Congratulations! If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you recently gained a new piece of bling (or your friend did) and you’re still in shock and don’t know where to start. Here’s my first piece of advice: breathe. Seriously. Slow down, take a breath, and soak in the overwhelming joy of being engaged to the love of your life. If you’re anything like I was, you’ve been dreaming of this day for months on end, and now it is finally here and you can actually see a ring on your left hand! (Unless, it’s being resized- I feel ya.) Friend, you are officially a BRIDE!
I know you’re probably dizzy with excitement and want to get a jump-start on the wedding planning process, and while that’s honestly not a bad idea, I want to take a second to remind us of why we’re all here: because of the love you share with your new fiance(!). Weddings are so stinking fun, but at the end of the day, your marriage is more important, and that’s in large part why I became a wedding photographer. It is so special to be invited into this sacred time in couple’s relationships, and I love being a cheerleader as you navigate both the stress and magic of combining your lives. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed- this should be such a joyful season of life, and to help you keep things running smoothly, I compiled a list of tips for my newly engaged friends:
1) Treat yourself to a manicure!
Everyone and their neighbor will want to see your shiny new ring, so make sure those nails are in tip-top shape. Okay fine, it’s also just a fun excuse for you and your girls to head to the spa! I mean, you do have something pretty exciting to celebrate…
2) Nail your proposal story.
You will hear “how did he ask!?” about 17 billion times in the next three months, so now is the time to gather the details and craft a version that captures the magic of the moment. You don’t have to be an expert storyteller, people just want to know the little romantic
3) Buy a bridal magazine!
Okay this is by no means necessary, but who doesn’t love flipping through one of these giant and overpriced books of wonder? We’ve all stopped and stared at them in line at the grocery store, and that ring on your finger is your passport to purchase, friend. Are you a friend of the bride-to-be? This makes an amazing little gift.
4) Get the ring insured.
PLEASE DO THIS! I imagine your fiance spent a lot of time (and money) picking out the perfect ring, and the reality is that accidents happen, and you don’t want to lose an uninsured ring. Gift yourself some peace of mind by getting the ring appraised and insured ASAP. If you are like me and don’t even know where to start, The Knot put together a super helpful guide to teach the basics.
5) Make that Wedding Board public!
You can’t fool me, I know you have a private wedding board on Pinterest. In fact, I’m willing to bet that you’ve been collecting ideas for months if not years, and now you get to share your vision! If you don’t want the whole world to see, you can always add a few close friends and family to collaborate on the board.
6) Start talking numbers.
Unfortunately I had to include some of the not-so-fun tasks. The earlier the better to sit down with your fiance and/or parents and make sure that everyone is on the same page, and I’m not just talking budget, but also guest list. The number of guests will have a huge influence on your venue options, so it’s best to figure that one out early.
7) Determine the mood of the wedding.
I know this sounds kind of abstract, but you will have to make five million decisions over the coming months, and it will be super helpful to have a vision to fall back on. Spend the next few days considering what three words you want to describe your big day. Maybe it’s ethereal, natural, and intimate or modern, art deco, and romantic. Either way, be sure to choose words that aren’t too vague or you will make the planning process even harder on yourself. When in doubt, think about how you want it to feel more than how you want it to look.
8) Make a Google Drive folder.
I’m kind of a nerd so maybe this is too hardcore for some of you, but you are going to have SO much to keep track of over the next few months, and the collaborative nature of Google Drive makes it way easier to keep your mom, sisters, friends, and fiance on the same page. Trust me, Google Sheets will be your best friend when it comes to budgeting and venue searching.
9) It’s never too early to reach out to vendors.
You probably saw this coming, but I’m not just talking about photographers. The majority of couples get married in the same three month window, and as a result, venues and vendors can book up quickly. I promise you won’t be embarrassing yourself or jumping the gun if you reach out to ask for a vendor’s availability or packages, in fact, I recommend you do so.
10) Go do something non-wedding related.
Last but not least, it’s important to take a step away from wedding planning for minute. Plan a special date with your fiance where there is no wedding talk allowed. I promise you found things to talk about before all of this went down.
I know that this barely skims the surface of what it really looks like to plan a wedding, but it’s a start, and I have full faith that you’ll figure out this crazy ride along the way. You have so many beautiful things ahead of you, and I couldn’t be more excited for you both. Cheers to the future Mr. & Mrs.!