Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Words of Wisdom Wednesdays: We're Engaged... Now What?

As some of you may already know, over the holidays just before my birthday actually, I got engaged! Now it's very rare I get personal on our blog but... it can be such an exciting yet overwhelming process and since I recently experienced so much of the advice I often give to my clients, I thought it was fitting to give all our newly engaged brides-to-be a little review on the first and most important initial steps.

Photos Courtesy of Love Panky and Mama Pop.

Immediately after you say yes, there will most likely be a handful of very special people you will want to call and share your amazing news with. Some of you may have a smaller amount of family and friends to call and some of you may have a larger number you may have to reach. If your list is on the longer side, one thing you may want to consider is save some for the next day or split up the calls where your making them together but your groom-to-be is calling his men, while your calling your ladies. It's such an exciting moment and this ease the process as after making all those calls you will be exhausted. Make sure to take lots of deep breaths as they really do help, I swear.

One thing to note, people are sensitive, all will be very VERY excited for you. Take the time to make the calls and let your family and friends know first.

Before you start announcing it publicly on the web like on Facebook or Twitter those closest to you will want to scream, shout and celebrate with you. Several brides in the past and even friends have shared hurt feelings over finding out via Internet versus that extra personal step. It may take an extra ten or thirty minutes and trust me, we know how excited you are and just want to get it out... But, making that handful of people feel extra special as they each receive your call or even text so they can share your moment with you is so worth it, we promise.

After all the calls and announcements are made take a few more deep breaths, get a good night sleep and be prepared to wake up even more excited the next morning. I assure you, the excitement does not go away nor dwindle. The best piece of advice I can give you is enjoy every second, every moment, every congratulations and each time you flash your ring. This will never get old but it does go by very quickly.

Once you are ready to start the planning there are several initial things to discuss and figure out. First being your date. Now, most don't set the date until they decide on their venue to be sure it's available, however others have a specific date or month they must have and everything else centers around that. For this discussion, if you can decide on the year and ideally a season, this will be enough to get you started. It also helps when you get bombarded with the questions, which trust me you will... When are you getting married? Have you set a date? Do you know when? etc... By at least setting your year and/or season, you can gracefully respond, "We are thinking next fall" or "We are hoping for Summer of 2011".

Photo Courtesy of Joann

Next, discuss your budget. This may be a conversation to have with parents on both the bride and groom side, family and even each other. Figure out your numbers or at least a range with where you would like to be. It's quite a challenge to discuss number of guests, location or so much else without knowing what is possible. The hardest part of the process can often be falling for something not within reach. You can avoid this if you know where your budget needs to be from the get go.

Photo Courtesy of Wedding Shoppe Inc.

After budget comes your guest count. This can be very overwhelming if you have a large family and a large group of friends. Discuss if you want a larger wedding or something smaller and more intimate. Deciding on your ideal size prior to actually creating your list, will better prepare you for cuts if necessary, as you actually assemble it. Make your ideal list together and be sure to merge the lists from both your families. After doing so look at your final number, how do you feel? If it's too large it's time for your first cut. You may want to make several to get to where your numbers need to be. Some advice for making cuts, don't think about whose feelings you will hurt, think about if you'll be hurt if that person is not in attendance.

Once your date, budget and guest count have all been discussed you are officially ready to really start your planning process. Decide whether you would like to hire a professional to assist you during your planning. While we recommend working with a professional ( ahem Sterling Engagements), we understand that each bride has their own preferences and ultimately are still here to support you.
Photo Courtesy of Eck Events

We highly suggest contracting a planner for at least the final month of your wedding, as we believe that every bride should be able to enjoy the month leading up to her wedding stress free. Whether you are interested in a full-service option, partial or something for the final month, if you do decide to hire someone it's best to do it sooner than later. Even with contracting services for Month-Of Wedding Management only, you still can benefit from vendor referrals and host of other details that should you contract later you many not receive. So once you do decide what you are interested in, start exploring your options and you may get more out of even the smallest of service options.

There is so much more we can go into from here from the venue to vendors to the dress and our favorite... Shoes! But we'll save the rest for future posts, conversations and of course when we hopefully get to work with you, personalizing everything to you and your special day.

The Sterling Engagements team after our last wedding of 2010!
Photo Courtesy of Callaway Gable Photography

Happy Planning!

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