Before diving into the next two steps after getting engaged, let’s take a minute to chat…how are you, friend?
If you got engaged during the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I wouldn’t be surprised if a little bit of panic is setting in now that the celebrations are slowing down and the fact that you have to plan a WEDDING is feeling more real by the day. You may be feeling like your wedding will never live up to the pictures you have pinned, or that you won’t be able to pull off a magical evening on a tight budget. You may be feeling totally overwhelmed by how many ideas you have (how to choose?) or nervous about not being “creative” enough to plan a beautiful, meaningful day. Whatever you may be feeling right now, I’d love to give you some encouragement.
YOU are enough. Your soon-to-be marriage is enough. The party you’re throwing is a bonus…and it should be a fun one, at that! Any time that wedding planning stops being fun over the next few months, take a step back. Head out on a date with your fiancé, call a friend and catch up on what’s going on with her, or simply relax with a movie or a good book. I promise, it’ll allow you to come back to planning with fresh eyes, and most of all, a grateful heart! Ready to hear your next two tasks? Let’s do it!
Next to budgeting (and sticking to said budget), coming up with a guest list might be the trickiest part of a planning a wedding, but that’s our next step! A good way to attack this task is to ask both sets of parents for lists of anyone they want to include, and make a list of your own (with your fiancé) as well. Once you know who is on the combined list, start cutting it down as needed. Don’t worry about having an exact count right off the bat–for now, the priority is simply to figure out if you’re looking at a wedding for 50 or 500. A few little tips once you do start refining the list: 1. Try to stick to “all or nothing” terms when deciding on questions like kids, plus ones, etc. Being clear about something like an “adults only” reception is generally fairer and easier to communicate than trying to take situations on a case-by-case basis. 2. Be respectful and listen to the reasons someone may want a certain person invited, but don’t be afraid to be firm if you have a legitimate reason for not wanting that person at your wedding.
Have you noticed that within five minutes of finding out you’re engaged, most people ask where/when the wedding will be? If you’ve had an answer ready and waiting, great! But if not, it’s time to figure out when (in general) and where (in general) you want to tie the knot. A few factors to consider: ease of travel (both for guests and for you during the planning stage), how long you’ll be giving yourself to plan, and any major family events already on the calendar (or, for many Southern fall brides, the SEC football schedule!).
We’ll be back with two more “first steps” to take after getting engaged next week! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss a single post of this special series. As a bonus, when you sign up, you’ll receive an exclusive “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” card printable created just for Southern Weddings readers by Sage Paper Company!