Congratulations! If you are like many couples, the joy of the holiday season has turned into the joy of an engagement. Now that you put a ring on it, you may be thinking, what do we do next? The first order of business is to just enjoy it. This is a very special time and while your thoughts may immediately start swirling around planning the big day, just let the newness and excitement sink in, if even just for a little while. Practice saying “my fiancé” in front of the mirror. Doodle your SO’s last name in a notebook, just like when you were a teenager. Treat yourself to a fresh manicure and flash that ring every chance you get. Have fun with it.
OK, now that we have reveled in it, let’s get down to the fun of planning. The first order of business is to have an honest conversation so that each of you know what the other one wants and can move on to planning with a clear vision of what both of you want your day to look like.
Wedding planning isn’t all fun and games. It can get tense and stressful at times. Get ahead of this and have a plan that you both agree on. One of the things you should also discuss is the announcement itself – of course if you have been shouting it from the rooftops already this isn’t a concern, but if you haven’t sent out a mass notification yet, discuss how you want to do that. Is a social media post your style, or is letting people know by a personal conversation the better way to go?
Almost as important and the other “first” thing to do is to get your ring properly sized and insured. There are few things more heart-stopping than to watch your beautiful ring go flying across the room because it doesn’t quite fit yet and you talk with your hands. Enough said.
The second order of the business of planning is to draft a potential guest list. That may seem like an unusual place to start, but think about it, every other decision you will make for your big day will be driven by that magic number. Are you looking at having everyone you have ever met join you? Or, are you looking at a more intimate affair? Once the approximate size of your guest list and your combined vision is established, you can move on to the bigger items such as date, budget, venue, wedding pros, and bridal party.
Also, now that you have an idea of the size of the wedding, you can start pinning down some of the details such as the time of year. Are you a spring fling couple? Do the dog days of summer make your temperature rise? Does the scenery of late fall make your heart swoon, or do you have your heart set on celebrating during the sparkle of the holiday season? Does a long weekend make sense if you or your guests will be traveling?
Once you have narrowed down the time of year, you can start thinking about venues. The options are so wide and varied, there is something for everyone. Rustic weddings and non-traditional venues have become the norm, but remember they come with their own set of challenges and margin of error. If you have a venue that is non-traditional, that can mean that everything that happens on your day will also be out of the norm. Everything from the chairs and tables to the restrooms may need to be brought in. Wedding Day Management will be your saving grace in
If you are not a “roll with it” kind of couple, you may want a more traditional or hybrid venue. The most important thing is to do your due diligence, trust your instincts and do not rush to sign on the dotted line for anything. A reputable vendor will appreciate your thoughtful approach. Know what you are agreeing to and what your recourse is if something does not go according to plan.
Now, you may be tempted to go all Oprah on your friends and proclaim, “You get to be in the wedding!”, “You get to be in the wedding!” as soon as you make the announcement of your engagement, but take a breath on that. There is plenty of time to make that decision and if your wedding is next year or even the year after, you run the risk of your decision changing. Let’s face it, no one wants to have to take back an invitation to be an integral part of your big day if your relationship with that person changes, or if you decide to downsize your wedding between now and then.
At Perfectly Celebrated, we offer Wedding Day Management (also known as Day of Coordination) and Officiating Services in Northeast Ohio. I take the time to get to know my couples and help make the day meaningful, stress-free and honestly, fun, just like it should be.