A couple in the midst of a holiday engagement

The holiday season is full of good things. The fresh smell of pine and gingerbread. The sound of caroling. Beautiful, soft snow falling around us. And plenty of couples basking in the glow of a holiday engagement for marriage.

If you’re newly engaged, your head is probably spinning. You’re beyond excited and can’t wait to start planning. But, where do you start? Here are six of the most important first steps to wedding planning:

  1. Enjoy the moment. This is an exciting time in your life and it will be over before you know it. Plan your engagement photo so you can let everyone know the great news. Here are some ideas for winter engagement photos from an earlier blog. Take some time to enjoy your future spouse and the love you share together.
  1. Sit down with your fiancé/fiancée to talk about your dream day. This is where you get to talk about what your dream wedding would look like. Make a list of must haves. Decide if you’d like an indoor or outdoor wedding venue. Colors. Themes. Who you want in your bridal party. There may be a lot of items in this area that your partner does not particularly care about. If you are getting input from friends and family, make sure you check back with each other and decide which ideas you like and which ones don’t work for you.
  1. Talk budget. Sit down with your families and figure out how much everyone wilCragun's Resort is Top Rated Wedding Venue on TheKnot.coml be able to contribute, as well as determine how much you and your love can or want to spend. The Knot has an interactive budgeting tool that can help. The Knot ranks wedding venues based on input from people who have used those venues. Cragun’s Resort has a 5 star rating on the Knot and is a great place to start researching if you are looking for a destination wedding facility with a beach or golf course location.
  1. Draft a guest list. This is important for a few reasons. You need to know how many you plan on inviting to find a venue to accommodate that number. In addition, food and alcohol account for the majority of any wedding budget. The more people you invite, the higher the food and beverage costs.
  1. Look at venues. Once you have your budget, your must haves and your guest list, it’s time to check out a few venues that may fit the bill. Make sure you do this in person, hopefully together, so you can truly make a decision as to whether or not the venue will meet all of your expectations. As an FYI, in Minnesota, the most popular wedding months are from April to October. If you’re looking at venues during these months, you’ll need to be ready to commit to a decision pretty quickly—as venues book up.
  1. Pick your venue and set a date. Once you’ve decided on a venue, book it and set a date. Be sure to get those “Save the Date” cards out in the mail so you can ensure that everyone can plan on attending. Once the date is chosen, you can begin to set all of your other beautiful plans—hiring a photographer, selecting flowers, choosing a minister, picking your dress or tuxedo—in motion.

Cragun’s Resort is home to some of the most beautiful outdoor wedding venues in Minnesota. We also have wedding planners on staff to help with all the details. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our wedding venues and accommodations.