Sunday, January 16, 2011

Between "Yes!" and "I do."

It’s that time of year. Love, marriage and diamonds are in the air. The gossip magazines and E! tv are bursting with news of countless celebrity engagements. And “we’re engaged” announcements fills our text message inbox and Facebook news feeds. To all you newly engaged couples, a sincere and heartfelt – CONGRATULATIONS! Once the initial shock wears off and the happy tears have dried, here are some thoughts to keep in mind throughout the engagement and wedding planning process.

First and foremost, enjoy being engaged. It is a brief, blissful (well, for the most part) and precious time in your lives. It’s a time that you can be obnoxiously in love without ridicule. Call each other fiancée. Host and attend engagement parties, dinners and happy hours. Perfect the art of telling the proposal story (in addition to fine-tuning various lengths of the story). And waste more time than you probably should just watching your new rock sparkle in different types of lighting (a personal favorite is how the sunlight makes shines off it when holding the steering wheel).

Next, start thinking about planning. (Note: being a PR person and a tad-bit OCD, I was almost as excited about planning our wedding as I was about getting engaged. In fact, on the way over to my parents’ house to announce the news that we were engaged, I made Mr. I stop at a bookstore so I could finally purchase an armful of bridal magazines). Find a binder or notebook and start consuming everything wedding. Pull out anything that makes your heart flutter and keep it in ready for later in the process. Be a bridal sponge. It’s much easier to purge what you don’t like later when you are making decisions rather than searching for inspiration at the last minute. Be open to colors, textures, ideas and everyday things that encompass your personality and relationship. As I said before, purge later.

There are thousands of resources to help you plan and prepare for THE BIGGEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE (ha, no pressure). My suggestion is to pick a few trusted sources and stick with them. A personal favorite was anything and everything by “The Knot.” Their extensive website (we loved the customizable budget and timeline), the magazine and even the The Knot Book of Wedding Lists taught us the basics and the details of a perfect wedding.

I believe a key part of the process is to determine your priorities near the onset of planning. Ask yourself (and your fiancée, that’s probably important too) what is the MOST important thing (or top two to three things) that are essential to make the wedding day everything you’ve dreamed or imagine. A designer gown? An authentic castle for the reception? Fireworks as you drive away in a vintage car? Every resource around will tell you that you need to determine your budget early, as well as tell you approximate percentage of your budget that your should spend on each aspect. But remember that these are guidelines. Mr. I and I decided we wanted a fantastic photographer and a reception hall that had some unique character. These were the things that we could go a little over the “recommended” percentage if we cut some things we determined were a little lower priorities for us, such as flowers and transportation.

Finally, the three “R’s.”

• Be reasonable – Don’t blow your entire budget on one day of your life, don’t think that everything can get done a week before the big day, and don’t try to change yourself and what you can do. If you’re not a crafty person, be reasonable enough to realize that a DIY wedding might not be the easiest.

• Be resourceful: It’s likely there are a handful of people more than willing to help you address, assemble, organize, or lend a helping hand wherever needed. Let them help you, no one will notice on wedding day if you didn’t make every single bow and you’ll be much more sane.

• Be respectful: As important as your wedding day is, remember, it is only one day. It is the start of a lifetime of memories with your fiancée and your families. Don’t start this off by hurting feelings, being disrespectful or simply becoming a bridezilla that no one wants to be around.

Okay, this post is super long. Please forgive me. I just love weddings, planning and helping people create their perfect day. We have another page listing the resources I used throughout the process. I hope this makes the exciting, yet daunting task of wedding planning a little less overwhelming. Best of luck through it all and remember, ultimately your wedding day is about you and your fiancée. At times, flowers, bustles and guest lists might keep you up at night, but something that always got me through was remembering who I would wake up to the morning after our wedding to begin the our lives together. Don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of that.

1 comment:

  1. My little sister is currently engagaed and planning the wedding. I'm gonna pass along the list of resources you used, I'm sure she'll appreciate it. Thanks


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