You're Engaged...Now What?
We are at the tail end of engagement season, and just about to enter an exciting wedding season. If you just got engaged and have no idea what to do next, this one is for you.
Congratulations on your new engagement! Now you may be wondering, what happens next? Before you start to get overwhelmed, don’t worry we’ve got you. There is no cookie cutter timeline for when things should be happening because each couple is different. First and foremost, take a deep breath. There’s not a rule book that says you have to start planning your wedding immediately after engagement. Take some time to yourselves because the engagement period passes much quicker than you think.
So how should you get started? We came up with a list of 5 big todos for those couples who are itching to get started. Planning your wedding can be scary and stressful, but planning a wedding with the love of your life is just the icing on the cake.
1. Tell your Family & Friends. Then Tell Everyone Else
The last place your close family and friends should learn about your engagement is social media. Call up your parents, grandparents, siblings, and best friends to let them know the great news. Your parents probably already have an idea, and are eagerly awaiting the news. From here, you can also start thinking (we say thinking, not asking because you may end up having to make some changes during the planning process) about your bridal party. Not only will you want bridesmaids and groomsmen, but you should also consider ushers and guest book attendants. The latter two tend to be personal preferences, but we highly encourage both in order to keep your guests informed during the actual event. Sometimes people aren’t sure which side to sit on, that is where an usher can come in. Guest book attendants are able to point people in the right direction to the ceremony location, and also assist guests with the guest book if you are doing something more unique.
2. Take Time to Enjoy Your Engagement
Like we said above, your engagement period will pass much quicker than you think. On average, an engagement lasts a year to a year and a half. That is such a short time when you begin to think about your lives together. Talk about the things that matter the most to you and your partner during your big day. Ask questions. When should you have the wedding? Where will it be? How do you envision it? What general type of food do you see yourselves having? Do you even want a big celebration, or should you keep it small? Think about the weddings you have already attended. What did you like about those and what did you not like? Getting on the same page at the very start of planning, even before you begin telling anyone about your plans, is key. It is so much easier to begin planning when you have an idea versus starting from scratch. Don’t forget to just take the time with each other to just soak it all in. This is such a fun season of your life. Your family and friends are so excited for you, and we know you are so excited to celebrate with them.
3. Get Organized
Now it’s time to get to work. Create a checklist of everything you need to get accomplished. Think about your dream vendors, venue, and guest list. Then do some research, and establish your budget. Use a wedding notebook to keep all your thoughts in one place. Another way to get organized, gain inspiration, and keep all your ideas in one convenient location is Pinterest. Pinterest is overflowing with wedding ideas for nearly every wedding style you can imagine. Using the section option on your pinterest board will allow you to organize your pinned posts into different sections of your choosing. For example, bouquets, ceremony decor, reception decor, etc. Pinterest can help you nail down your wedding day aesthetic, and give you interesting ideas to make your day more comfortable for you and your guests.
4. Set Aside Time to Plan
Now that you have an idea of what you want, it’s time to turn those ideas into a reality. Find a venue and secure your vendors for your date as soon as possible. From there take everything piece by piece. Set a goal each month to get something done. However, if the idea of wedding planning makes you want to hyperventilate into a brown paper bag, or if you don’t have much time to plan the event yourself, a wedding planner can be an asset to you. Finding a knowledgeable planner early in the planning process can take a lot off your plate. A planner will assist you with things like finding great vendors, negotiating pricing, reading contracts, and keeping you on track during the process. As your big day gets closer, a good planner will also help you with your wedding weekend timeline, ceremony details, and will stay in communication with your vendors, so you don’t have to worry if everyone is on the same page.
If you are more of a DIY bride, we love to see that too. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Assign tasks to your partner, your bridesmaids, your mom, anyone who will take something off your plate. There are a lot of tasks to accomplish, but not all of them have to be checked off immediately.
5. Have Fun
Wedding planning should be fun for you and your partner. Focus on the fun aspects of planning your wedding. Bridal expos and open houses are always fun for all including couples, wedding parties, and family. Some of our favorite annual events in our area are Bristol’s Bridal Expo in January, and the Commonwealth Event Center’s Bridal Tea. Bristol’s Bridal Expo brings together all kinds of wedding vendors in the area. The Commonwealth Event Center’s Bridal Tea is happening this year on April 3, 2022. Last year’s Bridal Tea was such a great experience. Emily gave a presentation on Guest Experience, which was an absolute hit. We saw many of our brides utilize the advice she gave (stay tuned, maybe you’ll see her presentation replicated on the blog). There are so many aspects of planning a wedding that can be fun. After all, finding the perfect combination of the two of you in the wedding details is what will make it uniquely you.