It doesn’t take a mind reader to know what thoughts are running through a newly-engaged person’s head. What’s the perfect Instagram announcement? Can I pull off my dream Pinterest wedding board? Will my wedding pictures go viral and make Meghan Markle swoon with jealousy? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Meghan Ely from OFD Consulting and her team of wedding industry experts chime in on what you might be overlooking in the early stages.
The first few weeks (or days, if you’re a planning fiend) after you get engaged are perhaps the best, and they should be cherished! Mary Angelini and Jamie Albury of Key Moment Films say, “It’s easy to get swept into a planning frenzy after getting engaged. Family members may immediately start asking you questions about dates, but take at least a few weeks to enjoy engagement bliss with your fiancée without any of the pressures of planning.”
Jamie Chang of Passport to Joy adds, “Take a trip for some alone time or at the very least a few days to be together without family or friends (or social media) asking questions.”
One of the first instincts of any Bridechilla is to snowball your engagement into a full-on planning process within hours of getting engaged. While those thoughts are totally normal, outline the most important to get you through the initial month first.
Shannon Tarrant of Wedding Venue Map says that this can be as simple as planning out what you’ll say to all of the questions you’ll surely get. “Have a standard answer to the planning questions so it won't aggravate you! ‘Do you have a date? What kind of dress are you looking for?’ Know that those questions are coming, so be prepared with how you want to answer them. A great example is ‘I'm enjoying being engaged and haven't started the planning yet!’ That is a great way to shut them down but still be positive if you’re not quite there yet.”
If you’re antsy to get the ball rolling in true Bridechilla fashion, we promise it’s absolutely okay to start putting feelers out. Tommy Waters, event planner and owner of The Renaissance says, “Typically, the heaviest decision will be your ceremony and/or reception sites. Start making a list of your favorites and reach out to get some information, availability, and prices.
For example, some pretty common ‘needs’ are vendors like photographers, a DJ (or band), florist, and baker. If you’re the type to want a horse-driven carriage or a few ice sculptures, I always suggest putting these items on your ‘want’ list.”
Waters adds that communication is key, and nothing has to be made official just yet. “Start engaging with some planners and get a feel for who will work well with you. Be savvy - some hotels and reception venues have planners already included so you could save some major dollars there by getting ahead of the game.”
At the end of the day, you know better than anyone when it comes to the pace of planning and setting your priorities straight. Don’t worry so much about outside input or what the ‘norm’ is for timelines. Take as little time or as long as you feel comfortable with, and remember the reason for your big day!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting.
Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.
Show image by Sarah Diniz Outeiro