Engaged! But now what?
You just got engaged? Congrats!! I hope that you’re enjoying the utter glamour and the hopeful, romantic whirlwind you’re being swept up by.
So, what’s next? Do you feel like there is so much to do, and don’t know where to start? Here’s a quick guide for you:
1. Tell key people
You’re going to want to make sure that those who need to know find out through you. For instance, don’t post it on Facebook before telling your Granny, because if your aunt sees it and tells her first, she may be hurt. Sounds like a silly thing, but it’s exactly the kind of seemingly insignificant detail that can start your planning adventure off on a sour note.
2. Have “The Talk” with your fiancé
Grab something to write with and your favourite beverage, turn off distractions and get comfortable; you are about to brainstorm your wedding! Write down whatever comes to mind. Whatever idea pops up, whether it’s a like or a dislike, jot it down in list form.
Then have a frank and open discussion about budget. Where are your financial resources? What can you realistically afford to spend on this most special day? (Please, don’t forget that you have to live before and after the wedding!)
Remember that brainstorm list? Go back to it and begin highlighting ideas or scratching some off altogether. Take note of both your reactions throughout.
This exercise will help both ground and launch your wedding planning. It’ll outline the visceral and most untainted desires you have for your wedding, and even if you end up far from where you initially thought you would be, at least you’ll have tracks of where you started. You’ll also have something to source ideas from if you’re ever stuck, in the future.
Psst: think of how amazing it would be, should you preserve your notes, for your grandchildren go through them one day!
3. Hire a wedding planner
There is a slight chance, perhaps, that I may be biased in giving you this advice, but take of it what you may. A wedding planner is an expert who not only knows the path that you’re walking down, but also knows where all of the sinkholes are lurking. Whereas your wedding may not turn out to be THE most important day of your life, it certainly is one of the most expensive ones, both financially and emotionally. A wedding planner is the little investment that helps protect your big investment.
4. Look at venues
Once you have a general idea of what look and feel you want for your wedding, start looking at venues. Because…
- Venues tend to book really quickly, so your choices will be limited if you wait.
- The date of your wedding is central to all of the other planning aspects. You can’t secure a caterer/officiant/florist/beauty team etc without the date of your wedding and the venue’s availability will often set that date.
- Once you’ve signed a contract with the venue, you can determine the size of your guest list and send out Save-The-Date announcements.
- Your venue choice will determine whether you need to hire food and beverage services, or not. Needless to say, this choice has an integral impact on both your budget and planning process.
5. Figure out the Fashion
It can easily take 10 months to complete your bridal gown purchase process. Consider that you need time to search and shop. Consider the amount of work that goes into it, for instance, if it has different kinds of vintage fabric, if it’s hand-beaded, if it’s travelling from very far away. All of these factors influence the time it takes for your dress to arrive.
Once it arrives, it will need alterations. Wait, let me repeat that: IT WILL NEED ALTERATIONS!
Please be ready for your dress to be altered, and budget for it. The worst thing that will happen is that you’ll be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t need any work.
Quick tip: Don’t purchase it too far ahead. Trends and minds can change with time.
These 5 steps are the catalyst to your planning process, and they will solidify your vision by putting your desires into context. The rest is your history-in-the-making!
Happy Engagement, and enjoy the ride!