Planning Tips

Dos and Don’ts for the Newly Engaged


20 May 2018

I’m Steph.
Enneagram 2 & 4, INFP all the way... I live for a good love story, have 3 kids and one poodle, and swear I liked blush pink before it became a thing.
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CONGRATULATIONS! You’re engaged to the love of your life and that means you’ve just earned yourself the full time job of researching venues, going to bridal shows, tasting ungodly amounts of cake, and finding the perfect date that doesn’t conflict with any major holidays or land on your future mother-in-law’s birthday. There are announcements to be made, parties to attend, guests to list and bridesmaids & groomsmen to ask in a creative and unique way. Oh and let’s not forget the painful realization that you’re probably going to offend someone (or many people) in the process.
Yep, the excitement of getting engaged is all too often followed immediately by one nagging feeling from now until you leave for your honeymoon: STRESS.
So how can you eliminate some (if not all) of the stress and actually enjoy this most exciting time in your life? Well today we are bringing you some “dos and don’ts” for the newly engaged couple – to relieve some of your worries and allow you to truly enjoy this season of life.
Hire a wedding planner. This one simple step will give you back your life and allow you to focus on the fun parts of being engaged – like frolicking in the lilac fields with your fiancé – or, ya know, just hanging out and cooking dinner together. If you’re not sure you want to spend the money on a wedding planner, just do some research before you totally dismiss the idea. It may cost you a bit more upfront but what you will save in time, energy and potential relationship-conflicts will more than make up for it. #wortheverypennyyall!  If a full planner isn’t right for you, at the very least consider hiring a day-of planner. Even if you can’t take all the planning off your plate, you can go into your wedding day totally confident that someone is there to take care of all those little details you worked so hard to bring together.
Try to do it all yourself. Just don’t. Have friends help wherever they can. Let your fiancé have a little say in things (it is, after all, his day too) and pass off some of the to-do items onto his list. Free yourself up a little bit and give yourself a break.
Prioritize. What is at the top of your list? Is it the venue you’ve been dreaming of getting married in since you were 5 years old, parading around the house in your mother’s wedding gown? The flowers that drip with elegance and fill your reception space with the romantic scent that reminds you of your first date? Or maybe you want to lock in that photographer whose work and personality is a perfect fit for your style and your relationship. Make a list of all the things you want at your wedding and then prioritize the absolute musts and lock those in first. The rest can be planned throughout the course of your engagement.
Worry about what other people think. If your goal is to have the most memorable wedding reception ever and you want to hire that belly dancing, fire-breathing, stilts-walking troupe and you have the means to do so, then you go right ahead and revel in all the wondrous, circus-y glory. If you want to make a grand entrance by helicopter or ride in on a noble steed, then by gosh you go for it, sister!
Go on dates. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in all the wedding planning that you start to forget to spend quality time together just to strengthen your relationship. So close the laptop, put away the notebooks and BRIDES magazines and spend time with that hottie you are going to be marrying soon – just look into those eyes and remember when you first knew he was the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with.

Sweat the small stuff. Of course, as a wedding photographer, I love photographing all the details and the little elements that tell the story of your wedding day. But if something doesn’t go quite as planned just roll with it – you might discover something you love even more in the process.
Thank the people who help you. Bridesmaids, aunts, your best friends’ sister who got you that sweet connection, your mom who sobs uncontrollably every time she sees you try on another wedding dress. They are putting their time (and money) into you, so be sure to let them know how much you appreciate it.
Expect too much from others. Yes, this day is all about you. But everyone has their own lives they still have to tend to while you are daydreaming about that dreamy color palette, those perfect charger plates and your European honeymoon. So bring your friends and family in on the experience with you but don’t forget to ask about what is going on in their lives and bring on your friendship A game.
Find a photographer who will work closely with you on your wedding day timeline to ensure you have ample time available for all those beautiful pictures that will adorn your album pages and be the keepsake you have to show your great-grandchildren someday. And they will ooh and ahh over your timeless dress, your luscious flowers, your youthful skin and hair… and be in complete awe of the beautiful woman and handsome man that started it all. Without careful planning a wedding day can easily turn into a jumbled mess of confusion. So find someone who will help guide you through the curating of the day.
Consider some pre-marital counseling. It might sound intimidating and it could be a challenge to get your groom on board, but it is something I highly encourage every couple to do. Marriage is so much more difficult than it seems like it will be when you are in the early stages of your relationship and this will help set the groundwork for how you communicate and show each other love over the years. And if any deal-breakers should come up in the process, it is a heck of a lot easier to deal with them and take any necessary action before saying “I do.”
Forget what all of this is about. At the end of the day, the important thing is that you will be married and it’s everything that happens after day 1 that truly counts. The wedding day is a joyful celebration and sacred time but don’t let all the to-do lists and dress-fittings, etc take your focus away from the commitment you are about to make. You’ve found your person and are promising to love and be loved for the rest of your lives – and that is pretty darn special. <3

Want more tips? Join our SUPER FUN, free wedding planning Facebook Group and share all of your excitement with other newly engaged and awesome people just like you! Click here to join!
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