It’s that season again!!! If you’re reading this and just got engaged, I just want to take a moment to say CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Engagement is such a sweet season, and these next few months are going to be so full and beautiful. I can’t be happier for you and your love!!!
As a recently married person and a wedding photographer, there are many things I’ve learned about this first month being engaged. It can get overwhelming FAST. Never fear, though. I’ve compiled this jam packed list of things to do when you get engaged to begin the season of planning intentionally.
1. Step back and soak it all in
Believe it or not, I did not do this. Let me tell you, that is exactly why this is #1 on my list. Engagement is such a short season that will never come around again. Take a week, a few weeks, to step back and take it all in!! Jumping straight into planning, although super exciting, will inevitably make the season of engagement flash by in an instant. Don’t feel pressured to get the business done right away! Hug your FIANCE, go to the party, have a girls sleepover as if you were back in middle school. You will never regret slowing down during this time 🤍
2. begin to dream (on pinterest 😉)
Again, this is not something I did. And… AGAIN… this is why I highly recommend doing this. Taking time to dream about what you want your wedding to look like, feel like, will help you SO significantly when the business begins.
Feel free to poke around my Pinterest for STUNNING wedding ideas as well! Shooting so many weddings has given me such a unique view on what can make for a timeless, beautiful wedding!
3. make a wedding budget
Strap in your seatbelt. There is SO much to say about this one step alone. In my time, the number one cause of stress in planning is the budget. My biggest advice here:
- Come up with a Number: Whether this is a combination of parent contributions as well as your own, have a tentative number to work with so you can realistically research.
- Major on the majors/Minor on the Minors: Think about what’s important to YOU and your love. If photo and video is most important, prioritizing custom letter pressed invites (which can be upwards on $3,000 btw 👀) may not be the wisest decision. You will never regret going “cheap” on aspects of your wedding that weren’t as important; however, you might always end up wishing you invested more in what truly mattered most.
- DIY isn’t Taboo: I will vouch for this the rest of my life. When done right, it can save you money that can be invested in other things (like photography hehe). For instance, I had an entire beautiful invitation suite that I (YES) DIY’d. I got a $13 canva template from Etsy, customized it, and had 100 invites printed for $150, literally saving thousands of dollars.
4. do your research
So, you have a vision, you have a number. NOW is the fun part!!! Finding vendors that fit within your vision is something so exciting. Each city offers such a huge variety of venues, each so different.
5. reach out to vendors (bonus points if I’m one of them 🤪)
This part may be the MOST fun part of wedding planning. Making everything OFFICIAL with your vendors and watching your day come together, piece by piece. As a vendor myself, my biggest suggestion is shopping around before reaching out. Get to know who they are and what they offer before making the leap. I put my heart and soul into every one of my couples.
I have this written on my investment page, but I truly mean it with every fiber of my being:
“Trust me, I do not take this honor lightly. I’m so eager to serve you with SO much more than just pictures from your wedding – but an EXPERIENCE. I want to grin and tear up when you tell me how you met and fell in love. I want go back and forth on text message thinking of fun ways to make your wedding unique, and send 13 all caps messages freaking out when you send me a pic of your dress. I want to know what you did on your first date, how you make each other laugh, and the story of how he proposed. Because when we get to know each other like friends, I’m able to capture your love story in a way that exudes YOU and your PERSONALITY as a beautiful couple.
So if you’re looking for someone who wants to capture MOMENTS in a timeless, photojournalistic way, we’re match made in heaven! Because I want to give you photos that take you right back to the FEELING you had in each moment: The prayers before you walk down the aisle. The way you look into each other’s eyes at the altar. Those moments that are unplanned and unposed. You and your love have a beautiful story worth telling. Let me serve you in telling it.”
Don’t let your wedding moments go uncaptured. Connect with me here to keep this conversation going! big love for you!!
Angelina Loreta Yannuzzi is a wedding photographer, educator, and blogger based in Texas. She passionately dedicates her talents to create memories for brides that will last a lifetime, while also encouraging creatives to amplify their influence through being intentional with their God-given gifts. She loves Lord of the Rings, Asian cuisine, and cozy nights reading just as much as she loves encouraging women to pursue Jesus wholeheartedly.