This is such an exciting time! We’ve been engaged for about a month (actually exactly a month today). The first day was over the top exciting. After that things have calmed down, but I’m realizing we have a wedding to plan now. So far I’ve kept a level head and managed to maintain excitement, rather than stress, at the daunting task in front of me. Today is all about the first few things (6 to be specific) I’ve done since our engagement started.
Less Fun Logistical Things
1. Insure The Ring
This is the most valuable (monetarily & sentimentally) piece of jewelry I own. I want to protect it! You’ll see this on every list of “what to do when you get engaged”. But knowing it’s covered makes me a lot less stressed.
Planning a wedding means I’ll be giving me email address to all of the potential vendors, registry sites, and wedding giveaway contests [that I clicked on because Facebook now knows I’m engaged and has it’s advertising demographic locked in]. It will be nice to have all of my wedding related emails in one place. And if I end up with a lot of junk emails they won’t clog up my regular account.
I plan on using this new email address as my regular email after the wedding. Since I plan on changing my last name, I made an address with my future last name.
3. Getting a Million Questions
Everyone wants to know when you’ll get married. And where. What kind of dress do you want? What will dessert at the reception be like? Like legit the day you get engaged people will start firing things at you.
My go to so far is that we don’t know anything about how our wedding will look. I’m sure this won’t satisfy folks forever, but we’ve got some time before we have to start answering differently. People are excited for us and want to share in that excitement.
However people are also asking when we’re having kids. IMO that question is too personal, whether your are engaged or not, and it’s none of their damn business.
Begin Planning (aka The Fun Part)
4. Drafting A Guest List
Hear me out here. I’m not saying this is our final cut. But we did make a list of who we want there about 2 days after we got engaged. And honestly that’s probably where we’ll leave it. If we haven’t thought of them yet or talked to them since we got engaged, they really don’t need to be at our wedding.
I wanted a ballpark number to know what I’m working with. Knowing how many people could be in attendance helps inform what kind of venue we need. It also will help us when we outline a budget. Especially when it comes to food and alcohol.
If you’re struggling with this one: be realistic with yourself. You don’t want to fall in love and sign a contract with a venue that only seats 50 people when you know you’ll end up inviting more. Definitely revisit this list when you go to finalize venue plans to make sure you can accommodate everyone. But you’ve got to start somewhere.
5. Started Venue Research
I had zero clue what to expect on this one. Some venues are booked a year or two in advance. Some venues cost $20k. So I needed to know what the wedding venue market in my area looked like in order to help clear up what is realistic and what isn’t. Both in terms of guest capacity and budget.
I started making a list of possible venues. I’ve started noting the following in my listExcel sheet:
cost (by the hour, flat rate, deposits, extra fees?)
guest capacity (is that seated or standing?)
dance floor space
food (outside catering or forced to use the venue’s?)
alcohol (can you provide your own? or even have it at all?)
items included (like linens, tables, chairs, etc.)
website or contact person for when you circle back later
I came across an awesome venue that was budget friendly, and super cute. But it only seats 40 people. If we end up having a rehearsal dinner this might be perfect. Keep in mind spaces for an engagement party, bridal shower, or rehearsal dinner too. If you want any those events, you can keep an eye out while you’re already wedding venue researching.
6. Start Seeking Resources
I didn’t really have anything thought out about a wedding before we got engaged, so this is all very new to me. And my Pinterest feed is evidence of that. I’ve been searching everything, and saving good stuff to a secret board. Friends have started sending me stuff also – some of which is worth saving and some isn’t.
Richmond is hosting a [free] Bridal & Wedding Expo next month. Even if I don’t come across vendors that are a fit for us, there will probably be cake samples. I never say no to cake.
Lastly, I found some local Instagram wedding accounts to follow. I might stumble on ideas I haven’t thought of. Local photographers can be good for this too, as they often tag many of the wedding vendors in their published wedding shots.