I know you are all wondering why I am writing a blog post about getting engaged, since, you know, I just got married last year. But I am writing this because one of my best friends just recently got engaged last week! I am so incredibly excited for her!!!
After a long line of suitors that never really worked out, she found a man that compliments her and makes her so happy normal people may want to gag. In fact, when she first started dating Adam, and I saw them together as a couple I knew from how they both acted that they would get married.
I have been lucky enough to see 3 of my close girlfriends get engaged this year alone! 1 quickly put together a destination wedding to Cabo San Lucas. From the photos I saw, it was gorgeous and I am so sad that I had to missed out on seeing her get married. My second friend, being a woman of action, got together and picked the venue of her dreams which came with a package for most of the things she would need to get married.
Then there is dear Kristi, who sent me the following text message today:We then went back and forth about writing blog posts and advice for women who get engaged. I told her there are a ton of websites and blogs dedicated to helping you plan your wedding, but I wanted to write something just for her.
So I hope some of you can find this helpful, but this is dedicated to Kristi, my dear friend who is just starting her bridal journey!
- Enjoy the Moment
You just got engaged! Yay! You should revel in this moment, because hopefully, this will be your one and only wedding – not that I am in anyway judging someone who marries multiple times. The time after your boyfriend, now your fiance, proposes is a pretty short lived time. Immediately following your engagement, the questions start up: when should we get married, where, how many people?There will be plenty of time to figure that out. Bask in this moment. You are getting married….at some point!!! Look at that ring you were given, no matter what it looks like, this man spent time (and a lot of hard earned money). In fact he spent too much time I am willing to bet, sitting in front of computer screens, texting your friends, asking your parents about what you want; so look at that ring girl. Don’t have shame in that. Every woman is proud and excited about what ring their fiance chose to represent your relationship.
Let the glow of a new engagement fill your relationship, then move on to 2!
- Tell The Ones You Love
Pretty simple, right? Wrong!In today’s social media obsessed world, a lot of women flock to Facebook or Instagram to document the new ring on their finger. Think about this first, is this really how you want some of your close friends to see? On top of the 100 random Instagram followers you have?
My husband and I did a mental check list. The night we got engaged we called my parents immediately and told them – although they already knew. Then we went personally to his parents house and told them, because they lived closed to us. I then woke up my cousin and we told her.
We asked our family to please let US be the ones to share our engagement. We called, visited and sometimes texted, the people we wanted to hear first from us. I didn’t want my sister in Indiana to read on Facebook, I called her! So tell your dearest friends and family personally, don’t let them find out through social media. I personally say wait at least a week before changing your relationship status to “engaged” on Facebook.
- Discuss Budget and Must Haves
Once you have told all of your friends and family, sit down with your fiance and start to game plan a budget and what you really want. Budget will dictate your guest list, if you are only planning on spending $10,000 then you will either need a more intimate wedding, or you need to find a DIY venue. Once you know your budget then you can worry about how many cousins and co-workers you have to invite.Along with budget decide right now what are the things you HAVE to have and what are the things you can do without. My husband and I knew we had to have an outdoor wedding, it needed to be close to the beach, and we wanted our reception to last until midnight. Knowing these key elements helped me to narrow down my venue search and not feel as over-whelmed. Why waste time on venues or vendors who can’t provide you with what you know you want?
- Decide on Rough “Date”
The thing I learned quickly, if just because you have a specific wedding date in mind, doesn’t mean a venue is available. If you have figured out your must-haves, start narrowing down how long you want your engagement to be (although in my opinion you should have talked about this BEFORE getting engaged in general conversation) and around what time of year you want to get married.Don’t feel rushed to get married in 6 months. If you got engaged in Spring and you know you have always dreamed of a summer wedding, hold out for the following summer to really plan properly for a wedding in a venue you have to have. Again, you are only doing this once, why settle for something that is mediocre or something you aren’t 100% happy with?
Move forward with a roughly 3 week time frame in mind. My husband and I wanted to get married the last weekend of June, but a lot of venues were booked, so as we learned, being flexible with the date, gave us options. The only time this doesn’t work, is if you have a date of significance you have to have. If that is you, more power to you!
- Pinterest ’till The Cows Come Home
Pinterest is a wonderful tool. On this wedding journey start making TONS of boards. Keep yourself organized by doing one board JUST wedding dresses, one of flowers, centerpieces, etc. By breaking down your ideas into separate boards, you can reference them more quickly when you are meeting with vendors about what you want.When I met with my florist, I was able to pull up visual inspiration of what I had seen and knew I wanted to incorporate. This is especially helpful when shopping for dresses. Wedding dresses can be a beast, and knowing all the looks you like will give your consultant a hand and possibly save you some tears.
These are my top 5 steps to follow after being recently engaged. I know you are awash in the afterglow, but once the reality sets in, you feel over-whelmed with what to do next. I promise, it will get better.
On Friday or Saturday I will post another blog about my 10 steps I went through when planning my wedding. Let me also just say this, all of this may seem simple and easy enough, but truly knowing your budget, will make your life easier. If you disagree with most of what I say, fine, but figure out your budget!
Oh, and try not to get too mad at friends, moms, sisters, cousins for having an opinion. There will be so many opinions you could plan 3 weddings with all the “help.”
Until Next Time,
Pocket Owl Press