Congratulations! You're engaged! We’ve got 6 essential tips for newly engaged couples that will help you figure out what’s next!
TIP 1: WAIT... DON’T DIVE IN TO PLANNING YET!
We know you’re ready to get started with the planning, but don’t rush it! Enjoy being enga
ged for a little bit, this is a special time. Planning is stressful – it may be the biggest challenge you two have faced so far. So enjoy this moment! Take some time to yourselves to dream a little before making it a project.
TIP 2: MAKE YOUR FIRST GUEST LIST AND BUDGET
Work together to make a list of the top MOST important things to you for your wedding. Just give yourselves permission to change this first draft, because it’s definitely going to change.
The size of your guest list will greatly affect your wedding expenses, your reception site options, and the entire feel of your event. It's a rare bride and groom who don't need to edit down their original list, whether you're dealing with 30 or 300 people.
Most likely, you, your fiance, and both your families will be contributing names to the guest list, and each party will have his or her own ideas about who is necessary and who can be eliminated. To keep the honing from getting too hectic, try this list-cutting strategy:
Start by setting a goal for your list size. This can be based on your budget, on space limitations of the site you want to use, and/or on any other factor that's important to you. Have everyone involved in the inviting submit a list of the people they'd like to attend. They should rank the names in order of importance, starting at the top. Compare the lists and cross off any duplications. Add up the names that are left and compare that number with your goal. If your count is over the limit, determine how many names you need to eliminate. Then, have each person cut an assigned number of names, starting from the bottom of his or her personal list.
TIP 3: SELECT YOUR VENUES AND DATES, BUT BE FLEXIBLE!
Even if you’ve been thinking about a particular venue for a long time, don’t be afraid to change your mind once you actually make a visit. If you’ve got a feeling that something’s not the right fit for your wedding, then don’t do it.
As far as the date, start with a range and narrow it down based on availability. September and October are popular, as are May and June, so availability for venues will be limited in those months. Flexibility is key at this stage, and you may have to make a decision about whether a particular venue or particular date is more important.
One last thing about dates: Try to steer clear of major holidays unless there’s some family significance to it, or you’re planning a smaller celebration. After all, the idea of a big Christmas wedding might sound charming, but very few people outside of your immediate families would be willing to shelve their own Christmas traditions for a year in order to attend your wedding.
TIP 4: CONSIDER USING A WEDDING PLANNER
Let’s face it, you’re probably rookies at this whole wedding thing, even if you’ve been in your friends’ weddings. As you have probably already discovered, there’s a lot more to planning one than being in one. Wedding planners have a remarkable level of expertise, connections, and experience to help you. Many wedding planners have different packages with different levels of service for a wide range of budgets. And if you really, truly can’t afford one, there are websites and apps that will help. The stress relief would have been worth the expense, and having a planner might have helped the day feel like less of a blur. That’s something that sticks with you for the rest of your life.
TIP 5: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SHARE
We understand, you want to make your engagement “official” on social media – that’s fine, once your families know. (Seriously, be sure your families know first!) But be careful how much of the planning you share on your social feeds. You don’t need a bunch of unsolicited advice, and you definitely don’t need people inviting themselves! And yes, that will absolutely happen. Resist the urge to throw everything on insta and snapchat, and don’t share every one of your Pinterest boards. Too much sharing leaves no surprises for your guests!
TIP 6: YOUR WEDDING IS THE FIRST DAY, NOT THE ONLY DAY
We’re going to say something a little controversial here: The most important thing in all of this is actually NOT your wedding day – it’s your marriage! If the wedding isn’t 100% perfect, that’s ok! Your wedding day is literally the first day of the rest of your lives, so invest in your relationship more than the ceremony.