Congratulations on your engagement, how awesome, exciting and possibly slightly nerve-wracking is it that now you get to plan your wedding!?
Don’t be indimidated, wedding planning is nowhere near as stressful as you may have been led to believe, especially if you let She Said Yes be part of your journey. I’ll be with you every step of the planning process, from announcing your engagement to walking down the aisle.
5 things to do Before you Start Wedding Planning
1. Take a Moment for Yourself
The next few months are going to be incredibly fun, as you start to think about and organise the big day of your dreams. Before you start working methodically (or manically) through wedding planning checklists, have a few weeks of calm to celebrate your engagement. The magic of your partner proposing, and you agreeing to marry him or her is a momentous occasion – worth savouring. Your engagement is a symbolic moment, as your relationship changes for eternity – to marry and commit to a lifetime someone is SO very special.
What does that mean to you? What significance does marriage have to you, in terms of family values, or or committing yourselves to each other, and the world, as one? Think about your purpose for marrying, and for having a wedding.
These are just a couple of questions I suggest you give a little thought to – set your wedding planning intentions, so that you can plan mindfully. Write your thoughts and purpose down in your little white book wedding planner, and if/when you start to feel a little of the pressure of wedding planning getting to you, remind yourself of those intentions. In years to come you can look back on them.
My suggestion is that the first thing you do as a newly engaged bride-to-be (or groom-to-be) is take note of your feelings – start a diary – just make notes in your journal if you haven’t bought a wedding planner yet. Write about your proposal – the moment you agreed to marry them, the planning that went into the occasion – whether any family members knew, whether you had any idea, how you felt, and how you celebrated. Who did you tell first, did you immediately call friends and family, or did you keep it to yourself for a while?
2. Announce your Engagement
You don’t have to announce your engagement right away – don’t be in a rush. It might be nice to enjoy the news between the two of you and your immediate families first, because as soon as you do, the engagement questions and advice begins – from everywhere and everyone.
Even if you can’t wait to share your happy news with everyone, ensure to tell your VIPs first, and decide as a couple how you want to share with everyone else.
3. Discuss with your fiancé first
Before discussing your wedding plans and priorities with your families and friends, discuss with just your fiancé any particular visions you want. Find your purpose and keep coming back to that.
I suggest you think about the real purpose of your wedding, the ‘why’ instead of just the ‘how’ and the ‘what’. Talk to your fiancé about what you both envision for your special day, what marriage means to you, and what traditions or customs are meaningful to you. Think about your relationship, what makes you unique, what is it that draws you to each other?
Consider whether you both want your parents’ input, in terms of financial contributions, and what this contribution might mean. Will your parents want to invite their friends too, and how much ‘help’ you want towards decision-making and planning. Will you lose sight of your purpose if you have too much involvement? One of the hardest thing about wedding planning is often negotiating and managing family relationships and expectations, so discuss and agree with your partner before you cross that bridge.
4. Work out what’s important to you
Find out between yourselves what your engagement (and wedding) is really about. What is your purpose?
Notions of “getting married” or planning a “wedding” often conjure pictures of Hollywood style/Royal Wedding celebrations (as well as everything you’ve ever seen on Pinterest). Well, that is not necessarily what weddings are about. You don’t need to mindlessly follow every wedding custom or tradition, or get overwhelmed with wedding checklists of elements which just aren’t meaningful to you.
Styled shoots, wedding magazines and other visual inspiration can be a great source of inspiration, but can also cause pressure and unrealistic expectations. Your wedding is not a photoshoot, it’s a celebration of your love and commitment. You don’t have to plan a wedding according to what you think it’s supposed to look like, or what the ‘average’ wedding budget is.
5. Let me (and others) help you
If you haven’t already responded to the pop-up, head here to subscribe and join the ‘Bride Tribe’! She Said Yes will be your new wedding BFF, helping you get organised and inspired for the big day. I’ll be something of a virtual bridesmaid, you can follow along (Facebook & Instagram) and email me on hello @ shesaidyes.co.nz if you have any questions. Your next step is likely to be ‘How to Start Wedding Planning‘.
A couple of years ago I created the little white book, it’s since been voted the best wedding planner book, so have a look and read the reviews (You can use ‘5things’ to save a little too. As well as getting helpful wedding planning checklists and emails, you can also go straight to the index for whatever you need.
Next article suggestions:
First Steps to Wedding Planning
12 Months Wedding Planning Checklist
Setting your Wedding Priorities to plan with purpose