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I’M ENGAGED!!!! We can all agree that finally being able to share these words with the world is THE BEST! Right? Whether you’ve dated your fella for a few months or a few years (or more than a few) years, officially declaring your newly minted fiancé status to your loved ones and best friends is one of the best feelings in the word!

Since we’re smack in the middle of engagement season (it’s a real thing that happens every year from Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day—we promise), we’re declaring the next five days Engagement Celebration Week. Grab your best gals, your mama, and even your new fiancé (and the confetti) because we’ve got some cheers-ing to do!! We’ve planned fun celebrations all week long, giveaways every day (!!!) and we’re officially re-releasing our recently updated and extra-marvelous Joyful Wedding Planner.

To kick off our weeklong celebration, we want to hear from you! We want to hear the stories of your proposals (and see pictures) so get to posting and use the hashtag #JoyfullyEngaged so we can follow along. I’ve got my confetti and heart emojis-sending fingers ready, and I know the other Southern Weddings gals do, too.

As for the Planner, you might notice that in addition to some updates on the inside (pretty gold D-rings, updated info in every section, new downloads!), we’ve given our gal a fresh new name. There are a few reasons for this:

First, we wanted our Planner to more clearly communicate how we want you to FEEL while planning your wedding. I’ll be the first to admit that wedding planning can have its stressful moments (ahem, budgeting and guest list anyone?), but we believe it IS possible to have a joyful wedding planning experience, and that our Planner can help you have just that — by equipping you with both the practical and the pretty and reminding why we’re all doing this in the first place.

Second, while we will always be the Southern Weddings team and we have the biggest heart for our sweet Southern brides, we think the advice and encouragement in our Planner transcends geography, and we’d hate for a bride who’s hoping for a meaningful and joyful wedding to miss out on our info just because she doesn’t hail from beneath the Mason-Dixon Line!

Our whole team agrees that the Joyful Wedding Planner might be the best thing to ever come out of the Southern Weddings office. We have a burning passion for sharing really, truly GOOD information with y’all – the exact pieces of advice and same resources we’d give our sisters and best friends – and our Planner is the best way we know how to do that.

Whatever stage of engagement you’re in, celebrate as if you said ‘yes’ yesterday during this coming week! For the next five days, be all in!! Reminisce on the feelings you felt right after he asked, and soak up this fun week just for you. It’s time to celebrate!

xoxo,
Kristin and the Southern Weddings team

kristin Written with love by Kristin
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    It’s been just over a year since the Southern Weddings Planner debuted in the Southern Weddings Shop! We were all marveling over this yesterday, as in some ways, we can’t imagine life without having the Planner to direct brides to! It is without a doubt our number one resource, one of our proudest accomplishments, and the product that we most want to get into the hands of everyone we love who’s getting married. So far, we’ve succeeded in equipping over 2,500 couples with these beauties, and we hope you’ll be next! For all of our new friends that are joining us (and perhaps newly engaged!), we thought it was high time for a little reintroduction.

    Our office has a burning passion for getting really, truly GOOD information into the hands of our readers – the exact pieces of advice and the same resources we’d give to our sisters and best friends – and our Planner is the best way we know how to do that. This short (one minute) video from our friends at Good Earth Films helps share the heart of this product:

    From the “First Steps After Getting Engaged” to the “Anniversary Gift Guide,” our planner encourages brides to plan marriages more beautiful than their weddings, but also gives them the tools to feel confident and equipped throughout their engagements. True to the mission of Southern Weddings, it includes a special “Marriage Planning” section that will help couples begin married life in a joyful and intentional way!

    In addition to being ridiculously useful, we created our Planner to be a gorgeous keepsake for long after your wedding day, with a gold foil cover, watercolor tabs, and illustrations throughout.

    You’ll find it to be very interactive, with worksheets and bonus downloads to keep you organized, inspired, and on-track throughout your entire engagement.

    I know I speak for all of the Southern Weddings ladies when I say that this Planner – out of everything we’ve created over the last seven years – might be the product we are most proud of. It is useful, it is inspiring, and it is just so darn pretty. It’s worthy of accompanying you throughout your engagement, and we are honored to walk alongside you, too.

    The Southern Weddings Planner is available for purchase in the Southern Weddings Shop now! If you’d like to give the Planner as a gift to your favorite bride (lots of people do!), we also offer a gift wrap option and the signature SW gift set, which includes the Planner.

    P.S. On the fence? Check out testimonials from other SW Planner brides!

    emily Written with love by Emily
    1 Comment
    1. avatar Bubbling Brides reply

      This wedding planner is beautiful. The floral paintings are so pretty. What a great way to stay on track for the big day! I’m sure your bridesmaids will be happy that you have everything planned.

      XoXo,
      The Bubbling Brides Team
      http://www.bubblingbrides.com

    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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    Depending on what month you get engaged and what month you’d like to get married, it’s easy to feel intense pressure right from the get-go to check certain things off your wedding planning to do list. Aside from the biggies like booking a venue, “order a wedding dress” is usually high on the list of priorities (and sometimes anxiety triggers, too). There’s a reason experts urge you to make a quick decision, but if you’re working with a shorter timeline, don’t lose hope! Read on for our thoughts when you should order your wedding dress.

    A designer gown (think Amsale, Anne Barge, or Monique Lhuillier) will generally take 5-8 months to arrive at your bridal shop after you’ve placed your order.

    A gown from a larger retailer/label (think David’s Bridal or Alfred Angelo) will often arrive at the shop more quickly, usually in 1-2 months.

    An off-the-rack gown (think BHLDN or J.Crew) can be shipped as quickly as overnight! Likewise, if you purchase a sample gown at a salon (the dresses brides try on – usually retired once that gown’s season has passed), you can take home your dress with you the same day. Of course, buying a non-bridal gown (like from Shopbop or Nordstrom) generally means a quicker or even same day turnaround, too.

    Of course, the most reliable estimate will come from the salon where you purchase your gown – they are very familiar with each designer and can help you know what to expect! With any of these options, plan to leave 6-8 weeks for alterations after your dress arrives (usually 2-3 appointments).

    Taking all of that into account, we recommend starting the dress shopping search as early as 15-10 months before your wedding date, but only after you’ve determined your location, venue, and the time of year of your wedding, as each of these factors will have a big impact on what type of gown feels appropriate.

    I’d love to hear: How far in advance of your wedding did you order your dress? I started looking for a gown in August and purchased mine in November, nine months before my September wedding!

    P.S. Ready for more dress shopping tips? Check out our YouTube channel, where we have a series of four videos to take you from inspiration to purchase!

    We’ll be sharing a quick and simple piece of wedding planning advice based on our most frequently asked questions once a week! Feel free to email us with your own question, or pick up a copy of the Southern Weddings Planner for all of our best resources in one place!

    emily Written with love by Emily
    6 Comments
    1. avatar Jasmine reply

      I ordered my dress this past January for my wedding in October 2015. But, I started trying on dresses in August 2014

      • avatar Emily reply

        I’ll bet it’s beautiful! That sounds like a perfect amount of time for shopping!

    2. avatar Bethany H. reply

      I started looking for a dress in February and purchased mine in April, 11 months out from my May wedding!

    3. avatar Abby reply

      I got engaged in July, ordered my dress in August after shopping for a few days and visiting about 4 stores. The dress (Watters) came in late December. Luckily I didn’t need many alterations, just cups put in so I didn’t wear a bra and it was ready the week of my wedding February 7! So it can be done in a shorter amount of time. I didn’t want to wait to get married just to wait on the dress and luckily it came in time! :) House of White in Newburgh, IN is phenomenal. Worth a trip!

      • avatar Emily reply

        That sounds perfect! I think the whole process can often take less time than the usually-quoted advice, but experts err on the side of caution because a no-show wedding dress is much worse than a wedding dress sitting in your closet for a few months!!

    4. avatar Takita Mason reply

      How can I purchase a Southern bride binder

    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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