Getting engaged is an unbelievably exciting time, but also can be extremely overwhelming.
It seems that within minutes of getting engaged, people begin asking you about the date, the venue, what kind of dress you want and what your colors are going to be.
You’ve barely gotten used to your boyfriend having a new name and the new accessory you’re rocking on a finger that’s most likely never been used before, but it seems everyone expects you to have your entire wedding figured out too!
Don’t freak out – instead check out the first four things you should do when you get engaged to stay sane:
1. Take time for yourself.
My now-husband and I got engaged on Christmas morning with both our families there – talk about overwhelming! The entire day was filled with people and excitement and lots of questions. It was so wonderful when the day finally ended and we were able to go home and finally enjoy some time together.
The next day we went out to brunch just the two of us to celebrate, and that’s when it finally felt like things were sinking in!
Don’t forget to take some time with just your fiancé to enjoy this exciting time. It’s always fun to celebrate with friends and family, but don’t jump into planning engagement parties and celebrations before the two of you are able to really celebrate alone.
2. Tackle the big four first.
When it comes to what to plan first, I say the first, big four decisions are:
- Guest List
Depending on what you want and where your wedding will be located, you may need to adjust and compromise on a few of these things. For instance, my husband and I thought we wanted May 21 as our wedding date, but when it came to picking venues, the location of our dreams was only available on June 25. For us, the venue mattered more than the date, and so we adjusted our plans.
It’s better to plan these four in tandem with one another. You can start with a general season instead of a hard date, and then depending on what’s available venue-wise (staying in line with your budget), you can select a firm date from there.
By guest list I don’t mean down to everyone’s first and last name, but you should know before you select your venue how many people you want at your wedding. Don’t book an intimate and small venue and then realize you and your fiancé both have 100+ people you need at the wedding.
Your budget also plays a big factor into all these things. Typically, the larger the venue and the more people it can accommodate, the more expensive it will be. Be sure to discuss what your budget is while also deciding on how many guests you want to invite to make sure your venue decision stay inline with these crucial elements.
3. Finalize your wedding theme.
This one might make your eyes roll, but it is important! Once you have your venue, that will help you finalize your overall wedding theme.
If you selected a beautiful ballroom for your reception venue, you most likely will not be having a rustic wedding. (Important note: if you DO want a rustic wedding, don’t look at ballrooms for your venue!) You get the idea – your venue will direct the overall look and feel of your wedding day.
Use your venue to help you think about colors, decorations and details. You don’t want to start purchasing anything or making big decisions, but you should start to get a pretty good idea of what your entire wedding day will look like. This will help you once you begin to select invitations, tableware, food and drinks, decor and even your dress!
4. Say yes to the dress, sort of.
Last but not least, you should start looking at wedding dresses. Notice I didn’t say start trying on and buying, but just looking! The Knot has a fabulous wedding dress app called The Knot LookBook that I found super helpful. You can narrow down all their dresses by price, designer, dress type and even if it’s available at a salon near you.
Just like how many of the things I mentioned above are all connected, your dress also plays a larger part in the overall wedding day theme. Don’t pick a giant ballgown if you’re having a casual beach wedding…it just doesn’t go together.
Start getting an idea of the wedding day look you want by gathering as many great examples of beautiful brides. Be sure to take note of what venue they had as well to make sure it matches with your plans. It’s also good to think about functionality too. Do you want to be able to dance a lot? Maybe don’t select a dress with a huge train and plenty of tulle under the skirt. Or consider a lighter and shorter reception dress!
The early stages of planning can be stressful, but they should also be fun! You have the freedom to consider all your options and truly find what best represents you and your future spouse.
So pour some champagne, pop open your computer and have a blast thinking about all the amazing details that will make up one of the happiest days of your life.