Updated: Jan 23
You just had the best night of your relationship, you and your boo went on a surprise date which you totally didn't know where or what was happening, and ended the night with a BANG, because you got engaged!!! You're freaking out, you're calling your family, your girls, and everyone you pass by the next week, you flash your ring and smile so big hoping they notice. Maybe you're the bride going into full wedding planning mode right away, or maybe you're the bride that is not rushing at all and you're relaxed, but still don't know what they heck you are doing. So a day, a week, a month have gone by, and it dawns on you that "wait... this is just an intermediate phase. This is for a bigger purpose...marriage!" DUH! So now you're thinking "Okay so what next!? How do I plan a wedding? Where the heck do I even start? What if I've never planned anything in my life, let alone a huge event?"
GIRL. BREATHE. Take deep breaths.
I'm about to share the 5 biggest tips I wish I would've heard when I first got engaged. I am currently engaged and doing all things wedding planning myself, and the beginning was so bumpy and chaotic because of not knowing these 5 tips. It caused arguments, stress, anxiety, overwhelmed feelings, and all of the above NOT knowing these 5 things.
BRIDES, YOU READY? HERE WE GO.
1. ENJOY YOUR ENGAGEMENT FOR A LIL WHILE
I didn't do this. My fiance literally was like thrown into a pack of wolves when it came to wedding planning because I was SO focused on planning as soon as we got into our engagement phase, rather than enjoying this sweet special time with him. We've been together 5 years and I was getting impatient. I wanted to be his wife already! Don't be like me. Ladies, please enjoy this time. I know you have dreamed of being engaged and wedding planning for years, I know you dreamt of your dream wedding for so long, I know you want to go pick a dress out asap, I know! You can do all of that, but first take a deep breathe and spend a little while just being calm, in love, and over the moon happy with your boo. They are not expecting you to turn into a stressed, no sleep, crazy wedding planning bridezilla so do not surprise them with that. Post about your engagement and then put your phones away and spend intentional time together for a little while. Go on dates, talk about your future, do new things, and just be normal. I promise you will be able to plan the wedding of your dreams when your mind is slowed down.
2. SET A BUDGET
This. This is everything. Whether you have parents paying for your entire wedding, or you are paying every single penny yourselves... set a budget. To realistically do this, you have to discuss with your partner what are they WILLING to spend on a wedding. Then, you can go to the people helping you out and see what they can contribute. If they can't give you a number then either wait, or plan on paying for their portion yourself. It's best to get numbers beforehand, because you do NOT want to be halfway into deposits for vendors and one of those financial helping people back out causing you to be in debt just for 1 day of your life. You will be able to have a wedding no matter what budget you set. Whether your budget is $3,000 or $30,000... it's possible. Do research, read into weddings who have done it before, go find items on FB marketplace or yard sales, find vendors who are just starting out and willing to service you for a lower price. Search and you will find! I will be coming at ya soon with a budget friendly wedding planning blog post soon.
3. DO NOT LET OTHERS DICTATE YOUR BIG DAY.
This is fire waiting to burn. This day is about you and your boo. No one else. If you want a first look but your MIL wants you to wait until you walk down the aisle, frigggin do it anyways. If you want to have an elopement somewhere magical but everyone else wants you to have a big wedding at home, I'm sorry but ADIOS peeps, and book that flight. This is about what makes your souls happy, what you two enjoy doing, what you love, where you love visiting, and who you love being around. Don't cater to anyone other than you and your fiance's needs and wants. You will never get this special day back, so don't regret it by doing everything that someone else wants you to do. Yes, this includes even if they are paying for it all. Set boundaries, rules, put ya foot down. You'll thank me later for this.
4. WAIT TO BUY A DRESS, YOUR MIND WILL CHANGE.
We are females and let's be honest here... we change our minds every day whether we like something or not. I have switched my wedding colors 3 times already, and bought an entire new dress because I went too early on to buy a dress. So.. when do you go to buy a dress? Well, the bridal shops recommend ordering a dress 8-9 months before your wedding date, because it usually can get delivered right away or on the next process date which could be 4-6 months before it reaches you. Then, alterations take about 2 weeks- 3 months depending on what you get done. I would suggest getting your dress around this timeline, but of course you can save Pinterest ideas of your dream dress and go try on dresses for fun to see what type of fit looks best on you. This will help narrow them down for when you're ready to buy!
5. ALL OF YOUR FB FRIENDS DON'T NEED TO BE ON THE GUEST LIST.
This is funny to think about considering I have 1,200 friends, obviously I wasn't going to invite all of them, but you know what I mean. If your parents are trying to invite all of their coworkers or friends they grew up with that you don't talk to... don't feel pressured to invite them. My rule of thumb was don't invite anyone you haven't talked to in the past year, and really in the past 6 months. Yes life gets crazy and busy, you don't always get to see your friends and family members...but if you care about their lives and they care about yours, you still would be talking at least every once in a while. Don't invite them if they haven't pursued you in the past year, or cared for you until they saw you got engaged. Everyone randomly wants to come back in our lives when we get engaged... weird right? Don't spend ya money on them. To put this in better words...think about the fact that you will be spending $100+ per person with everything you buy for this wedding. If you would never take them out on any other occasion and do this... take them off the list.
I hope this helps all of you wedding planning couples!! :) Let me know what ya think, or what you did differently! I'd love to hear about it! Happy Wedding PLANNING!