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New to the party? Catch up on the First Steps After Getting Engaged Part I, Part II, and Part III!

Y’all, I have a little secret. Even though I’m writing a series called “First Steps After Getting Engaged,” I didn’t follow these steps perfectly a few years ago when Dave proposed. Case in point: the day after we got engaged, I emailed my dream wedding photographer. Exciting? Yes! Practical? No way! Ryan was so kind to us, but as you can imagine, emailing a wedding photographer is almost useless when you don’t have, say, a wedding date :) If you’ve been following our steps over the last few weeks better than I did, you’ve shared the news, put an organization system into place, decided on your budget, dreamed up a vision for your day, come up with a rough guest list, and figured out around where and when you want to get married. So NOW it’s time to start putting those plans in motion!

The next step is to book a venue, and start thinking about priority vendors. We don’t recommend confirming any vendors till you’ve signed the dotted line for a venue (which also means you’ve set a date–yay!!), BUT, if there are any vendor teams you really want to work with, it doesn’t hurt to touch base with them about their availability. For Dave and me, we needed a date that worked for our church, our reception venue, and our photographer, so we connected with all of them before confirming any of them. And then you’d better believe we confirmed them all ASAP once May 2 was a go for all three!

This last “first step” we wanted to mention can technically take place at any point during your engagement, but the earlier, the better: insure your ring. The jeweler will likely have provided an appraisal by a certified independent gemologist with your purchase; if not, make sure you get one. Many existing homeowner’s or renter’s policies allow you to add a jewelry rider, but there are also great options for a separate policy. Whichever you choose, find out if you’re covered if the ring is lost, stolen, or damaged, as well as how the replacement value is calculated. This is actually a super easy thing to do, and once it’s done, you won’t have to worry about it!

We’ve come to the end of our “first steps” series, but don’t worry–we’re not going anywhere, and we’ll be here for you through every step of your engagement! Of course, we’re here on our blog daily, but you can also sign up for our newsletter for weekly tips and encouragement sent straight to your inbox. You’ll receive a gorgeous “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” card download by Sage Paper Co. as soon as you sign up!

See more from this engagement session by Courtney Dox on our Facebook page!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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    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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    New to the party? Catch up on the First Steps After Getting Engaged Part I and Part II!

    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!

    See more from this engagement session by Shara Jo on our Facebook page!

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    2 Comments
    1. avatar Olivia Crotts reply

      Lisa,

      Thank you so much for this message! My fiancé and I got engaged in August and since then we have been wrapped in the whirl wind of wedding planning. I have been feeling a little discrouraged this week wondering exactly what you wrote, that my wedding might not live up to the pictures I have saved and in my head. Hearing that I am enough and my wedding is enough is so encouraging! I couldn’t be more thankful to the SW girls for this wonderful little corner of the internet!

      • avatar Lisa reply

        Olivia! Thank you so much for your comment. I’m so glad this post resonated with you! Your wedding will be INCREDIBLE because of you and your soon-to-be husband–nothing else needed! :) Xo!

    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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    Have you heard? It’s Engagement Celebration Week! Whether you’ve been engaged for two days or twelve months, we invite you to join the party and celebrate like you said yes yesterday. Upload a proposal or ring shot to our hashtag, enter to win giveaways all week on Instagram, or take 20% off our wedding planner with code JOYFULLYENGAGED. We can’t wait to cheer you on!!

    If you missed it, here’s Part I of the First Steps After Getting Engaged series!

    There are parts of wedding planning that are REALLY fun, while others are significantly less fun, but still important. These next two steps include one of each, but even though one of them may be tough (spoiler: it’s about the budget), here’s the exciting thing: you’re planning your wedding!! Your real, actual wedding–where the people you love most in the world will all come under one roof to witness you commit your life to your best friend. It’s really happening, and if there is one thing I can promise you, no matter what happens over the next few months, your wedding is going to be a completely magical day for that reason alone. Do your best to keep that in mind moving forward (I’ll remind you as often as I can :))–and without further ado, let’s jump in!

    If you haven’t done so already, start saving–and start the budget conversation. I know, talking about money can be awkward, but chances are, anyone who may be contributing to your wedding (parents, grandparents, etc.) is fully anticipating this conversation, and will appreciate you broaching the subject graciously. Gracious is the key word here, friend! As Emily likes to say, you can throw a wedding on any budget, you just can’t throw ANY wedding on any budget. No matter the dollar amount you’re working with, I promise you’ll be able to plan a beautiful, meaningful day, so be grateful for any contribution, and have an honest conversation with your fiancé about what the two of you will contribute, too.

    Now for the fun part! Before even thinking about your guest list, take the time to dream a little. Some gals will know right out of the gate what type of wedding they want (or, let’s be honest, years before), and some will have absolutely no idea. Either way, it’s okay! Hop on Pinterest and start collecting images and ideas you’re drawn to. Don’t worry about curating quite yet–for now, the more ideas, the merrier! Chances are, it won’t be hard to see a few patterns emerge later on, once you have a good selection of images. We also encourage you to talk with your fiancé about how the two of you want your wedding to feel. Elegant, welcoming, fun, intimate? Come up with a few key words or phrases together, and then use them as a “filter” of sorts to run your wedding decisions through.

    We’ll be back with more 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–there’s lots more fun to share! 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!

    See more from this engagement session by Eric & Jamie on our Facebook page!

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    1 Comment
    1. avatar Shaun – Asian Wedding Photography reply

      Engagements are so exciting. Some genuinely great advice here. Thank you

    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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