There’s a reason it’s called “Engagement Season.” Over 40% of marriage proposals happen between the roughly 2 1/2 month period between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. If you happen to be in the blissful stage of the newly engaged, you might be wondering what to do now.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to decide what time of year you prefer to have your wedding, then start looking for venues. A specific date really can’t be picked until you know that the venue you want is available. Putting together an estimated guest count is important to filter out venues that are either too small or too large. Once the date is locked up with a contract from the venue, you can begin your search for the rest of your vendors.

Some questions to ask yourself at this point in the process: What kind of reception are you looking to have? With what vendors do you place the most value? What is most important to you? Think back to weddings you’ve attended; what do you remember the most? The top three answers we usually hear are: 1) How much fun was had. 2) The food. 3) The bar. The booze is easy to handle, and you definitely want to enjoy some good food on your wedding day, but the one area you definitely don’t want to skimp on is hiring quality entertainment. The DJ can make or break your reception, and when it comes to the biggest day of your life, “good enough” just isn’t good enough. You deserve the best!

The top vendors out there will book their calendars fast, so don’t procrastinate and miss out on a DJ/photographer/caterer you fall in love with. Once you have those main vendors booked, start looking for things like the dress, cake, flowers, officiant, etc. Again, it all comes down to what your priorities are, and in what you place the most value. Whatever you do, though, make sure the vendors you book use contracts, and are registered with the Secretary of State. Check for reviews on third party sites like The Knot, Wedding Wire, or Today’s Bride. Meet with them in person, if possible, to make sure they are the right fit for you, and don’t choose solely based on who is the least expensive. Keep in mind that more often than not, you get what you pay for.

We hope these tips were helpful as you begin this new stage of engaged life, and wish you the best going forward as you plan your dream wedding!

Shaughn Gillihan
C-Town Entertainment

Photo courtesy of Snap Happy Studios

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