If you just landed on this blog post, you might be either A. recently engaged (AHHHH CONGRATS!) B. in a long term relationship and thinking that he miiiight be popping the question soon! or C. you're just a sucker for wedding related blog posts! I don't blame you if you're in the "C" category! Everything about weddings is SO exciting and so amazing! If you're in the "A" category, I am SO SO happy for you!!! This is the moment you've been waiting for! Holy moley, you have an engagement ring and you're getting MARRIED! It's so surreal and like it or not, the days, weeks and months following that proposal are guaranteed to be a whirlwind. While the average engagement lasts a year to a year-and-a-half, (or shorter! mine was only 9 months long!) there are certain things you'll want to get done as soon as possible, no matter how long you plan on being a fiancé. But while you ARE still an engaged woman, get alllll the "does this ring make me look engaged?" coffee mugs, the #engaged tshirts, and take allll of the "left hand on the steering wheel, left hand petting your dog, left hand holding your fiancé's hand" pictures while you can! Soak it all in girly because NOW is your time! After being an engaged woman last year, I wanted to put together this blog post to help prepare future and current brides out there for the beginning of their planning journey based on my experience!
1 | Soak in that "just engaged" moment! This moment, these feelings, only happen once in a lifetime! Don't feel the pressure to start posting to social media or grabbing your phone to make calls and share the big news yet. Just be in the moment with your partner and share lots of kisses, hugs and happy tears!
2 | Okay, now that you've had your special moment together, you now have permission to scream from the rooftops! My 2 biggest suggestions-- call your immediate family first. Your mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, etc! These people should hear the news from you and not Facebook. The other thing I suggest is to actually CALL them! Don't text a ring selfie to them! Hearing the excitement in their voices will make that memory even more special! I still remember my mom screaming and crying on the phone "Megan's getting married!!!" after I told her!
3 | Pamper yourself with a manicure! Your hands are going to be in the spotlight for the next couple of weeks and you don't want your chipped nail polish to be the first thing people notice! Also, all of the ring selfies you are going to be taking will look 10 times better with a fresh coat of paint on your nails!
4 | Get a physical wedding planner or notebook! If you've ever planned a big event or party before, you'll know why this is necessary! If you aren't a huge planner person, you're about to become one! Planning a wedding is one of the biggest celebrations and gatherings you probably will ever plan for and there is A LOT that goes into it but it can become one of the most stressful ones too if you're not prepared! There will be tons of vendors to talk to, details to write down, ideas in your head that pop up, and you need a spot for all of your brain dumps to go and be in one place! If you want the ultimate guide of preparing yourself to be and STAY organized during this journey, here is a blog post all about that!!
5 | Figure out what is most important to you and your fiancé. There are going to be tons of decisions to be made and a lot of them can be stressful. Planning your wedding day is supposed to be FUN so before you start looking into any magazine, wedding blog or website, figure out where your priorities are. Maybe splurging a little more on your dress is more important than having a fully stocked bar? Maybe you love the little details that make the whole day come to life so you want to pay more attention to those? Or having a smaller guest list so you can enjoy this day with only your closest family and friends? Figure out what you and your partner want to focus more on over other areas and start from there!
6 | Start thinking about when you want your big day to happen and what the overall theme and style will be! Is there a season that you and your fiancé love? Maybe a special month? Or maybe there is a date that is a tradition in your family and you want to keep it going! I always knew even way before I got engaged that I wanted a Fall wedding and October is my favorite month so we narrowed it down pretty quickly. I would definitely suggest to try not to have your heart set on one specific date. I learned very early in the planning process that venues book up fast and they might only have certain dates available! Try to be flexible with the actual date so you don't get overwhelmed and crushed when it's not open to some of your vendors. I also knew that I wanted an outdoor ceremony and reception so I knew what I was searching for when it came to the venue. I wanted everything to be outdoors, and a "woodsy elegant" style with lanterns, pumpkins, pinecones, and gold accents! I LOVE the season of fall but I also wanted it to be classy and elegant.
7 | Stock up on wedding magazines!! My personal favorite? Southern Weddings! There is so much more in these magazines than just pretty pictures! There are tips for creating meaningful ceremonies, ideas for favors, help for writing your own vows, bouquet and invitation suite inspiration, and so much more! And the best part about magazines, if you find an idea that you love, rip that sucker out and keep it in your wedding planner!
8 | Now that you know a ball park of when your date will be and what style you like, you can start researching for venues! If you can't picture spending your wedding day indoors, start looking for outdoor venues! If you are going for more of a casual and relaxed style, maybe a backyard wedding sounds perfect for you! Or maybe an elegant Estate matches the style you are going for! This should be your first thing you lock in before you start booking anything else because this can determine what your exact date is. You might have a special date in mind and the venue is booked already, you will either have to choose another date or start looking for a different venue! The sooner you start searching, the better because venues can book up anywhere from 1 year to 2 years in advanced!
9 | Start locking in your vendors! There are certain ones that I would focus on first before others because some may only be able to work one wedding per day! These would include your photographer, the videographer, the DJ, the wedding planner and sometimes the caterer. Again, these vendors get booked up fast (anywhere from 9 months - 2 years in advanced!) so you want to make sure you inquire with them as soon as possible before your date is possibly taken. Once these are booked, then start on the other vendors who will complete your incredible team that will make your wedding day come to life!
10 | Make a wedding hashtag and website! This was one of my favorite parts about the planning process because every check mark we accomplished and documented, I had a special tag to use and a place to keep the photos to update my friends and family! I actually had TWO hashtags-- one for planning and one for the wedding day! #PlanningToBeMrsG and #FALLingForGoggins . Having a wedding website also gives you an easy way to update and keep important information for your guests while they wait to receive your Save The Dates and Invitations!
Again, CONGRATULATIONS girly on saying YES to your best friend! You are getting married and your life is about to change! It's about to get SO good! Being married is amazing and knowing you get to do life with your "person" is such an incredible feeling! This is just the beginning and I hope you enjoy the planning process!
If you are currently looking for your wedding photographer, click HERE to fill out my contact form and let's chat alllll about your big day! I'd love to hear all about your proposal story, your vision, and get to know you!! :)