Firstly, congratulations on your engagement!! I’m sure you and your boo are absolutely over the moon! This next stage of your life is the BEST and we’re excited to help you through every step of it. We totally get it. Once that “we’re engaged” high wears off, the reality of planning sets in… along with some occasional panic. But don’t you worry! We gottchu! We’ve been there, so we pulled together our top 7 tips for newly-engaged couples to help you navigate your first baby steps of planning. Grab a glass of wine, take a deep breath, and let’s dig in! YOU GOT THIS!
GET THE BIG CONVERSATIONS OUT OF THE WAY UP FRONT.
Not gonna lie, wedding conversations can be kinda tough to handle. You’re worried about upsetting someone or that the in-laws won’t agree with your vision of your wedding. But this is YOUR wedding day! Budget. Wedding size. Location. Those are the three big conversations you should have soon after you get engaged and definitely before you start planning anything else. Don’t put these off! Sure, the budget and the wedding size aren’t the sexiest wedding topics, (unless you’re financial wizards who love spreadsheets and you’re nerds like us, in which case, rock on!) but they are the rocks of your wedding planning.
If you’re looking for all of our other planning tools, we’ve got ‘em right here!
2. DON’T ASSUME YOU KNOW WHAT THE OTHER PERSON WANTS.
Biggest wedding myth of all time: men don’t care about wedding planning and women have everything planned before they even get engaged. It’s just totally not true! Your wedding day is a big one for both of you and you both should have skin in the game. A great way to start is to make separate lists of your priorities and vision for the day. Then come together and see where the chips fall. Sure, you both might not be able to get “exactly” what you want, but that’s where compromise comes in. It’ll be good practice for the long happy years of marriage ahead.
3. EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE.
The earlier you embrace this fact, the easier it will be to accept it. That doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save money. You could buy your flowers in bulk and arrange your own bouquets, get married on a weekday, bring your own liquor, or skip the favors. Most wedding-related goods and services are expensive because they can be. (It’s super unfortunate, but it is the reality we live in.) There are a few things that are absolutely worth the cost though: your photographer, your videographer, and your wedding planner. Those three vendors will be some of the best investments you’ll make for your wedding! So, if you need a place to start when setting budget priorities, start with those three vendors.
4. YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE – OR ASK FOR – EVERYONE’S OPINIONS.
There’s nothing like a wedding to get everyone you talk to fired up with opinions, advice, judgements, etc. They’re all excited. They think they know best. Sometimes, it’ll be totally valid and helpful! Other times, it’ll be unsolicited and awkward. The good news? You have full control over what opinions or advice you choose to entertain. Whaaaaat?! If you have expert event planners in your circle, they’ll probably have some great tips you might want to implement. If you have a relative who thinks your wedding is somehow their chance for them to live vicariously through your wedding, simply smile and say thank you… then shake it off. This is YOUR day! You don’t need to take anyone’s opinions into account (unless it feels right), and you don’t even need to ask anyone’s opinions at all (unless you want to).
5. ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS ARE A MUST.
There are very few things we’ll tell you are “musts” when it comes to wedding planning. (Because we firmly believe you should do what you want!) But… taking engagement photos is one of those things we think every couple should do! For one thing, you’re getting married!! You should take every opportunity to celebrate, and an engagement session is a fun, informal way to celebrate just the two of you! It also will give you the opportunity to bond with your wedding photographer before the big day. You’ll get to work out all the quirks, get comfortable in front of the camera, and get to know the only other person you will spend your entire wedding day with. Trust us, it’s an all-around good idea and, in 50 years, your married selves will be so happy to have your engagement season documented!
To make the most of your engagement session, take a peek at these tips for nailing your engagement photos!
6. INVOLVE YOUR WEDDING PLANNER AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.
If you decide to hire a wedding planner, we highly recommend they are one of the first vendors you hire and that you involve them in every decision from the get-go. That way they know your vision, your budget, and your style, and they can help keep all your ideas organized. You don’t have to go through all the work of venue hunting when that is what wedding planners are there for. Not only are wedding planners great for design, logistics, and execution, but they are fountains of knowledge when it comes to reliable vendors, legal matters, and so much more. If you start planning thinking that you don’t want a planner and then decide you do want one, that’s totally okay, as well! Just make sure to loop them in on every decision you’ve made and be flexible when they start to give expert advice.
7. DON’T SPEND EVERY MINUTE PLANNING
Your engagement season only happens once, and it’s absolutely magical and life changing and basically the happiest time of your life. So don’t let it be consumed with stress! First and foremost, you’re preparing for marriage. You’re not just planning a party. Your engagement should be about being in love, soaking up the excitement, and getting ready to start a brand new journey together. We highly recommend you set aside at least one day every week for a date night that doesn’t include any wedding talk. Try new restaurants, take a hike outside, read relationship advice books together, or simply put on your PJs and hunker down for a movie night. The only rule should be that you focus on your relationship, not the wedding. You’ll have plenty of time to plan, and you’ll reduce the risk of getting burned out before the wedding day.
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY…
3 Tips to Prepare for your Engagement Session
5 Reasons you MUST Hire a Videographer