Updated: Jan 12, 2021
If you're reading this, it means that you've been recently engaged. HUGE congratulations to you! Whether you became engaged over the recent holiday season or have been engaged for a while, I'm happy that you found your way to this post. Soaking up all of the advice/tips that follow will help you TREMENDOUSLY. Being engaged is a weird in-between phase. It's an exciting time, because it is the first phase in starting the rest of your life as a couple. But it can also be a very stressful time, because through all of the excitement and highs of the engagement, you are expected to save money and plan for an entire wedding. Where do you even begin? Well, when the initial shock of the engagement wears off and you are ready to drill down on the planning and need to figure out where to start, refer to this blog post to steer you in the right direction! In this post we'll cover how to answer all of the pesky wedding questions that inevitably come up from your family members, where to begin on planning, and things you should know before you start planning.
Question: When's the wedding?! This is probably THE most popular question you'll get asked by your friends and family, and the question that will probably bring you back from the high of engagement to the reality of planning. You should have a response to this question ready to go as soon as you tell people you're engaged, because TRUST ME- they will ask. Some potential answers to this question are:
You'll know as soon as we know
We're thinking (season) (year)
We haven't had the chance to even look at venues yet
Question: Am I invited to the wedding?
This is probably the most annoying question you'll get asked as you decide who you want to share your special day with.
As of right now, no one has been invited yet. We haven't sent out invitations
We haven't even looked at invitations- we're just not there in the planning process yet
We'd love for everyone we love to be there, but our budget is tight so we have to work the numbers
Question: Are you ready to get married/ Are you sure?
I would not be wearing this ring if I was not ready
We both are ready for this next step
Question: Can I be your Best Man/ Maid of Honor?
It's such a big decision to make so quickly
We haven't figured out the logistics yet. We're trying to just enjoy being engaged
There's so many people that mean so much to me. It's going to be a tough decision for sure
Once you've successfully navigated those initial questions, you're ready to start planning (see below).
Where do you even begin?
(As outlined on the "Complete Wedding Package" page)
First and foremost, the golden rule to being engaged is to take the time to actually ENJOY IT. This is an exciting time in your life, and it will go by so fast! Take the time to slow down and enjoy your new engagement with your fiancé before jumping straight into planning. As soon as people get the news of the engagement, they will inevitably pester you for wedding details, but have piece of mind in knowing that IT'S OKAY TO NOT KNOW RIGHT AWAY. Just make sure you have your responses ready to go in your back pocket. It's even okay to just be honest with people and tell them you'd like to soak up your time being engaged right now.
Next, let's get the basics down. Here are some questions that will get you both thinking about the basic components of your wedding:
Where do you envision yourselves getting married? (country/city/location)
How large do you want your wedding to be? (number of guests you want to invite)
What wedding style (elegant, rustic, industrial, romantic, whimsical, etc.), colors or theme speak(s) to you?
What budget are you both comfortable with? If you're not sure, is there a number you're not comfortable going over? What is a reasonable amount for you to save up in the time leading up to when you want your wedding to be?
What date/time of year you want the wedding? (day/night, winter/summer/spring/fall)
3. Start researching and contacting vendors! If there's any vendor you absolutely need to have, book that vendor first before they get booked up, and then build the rest of your dream vendor team around that. If you don't have any vendors in mind, I suggest you look at booking either the venue or the wedding planner first. Either one will likely have a list of preferred vendors that you can use as a way to find other vendors (any vendor that comes recommended by a vendor you like is already a great lead!). And a wedding planner will come with a lot of great recommendations and things to think about in terms of selecting your other vendors. Signing contracts is not something to take lightly- you are placing your special day in the hands of people you just met. So make sure that you take the proper time to research and vet your vendors accordingly.
In the meantime, the best piece of advice that I can give any engaged couple is to take advantage of wedding shows/ expos as much as you can! Besides all of the fun freebies, food/cake tasting, and free champagne that you receive, wedding shows are also a great way to meet all types of vendors (some of which will even give you booking discounts just for saying hi to them at the show). Physically seeing what vendors have to offer and their personal style will give you a better feel for them, and will help you better visualize what your wedding could look like. They may only be offering virtual wedding shows for now, but I'm hopeful that they'll be able to convene again soon. Wedding shows also usually have fun raffles (in both virtual and in-person formats), so you only have something to gain by going. It can be a great time for you and your significant other.
Bonus tip: If you're like me and you have to celebrate your engagement in the era of virtual events, splurge and get a bridal subscription box! Getting monthly boxes of cute wedding and honeymoon swag is a great way to soak up the feeling of being engaged. If you aren't able to attend in-person wedding shows and get free swag, a bridal subscription box is the next best thing. I've gotten cute T-shirts, "I said yes!" coffee mug and jewelry tray, decorations for my bridal shower and bachelorette party, vow books, a wedding planner, and so much more. There are lots of great subscription boxes to choose from, and it brings a little extra joy to wedding planning.
This should give you a great kickoff to your wedding planning. There are so many pieces of advice in this post that will make your wedding planning SO MUCH EASIER. Although a stressful time, it is possible to enjoy the engagement and planning- you just have to do it right. Make sure that you slow down every now and then so you can truly cherish the fact that you are engaged to the love of your life, because that stage in your life comes and goes so quickly. Your wedding planning timeline is just that- yours. So don't let anyone pressure you into speeding up the process or going faster than you are comfortable with just to answer your family members' pesky questions. You start wedding planning when the time is right for you. Then it's happy planning! Until next time,