The day after you get engaged can be one of the weirdest most stressful days ever. When Brandon and I got in engaged, my mother (the most loving and generous person I know) sat down a large pink binder that said something like “How to Plan a Wedding 101”. Man, I was overwhelmed. We were planning for a 7 month engagement period, and within weeks, the binder was telling me I was behind!
I cried a few weeks later feeling like I was already failing at planning a party for my friends and family. Our wedding day was the Sunday before Thanksgiving. When we picked it, I was scared no one would come. And if they did, that no one would have fun. Poor, sweet Brandon didn’t know what to do with me. About a week later, he sat me down and reminded me what the wedding was all about. Celebrating our journey and our future. Celebrating Christ and all that he had done in our lives. Phew. Breathe.
At this moment we did two things. We wrote a “first steps” and a priority list in order of what was important to each of us!
After looking at many places, we narrowed our list down to venues available in the Fall. Fall is our favorite season! Once we had picked a date and booked a venue, we used this as a launching point for everything else.
The next thing to do is to reach out to our VIPs. So, we treated our friends to coffee and asked each of them to save our date, hoping they would all be able to make it! We knew that not everyone would come, but there were a few that we didn’t want to do the day without!
This is included in our “first steps” for two reasons: we knew pictures were a high priority for us and we wanted to connect with our photographer. After you get engaged, you might feel this way too.
When we picked our photographer, we knew we were looking for someone who could capture who we were! We didn’t know at the time, but we quickly found out that your photographer(s) will probably spend more time with you than you will spend with your future husband/wife on your wedding day. How crazy is that! So finding that couple or individual early is important! It gave us time to take our engagement pictures and send out a Save-the-Date!
Disclaimer: there were many other important things to do, but these were the first things we moved toward.
An honorable mention was finding our wonderful wedding coordinator, Tracey Shellum. We worked closely with her after these steps. Which brings us to our next piece of advice!
I live off lists because it makes big tasks easier to take in. There are times where I get stuck making the lists instead of doing what’s on the lists. To help things along, our wedding coordinator sat us and asked us each to pick 3 things that are most important about our wedding day. We each took some time to think about it, and here’s what we came up with:
1. Music. Brandon’s always been a music guy! It was important that a live band to play at our wedding! Later I found out that he wanted to play me a song as a surprise!
2. Food. If he was going to serve food to all of his friends and family, he wanted it to be something he loved and they would love!
3. Time together making memories. This vague priority was open to interpretation but played out in having a first look and a few moments to admire one another before we said our “I do’s”, as well as built-in time for sunset pictures!
1. Pictures/Video. I wanted to remember every moment of this day! I looked for creatives that would capture the moments that would pass by and we wouldn’t remember to remember.
2. Family and friends. I wanted family to feel like friends and friends to feel like family. On my wedding day, I wanted to be surrounded by all the people I loved dearly!
3. Hot Chocolate-Coffee Bar and Chocolate Chip cookies. A few of my favorite things. What every fall evening should consist of!
Why are we sharing all of this with you? After you get engaged it can be super stressful. We want to remind you to stop. Breathe. Know that in the end, your day will be perfect! Beautiful! You will say yes to a future with your person! Nothing can screw that up. From here, ask yourself what you need to do first. Then, ask each other what’s important to the other person. Start there! Once you get the ball rolling, your engagement will fly by!
Check out more tips on all things engagement & weddings here!