There’s so many huge things that happen in a short window of time. It can seem like a whirlwind between meeting the love of your life and him getting down on one knee and asking you to marry him.
Getting engaged is fun, overwhelming, and a huge decision. It’s not just taking your relationship to the next level by sharing a big purchase like a vacation or a Peleton — it’s committing to spending your lives together. And that is amazing — don’t get me wrong, we love love! But it doesn’t take long until you realize that planning a wedding is hard work.
In the coming months, you’ll decide on a wedding venue and date, shop for the dress, buy rings, choose food and beverages, mail invitations, take photos, be showered with love and gifts by the people who care most about you, and so much more. It’s busy, overwhelming, fun, exciting, and stressful.
I meet with a lot of couples who feel so overwhelmed that they are slow to make decisions. They tour ten venues, knowing that 3 are out of budget and 5 are not their style. I’m not saying to not explore your options — trust me, I recommend that! But eventually, you have to make a decision and stick with it or nothing will ever get planned.
Whether your parents are helping pay for your wedding or if it’s just on you and your fiance, be wise with your money. Decide on what three things are most important to you, and put your money there first. For instance, if your top priories are a beautiful venue close to home, photography, and a fun reception, it’s okay to invest a little bit more in the venue, photographer, and DJ than the florals, food, and dress. Don’t neglect these areas, but maybe you can save money on catering by having two sides instead of three, and use the money you saved to get the photographer you love.
My parents taught me to “live within your means” and that’s true with weddings too. If you’re not able to afford the wedding on your Pinterest board, consider inviting less people or getting married on a Friday instead of a Saturday. I promise, a wedding day is worth every penny spent on it, but it’s not worth debt.
I can’t stress this one enough. When you’re engaged, especially when you’re on a shorter time frame, it’s easy to get consumed with wedding planning. As often as you can, go on a date and don’t talk about wedding details. Talk about your marriage and what you’re excited for in your life together after your wedding. Although it’s tempting, don’t use date night as a time to pick linen colors or to fight about who should and shouldn’t be on your guest list.
Ask your families and friends to help you with things. Many of them eager to help but don’t know what to do. If you can delegate tasks to them, they’re usually happy to get it done for you!
When Brice and I were engaged, my friends would come over to my house for Bachelor nights every Monday. On more than one occasion, I remember asking them to help me tie ribbons on blankets and put the personalized stickers on our ice cream cups. We had fun while we did it and it helped me get that done three times as fast as I could have done it alone.
Vendors make or break your wedding day. By hiring the right professionals, you will ensure that your wedding day will be seamless because your vendors have the experience to handle it. I talk about it a lot, but getting a day-of coordinator is a game changer! We offer it at Hawks Nest so you can relax and enjoy the day while I take care of the details, and it’s one of the best investments you can make in your wedding day.
In addition to that, I also recommend meeting your vendors in person (or on Zoom) before you hire them. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than an awkward DJ at a reception or a photographer that can’t speak up to reign in your bridal party for photos. Make sure you vibe well with their personalities and that they’re a trustworthy person to work with. Your vendors can be your biggest fans or your worst nightmare, so make sure you hire the right ones.
I hate hearing “I just can’t wait for this to be over” from a bride. This season is incredible and only happens once. It’s sweet when you know there’s exactly 127 days until your wedding — that means you’re counting down to the best day ever! Despite the stress, please stay excited. After all, you’re marrying the love of your life and there’s so much to be thankful for!
If you’re married, what other tips would you share that have helped you get through engagement and wedding planning? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!