Congratulations on your engagement!!! Savor this stage of your life, because it goes by so quickly! I can’t believe Lucas and I have already been engaged nearly five months!
I put together a short list of tips I’ve learned in the last few months that would have made my life a little easier:
1. Tell family and friends first!
Lucas and I got engaged at midnight (or somewhere around there – it was a spur of the moment, wonderful proposal!!) and called my mom and dad (he had called his parents nervously on the way up so they knew it was happening). The next day I woke up still reeling and giddy and posted on Facebook without even realizing how inconsiderate it was! And it wasn’t because I thought less or didn’t care about anyone, I was just way too excited to keep it in and as a PR major, felt like Facebook was the way to tell the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time! Lesson: Your announcement order should go family, friends THEN Facebook. Your cousins or close friends shouldn’t find out the same time as Judy from 8th grade bio.
2. Get a budget in your head A.S.A.P.
Are your parents paying? Will you go half-and-half? Will you and your fiancé pay for it all? Have at least a ballpark number so you can start your venue and vendor search. This needs to happen quick if you’re hoping to get married within a year – venues book up fast! Plus, if you and fiancé are paying, you better start pinching those pennies!
3. Envision your future Day.
You obviously don’t need to create, book and decorate your entire day right after you get engaged, but it’s a good thing to think about as you come off the exciting high! Channel your bridal excitement into some constructive activities so you won’t have to redo work or muster excitement later. Some ideas are:
- Who do you want at your wedding? Make a rough list of people you would miss if they didn’t come.
- What defines you as a couple? Making a list of buzzwords like “puzzle,” “superheroes” or “dogs” might send you on your way to a theme.
- How do you want the day to feel? Start thinking about the atmosphere – cozy and intimate or a large black-tie affair?
Soon enough, tons of people will butt in their own opinions and specific pieces of your vision might get lost in the shuffle.
4. Talk with your fiancé.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember (especially for newly-engaged women) that this day is about the two of you. Define the amount of planning each of you want to be involved in. If your partner is more lax about the planning than you, you may get frustrated or misconstrue it as unexcitement for the wedding. If you’re both Type As, it might be a good idea to separate tasks and work collaboratively, but not conjoined. You’re about to live the rest of your lives together, so learn to work symbiotically!
5. Savor ever minute!
I’ve found that I’m trying to rush through things a little too much because I’m so excited. A slight exception is vendors – many want to ensure they have your business and may push a contract into your hands faster than you’d like. However, once you have the biggies (venue; caterer; music; photographer; officiant) make sure to take a deep breath, look at your fiancé and get incredibly excited about the future you two will have.
I’m a firm believer that wedding planning shouldn’t be the #1 stressor in your life. Only you decide what stresses you out, so learn to let go and let God!
What are some lessons you’ve learned as an engaged couple? What advice do you have for other brides-to-be?