It was just recently that I was reminded by my lovely Timehop app that it has been just over a year since I got engaged – yikes, that has gone fast! While my wedding to do list has grown quite a bit in that time, back when we were first engaged, I really struggled with knowing where to even start! So now, a year on, and with a little experience under my belt, I thought I would share a few tips for any newly engaged folks who just aren’t sure where to begin with the exciting wedding-planning process.
Enjoy being engaged
Firstly, and in my opinion, most importantly, take a bit of time to really enjoy those first few weeks (or months if you like) of being engaged, before wedding planning takes over. Planning a wedding is so much fun, but it can end up taking up so much of your life that I think it is important to spend a few weeks just enjoying being engaged. People will ask questions straight away about when the wedding will be etc, but don’t feel pressured to make decisions until you’re ready. That said, you might just be so excited that you want to start organising immediately – or you might already have it planned out in your head. In which case, go for it!
Once you feel ready to start thinking about things more seriously, take the time to make a list of both yours and your fiancee’s priorities. There are so many things to organise that it makes it easy to sort out the things that are important to you first. With us, our priorities were pretty much the same – venue and photography were top of our lists – so those were what we focused on first and foremost.
Buy a wedding planner
And by that I mean a notebook – not a person to plan your wedding. HA. You can buy all kinds of planners and notebooks designed for brides-to-be and complete with to-do lists, reminders and pages specifically for various bits of the wedding planning process. I bought this one from Amazon and love it – it has section for everything wedding-related, which helps me to know I’m not forgetting about anything, and has plenty of space for notes and information I need to keep hold of.
Start a Pinterest board (or 10!)
The only wedding-related thing I really did in those first few weeks was to start a few Pinterest boards of ideas that I liked. We hadn’t decided on a venue or style of wedding really, so I just saved some ideas that I liked the look of and then later down the line when the venue was sorted, I had lots of different ideas to go through and choose from. It’s a great way to start feeling excited about getting married without any pressure to make any decisions. It will also be really useful when you go and visit suppliers etc to have something visual to show them for ideas. For example, I had looked at a few dresses I liked on Pinterest before wedding-dress shopping, then when I went to a shop, I could show the assistant the style I liked, which is much easier than trying to describe things!
Give yourself enough time
Unless you have decided to get married immediately, give yourself plenty of time to look at lots of ideas and plan properly. We decided to get married nearly 20months after we got engaged and I can tell you, that time goes by quickly! I have friends who have planned weddings in six months, but for me, the stress of that would send my anxiety levels into meltdown. It’s also worth noting that lots of venues, particularly if they’re popular venues, will book up up to two years in advance – especially if you want a popular day or time of year, like a Saturday in the summer months.
Research, research, research
There are so many good websites out there that are designed specifically to help with the wedding planning process and to give you inspiration from other brides and real life weddings. Some of my favourite include: rockmywedding.com, hitched.co.uk, and whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com. Using these, along with the magical powers of Google, makes finding venues and suppliers in your area so much easier. We did a lot of research online before we booked viewings at venues, that way we could make sure we weren’t wasting our time looking at venues that weren’t big enough, didn’t suit our style or were our of our budget.
I hope this has been useful! If any of you fellow Bride-to-be’s have any ideas for blog posts you’d like to see, then please do let me know – I’d love to hear what you think!