“Let me see the ring!”
“When are you getting married?”
You may already be tired of hearing that second question… And while this is an important decision to make, this is not the first thing you need to do after getting engaged.
So what’s next? How do you start planning in a way that doesn’t cause you to start stressing and lead you to miss out on all of the joy, beauty, and romance of the days that follow your engagement?
Here a few tips surrounding things I’ve learned over the years as I’ve walked from before the ring, all the way through the Wedding day and beyond with more than 100 couples. And a few things I’ve learned along the road as a wife, and marriage mentor (alongside my husband of 15 years as of today).
TIPS FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Write Your Story
This is the moment to make sure you capture the romantic details of your epic love story. While these emotions are fresh on your mind, take some time to write out your story together… from the moment you met all the way through the proposal. This will be a sweet way remind each other just how much love you share, and keep you grounded in the reason you are taking this step to covenant your lives together.
\\ Bonus Tip \\ Writing your story will come in handy if you decide to create a Wedding Website, and in getting to know your wedding vendors. ManyWedding vendors will ask about your story, and take the time to get to know you so they can create work on your behalf that is both authentic and unique to you.
Plan and Calendar Four Romantic Dates
Before all of those wonderful (but sometimes overwhelming) Wedding planning meetings start to consume your calendar, take the time to dream up 4 epic dates to place on your calendar that will serve as moments to pour into your romance, and pour into the foundation of your marriage. These dates will anchor you in the present in the midst of all the future planning. They will give you something besides your Wedding to look forward to in the days to come.
\\ Bonus Tip \\ This is a great moment to create a shared google calendar for Marriage/Wedding Things. My husband and I have multiple shared google calendars for work, family, bills, dating, etc (this keeps us on the same page and eliminates so much stress and confusion about what is going on in our equally busy schedules).
Agree Upon the Most Important Elements of Your Wedding
One way to decide on these is for you each to write your 3 things down separately. Then, go out to your favorite spot for dinner, and share them with each other. This will give you both time to think through your priorities so you can thoughtfully share them with each other. You can then decide together what makes your master list of priorities. It’s these things that will really ensure that your personalities shine through in each element of your Wedding. It will also help you create a more accurate budget.
\\ Bonus Tip \\ This is also a great time to talk about values you want to carry into your marriage. My husband and I landed on these three things that we place above all others in our lives together: Harmony, Adventure, and Generosity.
Choose Who Will Surround You
The people you choose to be at your side in the ceremony will serve as your support team through the planning process …and even further as you walk into married life and all that follows. Be thoughtful, and careful.
\\ Bonus Tip \\ I recommend freeing yourself from the thought that you have to have an even equal number of party members on each side. This can often lead to having someone at your side that is not really a fit. Your photographer is an artist, you should be able to trust them to use their skill and creativity to make your Wedding Party images (and all of your images) look amazing – with our without equal numbers of maids/men.
Select The Season
What season do you want to be married in (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter)? I suggest picking a season rather than a date, this will help you ensure you can assemble the team of vendors you want to help make your Wedding plans a reality.
\\ Bonus Tip \\ Consider weather conditions at the location you want to get married (this will influence gown/attire choice, color palette, guests travel, accommodations, indoor/outdoor ceremony etc), also consider weather conditions in the location you want to honeymoon.
Start Conversations With Vendors
I suggest starting with your Wedding Planner/Designer, Venue, and Photographer. These vendors aren’t typically able to book multiple clients on a Wedding day, so they are the first vendors whose calendars will fill up. If you are considering a Late Spring/Summer or Fall Wedding you will want to consider quickly contacting these vendors to conversations to make sure you are a good fit for each other. Most vendors are not able to hold a date for you until you have signed a contract and paid your retainer fee (approximately 40-50% off your total package/collection).
\\ Bonus Tip \\ It is also a huge help to be flexible with your date, some vendors will even work with you on pricing if you pick a non-Saturday or off-peak Wedding date.
Plan an Engagement Session That Feels Like the Ultimate Date
Instead of approaching this session as another box on your check list, make the most of it by taking the day off and pampering yourselves, or better yet… take a trip to a bucket-list destination and bring your photographer along (they may even have some great ideas about locations to travel that will fit well with your aesthetic…) . This will add to the romance and continue the celebration of your engagement in an unforgettable way.
\\ Bonus Tip \\ See this post – Engagement Session TIPS