07/10/2012 11:44 am ET | Updated Sep 09, 2012

I Just Got Engaged. Now What?

I remember when I first got engaged, there was nothing like it. I was staring at my ring finger every chance I could get -- I am sure that is exactly what you are experiencing. This is a special time for you so cherish it; there is no reason to rush into the planning stages.

Although your impulse may be to start calling photographers and caterers, I recommend you and your fiancé really take some time to sit back and think about the elements that are important to the two of you for your special day. Ask yourselves this question: What feeling do you want your guests to leave with?

Let your imaginations run wild. What is most important is that you and your partner are in sync.

Do your homework. It will definitely create clarity for the two of you and make your planning process easier. Pinterest, magazines, blogs -- there are so many avenues for you to review visuals. Sharing your vision with vendors through images will create an unspoken understanding between you. I promise it will make the whole planning process easier for you as well as the vendors you have selected.

Think about what season you want to be married in. If you live on the east coast, is it the winter months you see your 'I dos' taking place or the beauty of summer? This decision will definitely set the tone for style options available to you as well as budget concerns. For example, during the winter months, tents would be extremely expensive with heating etc.

Choose a date you like. Your anniversary will stay with you for a very long time. Let it remind you of a night of love, fun and strong emotion. Check with your families when selecting your date. If you have a lot of out-of-town guests coming, you may want to consider a long weekend so they have some extra days off work. Selecting a date will also help shape up your timeline. If you select a date that is eight months away you will know how much time you have for everything! Once you choose the date, everything becomes real!

Consider your venue. The venue you choose will set the overall mood and atmosphere for your big day. Make sure it suits you and your fiancé's personalities and tastes. If you have your heart set on a location that you have been dreaming about for years, you will want to make certain it is available during the time of year you were planning. Saturdays are usually the most desirable evening so they are the first to be requested. When you are able to confirm the date you want, a question I always suggest you ask is "What time of the day will I take possession of the location?" Why? It is important that you have the time you need for set-up, etc. Also, if you were hoping to have your wedding ceremony in the late afternoon at the same location, it is imperative that there is not another wedding happening on property at the same time.

Now it all begins: date, location, time of day, photographer, videographer, gown and wardrobe, save-the-dates, invitations, music, food and beverage, wedding cake, favors, rehearsal dinner plans, bon voyage breakfast for out-of-towners, etc.

In my next article I will be discussing the proper questions to be presented to your vendors as your planning continues.