Rockford Bride Blog
SO YOU ARE ENGAGED, NOW WHAT
Getting engaged is an exciting time. You and your beloved are over the moon, and everyone else is genuinely happy and excited for you. It can also make it overwhelming because all of the joy and excitement will make you want to rush into planning. When you’re in the first stages of wedding planning, timing is everything. You need to carefully consider the decisions you’re making and in what order as it can be easy to get ahead of yourself and make big decisions that might not fit with the rest of your plans.
One thing that can help with this is using a Wedding Planning Timeline (you can check out our wedding planning guide here or in a copy of the guide). The reasons that they’re helpful are two-fold, there are some big decisions that need to be made right away for practical reasons, and there are aesthetic considerations as well. Planning Timelines are designed to help you keep sight of the end goal and not to get swept up or lost in the plethora of options available to the modern couple. There are so many ways to host a wedding, but the only one that matters is your way. Keeping the financial and practical decisions in check will give you more time and energy to devote to the things that really make your wedding yours, such as your vows or other personal touches.
The very first thing you should do is set a budget. Sitting down with your significant other and deciding on a budget that fits your needs and resources early on will eliminate disagreements later. The next things you need to decide on are the style of your wedding and the season in which you would like to get married. From there you can find a venue that fits your budget and style and set a date. The reason it’s important to get these big items nailed down is that it helps you to see the big picture. While the dress is certainly fun to shop for, and something that needs to be done early, it helps to have the mood of your wedding and your venue picked out before you say yes to any dress. This stops you from buying a large fluffy tulle gown for a beach wedding, or blowing half your budget on a gown.
After the budget and your venue, you can start deciding on the details. Things such as wedding colors and theme are much easier to decide once you have a physical space to imagine them in. Then there are practical decisions, like finding accommodations for any out-of-town guests and blocking off nearby hotel rooms for your guests. Then there are the tasty decisions like finding the perfect caterer or selecting a decadent cake. As you move down the list, you move closer to your special day and closer to the start of something great.
In the final weeks leading up to your wedding you should be done making decisions and have moved towards finalizing and confirming the details. Checking in with your vendors is recommended to ensure that everything will go off without a hitch. There will be some paperwork to do as well, such as preparing name change documents and getting everything in order for the marriage license.
With all of these little details to keep track of, using a wedding timeline is a no-brainer. It helps you stay organized. Following a checklist means that you won’t find yourself stranded without a DJ or scrambling to get a marriage license. There will always be a certain amount of stress involved in wedding plans because everyone wants to be involved, but keeping your practical and financial decisions in order will give you more time to devote to having fun and preparing for the rest of your life starting the day you say “I do”.
One hotly debated consideration for the guest is who gets a plus-one. Anyone who is engaged to be married should automatically be given a plus-one. Many people will also consider cohabitation automatic grounds for a plus-one as well. From there, plus-ones for single guests are up for debate. However, if you’ve set boundaries for the guest list make sure that you are following them equally for every guest. If you’ve decided that the only significant others allowed are fiancé(e)s then follow that rule across the board. If not, be prepared to have an awkward conversation with those who did not receive a plus-one.
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