Happy Engagement Season! If you are recently engaged, or soon to be engaged, or just getting around to planning your wedding, CONGRATS! Marriage, in my opinion, is the literal best, and if you let it be, this engagement season can be incredibly special and fun.
So, you’re engaged. Now what? If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure of how to get started, you are not alone! Here are three steps you should take to get started on the right foot:
First, before you do anything, take a deep breath, and just enjoy. Tell your family and friends, celebrate over dinners and drinks, post those ring selfies on Instagram, and snuggle with your intended and giggle and dream and soak in the joy. Give yourselves time to celebrate before you begin to plan in earnest.
This one is important! Before you begin planning this wedding, take time to make sure that you and your fiance are one the same page. If you were anything like me, you might already have some visions and dreams and expectations about how you’d like the wedding to turn out, so take the time to catch your fiance up on those things. Above all, you want to make sure that you plan your wedding as a team. Be sure to talk about these things, and any others that occur to you:
Your priorities for the wedding. Perhaps you dream of a live band for dancing, and your fiance is dead set on serving your guests food ‘till they drop at cocktail hour. Spend time outlining your top 5 wedding priorities separately, and then discuss them together. Then, come up with your collective top 5 priorities to guide you as you plan.
Finances. Will you be paying for the wedding yourselves, or will funds be coming from multiple sources? How will you decide to spend that money? When you create your budget, keep your top 5 priorities in mind! For some couples, a wedding is the first large set of financial decisions that they make together. Make it a priority to address these decisions with clarity and open communication.
Planning strategy. Make sure you talk about how you will plan this wedding — how much time you’re willing to dedicate each week to planning, if one or both of you will be in charge of certain aspects of the planning, and who else’s opinion (if anyone’s) will factor into major decision making. Setting clear guidelines and expectations early on will prevent friction down the line.
Now that you’re on the same page, it’s time to get planning! I always tell my couples to focus on the big picture — the who, when, where and why — and the rest will fall into place. Allow me to explain:
Who – The guest list! Before you choose a venue, you need to know how many people you’re inviting.
When – When do you want to get married? Is that time frame flexible? Also, speak to your VIPS (family, bridesmaids and groomsmen, special friends) to see if there are any timing or specific date commitments you need to be aware of.
Where – Where do you want to get married? Someplace in the city or in the country? Maybe a destination wedding? Do you want to spend part of the day outdoors, or all indoors? Do you need to choose a venue that is close to an airport or public transportation?
Why – This one is important! Why are you having a wedding? What is stopping you from running down to the courthouse and tying the knot quick and easy? If it’s because you’ve always wanted to throw an all-out dance party with your favorite people, then plan that wedding. If it’s because you want to honor traditions passed down by your families, then make sure to plan that wedding. Use your “why” (and there may be a few) in conjunction with your top 5 priorities and I’m pretty sure you’ll start to get a clear picture of the day.
Planning a wedding can seem overwhelming, but I firmly believe that if you start off on the right foot — happy, on the same page and in agreement on your “why” — wedding planning will be tremendously fun. Do you need some extra support as you plan your wedding? Get in touch with me — I’d love to support you through this special time.