“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.”--Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Newly Engaged

In light of the very exciting engagement news from BHB, my own engage-aversary this weekend, and it being such a popular time of the year for engagements (between Christmas and Valentine's Day), I thought today's Wedding Wednesday would be a well timed for a primer on the first few weeks of being engaged.

Before you even get started with all of the fun early tasks and spreading the news, make sure to take time with your new fiance to enjoy the bliss that comes with a new engagement.  Talk about how much you appreciate each other, how excited you are to be engaged, and make sure to have your nails ready to show off that gorgeous sparkler 24/7.  

1st: Have a plan to spread the happy news!
I majorly failed in this arena.  The night I got engaged I called my family, bestie, and that was it.  Since SHS's parents were coming in two weeks, we decided it'd be more fun to tell them in person so we waited until they came before telling more people.  After that I had hoped to call or email more friends, but after someone posted something on facebook about us being engaged, we decided to change our facebook status to engaged together before we received more posts and try to call a few more people quickly in hopes we wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings for not calling them.  (If you don't have facebook, this may be easier for you, but I'd still ensure you call your close friends and family instead of having them hear it through the grapevine.)

2nd: Buy one wedding planning book which you can go to for any random questions that happen throughout the wedding planning process and begin to find a few fun magazines
I bought Mindy Weiss' The Wedding Book and it has been a great help with invitation wording, wedding veil lengths, and a few other helpful things to know.  This was especially helpful towards the beginning as it includes questions to ask of potential vendors and things to think about.  If you have been involved in lots of weddings or have lots of close friends how have been recently married, you may not need a big wedding 101 book like this, but I liked having it and used it a lot.  
I also subscribed to Martha Stewart Weddings (which I love) and bought The Knot, Real Simple's Wedding edition, a local wedding magazine, Brides and a few others every time I went to the grocery store for the first few months.  I found that The Knot had the most dresses, but MSW was best overall and with pinterest and general ideas I had I haven't bought many new ones lately other than Southern Living Weddings and Southern Weddings (two seperate magazines, both with gorgeous real weddings) which I also love.  Don't be too overwhelmed with choices and details yet as your mind may change, especially if it's before you have a venue booked and if you have a long engagement.

3rd: Start thinking about time of year, city of wedding, and ideal venue "feel" within the first few weeks.
When we got engaged we decided on the timing (May or June of 2013), city (Cleveland), and then emailed a few potential venues to take a tour.  I had my mind set on one place and then before the tour someone else booked the date we had targeted (May 25).  I had a serious bridal panic attack and asked if we could put down a deposit without even seeing the venue, but luckily they said no and as soon as we toured I knew it wasn't the right fit for us anyway.  Within the first few minutes of touring the venue we did chose I knew it was my favorite as I could picture almost every detail of my wedding there.  As we left I started crying happy tears and told SHS the same.  We booked it the next week.  We booked in February for the following May and only one of the three top choices had our date available, and within the next few weeks the choices were even slimmer as I know our venue told us there was a mom who was trying to convince her daughter to have a Thursday wedding so she could still have that venue.  If you are more flexible with dates, it may be easier to find the best fit for a venue.  And as soon as you have your date and venue, other things may be easier to imagine (including your dress).

4th:  Buy thank you cards
I was so pleasantly surprised to receive fun gifts, bottles of champagne, and congratulations cards when we announced our engagement.  Writing thank you cards were much more fun on pretty engaged stationery.  (Target has a few adorable designs and there is a plethora online.)

5th: Buy a binder or start some serious spreadsheets
I didn't think I needed a full wedding planning binder at the beginning as I had an excel spreadsheet of potential venues, guest lists, and other lists.  I have recently started one though as it's nice to have a place to put pictures out of magazines to bring to your florist, baker, caterer and for other meetings when you have to describe your wedding style.  Katherine at Just Lovely has a super helpful post about creating your own binder that you should definitely check out if you haven't already.

And above all, ENJOY this fun time!  What tips did you receive about early wedding planning?  Any other advice I missed?


  1. I'm hoping I can put these tips to use this year, but we'll seeeee ;)

  2. Ahhhhhh what a sweet shoutout!!!! I'll definitely be referring back to this :) xxoo