Engaged? Congrats! Five Things to Do First

As you start planning your party of a lifetime, it will seem overwhelming at times, but if you stay organized and make it a point to really enjoy the process, it will be fun and exciting. And before you know it, the big day will be here, and you'll be husband and wife! Here's my best advice to help get you started:

Related: 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Engaged
Leave a comment below telling us how he or she popped the question to you!Leave a comment below telling us how he or she popped the question to you!

1. Find Your Wedding Style
Sit down with your fiancé and talk about what type of wedding you envision. Will it be formal? Or do you prefer something a bit more casual? Do you want a sit-down dinner or would you consider having a brunch or cocktails-only celebration? What time of year would you like to marry? Do you have any favorite places in mind for the reception? The two of you need to discuss your visions so that you're both on the same page.

2. Discuss the Budget
Yes, the big, bad budget needs to be addressed. As you know, weddings aren't cheap, but they needn't cost a fortune either. Check out our tips on all the genius ways you can save…you'll be amazed at how a little bit of cost-cutting here and there can save you a bundle. And, please, be realistic about how much you can really afford to spend. You may have some money already stashed away, or you may need to start seriously saving for the wedding now, especially if your parents aren't able to contribute a great amount.

3. The Guest List
Determine just how many people you'd like to have, and keep in mind that this number will greatly affect the overall cost of the wedding. You might have to pare down your original number considerably to keep within your budget.

4. Get Organized
Take a look at our Countdown Calendar and consider it a guideline. Don't panic if you can't accomplish everything listed in a given month, but do refer to it often to keep you on track. The more organized you are, the calmer you'll feel.

5. Start Dress Shopping!
There are hundreds of gowns to choose from, and I can only imagine how huge a task this seems. Take it step by step. When searching for your dress, consider your wedding style and where you'll be married as well as what shape will suit you best. Believe me, there is a dream dress out there for every bride, whether she envisions herself as sexy and glamorous, romantic and elegant, artistically creative or a boho babe.

Now, this is just a beginning, but if you start with these few steps, you'll be well on your way. Have fun, create a wedding website, blog and share ideas with other brides, and create a Pinterest board of everything you love, from dresses to flowers and cakes, centerpieces and more. It's a fantastic time in your life and a time that you'll always treasure. Good luck as you start making those wonderful memories!

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