Newly Engaged? Now What?

Photo Credit: Lori Barbely
First of all CONGRATULATIONS!!!  This is going to be one of the most exciting times for you!  Take the time to layout a great plan so that you can eliminate the chances of making mistakes that will financially impact you, cause you to become frustrated or stressed out.  A wedding is not a theatrical production, it is a symbolic event that represents the two of you becoming one unit.  Here are a few tips to help kick start your planning:

1. ENJOY THE MOMENT!  Let your close friends and family members know of your engagement.  Immediate questions are going to come up about what is your date etc. Just say, 'We have not decided on that, we are enjoying the moment'.  

2..Have the engagement ring insured!  Call your homeowners/renters insurance and have your ring insured. There are different options to consider regarding the insurance (that's another blog post because there are so many specifics); typically you can have a supplemental policy through your homeowners/renters insurance or you can get a special policy for the ring (because of value). 

3. Who are you inviting to the wedding? This will be a time of celebration and we naturally want everyone to revel in it.  Truthfully, that may not be feasible.  How many guests are on your guest list? Your fiance's list? Who are the people your parents plan on inviting? You want to know the answer to this question before you consider looking for space and planning the wedding.    Also, once you've compiled the guest list take a second look and ask yourself this question: "Is there anyone that can be removed from the list?" Have your parents ask the same question regarding their lists.

4. What is your financial commitment to the wedding? Notice I did not just call it a budget. This is a conversation between all of the financial players (payers) for your wedding day.  So it may include you, your fiancĂ©, your parents and other family members. There is no such thing as "NO BUDGET".  Whether your budget is $15,000, $40,000, $100,000 that number needs to be clear. Once you've set your budget ask your self could you comfortably add 15% to that amount without being in a pinch; also, if a financial payer can't come up with their promised funds...what does that do to your budget?  Based on the answer of the last question reevaluate your budget or reduce your guest list. Realize that certain expenses are not going to change regardless of your guest list. The expenses that will remain the same are your: Photography, videography, your attire and rings. Every other expense may be effected by your guest list.

5. What date or dates are you considering for your wedding? Do they fall around a major holiday? Also look at whether they fall around a big event date in your area. Are they prime dates for the period in which you are planning your wedding? Having the wedding around a holiday is a great idea in that it may permit an extra day or two for traveling, however, remember that the travel costs (air, gas and hotel) may be higher and depending upon the holiday it may effect certain costs for your wedding (i.e. floral).

6. Consider hiring a wedding planner or coordinator. There is a difference between the two and depending on what help you want with the wedding planning will indicate which service works best for you. Realistically consider the time and effort it will take for you to plan this wedding. Be honest with yourselves and ask: Are you detail oriented? Task oriented? Are you great with managing your time? Look at your time and consider your career, educational or family responsibilities. How will planning a wedding add to that mix? Do you want to be consumed with wedding details day and night or do you want to have some free time in the planning period to focus on you, your fiance and the marriage?

After you've considered the time and effort. Think of the expertise, knowledge and resources an event professional brings to the table. A planner provides you with the knowledge and resources needed to execute your event the way you've envisioned it. A planner will also save you time because they will be able to analyze your expectations & needs and recommend the event professionals that are best suited to plan your event. Once the wedding day arrives, that planner will be able to manage the day while you, your fiancé and your families focus on enjoying the day and making great memories. A 'day of/month of' coordinator will be able to tie up the loose ends and help finalize the details for your wedding. Just as the planner, the coordinator will manage your wedding day and give you the peace of mind that the details are being attended to. While interviewing planners or coordinators, you will begin to understand the difference in the services and the level of involvement they can provide.

6. Start thinking of the design and look for the wedding! What are your preliminary thoughts of what your wedding will look like?  Consider you and your fiance's likes and dislikes.  Did you notice I keep saying you and your fiance?  Because it is about both of you.  Look at a few wedding magazines, online blogs and wedding website for inspiration. 

7. Have a way to organize your thoughts/inspiration! For the most part we are all very tech savvy.  Most of us have an I Phone, I Pad, Tablet or an Android phone.  There are so many wonderful wedding planning app's to organize your thoughts.  PINTEREST is probably one of the greatest tools at your disposal.  Pinterest is a  two-year-old social bookmarking site.  It lets you collect and share things you like.  You get to create a virtual pinboard of all of the things that inspire you for your wedding.  If you don't care for the electronic storage, you can also create a binder with clips you find interesting.  Either way your inspiration photos should go with you to all of your appointments.
Photo Credit: Elegant Imagery

8. HAVE FUN!! Your engagement period is such a special time in the planning process. Pace yourself with what will be taking place.  It's a day for the two of you to express your love, show your personality.  Planning a wedding may become stressful and it is important to always go back to the basics: YOUR LOVE FOR THE OTHER.  

Build in time for special dates, outings and quiet times where wedding matters or not discussed!  Have BALANCE and have fun! Take some time for the two of you...after all it is your engagement period, right?

Until next time,
© 2005 - 2011 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.


Great advice for couples amidst the euphoria of being "just engaged"!
promsandwedding said…
wonderful Tips and advice for newly engaged couples.Awesome tips...........
See a lot of blog, I absolutely love your blog. Great feeling!
Great for people that just got engaged. I wish I had this when my wife and I first got engaged.

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