break it down and follow these first 7 wedding planning decisions after your engagement. You will find that wedding planning is not as chaotic as you once thought.

Ready to book your dream luxury California wedding venue? Reach out here!