Ohhh…what a feeling. Have you been dancing on the ceiling? Or maybe just floating around on a cloud. However it feels to you, being newly engaged is an amazing, if fleeting, moment of awesomeness before the inevitable ‘planning-panic’ kicks in. But never fear, I’m here with nearly 20 years of wedding industry experience to give you a virtual hug / hand hold / high five (whatever works for you) and guide you through steps 1, 2 and 3 of wedding planning.
There are so many things to think about, right? When I got engaged a few years ago, I felt the inevitable ‘wedding plan overwhelm’ pretty swiftly, despite having the benefit of having worked in the industry for a decade and knowing a HUGE amount about what would be involved in making it happen. I had a clear idea of what I wanted it to look like, but pulling that all together over our short, 4 month engagement was a big task and we only succeeded thanks to some clear managing of objectives in those early, post-proposal days.
Rather than racing to choose whether it would be roses or ranunculus in my bouquet (the latter) or making a call between tiered cakes or cup cakes (the former), we took a big old step back, poured a big old glass of wine, and made the 3 decisions we needed to, to get the big old wedding ball rolling. Here’s the lowdown…
1. Define your tribe.
Basically there is no point trying to plan a wedding if you haven’t got your dream team around you, prepped and ready to help you research all the things, tick off the tasks and drink copious amounts of prosecco. Have you heard the old saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’? Well, it takes a tribe to plan a wedding. Don’t try to do it all yourself, build your crew of willing friends and family and make it a team effort from the outset. That’s not to say that you’re not the one making the decisions – there’s no room here for over-opinionated aunts and passive-aggressive besties – ultimately it’s YOUR day and you and your fiancé alone are managing this gig. On that note, I think the age of absent fiancés in the run up to the big day is well and truly over. It’s 2022, equality is key and weddings are all about partnership - make sure it’s the day you BOTH want it to be.
2. Save your date.
I know some people get engaged and are happy to live in that wonderful bubble for an unspecified amount of time…it’s joyous and I totally get it. But for us, being engaged was never about being engaged. It was about marrying each other, so within a week we had an ‘ideal’ timeline and within a month the date (and ceremony venue) was confirmed. Ok, if you know me you’ll know I’m impatient and I like to get things done. But honestly, there’s not a lot else you can do until you’ve got at least a month in mind, if not a specific date.
Venues and suppliers book up fast, as do people’s lives, so if you have a special place in mind and/or want to ensure EVERYONE can make it, getting a date secured should be one of the things you do quickly.
Save the dates come in a number of forms these days – cards, paperless post, text message…none of which take a long time to organise, so get them out of the way then sit back and breathe a sigh of relief that you’ve got the word out.
3. Choose your vibe.
You don’t need to pick your dress just yet, or your flowers, or what flavour cake you’re going for. But one of the first few things you should do is decide on what style you want for your day. An over-arching theme that will inspire everything from décor to canapés and that suits you both down to the ground.
You can keep this as loose or as rigid as you like at this stage, depending on your planning style. Some people are fairly relaxed about it and don’t really go in for ‘themes’, so perhaps a key word like ‘fresh’ or ‘celestial’ is all that’s needed. Applying this to everything from flowers to food to make up just helps to hold everything together and makes decision-making a heap easier!