It happened. You are all smiles. You can’t stop twirling that ring on your left hand. You actually bought that wedding magazine you randomly saw on the rack at the store. Your Facebook page is filling up with messages full of congratulations. It’s official. You’re engaged.
But now what?
Breathe and enjoy. As the news of your engagement spreads to friends and family, celebrate this next step in your life. Many brides allow the barrage of questions to overwhelm them before they have had a chance to savor the moment. They become frazzled with advice and expectations before they have even thought about what they want for themselves! As the questions come about the details and plans of your big day, answer them with the truth but don’t take anything too seriously – “This is still very new to me and we haven’t sat down to discuss the details yet, but I look forward to letting you know!” or “I really don’t know yet, we are still just enjoying the moment.”
Once the dust settles, you’ll feel comfortable breaking down your thoughts and taking the first steps into an organized planning process. Although many may give you advice on what direction to take, in order to stay focused, the first step is all about your priorities and deciding what I like to call your “Top 5.” Separately, you and your fiance should write down the top 2-3 things that are the most important to you about your big day – those elements to your wedding day that you absolutely can’t live without. These things can be anything from the look of your wedding dress or wearing your grandmother’s pearls to having an open bar or Journey as your last song. When you feel confident about your decisions, come together and discuss with your future spouse why these elements are important and combine the decisions into your “Top 5.” Post this list at the front of your binder, on your fridge or in your iphone, anywhere that is convenient while you pull the pieces together.
Although it is the hardest point in the planning process, the second step is determining your budget. Nowadays the traditional aspects of budgeting are out the window and there are multiple contributing parties but the hardest part is finding out who those are. This question may involve a special (sometimes awkward but necessary) call to both your parents or a couples dinner between yourselves to discuss options, amounts and saving opportunities. All in all, once you have solidified your final number, you can walk into the planning process with a direction!
As the days count down to your wedding day, it is extremely tough to stick to the budget, its true; however, with your list of the “Top 5,” you are ready to focus on your “must haves” and know where to splurge and where to hold back. Keep that list in your back pocket and as you go through the questions of friends and families once again, you have an answer that they will love and appreciate.