So you're ENGAGED! Now what?...
Engagement season is wrapping up and lots of my friends and family have recently said YES - congrats! But along with the excitement of planning your life together come the worries of planning a wedding. What do we do now? How do we begin? Here are a few things you can start with to ease into wedding planning, while enjoying your engagement!
SCHEDULE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS
You're still riding the engagement high - as you should be - so what better time to get some photos taken? Engagement photos have been a staple for years now, And with good reason. Since the photos are professional, many couples choose to use those pictures on their Save the Dates, wedding website, and even framed at their wedding on guest tables. Even more so, you'll have nice photos of the two of you to keep for years to come! But be sure to book a session as soon as you can - those early Spring Saturday sessions can book up fast! Another option is to ask your friend (the one with the nice camera) to snap some photos of you two by a lake, in a field, on a bridge. Sometimes these photos can turn out just as nice and at a way better price!
ESTIMATE YOUR GUEST LIST
Ok, this one isn't easy, but it is necessary to get an idea of how many guests you might have at your wedding. You will have to choose a venue (a church, reception hall, etc.) based on your guest count. After all, you can't squeeze 300 people into a 100 capacity venue. Sit down with your future spouse and come up with a rough list of who you want to invite to your big day. I like to break it down into A list (must-haves) and B list (nice-to-haves). That way, if you see a venue you really, truly can't live without and it only fits 150 guests, you know where you can make cuts. Once you come up with this list, be sure to save it somewhere so you don't have to recreate all that work. Keep that rough estimate number in mind as you start looking at venues. It will save you a lot of trouble down the line, I promise.
INSURE YOUR RING
So many brides forget this important step! You've stared at it. You've posted ring selfies. You've cleaned it constantly and taken it off at the gym. So why wouldn't you insure it? Obviously, we don't intend to lose it, misplace it, and can't predict if it gets stolen. But that is exactly why you need insurance! Do yourself a favor and go get your ring appraised first. That way, the insurance company knows how much the ring is worth. If -god forbid - something happens to it, you'll be adequately covered. The good thing about this is that once it is done, it's done for good! Just don't forget to add your wedding bands onto your insurance, once you choose those. If you and your fiancé have ventured away from rings to symbolize your engagement/marriage, then you can skip this step!
CREATE A PINTEREST BOARD
If it's not already, Pinterest will be your best friend during the wedding planning process. So many great ideas and lists - you could spend hours curating the perfect wedding board. Believe me, I have many! I like to use Pinterest to get an idea for upcoming trends and then incorporate just a few of those trends into the wedding and bridal showers. That way, you won't look back on pictures and think the whole thing was outdated (puffy bridesmaids sleeves, anyone?). Pinterest can also be helpful if you are not sure what your wedding style is just yet. Peruse the many, many wedding pins. Do you want an outdoor or indoor ceremony? Do you want a large or small bridal party? Do you want a cake or chocolate covered strawberries for dessert - or both? It can all be found on Pinterest and it is all up to you!
Once you've done a little prep work you may start to feel a bit overwhelmed. That is totally normal and that is why you have your fiancé, friends, and family to help you! Heck, that is the whole point of a bridal party! The best advice I received when I got engaged was to celebrate and enjoy it before getting knee-deep in wedding planning.
We were very fortunate that our family and friends threw us an engagement party a few weeks after my husband popped the question. It was such a great way to celebrate with the people closest to us, without too much wedding talk (there will be time for that!). Another idea is to have your friends over a few weeks post-engagement, pop some bubbly, put out a few appetizers, and just celebrate being in love and engaged. Your friends will want the scoop on how he asked and you two will want a chance to gush over this special time in your lives!
No matter what you choose to check off the list, the first few weeks of being engaged are magical - so soak it all in - Cheers!