There’s nothing we love better than a proposal. But the proposal is just the beginning! Now, you get to start wedding planning, and that can seem like a huge task. There are so many details to start thinking about when you get engaged. And it can get pretty overwhelming! Now that you have found the perfect someone, I wanted to share some of my top tips for what to do once engaged.
Enjoy This Moment + Celebrate!
Before you ever even talk about planning, the first thing to do is to soak in this incredible time. As a photographer who has been capturing weddings for over a decade, I know how quickly time can fly. I always tell my couples to really just soak in this moment, giddiness and all! I even tell them to take a few days before sharing on social media. I know we want to share everything right away, but it is so nice to just enjoy this moment the two of you (and your close family), before sharing it with the world. And of course, celebrate!
That is one of the reasons we love capturing proposals and making sure to get a glass of champagne together to celebrate!
Proposal By Izzy + Co.
Reynaldo reached out to us a few months ago, and he knew he wanted a photographer there to capture his proposal. He wanted to create memories they could share forever! We helped him pick Chippewa Square for his proposal. This square is in central Historic Savannah, and it is a close walk to everything. My associate photographer, Hannah, was there to photograph It all!
Reynaldo kept it casual and had them walk through the square on the way out on the town. Hannah was hidden behind one of the many bushes in the square, ready to capture the moment! As soon as Reynaldo got down on one knee, Maressa was in shock. She was full of tears and so happy! She was so surprised and had no idea Hannah was there taking pictures of it all.
Hannah and the happy couple walked around Historic Savannah together on their way to celebratory drinks at The Peregrin. This is a super fun rooftop bar on top of Perry Lane Hotel, and it is one of my favorite spots downtown! The two cuddled up together, and Maressa couldn’t stop staring at her gorgeous oval diamond ring. As the sunset over Savannah, they cheered to this sweet couple!
Bonus Tip: Insure Your Ring. This is such an important step that should be done immediately once engaged! This can often be done through the jewelry store you purchased it from or through homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy.
Set A Budget
This is definitely the most important thing to do once engaged. Your budget will determine every single thing! From the guest size to the venue to food and beverage, your budget affects everything. Before looking at wedding dates, I suggest this first because it can help you gauge if you need to save more money or are ready to start booking vendors right away. Will family members be contributing? What will be the focus of the budget? Will it be on food and venue? Or on entertainment?
The average wedding in Savannah is around $45,000, and if you are looking for a venue that hosts over 100 guests, that number can go up quite a bit. That doesn’t mean you can’t do a wedding for less money – it just means that you might need a smaller guest list or to get married in the off-season!
Typically, the average budget breakdown is like this:
- Reception (Venue, Food, Rentals) 40%
- Flowers 10-12%
- Photographer 15-20%
- Planner 10-15%
- Paper and Misc. Rentals 5-10%
If you need transportation or want a band instead of a DJ, that can add a few extra thousand dollars to your bottom line. Take your time to do research on pricing and start outlining what you plan on spending.
Create A Guest List
Now that you have an idea of a budget, and know what your focus is, it’s time to start that guest list! Before you dive into this tedious task, I want you to remember this. This is YOUR day as a couple. I know it can be easy to have family get in the way, and your guest list quickly grows, but it’s all about YOU! So, if you want a large wedding, go for it! If you want to elope just the two of you, do it!
Keep in mind that every single guest means more money. An average venue will cost around $80-200 per guest for food and rentals. So, the more guests you have, the larger of a budget you will need. At Izzy + Co., we don’t just photograph weddings – we also love elopements and micro weddings! No matter how many guests you have, we would love to capture your beautiful wedding.
Discuss Dates and Seasons
While your final date may depend on venue availability, it is important to have some times in mind. If you have your heart set on a specific date, this step is easy! Your venue will be determined by which are available on your date.
If you are flexible, start to think about seasons. In the Southeast, the most popular months are March – May, and September – October. The summer is our off-season since the extreme heat can be pretty intense, especially for outdoor weddings. While it is cooler in the winter, we are a popular destination spot! If you want to save some money, consider a winter wedding here in Savannah, Athens, or Atlanta!
Start To Tour Venues
Your venue will not just be the biggest expense but also will be what sets the tone and design of your wedding! Start to tour various venues to see which styles you like the best. This can also be a good time to get a wedding planner. A planner will help you pick the perfect venue and guide you through this process!
Keep a few things in mind as you tour venues:
- How many people can the venue hold? Ask for both the ceremony and reception.
- Does the space have separate spaces for the ceremony and reception? If not, the space will have to be “”
- Do they have a getting-ready space? Or do you need to find a hotel or rental apartment?
- What are parking and transportation like?
- Do they have on-site catering, or can you bring in your own?
- If they do not offer catering, do they have a full commercial kitchen?
- Do they offer any rentals, or do you have to bring all rentals in?
- What is the vibe like? Is it a black-tie formal venue or more casual? Does it fit with your overall vision?
Book Your Photographer
Once you have a date in mind or a few dates in mind, it’s time to find your photographer! This is one of the earlier things you need to book since our dates are limited. Here at Izzy + Co., we are booking for 2022 and 2023! We are focused on showcasing your story with gorgeous photography and heirloom products you can keep forever.
The first step is to reach out to us! We will schedule a video consultation so that we can meet face-to-face and get to know each other! It’s important for you to find a photographer you connect with. So, we love to get to know you! Once you are booked, we will work with you and your planner to create a gorgeous event, with a timeline that works best for portraits. We will touch base at multiple points during our time together. so you always know what to expect.
These are the typical steps to take once engaged. This may seem like a lot, so just take it one step at a time. Enjoy every moment because it goes by so fast!
Ready to book your photographer? Say hello! We’d love to hear from you and hear all about your vision for your wedding day.