He called to ask your parents, planned a romantic evening, got down on one knee, opened a small velvet box, and asked a question that changed your life. You laughed, you cried, you immediately posted a picture on social media and got a fresh manicure-- but now what?
It’s a tale as old as time. Everyone builds up to the proposal but no one ever tells you what you’re supposed to do next. I’ll be the first one to tell you that planning a wedding can be stressful, but believe me when I say that getting started is half the battle.
Get on the phone.
Well first thing’s first, you need to call your families. Hopefully you did this before you updated your instagram, but if you didn’t-- get on the phone girlfriend! Grandma and Grandpa generally aren’t on social media and even if they are, they probably don’t want to hear the news along with the rest of your following.
Size that thing.
While he may have gotten the cut and size exactly right, most of the time the size is going to be a bit off. If it’s too big or too small don’t freak out. It’s an easy fix, and you’ll probably only have to part with your new bling for a day or two. But trust me, having a ring that actually fits rather than risking it being too big and falling off is well worth it.
Make sure it’s insured.
Sometimes your jeweler will offer insurance, but if they don’t you want to add this to the top of the to do list. Your insurance agent can generally add it to your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy without much trouble. Again, better safe than sorry.
Set a date.
Sometimes this will change, and that’s ok. But at the very least you need to start the conversation. If you’re a teacher who wants to wait until summer break or he is in the military and may be deploying next winter-- these are factors that all contribute to the date selection process. That being said, don’t weigh everyone else’s opinions too heavily. Tons of people will offer their advice and while heartfelt, it can sometimes only add to the stress.
Update those Pinterest boards.
This is your free pass, so you better take it! Some of you have been planning this day since you were 5 years old, so actually nailing down decisions may be overwhelming. Go back through the boards you have undoubtedly already started, but this time, keep your husband to be in mind. Are these ideas a reflection of the two of you, or just pretty pictures you’ve been dreaming about? I’m a huge proponent of “real weddings”, so the more ideas you can integrate that are personal to the two of you, the better.
Get a wedding planner.
While I’m all about hiring a planner, I’m not talking about hiring just yet. I mean the apps, binders, and checklists that are all available resources to help you along the way. My personal favorite was TheKnot Planner app that provided step by step checklists on my phone, but whatever works best for you!
Decide on a planner (like yours truly).
Ok now I mean the person. Once you’ve looked through all of the nit picky to do lists and details that you probably hadn’t yet considered, now is when you should assess whether you think you will need a wedding planner in some capacity. Maybe that looks like a day of coordinator or perhaps you are going to need a more hands on partner in crime through the whole process-- either are ok! Just make sure that whoever you pick compliments your style and will be advocates of your vision.
Make a budget.
Yall. This is one of the most important pieces of advice I could ever give. Make a budget and stick to it as much as you possibly can. Understand that weddings are expensive, often way more expensive than you originally set out to spend. It’s so important to keep in mind that your wedding is one day and that you will have many many more days to pay for after it, so don’t spend all that you have on the wedding. Many planners, like myself, will assist with your budget management so things don’t get too out of hand. (It’s so important, in fact, that we even offer it as one of our a la carte services).
Start planning the party.
Ask your parents to start their guest lists and start chatting about the bridal party with your hubby to be. Be mindful of the venues you’re considering (a private oceanside wedding isn’t private when there are 200 other guests). Also be considerate of your fiance’s friends as well as your own. My husband wanted to have an entire football team up at the altar, while I wanted no more than 6. It was nothing against my wonderful friends who weren’t asked-- it was mainly because I wanted guests actually sitting in the seats! Call me crazy.
The planning process is different for everyone, and there’s no completely right or wrong way to go about it. The most important thing is that you enjoy the process, because it’s a season of life that flies by and you’ll never get showered and pampered in quite the same way again-- so enjoy every moment my loves! Now go get yourself one of those cute Feyonce coffee mugs on etsy or something-- you deserve it!