You’re engaged, congratulations! This is what we refer to in the wedding industry, as engagement season. It’s a wonderful time of year when couples have just finished celebrating the holidays and many have found themselves freshly engaged between the time of Thanksgiving and the first of the year.
This is the moment you’ve waited for, you can’t wait to shout it out, get things started, hit the ground running, and start the whirlwind of wedding planning NOW. Before you get ahead of yourself, take a step back and make sure you remember a few high points, and don’t get too overwhelmed in the entire process.
Personally tell those who are important to you, then make your social media post.
Don’t hurt feelings by acting too quickly and posting first, then telling. There will be a family member or close friend who finds out with the masses of social media who will really need that phone call. Make that phone call, send out that group text, start the communication chain. THEN post that ring selfie!
Insure the ring.
Talk about making a fast move on adulting! Yes, it’s worth it. This is a very inexpensive policy that will make sure you have coverage in case anything happens to your very expensive new addition. We’ve all seen the horror videos of the ring being dropped in the water. Guys, if you’re proposing in a “dramatic” way, go ahead and have that insured prior to the engagement. Just in case.
Talk about the important things.
If you are a date person, decide on your date, but understand that that is your thing and check venue and vendor availability before falling in love with one and not having flexibility. Have a conversation about what is important to each of you throughout the planning and on the wedding day so that you will know what to focus on as you look and make your budget and selections. Discuss food, bar, music, flowers, guest count, each element that will go into the day.
Prepare for the questions, and don’t be afraid to answer directly.
You will get very pointed questions from people about the date, plans, when to expect their invitation in the mail, that can put you in an awkward position during a conversation. Don’t feel rushed to make the decisions of what date, what location, what vendors you will hire. But also don’t feel obliged to share all of the details if you don’t want. If you like your wedding details to be more discreet, that is your decision. Don’t up your guest list because someone has included their family automatically, make sure you understand what works for you, your budget, your venue and your wedding.
Start drafting guest list and budget.
Get your numbers going! Ask both sides of parents for a guest list and start compiling one together so that you know what your number will look like and what locations will accommodate you. Then you will be able to start looking at the items that are a per person charge more carefully and get a realistic budget that works for you narrowed down. That will help as you start meeting with vendors so that you know you aren’t meeting with someone outside of your price range.
Determine your inspiration. Or hire someone who will inspire you.
Start looking at pictures, at pin boards, at magazines and get inspiration. Decide what your style is, what colors you like, what themes you want to incorporate and pull it all together. You don’t have to like everything out of one picture, it might be a certain flower, or color, or dress, but you can pull that picture and make notes of what you love about that. Then have a cohesive look to create YOUR look. Don’t copy someone else’s, make it you. If you feel lost in the process, seek out someone you connect with on the planning and design process. With about a ten minute conversation they should be able to help you with your styling.
Select your squad.
Select those who will stand with you on the wedding day, plan with you to get to that day, and celebrate the last days before you are wed, and tell them you want them to be there. Don’t wait and and make them guess, tell them early so that they know what they mean to you and they can start helping you along the way. They can be your sounding board, your errand runners, your story tellers as this process progresses.
Enjoy the wedding planning.
This can be a stressful time, so make sure you take some time to enjoy the process. If you feel like you need a break, take it. If you feel like you need some help, start to interview some professionals. Each person deals with planning differently and you don’t want to get to the end and wish you would have changed something. Take time to enjoy one another. This is the beginning of your life together.
Smile, relax, enjoy, and stare at that ring as often as you can. This is a beautiful time and will go by so quickly.