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Wedding Planning

January 3, 2019

The First Three Things To Do After Getting Engaged

Congratulations! You’ve just said yes to spending the rest of your life with the love of your life and are about to enter a beautiful season of anticipation, celebration, and preparation. While many will try to tell you planning a wedding is stressful, with the right approach I can assure you it doesn’t have to be.

Yes this is uncharted territory – which can seem daunting.

Yes you will be faced with numerous decisions.

Yes you will be given varying opinions – some of which may conflict.

And yes, the to do list is comprehensive.

 

But ultimately, with the right approach – that is a planning strategy that allows decisions to naturally flow from one point to the next – and a great vendor team you can work your way through the planning process without the feeling of uncertainty, overwhelm, confusion, and panic.

I’ve see it countless times. Couple gets engaged and immediately dives into planning because this article or that article tells them to very simply hurry. The panic sets in and without a second glance its off to the races with emailing and booking vendors just so you don’t lose out. Sometimes this ends up being okay but not all are so lucky.

And when it comes to your wedding – the perfect vendor team (one that aligns with your style, your budget, and your personality) is one of your best assets.

Does the industry book 18+ (sometimes 24+) months in advance? Sure. But that doesn’t mean you should feel compelled to make decisions out of fear.

Instead I want to invite you to do three simple things after getting engaged and I give you permission to sit in this space for – at the very least a week – but really as long as you would like. Your dream wedding will still be there – in fact I can almost assure you, it will be better than you had dreamed. But more importantly, your relationship, your planning process, and your approach to the planning process will thank you for the investment you’ve made into building a strong foundation upon which all your next decisions will naturally result from.

So what are the first three steps I recommend after getting engaged? Very simply – celebrate, breathe, and dream.

Celebrate

This season of engagement is one of the few seasons in life with a finite start and finish. I want to encourage you to take time to celebrate the beautiful life changing event that just took place. Take each other out to dinner and spend time chatting about all those little signs you may have missed or how surprised you were! I’d also like to encourage you to take stock in all those moments that led to your engagement – reliving your story is one of the best places to identify elements that could ultimately be woven into your wedding day design (more on this to come). Perhaps you have a favorite dating memory or a tradition you’ve shared for years – the focus here is the celebration of where you were, where you are, and where you are about to go! Or simply – grab a bottle of champagne and spend an evening relishing in the fact that you’ve just become fiances! Don’t focus too much on all the details of the future wedding (although if a few slip in out of excitement, I get it!) Life is too short to not celebrate such a beautiful season!

Breathe

Do not fall victim to the voices that tell you to hurry. You are going to be bombarded with these messages. You are going to be asked – almost immediately – questions about about the wedding. But I promise you, your dream wedding and dream vendor team will be there if you give yourself the space and time to build this solid foundation. In our social media driven world – taking a step back to just be present gives you a chance to embrace joy for joy’s sake and the opportunity to gain clarity of those aspects of your future/wedding that you value you most. This milestone deserves its most just as many of life’s milestones do. I am here to give you permission to be present in your newly found role as a fiance for as long as you like!

Dream

Here is where things get fun! After you’ve had a chance to celebrate the newness of the season, I’d like to encourage you to sit together and dream. That’s right – take time to think about all those wedding weekend elements that you – as both individuals and a couple – value you most. And I would actually encourage you to do this without going to Pinterest or Instagram (we will get there just not yet). It’s here, together, where you will start to paint the picture of what you envision your wedding weekend to feel, look, and be.

I am suggesting that you not use Pinterest or Instagram or anything really at this point but rather focus on what comes directly from your heart and here is why. What you share during this discussion are aspects of your wedding that are deeply personal – these are those defining features that will make your wedding uniquely yours and will help shape decisions you make throughout the planning process.

These are the elements give life to the heartbeat of your wedding.

So what exactly should you include in this discussion? Below you will find a list of ten things that can help kick start your conversation:

  1. Think of how you want to feel on your wedding day – include things that appeal to senses (sights, sounds, etc)
  2. Then of the overall experience you desire for your guests
  3. Explore three words you would use to describe the overall experience. What feelings will it evoke?
  4. Next discuss how it will look generally. The best way to do this is think of three words to describe the overall look you are striving to achieve
  5. You can then start to brainstorm the overall style you are most drawn to – is it rustic? are you drawn to natural elements? have you dreamed being surrounded by lush gardens? do you prefer modern industrial elements?
  6. You can then start to discuss what the evening will sound like – both from an entertainment standpoint throughout all aspects of the event but also that soft roar of your guests
  7. A brief discussion of the the elements guests will be treated to – perhaps you have a special family cookie recipe that you desire to feature or you’ve traveled the world together and loved the tapas from spain. There are fun ways to add your personality to the catering experience as well.
  8. Any special surprises that you’ve been dreaming of delighting your guests with is another wonderful discussion point – from fireworks, to pop-up food truck appearances – the possibilities are endless.
  9. Including a discussion of important traditions – both wedding and familial – ensures that these details are not overlooked and are laid out up front.
  10. Finally – what is that lasting overall impression you want to walk away from your event with? How about your guests? Knowing this will help ensure you’ve infused all those perfect details at the perfect timepoints to ensure you’re hitting all the marks!

At this point, you may be wondering – okay we’ve celebrated, been present, and dreamt – now what? We are eager to start! At this point you are ready for the strategy. You’ve done great leg work and have started to build your foundation in a way that promises to serve you well as you head into the next step.

Want to know what you should do next? Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered. My free guide for January is all about those next strategic steps to getting started with wedding planning. In this month’s guide you will gain insider tips on:

  • building your perfect budget
  • guidance on how to establish what you value most – from vendors to decor
  • narrowing down your date/location
  • a general timeline of when to focus on what aspects of the planning process
  • a sneak peek of tools to use to design your dream wedding
  • plus so much more!

The guide is jammed packed with planning advice and strategy. Want in on all the free advice? Join here – the guide is being released in the next few days! (and word on the street is that you can snag December’s guide by signing up today before it heads to the shop!)

All photos from the Caroline Logan Workshop Editorial Shoot – vendors tagged in this post.

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