December 6th, 2019 is one of the happiest days of my life to date. My very best friend got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and to be honest, I still can’t believe it’s real – we’re engaged! This season is so sweet and new and exciting. But it can also be overwhelming because almost immediately, you’ll be inundated with questions on dates, venue, colors, wedding party, registries, shower dates, etc. and opinions on everything all the same. This is normal, so don’t let it overwhelm you.
It’s been almost two months now, and I’ve realized a few things in this process thus far. First of all, it goes by too quickly so savor this season. And secondly, I will spend six months (some people will spend up to a year or more!) learning everything there is to know about wedding planning, and then the wedding is over and I’ll have no need for any of this knowledge again. So I want to document the things I’m learning here so that they’ll hopefully help someone else along the way!
SO YOU’RE ENGAGED! One of the happiest moments of your life just happened, and you’re almost immediately totally overwhelmed. When’s the big day? Are you going to have a church wedding? What kind of dress are you looking for? Here are six things you can do immediately after you get engaged to get started on the right foot.
Celebrate – take it all in.
Before you do anything else, take time with your fiance to soak it all in – you’re getting married! This is the most important thing, and definitely where the focus needs to stay throughout your engagement. It can be so easy to get caught up in all the minute details of planning and coordinating that you lose focus on what the day is really about. So take this time to just be and celebrate the most exciting day.
Set a budget.
Nothing can be booked or planned until you know how much you’re able to spend on your big day. Things can add up quickly, so this is one of the first things you need to do in the process to make sure you’re on track and on the same page throughout the process.
Set your top three priorities.
After deciding on your budget, you need to sit down with your fiance and choose your top three priorities. Are photos of your big day the most important thing to you? Do you want to have a lavish plated dinner? Extravagant open bar? Over the top dress? You need to decide what is most important to you as a couple so you can do that planning together and make sure that those items are planned before other things. All of the little details will fall into place no matter what, so focusing on what’s important to you both first can help set the timeline for all other decisions.
Draft your guest list.
When we first got engaged, I obviously knew this was a first-step, but I didn’t really think about how this dictates most of your other decisions relatively quickly. You can’t book a venue when you don’t know how much space you’ll need, so get on this item quickly so you can start working on budgeting other items accordingly.
Pick your venue / date.
To some, these are interchangeable, and to some these are non-negotiable. I didn’t really have a preference for our venue because I knew there were so many beautiful local venues. We just knew we didn’t want a long engagement, so we chose a time frame and then looked for venues in our area that were available during that time. For some people, their heart is set on a certain venue, so the date is only set based on the availability of the venue. Either way, this needs to be booked early so you can guarantee your space and start planning other details around location and time of year.
Find your photographer.
Being able to look back on the most special day of our lives through photos is so important to us. Someday we will be able to show our kids and grandkids photos from our wedding day, and that is just the craziest most special thing to me, so finding a photographer was obviously a must! But based on your date and time of year, it’s important to quickly find a photographer that has the photo style you’re wanting and is available on your date. We only had six months from our engagement to the wedding date, so I had to quickly find someone that I felt could capture our day well. If you do anything at all after you get engaged, let it be to soak it in and cherish it forever and ever. The most important thing is the relationship between you and your fiance, and every other detail can be sorted out later (or not at all). Just remember to keep your focus on what truly matters, and no matter what happens, it will be the most perfect day.