You’re engaged! Congratulations! What does the ring look like? Can you send me a pic? How did he do it? Where did he do it? Have you picked your date yet? Who are your bridesmaids? Do you know what kind of dress you want?
If you’re engaged, you’ve no doubt been bombarded with these questions and more by every person who knows about your impending nuptials and they started within minutes of you saying “YES!” First off, seriously, congratulations. This is SUCH an exciting time (I know, I’m going through it too) and you should relish every single moment of it because the big day is going to be here sooner than you expect. To help get you down the aisle, we’re going to be delivering you some real-life planning advice over the next few months as we figure it out ourselves and to kick it off, here are some tips for those first few steps the second you go from boyfriend/girlfriend to fiancé©(e).
Make the appropriate calls and texts
This is obviously a given, but call your parents/parental figures and siblings first. Instagram and your relationship status on Facebook will still be there when you get off the phone (I did not follow my own advice and it’s my only regret to date). Next, call your besties and other pertinent VIPs in your life, especially if you think they’re going to be in your bridal party down the road. Think how you would feel if you found out one of your closest friends or family members was getting married at the same time as their part-time only-on-Tuesdays-when-I-have-no-plans friends. Understand? Good. Then you can text, Snapchat and Instagram your heart out!
Get some inspiration
Now that you’re engaged you can finally (openly) buy all those beautiful glossy wedding magazines! And now you don’t need to keep your wedding Pinterest board a secret (though we do recommend keeping the stuff you’re actually going to do to yourself and bridal party–you want to maintain some mystery for your guests on the big day). Though you probably already have an idea of what you might want (we all know we’ve been secretly Pinning this day for years), start to get some more concrete ideas on what you might want for a theme, for your colour scheme, wedding dress, hair, makeup, decor and for your bridesmaids. Plus, this is a really great time to look up cute ways to propose to your ‘maids-to-be (we’ll get to that in a later post).
Make the bigger decisions
You don’t need to rush to book anything, but the sooner you establish roughly when you’d like to get married (summer or winter or somewhere in between?), where you’d like to say your “I do’s” (church and venue or just a venue? Something different or a big banquet hall?) and how big your party is going to be, the better (big family = bigger, possibly more expensive venue). If you’re having a large wedding (anything over 100 people), try to give yourself at least a year to plan this out, especially if you’re paying for everything yourself. On the topic of budget, do your best to guestimate how much you’re willing to spend on the wedding and how much you have saved already and what else you call pull together. While you don’t need to put everything down right away, you do need some cashflow for deposits for almost all of your vendors–those costs creep up quickly. We’ll get more into budgeting in a future post, too! Once you’ve got a rough timeline, budget and size, the rest of the planning comes a lot easier since you know what to look for and what to avoid.
Hire a coordinator
Not everyone needs a wedding coordinator or planner to help them with the wedding start to finish, but having one on-call for the random things (like finding an officiant–seriously not as easy as it sounds) and to be the point-person the day of your wedding may just be the best decision you make. Most wedding planning companies have partial services that will be available for here-and-there requests, but will also help put together the day-of itinerary and will be at your venue to meet all of your vendors so you, your mom, your MOH and ‘maids don’t have to stress about it. Don’t want or need a coordinator? No problem. Choose someone you trust to be the main contact for all of your vendors in case they need anything. Trust us when we say, choose someone other than yourself–no one needs that kind of stress on such a big day.
Relax and enjoy it
Seriously, kick back and enjoy this time. Get some bubbly, have some newly engaged romps and relax. You’re going to be busy before you know it (and probably a bit stressed, too), so take this time to reconnect with your honey and be excited and giddy and all that. Oh, and don’t let ANYONE rain on your parade. This is truly an awesome time so you smile and stare at that ring all you want!