Down the Aisle With Chriselle: What to do once you get engaged!

Down-Aisle-Episode one

So, you just got engaged! Congrats!! You have found your true love + best friend and are about to embark on the most exciting time of your lives! Pretty amazing stuff. After the initial excitement of the engagement, it all might seem a bit overwhelming with planning the wedding, but you can easily avoid the craziness if you just apply a bit of strategy to your wedding planning process. I’m excited to share the first video in our partnership with the super sweet + stylish Chriselle of The Chriselle Factor. Chriselle is a fashion stylist and runs her super popular fashion blog – The Chriselle Factor. In the first episode, we talk all about what to do when you first get engaged, along with tips to help with the wedding planning process. I hope you lovelies enjoy this!

My 5 Tips for what to do when you first get engaged!

1 // Enjoy it!
There’s no need to begin thinking about the details right away….there will be plenty of time for that, trust me. My first bit of advice to new brides-to-be is to not talk about the actual wedding that much immediately following your engagement. Just enjoy this exciting time for the two of you and think of your future together. There’s plenty of time for details later, but this is the only time to celebrate your new engagement….so enjoy it :)

2 // Find your style….as a couple :)
Time to dream! What kind of style do you both see for your day? Again, don’t focus on the details, but instead make sure you’re on the same page as far as the overall style and theme of your wedding. Once you’ve determined the style + theme of your wedding, many of the decisions on details will start to just fall into place.

If you’re like most brides-to-be, simply determining your style as a couple can be a daunting task since it’s not something you typically do prior to your big day. As such, you should do some research to learn about what types of weddings are possible and see how other happy couples have combined their personal styles into beautifully designed weddings. A great place to start is looking at our Real Wedding section here on GWS. You can also search through types of weddings – whimsical weddings, handmade weddings, modern weddings, barn weddings, backyard weddings etc – or just browse through all weddings to get some ideas. We also have an entire section of the site devoted to wedding inspiration including styled photo shoots, inspiration boards, fall + winter inspiration and wedding trends. This should give you a nice primer on what’s possible, what works well and, most importantly, what YOU like!

  • Pin + Share: Every photo on GWS (and on The Chriselle Factor) can be Pinned directly to your Pinterest boards, which is a great place to save wedding ideas (you can find lots of great photos to start on the GWS Pinterest page).
  • Create Private Wedding Planning Idea Boards on GWS: We have another fun feature on GWS  – you can Heart posts, wedding artists or photos in the galleries to save to your private account on GWS. It’s easy to start saving photos by logging in with Facebook and then all your fave GWS posts + photos are saved to your account – and it’s private so no one will see what you are collecting, so you surprise all of your guests when they arrive at your wedding!

heart GWS feature

3 // Set Your  Budget + Guest List
Now that you’ve identified your style as a couple, a serious talk about the budget is a must. Having a well defined budget at this point will help to inform your future planning decisions and ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises later on. Trust me, prices vary quite a bit for everything that goes into your wedding, so having a budget beforehand will simplify your life quite a bit.

Helpful Tips:
Size Matters! The more guests you have the more budget you will need
• Prioritize. If you are on a budget, pick your top 3 areas to focus on and spend the majority of your budget there. The rest will fall into place. (ie, for Jason and I, those 3 areas of focus were photography (you will have the photos to remember this day for the rest of your lives), venue (a great venue saves on decor + sets the overall tone) and food (we wanted great food for our guests!).

4 // Find a Venue
Next up, find the perfect venue that satisfies both your style AND budget. This helps set the tone and will influence the rest of your decisions. Searching for a venue after you’ve selected your style + theme will save you a lot of time, as venue visits can take a good bit of time since they’re not always close to one another.

5 // Time to Start Picking your Wedding Artists
Now it’s time to start picking the perfect Wedding Artists, as we call them here at GWS! Wedding Artists are the wedding professionals that will capture your day, help design your day, design fashion accessories + gorgeous dresses, cater your day + so much more!

We call the talented wedding professionals featured on GWS artists, since they really do see their job as art, not just work. You’ll want to make sure the artists you hire for your day are 100% reliable….since no one wants a surprise on their wedding day. To help our couples-to-be create their day with the perfect artists, we created the GWS Wedding Artist Guide. In addition to browsing our guide, I  also recommend talking with friends who recently got married to see if they have any recommendations. Regardless of where you find your artists, make sure their style is similar to yours! If there are any wedding artists out there who’d love to be considered for our GWS Wedding Artist Guide, we’d love to hear from you + you can apply here.

Does anyone have any other advice to add? Things that worked or didn’t work for you? I’d love to hear in the comments.

And next week we are talking engagement photos! Do you need them, what to wear, what location, etc. If you have any questions you’d like to make sure we cover, please leave your questions in the comments. And yes, we will be sharing Chriselle’s gorgeous engagement photos also! Can’t wait to share with you all!!