So you finally got asked the big question, and you said yes. If you’re anything like me, you probably still have butterflies in your stomach and random waves of happiness coursing through your body. Take your time and enjoy this feeling, because you will never experience anything quite like it ever again. Once that initial glow ears off and you float back down to Earth, you’ll probably start thinking about what steps to take next. Should you jump right into planning your wedding? Should you set a timeline and start making deposits on venues and vendors? These questions and others can be enough to drive any newly-engaged person mad, so here is a little guidance on how to proceed after you finally get engaged.
The first thing you need to do is sit down and have a serious discussion about the timing and details of your wedding. I always suggest that you take it slow and give yourself plenty of time to plan the wedding without too much stress, and I find that at least a year out is the best bet. Besides just discussing the details and timing of your wedding with your new fiancé, you may also want to arrange a meeting or two with your parents. Often times your parents will be helping with the cost of the wedding, so discussing things with them is usually prudent. It may take a few weeks or even months to hash out all the basic details, but it is definitely the most important step towards getting you started with planning your wedding.
Once you have the initial details worked out and you have a timeline for your wedding, you need to reteach yourself the art of patience. I really can’t stress this step enough because all too often brides will run out and start doing too much too soon and everything goes haywire. So, no matter how tempting it may be, you need to restrain yourself from opening up your laptop to buy wedding sparklers online, browse wedding dresses, and hunt for the perfect venue. Instead, create a list of things that need to get accomplished or purchased and work your way through the list in an orderly fashion. Trust me, the result will be much better and you will eliminate much of the stress associated with planning a wedding.
Before you start buying things for your wedding and putting deposits on venues, you need to make sure you know your total wedding budget. You should avoid making lofty goals that will be difficult to meet financially and stick to ideas that are well-within your budget. There is nothing worse than getting really close to your wedding date and realizing that you won’t have enough money to complete your vision. It’s better to know what is actually possible ahead of time so you can make the tough choices in advance rather than waiting until the very last minute.
Work With Your Situation
Everyone has a slightly different life situation at the time of their engagement, so it’s important that you take your unique position in life into account when planning your wedding. If you are just finishing college, you may want to wait to have your wedding until you get into the job market and have a steady income. If you already have kids from a previous marriage, make sure you give your family ample time to adjust to the situation before you start making too many big changes. By taking all of your life factors into consideration before you start planning your wedding you can ensure that your marriage will be built to last and all of the pieces will fall into place after you’re finally a husband or wife.