Yesterday, a friend asked me if i could meet with her friend who recently got engaged. She said her friend was a bit stressed and just not sure where to start. I said of course, I love chatting about weddings - so i would love to talk to her - but since we aren't meeting until next week - here is a few tips i can give in the meantime...
so I thought i'd share with y'all and maybe you can give some input on your top 5 pieces of advice you'd give someone...
#1. RELAX. Breathe. Enjoy the fact that you are engaged... Take a moment, a day, a week or a month... to just get used to the word "fiance/e", "engaged", "betrothed" and "wedding"... Take a moment to revel and look at your fiance/e. Be happy. Be still.
#2. Start brainstorming. Think about what you want for your wedding. big? small? outdoor? indoor? Dates? themes? etc.. Be as idealistic as you can. Reality will hard soon enough, so think long and hard about what you want. Ask your fiance/e to do this too. And try to do it separately before you come together.
#3. Discuss with open minds with each other about what the other is thinking or expecting (ideally). Also include what your family may expect - just b/c you may be able to happily include some things they want, and that'll be a great way to barter out the things you don't want. Also, traditions can come into play here... how much do you want to include?
#4. Think of a splurge area. For the hubby and I we wanted to splurge on our memories - so anything that helped remember the moment - photobooth, pictures, video, oil canvas. that was our splurge. For others its food or drink or etc., some people want it to be their dress, make up or music, or even venue... What is your splurge area?
#5. Start your guest list. until you know your numbers you wno't know what type of venue you want. So make a guest list (each of you) - use excel or something. most likely you will have to trim this list down, but you have to start somewhere. Also keep in mind, most likely your family will have a few guests to add. Think about whether you want adult-only, families, etc... A good way to narrow down this list is to think "will i be talking with this person in 5 years?" or "who would my wedding celebration not be the same without?" (especially if you want a more intimate setting). If venue is your splurge, you may be constrained and that can effect your guest list.
#6. Lastly, start thinking about funding... how will you pay for it? Who will/may help out? This can effect your budget.
Don't think hard about #6 b/c it brings on stress... Focus at first on #1-3. This will help you realize the importance of the day is centered around a celebration of your love and commitment for one another. Vocalizing expectations can help prevent disappointment. Once you get to #4, you can start prioritizing what things you can or can't include and in what order you feel they are important. If you and your fiance/e value certain areas differently, try to come to a compromise on your game plan!
But most of all. and most importantly - for the first days, weeks, months, if not the whole engagement period - make sure to ENJOY the moment... it won't come back again, so don't ruin it with stress... it all works itself out in the end, so deal with it one day at a time and really keep the focus on why you are having a wedding. It's easy to get distracted, but that will help keep you both grounded!