Newly Engaged?? Don’t panic! Here are the first 3 things you need to do.
Ohhh…what a feeling. Have you been dancing on the ceiling? or maybe just floating around on a cloud for the last week. However it feels to you, being newly engaged is an amazing, if fleeting, moment of awesomeness before the inevitable ‘planning-panic’ kicks in. But never fear, I’m here with my 15 years of wedding industry experience to give you a virtual hug / hand hold / high five (whatever works for you) and guide you through steps 1, 2 and 3 of being a brand new wife-in-waiting.
There are so many things to think about, right? When I got engaged 4 years ago, I felt the inevitable ‘wedding plan overwhelm’ pretty swiftly, despite having the benefit of having worked in the industry for a decade and knowing a HUGE amount about what would be involved in making it happen. I had a clear idea of what I wanted it to look like, but pulling that all together over our short, 4 month engagement was a big task and we only succeeded thanks to some clear managing of objectives in those early, post-proposal days.
So, you’ve got the ring…woo! But what next? Here are the first 3 things you should think about getting done IMO, to set you up for wedding planning perfection.
1. Define your tribe.
Basically there is no point trying to plan a wedding if you haven’t got your dream team around you, prepped and ready to help you research trends, tick off the tasks and drink copious amounts of prosecco. Have you heard the old saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’? Well, it takes a tribe to plan a wedding. Don’t try to do it all yourself, build your crew of willing friends and family and make it a team effort from the outset. That’s not to say that you’re not the one making the decisions – there’s no room here for over-opinionated aunts and passive-aggressive besties – ultimately it’s YOUR day and you and your fiancé alone are managing this gig. On that note, I think the age of absent fiancés in the run up to the big day is well and truly over. It’s 2020, equality is key and weddings are all about partnership - make sure it’s the day you BOTH want it to be.
2. Set your date.
I know some people get engaged and are happy to live in that wonderful bubble for an unspecified amount of time…it’s joyous and I totally get it. But for us, being engaged was never about being engaged. It was about marrying each other, so within a week we had an ‘ideal’ timeline and within a month the date (and ceremony venue) was confirmed. Ok, if you know me you’ll know I’m impatient and I like to get things done. But honestly, there’s not a lot else you can do until you’ve got at least a month in mind, if not a specific date.
Venues and suppliers book up fast, as do people’s lives, so if you have a special place in mind and/or want to ensure EVERYONE can make it, getting a date secured should be one of the things you do quickly.
Save the dates come in a number of forms these days – cards, paperless post, text message…none of which take a long time to organise, so get them out of the way then sit back, cocktail in hand, and breathe a sigh of relief that you’ve got the word out.
3. Choose your vibe.
You don’t need to pick your dress just yet, or your flowers, or what flavour cake you’re going for. But one of the first few things you should do is decide on what style you want for your day. An over-arching theme that will inspire everything from décor to canapés and that suits you both down to the ground.
You can keep this as loose or as rigid as you like at this stage, depending on your planning style. Some people are fairly relaxed about it and don’t really go in for ‘themes’, so perhaps a key word like ‘fresh’ is all that’s needed. Applying this to everything from flowers to food to make up just helps to hold everything together and makes decision-making a heap easier!
Or if you are fully embracing the wedding planning and want to build a story around your day, get a fully-fledged theme in place that suits your style. Modern Boho is one of my current faves (I’m currently building a pinterest board of inspo so watch this space…) and getting this in place super early means you can start refining your searches from the get-go. There is what seems like a never-ending list of things to plan for a wedding, so why waste time trawling through reams of generic search results – find your key words now and refine your vibe.
So there you have it, your first 3 key steps to planning your day: in the bag. Above all else, wedding planning should be fun so getting these things done should be a pleasure, not a chore, and will open up the next stages for you. Everyone loves organised fun, right? I know I do.
So keep your eyes peeled for my next journal post – your 2020 wedding countdown, outlining every stage with key timelines and insider info on what to plan when. You won’t want to miss it.