12 Things a Bride-To-Be Should Immediately Do Once She Becomes Engaged...
So you're engaged (a BIG congrats by the way!!!), and you're almost done fawning over your gorgeous new ring and cheesin' from ear to ear. So far, all you've done is gotten a fresh mani (for the ring of course), but now, it's time to start thinking about the actual wedding.
The thing is, that you're not sure on where to start. Well have no fear cause your favorite wedding planner's here to give you all the tea on where to begin! Even if you don't do all the activities on my list (which I can't even imagine cause YOU'LL NEED THIS (in my humble opinion), it'll still be a great guide to lay down the framework for what you'll ultimately need. I wrote this with the standard 1-year wedding planning timeline in mind. So check out my 12 tips below on what a bride-to-be should immediately do once she becomes engaged!
Photo Credit: Purroy Productions
1.) Take A Moment To Soak It All In
Just so ya know, the engagement stage is a whirlwind and it goes by so fast! So be sure to take a moment to liveee in the moment. If that means not sharing the engagement news immediately after and just taking in the moment, then that's totally fineee and understandable. And, don't feel bad for doing this either! After-all, it does get annoying when everyone starts immediately asking "Did you set a date yet?," and you two haven't even gotten that far. Just make sure to actually enjoy the fiancé/fiancée stage. What does that mean exactly...? Well it means to still schedule date nights, still surprise your significant other with small gestures that they have always enjoyed prior to the engagement. Don't be so consumed with wedding talk that you lose the fun and spontaneity of your relationship.
2.) Set A Budget
Now, you'll definitely have to sit and discuss this in detail with your beloved, but you should start with asking yourselves a series of questions like...Do you want a big wedding? Or do you want a small-intimate wedding? Do you want to elope? Or perhaps, you might want a small courthouse ceremony, and then an intimate wedding reception afterwards...Whatever the case may be, make sure that you and your partner discuss what kind of wedding you want and set a realistic budget to go with it, as well as, figure out your financial plan to execute said budget. Mini-matrimonies (also known as micro weddings), which are terms used to describe a smaller-scaled wedding, are a big trend now and Mariage Blanc Designs offers exclusive, all-inclusive, intimate wedding packages at a prix fixe rate that'll give you all the editorial, high-end wedding aesthetics, wedding planning services, and wedding vendors, sans the super high-end designer price tag. For more information on our Le Petit Mariage wedding packages, make sure to click here.
3.) Set A Date
Once a budget is set then a date should follow suit. Do you want to get married in a year or 2 years or maybe even 3 years? Do you want a white winter wonderland wedding or are you more into spring/summer vibes? Do you have a specific venue in mind? You want to keep in mind that many venues & vendors book1 year or more in advance, especially when you take into consideration all the postponed dates from weddings that were originally scheduled in the midst of the panorama. Therefore, if you have a dream venue or vendor and specific date in mind, NOW is the time to start sourcing, looking, & booking!
4.) Plan Your Fitness Goals
Once a date is set...This is a great time to plan out your fitness goals for the wedding. I hesitate to say "for the wedding," because health is wealth, and ultimately, fitness goals should always be a priority whether you're getting married or not. However, a little encouragement never hurt anyone, and sometimes a special occasion is that extra motivation and kick in the derriere you may need to get you in shape (pun totally intended)(!!!) You can start off simple with a few healthy lifestyle changes (i.e. a daily walk paired with no more soda in your diet...less carbs...less red meat), enroll in a gym membership, or hire a personal trainer. Whatever you decide to do, you should attempt to do this as a couple...Not only for the wedding, but also to implement healthy lifestyle habits together as you embark on this beautiful life journey together. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be in the gym together everyday, but maybe try to schedule-in some couple's workout sessions or even some morning/evening walks together. Make sure to also schedule in some couple's massages & spa days a few times throughout the year so that you guys can relax together, as self-care days are just as important for your health & fitness journey.
5.) Enroll In Marriage Counseling
The idea of relationship and marriage counseling can look different for many couples. For example, in the Catholic church, it is often referred to as Pre Cana, which is basically a series of courses structured to prepare the couple for the sacrament of marriage. Whichever type of marriage counseling you decide, this would also be a good time to start screening officiants for the ceremony. If you're lucky, you may even find an officiant who offers marriage counseling services as part of the package/process to book his/her services. Marriage counseling is such a helpful and insightful tool to partake in. Especially, when you're embarking on a journey such as marriage. I think that too often people think that marriage counseling is something that you seek once problems arise, however it's actually quite the opposite. Counseling is often what's needed to assist with building a great foundation to avoid and prevent marital strife. These sessions should encourage the two of you to create a safe space where you have an open forum to discuss anything you desire. The skilled professional conducting the sessions is trained to examine your relationship and help you both develop healthy ways to grow even closer together, meanwhile also teaching you ways to improve your communication skills, manage lifestyle changes, and discuss the topic of intimacy, to name a few. Often times, these sessions will consist of assigned homework for the couples and fun activities that will encourage you to do the work in being more open with your partner in a way you may not have experienced before.
6.) Set Up A Pinterest Account
Ok, so I'm totally going to shift gears here, but Pinterest is such a major heavy hitter on this list, and probably how you landed on my blog in the first place right...? Pinterest is such a great search engine and resource tool to use while wedding planning or any type of planning for that matter. Make sure to set up your Pinterest account immediately, if you don't already have one. Then you'll want to create several Pinterest boards with these specific board titles, Wedding Ideas and Styles...Wedding Planning Tips & Advice (wink wink)...Venue Inspo...Dress & Accessories Inspo...Hair Inspo...Makeup Inspo...Bouquet Inspo...And anything else that you could possibly think of or that you'd want for your dream day! These come extremely in handy when meeting with your wedding vendors (ahem i.e. ME for example Haha!!) and giving them accurate visuals throughout the planning process. Now, I am not going to tell you to follow my profile on Pinterest, but I wouldn't be mad if ya did! Haha!!
7.) Do You Need Help?
Speaking of wedding vendors...Figure out if you need professional help from a Wedding Designer & Planner (AHEM...like moi). Or do you think you'll be alright on your own? Hey you might be one of those brides who lives for this, which is great!!! Orrr are you already overwhelmed at the thought of planning it all yourself? If you said the latter then that overwhelm won't simply just go away. So, therefore, you may need to book some professional assistance which is totally fine and actually encouraged so that you can actually enjoy your wedding planning experience and get the proper support you need! Like I said, if you're enjoying the whole wedding planning process and don't think you need any professional help or services, then awesome! But, if you're not looking forward to the actual planning and all the work that comes along with it (i.e. sourcing, contacting, and visiting multiple venues, vendors, and décor showrooms, just to name a few), then I'm your gyal and just a contact form away! By the way, if you're considering professional services, then you'll want to be sure to check out my blog on 7 Reasons Why You Should Hire A Wedding Planner.
8.) Select Your Bridal Party:
Do you definitely want a bridal party? If you don't, just know that it's totally fine (If you've been following me for a while, remember what I always say...It's your day and ultimately what you both want!) If you do want a bridal party, make sure to write a list down of who you definitely want to be a part of your big day. Also, please don't hesitate on assisting the selected members to understand their roles like this mini crash course on bridal shower duties. Of course, you'll make sure to include your partner on the bridal party project as well, so that they can make their list too. Now if someone's list is much longer than the other, that's when you start to cut down and perhaps give certain people on the list, other roles in your wedding. For example, a scripture reader during the ceremony, or an Emcee for the reception, or any other particular role you may have in mind where they'll feel included. And lemme keep reiterating... Remember this is YOUR day, so don't feel pressured or obligated to do this or that because you're worried about how others might perceive things. If you feel inclined to explain your decision or position on something, make sure to do it in a way where the person won't see it as them being singled out.
9. Book An Engagement Photo Session For Your Save-the-Dates:
So #9 is a bit of a loaded tip because it involves referring back to your vendor list that you should have at least started once Tip #3 was completed. Tip #9 is a great opportunity to break the ice and test the waters with the Photographer vendor on your list. I get more into what I mean with this in another blog. But first...My Public Service Annoucement...We, as a society, need save-the-dates!!! Personally, I believe they should be sent out a year in advance or at least 8-9 months out, especially if you're considering a destination wedding, but there are many that argue that 6 months does suffice, which is totally fine (I say to each his own). But, believe it or not, just keep in mind that there are lots of people who plan their vacations wayyy out in advance and need as much time as possible to plan things out accordingly and make necessary adjustments. You can do your save the dates in many various ways, but my personal favorite tends to be the magnet kind with a fun picture of the couple and general information printed on it, which is usually the date and location (even if it's just a city and state). Oh (!!!) and you might want to check out my blog titled 5 Reasons You Should Book Professional Engagement Photos if you haven't done so already.
10.) Dress Shopping
Again, we're shifting gears and you're going to want to reference your Pinterest account for this one. This is where you're going to figure out what style of dresses or ensembles (because it might not always be a dress) that you keep gravitating towards and pinning in your Pinterest account. Then you'll start sourcing that specific style of wedding dress and do some research (i.e. make some calls to near bridal shops in your area as a starting point). If you already know that you're looking for something very specific and if you prefer the entire "Say Yes To The Dress" type-of-experience, then you might want to book an appointment at a renowned bridal boutique, like Kleinfelds in NYC. You can then plan when you want to go and with who. FYI MBD has concierge services catering to the bride, groom, and their bridal parties to 'say yes to their dress' in style with luxury limo and champagne service! And this automatically comes with some of our Le Petit Mariage wedding packages!
11.) Book Your Hair & Makeup Trials
Woo!!! Another loaded tip, but we're at the home stretch. Now is the time to start vetting local makeup & hair artists, or if you're getting married far from your hometown, make sure to look for ones that travel far or that would be willing to fly in (if travel fees & lodging are covered of course). Score if you get both the makeup artist & hairstylist in one(!!!), but it doesn't have to be that way. As a Wedding Planner, I just automatically always think 'what if?' with a backup plan in mind, so having 1 vendor for makeup (who is experienced in hair) and 1 vendor for hair (who is experienced in makeup) is a great thing if for some crazy reason one of them doesn't show (Yes, I have heard these kind-of horror stories from other vendors before!!!). My thinking for this is because most makeup artists and hairstylist attended beauty school where they are likely trained in both fields even if they are stronger in one area more than the other. You should start putting together a list of makeup artist & hair stylists you really like and narrow it down to about 3. This should be done at least 6 months before the wedding but preferably a year out if you really want to book someone in particular.
Once you've perused and reviewed portfolios, websites, and testimonials, you're ready to book some makeup & hair trials. I'd go with your fave out of the 3 first and if it goes great, then GREAT, there's no real reason to book the other two, unless you want to compare all 3 (if you're OCD like me Haha!!). But if the experience was lackluster then you have a plan B and C. As a Designer and Planner, having several backup plans is like second nature and it becomes crucial when things go awry. Make sure that when you're making a decision you're taking several variables into consideration such as, the vibes between you and the vendor. In other words, were you comfortable and was it an overall pleasant experience? Regarding their punctuality, were they right on time or early or a few minutes late? How about the time it took to execute the entire style...Can they work well and quickly under pressure? Were they willing to listen to you if you wanted to make a slight change (i.e. smokier eye shadow look...brighter lipstick, more natural look, etc.)?
12.) Get Your Bridal Resources Together
Ok so you're probably thinking bridal resources? Like what the heck is that? So if you're anything like me, you like to be overly prepared. Like I was totally that nerd who circled all the on-sale items in the circular ads for back-to-school supplies for my mom so that I could have the cutest Lisa Frank folders, notebooks, and pens (ya know the ones with the furry top like in the movie Clueless. No, just me?) Anyways, what I mean is your go-to items, resources, tools, and even some décor you'll need like this cake stand that I had bought for my own personal party, that will assist you with all things wedding planning. I'm talking legit wedding planning notebooks, a tote bag to keep all your files organized for your meetings, Mr. and Mrs. wine glasses, bridesmaids gifts, foot massager, the whole nine! And, you're in luck because I've linked my Amazon store where you can find the best of some of these very items (because I've actually purchased them for my clients and some items for myself as well!!) to get you excited and jumpstart your wedding planning process.
PS: Just so ya know, I stand by all my recommendations because I've either bought, used, or continue to use these items (like my massager omg I don't know what I'd do without mine!!!), so this is just a small disclaimer that these suggested items in Tip #12 are simply opinions of my own based upon my experience.
Well guys...That's all for now! I really hope you found these tips extremely helpful. Make sure to pace yourself so that you're not too overwhelmed with tasks all at once. Again, it is pretty standard to plan a wedding 1-year or more from now. I suggest you pace yourself 1-3 weeks for each tasks depending on the workload and your timeline. Please also be sure to share this blog with your family, friends, colleagues, and anyone else who you think could benefit from this information! Also if you enjoyed this blog post, then this is just the tip of the iceberg! Make sure to join my VIP list so that you're in on all our juicy tea, tips, wedding & event package specials, and more lifestyle content. Get on the VIP list here.
Disclaimer: Although, everything I share is my truth, this post contains affiliate links. This means that I may earn a commission should you choose to make a purchase using my link at absolutely no cost to you whatsoever. And, no worries, I wouldn't recommend anything that I don't wholeheartedly stand by.
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