Friday January 31, 2014
Becoming engaged to the one you love is truly one of the most exciting times in any gal’s life. I mean, there is the romance, coupled with the handsome fiancé, not to mention the beautiful bling. It’s a magical state of euphoria that is unmatched by anything I’ve yet to experience.
You may have noticed that almost immediately upon announcing your engagement, you were bombarded with questions and advice from the well-meaning masses. Literally, anyone who’s ever walked down the aisle has a tidbit of advice to share – some of it useful, much of it not. Then come the questions: have you chosen your date? do you have your dress yet? what are your colors? how many bridesmaids will you have?....It’s almost enough to take the shiny gleam off of your newly minted engagement!
What to do, what to do? Here are my five simple rules for enjoying (and surviving!) those first few weeks of engaged bliss.
Slow your roll
The night we got engaged, my now husband and I decided to keep it to ourselves for just a bit. We savored it. We admired the ring together. We were like two giddy teens on our first date. It was amazing. Did I want to climb the highest skyscraper and shout it to the world? Heck yeah I did. But more than anything, I wanted to enjoy this moment with just him. Mom, Dad, your besties and Facebook , not to mention the world at large, can wait a beat. Holding this juicy little secret between just the two of us was one of my favorite parts of becoming engaged. Trust me on this one. You’ll always remember what it felt like.
Discuss the Details
The best advice I can give to newly engaged couples: Have your first heart to heart as soon-to-be husband and wife about what kind of wedding YOU want. This is not your momma’s wedding. This is not your best friends nor your sister’s wedding. This is YOUR day. Think about it together, talk it through, come up with a plan and present it as a united front. Of course, you’ll get advice from almost everyone, and there will be compromises to be made. But agreeing on a basic plan and voicing it together will be one of the best things you do for yourself as a bride and groom.
The Budget Rules
Prepare yourself to have real, and sometimes difficult, discussions about budget. Figure out your finances before making any commitments to guest count, venue, dress, or any other wedding detail. If you need to take time to save, do so! Enjoy a long engagement knowing that you won’t be in debt after your beautiful wedding. If your families are fully paying for your wedding or helping out in any way, be prepared to be heed any requests they might have with respect and understanding. That is not to say that you must agree fully with their every request, but calm heads prevail when it comes to talking dollars and cents. Refer back to rule #2 – have a plan before discussing budget with your parents. You’ll be glad you did.
Great Parties Come in Different Sizes
I see more arm wrestling over guests lists than I care to see. Even the almighty budget discussion pales in comparison to discussions about who should be invited, and who should not. But let me tell you this little secret: Your guest count will dictate your budget, and vice-versa. Every guest you add will, depending on your market, add as much as $100 - $250 to your budget. So your cousin’s on-again off-again boyfriend might not be the best investment when it comes to adding him to the list.
Where to start? Make a short list. Who MUST be there, and who do you WANT there. Expand from there if needed (or wanted). Take time to let this list develop. It typically takes many passes at culling and editing this list before you’ll have your final list. What NOT to do? Don’t start huge and try to edit down. Once a name is on the list, emotions weigh in and, trust me on this, it is much harder to delete someone from the list than it is to add them later.
ENJOY the Process!
This is your big day, which can feel very overwhelming. Where in the world does one start to plan? Honestly, hire someone who can help you (this is not a shameless plug!). Minimally, sit with a planner for a consultation to get some advice and get the ball rolling. After you’ve taken heed of the first 4 rules listed above, you’ll be ready to tackle the to-do list of wedding planning. There will be joys, there will be trials and tribulations, there may even be tears, but above all, the wedding planning process should be fun. Remember, at the end of all of this, you get to marry the one you love. My number one piece of advice – enjoy it all, take it all in. This period of your life is finite, and this is your time to enjoy being enfianced!
Happy Wedding Planning!
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