Newly engaged in the ArkLaTex, now what? Here are seven important places to start
Updated: Feb 9
If you're newly engaged, it's easy to fall into the chaotic process of planning your big day as soon as possible. Facing this for the first time can be challenging, so we're here to guide you on what to do next and make the process as smooth as possible!
SLOW IT DOWN
First and foremost, congratulations! Before you even start exploring every area in the ArkLaTex in search of the perfect spot for your ceremony and reception, you should take some time to slow down. Savor this special chapter of being an engaged couple, and let the pressure of planning your special day be on hold for a few weeks. Just stay a little bit longer inside the engagement bubble and enjoy it. You'll be glad you did!
Now that you feel ready to get into planning your wedding, it's time to get organized! A detailed organizer will be your best friend in ensuring you won't miss out on anything. It is handy to download checklists online, so you'll have something to use as a guide. Try theKnot.com or other wedding planning websites to find these essential documents for free. By being organized, the process will run seamlessly and easily.
DECIDE ON A BUDGET
Setting a budget beforehand is necessary. Couples can get sidetracked throughout the process and tend to spend more than they planned, so allocating a budget before anything else is essential and a significant factor to consider when making decisions for this special day.
Some wedding couples pay for the majority of their wedding but it is also common for parents to offer some financial help since it is such a special occasion. Most couples have no idea how much a wedding actually costs. According to The Knot’ annual wedding study, the average cost for a wedding in 2021 for 100 people was $28,000 not included the engagement ring. The venue is the largest portion averaging about $10,000 (not including food).
Here in the North Louisiana and East Texas, wedding costs are slightly lower than the average, but not by much. In Louisiana, the average wedding costs for 100 people in 2021 was $27,000 and in Texas the average wedding cost was $26,000. Couples should keep this in mind when setting their budget and visiting their favorite venues.
DECIDE ON GUEST COUNT
One of the most challenging decisions you'll make as an engaged couple is deciding who to invite. Our best suggestion is to choose only those family and friends who genuinely know you both. Your budget often is a deciding factor for your guest count – larger guest lists result in more expenses.
Microweddings are the latest trend. Many couples these days are opting for a smaller wedding, generally 40-60 people which allows them to spend more per guest on food/bar and other frills that they wouldn’t be able to afford if they have a 100-200 person guest list.
PICK A SEASON OR DATE
Do you have any particular season you want for your wedding? Do you prefer to tie the knot during spring, summer, fall, or winter? Here in the south the most popular times of the year are spring and fall. In North Louisiana and East Texas, October is the most popular month with May coming in as a close second. Whichever you prefer, set a date in mind so you can check the availability of your chosen venue. Expect to book early, especially if your date is in the spring or fall, sometimes as much as 18 months in advance. Make sure to have backup options if your preferred date is unavailable.
Another wedding trend these days is weekday weddings. You can usually find an available date during the week easily and last minute if needed and your venue may even offer a lower price.
DECIDE ON A THEME
Now is the time to bring out your Pinterest board to the spotlight. Imagine what kind of theme you want for your significant day. Do you want an elegant celebration? Or do you want to have a romantic rustic wedding? Have you always dreamed of an outdoor wedding, maybe something on the water? Picture it in your mind and envision the ambiance it will have for you and your guest to experience.
CHOOSE A VENUE
With your preferred theme and dates in mind, start narrowing down the possible locations in the Arklatex for your special occasion. According to the Knot, about 50% of your budget should be allocated to your venue and catering. It can be daunting to pick one among all the choices, but when it comes to having a dreamy wedding, our event venue at the Shreveport Aquarium can be perfect for you! With the stunning view of the Red River and Texas Street Bridge lights and a cozy courtyard area with an outdoor Pavillion, everything about The Event Venue creates the perfect atmosphere for your celebration of love. The best part? We have the ideal packages for newly engaged couples like you!