One year ago today, my sweetie proposed and our lives changed forever (and for the better!). It was one of the best moments of my life and one I’ll always cherish, and on this side of things, I can happily say there isn’t one thing I’d do differently.
However, I did learn quite a few things through the engagement and wedding-planning process, and I’d love to share some of those things with those of you who are thinking about getting engaged or who are recently engaged (congrats!).
1. Invest in a Wedding Planning App
One of the first things I did after we got engaged was download WeddingWire for my phone and iPad (you can also use the tools available on the WeddingWire website). It’s got tools that help you plan your budget, keep track of your color palette, find highly-recommended venues and vendors in your area, and communicate with those VIPs quickly and easily. If you invest the time in working through some of the details in the beginning, you can sit back and enjoy the process as it happens instead of flying by the seat of your pants and worrying every time your plans change.
2. Create a Wedding Website
It’s easier than you think and it’s something you’ll look back on and cherish (promise!). My hubby and I used The Knot to create our website, but you can search for other platforms if you wish. Just take a few moments out of your engaged bliss and put the work in, and you will reap the rewards on RSVPs and sharing information about your venues and plans.
3. Buy the Wedding Etiquette Book
Emily Post is the foremost authority on etiquette, and you’ll ask the questions that are answered in this book, guaranteed. One of my sweet besties sent this to me as an engagement gift and I love it and hope to reference it for years to come in the future weddings we’re a part of.
4. Stick to Your Guns
You’d be surprised to find out how many folks want to weigh in on your wedding and the process, whether you’d like their opinions or not! Odds are, you and your significant other have an idea of what you’d like your big day to look like, so discuss those details and agree on them so you can work out the kinks, not try to factor in the opinions of those you love. And remember: those who are already married got to plan their weddings, and those who aren’t married haven’t been through the process the way you are experiencing it. Do you!
5. Be Flexible
This may seem counterintuitive, especially given my aforementioned point, but be prepared for something to change during the process. It happens. The venue falls through, the caterer is already booked for that date, the flowers are only available in fall for a summer wedding…you get the picture. The best part about the process is the adventure of making your dreams reality, and you’ll have some setbacks. The good news is, you’ll also have a partner to share it all with and friends and family you love to support you through it!
* Cherish Every Moment
From window-shopping for your ring to getting back from your honeymoon, take a moment to breathe and enjoy the moments you’re experiencing. This was by far the best piece of advice I received and one that stuck with me the most. Even when things get stressful – and they will – take a second to step back, look at your ring, and remember why you’re doing everything you’re doing: so you can be with the person you love most in the world for the rest of your life.
Trust me, it’s so worth it.