Tips for newly engaged couples
You’re Engaged – Woo-hoo the fun part starts NOW! You get to parade around your dazzling ring with the person of your dreams and begin to think about what happens next. Have no fear my friends, we will get through this together! In this week’s blog, I will have tips and tricks (in no particular order) for things to do and not do while you’re still engaged!
Tell your Family First
First things first: tell your family and closest friends. DO NOT make your newfound engagement a public post on social media until you make the in-person announcement to those closest to you. Your family would be so upset if the world knew about their loved one’s engagement before them—I know I would be if I were in their shoes. On the note of parents, have your parents met each other? Not your parents as in the ones who made and raised you, but yours and your fiancé’s parents. Have they met? If not, I suggest telling them together over a delicious meal so they have a chance to meet and greet. It will also give a chance for the two of you and your collective parents a chance to start initial planning (i.e. funds, attire, potential guests, etc.), bounce ideas off each other, and of course celebrate their impending new daughter/son-in-law! Once your family and friends know, then make it as the kids say, “Facebook official.”
Once your family and friends know, and after it has been posted to social media, you can start planning! You and your fiancé can kill two birds with one stone if you decide to make save the dates. What are save the dates you may ask? Well, they are the pre-invitation and what typically outline your upcoming nuptials. This is where the two birds one stone thing comes in–people book a photographer (presumably they will be the photographer for your wedding also), have their engagement pictures taken, and then they use a few of their favorite ones to be put on the save the dates. The engagement pictures will be your last ones as an unmarried couple and they will mean the absolute world to you (besides your wedding day pictures of course).
It’s Your Wedding/Life, Do what YOU Want!
Here come some of the most invasive questions you will ever be asked. Friends and family will immediately want to help you plan your special day. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE THEM HELP. They will ask you things like, “Are you sure?” “Aren’t you a little young?” “Can I be a groomsman/bridesmaid?” “Is so-and-so going to be invited?” “Am I invited?” While they are asking these things out of curiosity, excitement, or what have you, you are not required to answer any of those questions. However, you do not want to be rude if you do answer them. Simply say, “we’re having a long engagement to save money and plan our day perfectly.” Or “we have not made our final guest list yet, but we will let you know.” As long as you are not rude to whomever is asking the question, they should get the hint.
Now it is time to pick your groomsmen and bridesmaids. Who do you choose?! Obviously, whomever you want, but keep in mind, if you have a great relationship with your sibling or siblings, you may want to ask them. After all, they are your family. Next, you ask your nearest and dearest friends—and as far as who gets the title of maid of honor or best man is entirely up to you. Whomever you have the deepest and best connection with, besides your fiancé, should get that amazing privilege. Traditionally when you ask someone to be part of your special day, you ask with some kind of quirky gift. When I was asked to be part of someone’s wedding, they brought me a box with a quirky message that only we would appreciate. It was something small, but it meant the absolute world to me. It is the little things that make you want to appreciate and participate in someone’s wedding.
The other Stuff…
Deciding on the wedding date! The two of you have decided on whether or not to send out save the dates, you have picked your bridal party, but what about the date? Of course, this can be your preexisting anniversary (the day you became a couple), one of your birthdays, on one of your parents’ anniversary, any day you choose! Keep in mind, while weekdays (Monday through Wednesday) are typically cheaper for reception venues, weekends (Thursday through Sunday) although a little more expensive depending on the season, are easier for people to make arrangements regarding childcare, work, etc. Regardless of what day you choose, make sure you remember it is about you and your special someone.
Your color scheme is something that is one of the first things your guests will notice about your wedding reception. You can pick any colors you choose, just make sure they coordinate well with each other. You can even coordinate with the season that you get married in; for example, if the two of you decide to get married in fall, lots of oranges, yellows, and reds are perfect! Or maybe winter, lots of silvers, golds, and whites. I have another entry entirely dedicated to flowers and color schemes, you are more than welcome to check that out as well.
This is the most tedious part: the guest list. There is a lot to think about when making your guest list. Remember: you are NOT obligated to invite someone who has not been around during your relationship (i.e. your distant relative you have not spoken to in 10 years). Also, do NOT commit to inviting someone you would rather not have at your wedding (referring to the “Am I invited?” questions). DO invite however, people you actually like. I know that sounds redundant, but it is true. Do not not invite your friend that you have known for years and are close too just to make room for your great, great, great Aunt Ruth because she is your relative. Keep in mind how much money you are spending. The average cost per person at your reception is between $30 and $70 depending on what you decide to serve and the venue. Sometimes however, places will discount your reception cost for holidays, the number of people, the mood of the person you are arranging this with. Unless you have a good size budget, then invite your childhood friend AND your great, great, great Aunt Ruth. Just remember to stay within your budget–weddings are expensive.
Now this is the one thing your guests will remember most: THE FOOD. I think everyone has been to a wedding where the food was not so good. Whether the potatoes were undercooked, or the meat was dry, whatever the case, you probably ended up at McDonald’s or Taco Bell after right? Whatever you decide to serve, keep in mind of food allergies like peanuts. IF you decide on food that may have allergens, just put up a little card or sign that says, “this contains food allergens [peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, etc.]” and make sure the sign is specific as possible.
You now have the knowledge and know how to make your special day just that, special. You can take as long as you like to plan your wedding, or you could elope the following day(that’s where we come in real handy)! Whatever you decide to do, have as much fun as possible! You will likely only do this once, so enjoy it while you can! It’s your special day! Happy wedding planning!