Adam & I got engaged in April and it was such a beautiful & exciting time! But after the excitement 'dust' started to settle, the 'what now?' question popped up. How soon do you start discussing dates? How quickly should you have an engagement party? What's my first priority in planning this wedding?! Here is our Newly Engaged Survival Guide to help you keep calm and carry on as you begin planning your wedding!
( A photo from our proposal!)
Straight after Adam proposed, we headed to my parents house for a little celebration afternoon tea Adam had organised with both our families as well as our friends who were involved in the proposal. This was a lovely time to share & celebrate with both our families our exciting news! We then spent the evening celebrating together and the next morning, a nice time in prayer, taking communing and thanking God for this new chapter.
Once you're engaged, take time to celebrate together just the two of you as well as a time to celebrate with your family. Your emotions are running so high at this point that it's nice to be able to enjoy the moment & celebrate!
This one has changed a lot over the last few years. Once you're engaged one of the questions is, when should we change our Facebook status? Well hold off! Some things need to be treasured. Tell the people most important to you both first; parents, siblings, best friends etc. Then consider messaging and privately letting some people know your news before you announce it to the world via Facebook. We actually sent out a few group messages to friends before we did the Facebook thing. Letting people who are extra important to you hear the news from you personally is so meaningful & personal & not to be overlooked! Once that's all done, feel free to share on whatever social media platform you like!
Insure the Ring
You've probably never had something so valuable & sentimental on your finger before so get it insured! Find out the value & have it added to your insurance. My sister broke hers only a few weeks after being engaged so it pays to be covered straight away!
( The emerald & diamond engagement ring Adam has designed for me, love it!)
Now it's time to start discussing budget. Budget before anything else. If you don't know how much you can spend, you're setting yourself up for more stress and possible disappointment. If you have no idea how much weddings are, feel free to message & enquire prices from vendors you may love or ask on wedding discussion forums what to expect to pay to help you get an idea of what weddings may cost.
Based on your budget, you'll need to work out a rough idea of when you'll be able to save enough for your wedding. This will help you figure out a 'window' of when you can get married.
The First Booking
The first thing you should book is not going to be the same as every other bride. The venue or date is usually one of the first things you book in. For some brides, they have a dream venue & whenever that venue is free, is when they will get married. I always see it as you're either a date determines the venue bride or a venue determines the date bride. I was a venue determines the date bride. I knew we wanted to get married before the end of 2016 but aside from that, I didn't mind which date. So we looked for venues, found one we loved, and picked the best date that was available during our Oct-Dec window.
The Top Priority List
The next priority when it comes booking depends again on each individual bride. However these are some of the main ones to consider: venue, date, photographer & caterer. Following on from these & depending on your type of wedding, start looking for florists, celebrants, hair & make up, videographers, planners, entertainment, stylists/props and of course, your outfits. If you have your heart set on a specific vendor, whatever category it may be, enquire with them asap so you have plenty of time to find other options if need be.
( Have you seen a bigger bouquet?! Thanks Rosebud & Willow!)
Save The Dates
Once you have confirmed your date, start working on your save the dates. If you're like us and getting married 7 months after you get engaged, get them out within 6-8 weeks to give people overseas 5-6 months to start saving. If you are getting married a year or 2 away, there's less pressure, so just get them out when you get a chance!
Again, there are no rules. These days, some brides plan there wedding within months & some over years. It's nice to celebrate within the first 2-3 months while things are fresh but if your wedding is two years away, consider holding off until closer to the wedding to rebuild some wedding momentum! We decided to not have one as we are having a short, 7 month engagement. We celebrated with our family & that was enough for us and suited our budget! If an engagement party is out of the budget or you simply can't be bothered, have a bbq lunch or go out with a small group of friends for dinner to celebrate instead!
Do not rush this. Although it is tempting to ask your besties to be in your bridal party straight away, take at least a few weeks to decide . This group of people is (hopefully) going to be your main support system throughout the planning process and your wedding day so it's something you want to consider properly. Not only that but there are other things like your budget to consider: how many can you actually afford to have? I decided that as girls are so expensive with hair, make up, flowers, dresses etc to only pick two girls. I also found it was so difficult to pick between friends, so instead of picking two extra friends to match Adams 4 guys, I stuck with just my beautiful sister & cousin and opted for an uneven bridal party. I could've filled the 2 spots, but I decided it was easier to pick less than to pick between girls. See what I mean?! Lots to consider!
And finally, date nights. What could be more important than date nights & quality time with your future husband or wife?! Planning can be stressful so make sure that it is a priority of yours to have wedding-free conversation zones! Set aside space for quality time together and keeping that romance alive! It's about the marriage more than it is the wedding, right! This is the person you're going to marry, so look after each other & be sure to love on each other as you swim through the unknown waters of being engaged together!
We hope these tips/our newly engaged survival guide helps! Whatever you do, just enjoy this time! It's going to fly by!! There's already less than 100 days to go for us!
Until next time,