You’re Engaged, Now What!?

January 12, 2017 | Party Planning, Weddings

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Happy 2017! As I am RINGing in the New Year, I have seen lots of shiny, new RINGS on family, friends and social media. I want to send a BIG congratulations to all of you who got engaged recently!




So, now what?

From my experience, wedding planning is endless details, deadlines, hard decisions, family/friend drama and more…where do you even begin? To help alleviate some of this stress, I’ve come up with 5 steps to begin planning your wedding.


Step 1: Take a Deep Breath

You can do this! This will be the only time you get this experience at this particular time in your life, so have fun with the planning process!


Step 2: What are your Non-Negotiables?

What is a non-negotiable? These are *must-have* items which can include a flower girl, a 3-tier wedding cake, a church ceremony, Chicago Style hot dogs as a late night snack – whatever your heart desires!


How do you figure these out? Sit down with your fiancé and ask what either of your are willing to compromise on, and what is a “deal breaker.” Here are topics of discussion:


1. Ceremony – Where will this take place? How formal will it be?
2. Wedding Venue – Where will we get married? Should we do a destination wedding?
3. Date – When do we get married? Is July too hot? Is January too cold? What do our schedules look like?
4. Food – Am I a foodie? What style of dinner service am I looking for?
5. Bar – Do we want full bar or can we do a limited bar with just beer, wine & soda?
6. Outfits – How elaborate do we want our wedding attire to be?
7. Décor – What do we want the wedding to look like?
8. Wedding Cake, DJ, Band, Videographer – Yay or Nay?
9. Wedding Party – How many people will we have? Who will be standing up?
10. Guest List – Who will we invite?


Step 3: Determine your Budget

This is probably the hardest part of planning a wedding, but you need to figure out how much money you have/are willing to spend on your wedding day. Here are some questions to help figure this dollar amount out:


1. Who will be contributing to the fund? Parents? Other relatives?
2. Can your non-negotiables become points of compromise?
3. Is there wiggle room? Meaning, can your $70,000 budget actually become an $80,000 budget?
4. How many people do we want to invite?


Step 3.5: Learning the Wedding “Black Hole of Truth”

A friend of mine, Jessie, drew out the wedding triangle of truth which will help figure out your budget and non-negotiables. You can only have two circles, but never all three which leads to the black hole of truth. Which two are important to you?


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Step 4: Book your Important Vendors

All vendors are important, but I say important vendors because there are only ONE of each of these:


1. Venue – They only have one date and usually one space available at a time. Book this once you are ready. Venues may also dictate what other vendors you are allowed to work with.
2. Photographer – If you mesh will with a specific photographer and love their style of shooting, book them ASAP. You may not find another photographer that matches your style and vision.
3. Wedding Planner – Same as the photographer. If you love their organizational skills and their style of planning, book them!
4. Catering – If your venue doesn’t already come with a caterer, I would highly recommend looking into catering companies. Catering is typically one of the highest dollar amounts you spend on a wedding vendor.


Step 5: Relax

You just crossed off a lot of the big components of wedding planning, congratulations! Now, take a little break and enjoy being engaged to your love.


If you have any other questions, or are looking for some more guidance, the Weddings Team at Paramount Events is here to help you every step along the way. Feel free to reach out to or 773-880-8044.




Emily Yao leads our Wedding Team at Paramount Events, specializing in non-profit, social events, and all things wedding. From the first phone call until long after the final bite, Emily and her team works behind-the-scenes magic to create an experience that earns rave reviews from each guest. Emily was born with the innate love of planning and coordinating meetings and events. With over 10 years in the industry, Emily gets the most joy out of the relationships she cultivates throughout the planning process with each client. Bottom line: she love what she does, and you will too.