It's Valentine's day/month/season, one of the top three dates couples become engaged. Congratulations!
It's a quick jump from "I'm engaged!" to "Yikes, what do I do now?".
Start with a heart-to-heart (yes, Valentine's pun intended) discussion with your significant other. You want a small intimate affair in your grandparent's backyard and he wants 250 of his best friends to party after a 5-course plated dinner at the nicest golf club in town. Or maybe he's thinking cowboy boots and hat and you picture a totally formal event. Well, you need NOT hash out specific details right off the bat, but at least agree on a general vision for your wedding, remembering that you are equals and both opinions are valued.
Set a date! And at first that may mean just narrowing down a season and year with flexibility based on family schedules and venue availability. When Tom and I got married 10 years ago we decided on a small family wedding. The date didn't matter as much to us as did the guests. So we had our immediate family pencil out a calendar that covered a 6 month window and block out any time they absolutely wouldn't be able to attend a central Oregon wedding. Some spent winters in Arizona, some always did weeks in Mexico, etc. When we overlaid everyone's calendars, surprisingly we ended up with only about 3 weekends to choose from. It was a simple but perfect method for us to come up with a wedding date. While you can choose a general season or month, it will be necessary to decide on a date or a couple of possible dates in order to book a venue and vendors.
After WHEN comes WHERE. This is important! Venues in central Oregon book up quickly, especially for summer weddings. (Keep in mind off-season dates are almost always easier to secure and generally cost less). Even if you've decided on grandma's backyard, as much prior notice as possible is a must. Family will want to plant, prune, and paint.
Wedding date. Check. Wedding venue. Check. Whew! Congratulations again. You just cleared two major wedding planning hurdles. Now take a few weeks off to breathe and enjoy each other, talking about anything except weddings:) Vow to love the process together! And Happy Valentine's.