It happened! It’s that time of year, the holiday season, when you’re spending time with loved ones and reflecting on what you are most thankful for… the love of your life finally popped the question and you said “YES”!
It can feel a bit overwhelming trying to figure out what to do first, so hopefully this will help! Here’s what to do after you get engaged over the holidays.
First things first, the date! You’ll need to decide if you want to choose your date or base your wedding date on your dream venue’s availability. If you are set on a specific date, then you’ll want to find a venue that has your date available.
Alternatively, if you are set on a particular venue, then you need to find out what dates they have available. Setting your date is something you may want to do before speaking with most vendors because they need to know if they are available on your wedding date before you can book them!
This is important to think about and talk through with your partner before moving on to the next step!
Next up, it’s time for you to start booking those important vendors! These tend to book up the fastest, so you’ll want to start here, especially if you have very specific vendors in mind already.
Once these three important vendors are booked, you can breathe a sigh of relief!! Especially if you find a planner that offers a full-service package, because they will help you with booking the rest of your vendors!
Here are the vendors you should start with –
The venue is obviously your biggest and most important vendor! This determines the overall vibe of your day, is the backdrop for all your photos, and where you will create all of your wedding day memories! Maybe you already have one in mind, or maybe you need to spend some time touring venues in the area.
You’ll want to find the venue that fits you and your partner and what you’re envisioning for your day. Start by researching venues in your area, and taking a look at wedding photos from their portfolio. Do you like the backdrop of the photos?
Then take a look at their packages and details of what is included. Do they require you to use their preferred vendors? Is a DJ provided? Do they provide any of the rentals? Just take a look at what is included and compare them with other venues.
Also, take a look at their pricing and make sure it fits your wedding budget (more on this later!). You don’t want to tour a venue and fall head over heels, then find out it is out of your budget.
Take some time to find the best venue for your day and then move onto the next two vendors!
Here are a few of my favorite wedding venues in the Chattanooga area!
A wedding planner can make a world of difference when you are planning your wedding! There are so many details that can slip through the cracks, but with a planner, they make sure every single detail is executed exactly how you envision it.
A lot of venues and vendors require that you have a planner or at minimum, a day of coordinator. This is to make sure your day goes smoothly and that all of your vendors can provide you with the very best service.
You may think that your mom or friend can handle the day of coordination or planning, but wouldn’t you rather they be able to enjoy your special day with you? Your family and friends are also not as experienced as a professional planner or coordinator, so they may not be able to anticipate the things that could go wrong or have the skills needed to ensure your day is perfect.
If you want your wedding planning process, as well as your wedding day, to go smoothly and be more stress-free, then you definitely need a planner!
Here are a few of my favorite, incredibly talented Chattanooga planners!
Next up is choosing your photographer, as they tend to book very far in advance! Maybe you already have that one photographer in mind who has work that you love and you can start there! Or maybe you are starting at ground zero and have no prospects for a photographer.
You can start by doing a quick search on Google or even Instagram for “(your location) wedding photographer” and start going through the results! Take a look at their work and ask yourself a few questions. Do you feel drawn to their editing style? (This may take time for you to figure out!) Do they have more of a documentary style or more posed? Have they ever shot at your venue?
Once you find someone that you gravitate to and could picture capturing your day, fill out the inquiry form on their website!
Hi, I’m Christin, a Chattanooga Wedding Photographer that serves all of the areas around Chattanooga & travels for destination weddings! I am super passionate about capturing those special moments that are unique to you & your partner and making it an unforgettable experience. If you’re looking for help with planning your Chattanooga engagement photos, I’m your girl! Reach out here & we can talk more about your vision!
With the growing importance of social media presence, content creators have become a fun, new vendor to include at your wedding! You’ll be able to stay in the moment, knowing that you have someone capturing content for your social media. They create beautiful content for you to share with your followers, without all of the extra work on your end!
Content creators are also booking out pretty quickly, so you’ll want to reach out to them sooner rather than later!
Here are some of my favorite local content creators!
Next up, once your photographer is booked, it’s time to start booking those engagement photos! You want to take into consideration when your wedding date is, how much time you need to send out save the dates and invitations, and make sure there’s plenty of time for your photographer to take and edit your photos before that.
If you have enough flexibility in your planning timeline, you can pick a particular season that fits the vibe that you want for your engagement photos. If you want to be bundled in cozy sweaters and boots with some changing colors of the leaves, then the fall would be a perfect time. Or if you’d rather have the sunshine and wear a fun dress, you can opt for spring or summer instead.
Choose the season that fits your vision, as well as a timeframe that fits your planning timeline, and of course, make sure your photographer is available!
It’s easy to forget things here and there when you’re wedding planning because there are so many details to remember! This is where a wedding planner really helps because they will make sure that everything is organized and nothing is missed. But if you are doing this on your own, be sure to start a checklist!
You can easily find one on Google as a starting point and then just add in your personal to-do list tasks!
You may want this to be your very first step before even picking your vendors, as you need an idea of how much you can afford. You can start by researching all the different vendors to get an idea of general pricing: venue, photographer, videographer, planner, florals, catering, DJ, etc. That way you can start building an estimated budget and know where you can afford more and where you may need to do less.
Before moving onto florals and choosing more of your decor, you want to decide the overall look and vibe you want for your day. Do you want a modern and elegant feel? Or more of a fun and colorful feel? Get some inspiration on Pinterest or even just looking through vendors on Instagram. You will eventually notice the vibe that you gravitate towards and can start planning from there!
If you’re ready to start planning out your wedding and need a photographer in the Chattanooga area, I’m your girl! Let’s chat and see what you have envisioned for your day!
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Copyright 2012-2023 Christin Sofka Photography
Chattanooga Wedding Photographer Specializing in timeless and artful imagery. crafting a visual story that reflects the joy, love & unique spirit of your celebration.