Ahhhhhhhh! Tears. Shrieking. Butterflies. Photos. The ring. Your person, down on one knee. Enthusiastic “YES! FINALLY!”s. Engagement.
Congratulations, beautiful! This is undoubtedly one of the most exciting seasons of your life, and you deserve to soak up every second. I recently got engaged, and there truly aren’t enough “happy” words to adequately describe my emotions and excitement, even 10 days afterward!
However, even though I felt completely ready to take the next step and already had strong suspicions of when it would happen, I didn’t expect the huge amount of pressure to have my entire wedding planned to hit me almost instantaneously! I mean, I obviously have a huge Pinterest board filled with images of #weddinggoals, but (and I apologize for the hot mess of a bridezilla this apparently makes me according to some) I haven’t even begun to consider napkin colors, nor is that tiny detail one that I’ve been dreaming of since I was a little girl who thought my prince would literally ride up on a white horse. (Side note: my fiancé is allergic to horses, so that dream = shattered.) To add to the chaos, within 20 minutes of announcing our engagement on social media, I had already had 3 of my photographer friends texting me to validate that they would be the official wedding photographer. Before I knew it, my celebratory well-wishes had completely transformed into business pitches- and while I love my friends, family, and their talents, I couldn’t help but feel instantly overwhelmed.
Hold up. Take a deep breath.
Whether you’re planning a wedding over the course of a few months or even more than a year, you have time to celebrate this stage.(Yes- I’m talking to you: the busy career woman, the newly graduated college student, the momma, the soon-to-be military wife; all of you. You have time to celebrate and revel in the twitter-pated feeling of love and new beginnings!) The only thing that really matters right now is the two of you, and the commitment you’ve decided to make together. This is something that I’ve had to remind myself numerous times over the past 10 days, and over that time, I’ve come to some important realizations. Here are six of my top tips to eliminate the pressure from your new engagement:
1. First, take a second today (even if it’s been a while since the proposal), and let it sink in. You’re getting married! Look at that rock on your left hand, girl! Love and unity are some of the most beautiful things to celebrate in life- that’s why we’re in this industry! Aren’t you excited? We’re excited for you!
2. Put your phone down once in a while. You don’t have to individually respond to every single person who reaches out and offers their congratulations. Chances are, they’ve been in the same place as you in the past and remember all of the emotions that accompanied their engagement- they understand. Sometimes it’s enough to simply “like” their comment on Facebook, especially if you’re a person who becomes easily overwhelmed by social media. Use this time to soak up the moment with your partner- not to respond to messages that will still be there in a few days when things settle down.
3. Ask your parents or your grandma or your aunt (whoever is hounding you with all of those questions!) to respectfully give you a little bit of space to simply enjoy the engagement before you all jump into full planning mode. Let them know how much you appreciate them and understand their good intentions, and tell them that you would love to come over for coffee next week to share some of your favorite ideas with them. Remember, you’re not getting married tomorrow! Be careful not to wish away or get too caught up in the stress of planning a wedding during this stage; you’ll only be engaged for so long!
4. Of course, planning is important! Like I said- you’ll only be engaged for so long, and you absolutely need to make the best of it. After a few weeks, spend an evening posting everything that would make your wedding dreams come true to your Pinterest board. Dig out that binder of cut-and-glued clippings from bridal magazines you made with your mom when you were 8 and go through it as a couple. Definitely do not procrastinate! Many venues and vendors book out up to a year or two in advance, so while you shouldn’t stress about it the second after the ring is placed on your finger, you shouldn’t wait too long and risk not being able to book on your perfect date either!
5. Answer the financial questions early on. It’s good to determine budget before you start diving too deeply into planning; so whether your parents, you as a couple, or someone else will be paying for your wedding, be sure that you sit down and have the awkward or uncomfortable conversations about money as quickly as possible. If you have a wedding coordinator or planner, or if you know that you want to work with a certain photographer, florist, or venue; communicate with them clearly and firmly about your budget. They can help you form a plan with realistic expectations, and your dream day will go so much more smoothly. Budget will also help you determine the size of your wedding and how many people you can invite. Remember, there is no “right” number, and not everyone is always going to be happy about your decisions during this process. It’s about your preferences and what you can afford as a couple- not about what they want to see. If you decide your budget from the start and stick with it, you will likely be happier because guidelines and boundaries will rein the focus of your wedding in on you!
6. Consider your options, use your connections, and discuss them all with your significant other. If you’ve been admiring a certain photographer on Instagram for months before you were even engaged, now is the time to message her! It’s never wrong to ask, and in the wedding industry, it’s never too soon to schedule once you’ve begun planning. On the other hand, if you’re struggling with where to start, ask anyone in the wedding industry! At the Barn at Aspen Acres, we have a full list of community partners and vendors that we love to work with to make your dream day a reality! Of course, we invite and welcome anyone hired by our clients into our space, but we are always happy to provide local recommendations on anything from food and guest hotels to photographers and dress shops!
There you have it, brides! (Are you used to calling yourself that yet? You’re a bride- WOW!) I sincerely hope that these tips help you remove the pressure of immediate planning from your engagement bliss, and that you take time to let it sink in and celebrate with your fiancé. Come back to these suggestions when you’re ready to start planning, and also check out our previous blog posts on why you should consider the Barn at Aspen Acres as your venue and how to determine your wedding budget! We
would love the opportunity to grow, unite, and celebrate with you on your journey to forever, and are booking for the 2020 season today!
The Team at the Barn at Aspen Acres