January 3, 2012

Recently Engaged? Here's Help

As I mentioned in my previous post there were a lot of engagements over the holidays! It's one of the most popular times of the year to be engaged, after all.

So now, you are newly engaged... and what do you do next.
Well from my own engagement, some nice girls on the knot, and a few other resources I have compiled a "WHAT NEXT" plan for you!

1. I think this is my biggest tip: Stop and smell the roses. Take it all in. It is certainly a very overwhelming time. Everyone is likely as happy as you are and wants to be involved and hear all the details. There will be lots of phone calls, lots of posts on facebook, and lots of e-mails. Plus lots of questions being fired in your direction "when is the wedding? Where will it be?" etc.

First have a go to line for all those that are inquiring. A quick "thanks so much! We are so happy- and we are just enjoying the moment and will let you know when we start planning" or even a "this has been so exciting we haven't even begun to plan yet". Should do the trick. 

Consider sending out one big e-mail to recount what happened. "Since you all asked, here is the quick version of our engagement story" with a photo of the ring. That should keep people at bay---for a few weeks anyway.

Now, sit back and enjoy being engaged. I heard stories of girls that went dress shopping the day after they got engaged. It's all so fun- that its nice to enjoy Each moment, a bit at a time.

2. School yourself. Likely, you have never planned a large scale event like a wedding before. It is a lot, and there are tons of details. It's best to grab a few wedding magazines first. See the styles you like and think you might be interested in. Scour a few blogs. My favorites are Stylemeprettyand ruffledblog. However, I think smaller (read: written by Bride's themselves) blogs are great too. Try http://futuremrsmathewwolfe.blogspot.com/ and http://www.blushingbrideblog.com/. These will give you a look into the lives or real brides!
Once you have an idea of what you and your fiance want in terms of style, think about size, what's MOST important to you (food, decor, music?) and then you can move on to step 3.

3. Set a budget and search for venues. The venue will set the tone of the day. That's why its best to have an idea of what "style" (read: tip #2) you have in mind BEFORE you start to look. If you want a vintage rustic barn wedding-there is no sense wasting time looking at hotel ballrooms. If you want a huge mansion wedding, you won't waste time at small beach side venues. 
Set a budget BEFORE you look at venues. So you won't be tempted to look outside your comfort zone. There are beautiful venues that fit EVERY budget.

4. Make a list. Sign up for TheKnot or some other countdown by month. Having a planner with step by step monthly "to dos" will work wonders. Please note: your timing will vary by area. For example, we booked our DJ a year or more ago but TheKnot planner is telling me to search for DJs now that I am 7 months out. In our area, that doesn't make sense.
Ask around. You will find out what vendors you NEED to book right away and which can wait. I swear by the local knot boards. Even if you lurk and don't post- they are extremely helpful.

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