• Jenna

You're Engaged? Now what?

Updated: Jul 22, 2018

Engagement Party - Yes or No?

After the announcement, comes the decision to Engagement Party or not to Engagement Party? That is the question. It is amazing what an open bar can do to placate disgruntled family members who weren’t on the group text. But do you even want to have an engagement party? Once a upon a time, during fairy tales and your parents’ generation, they were a staple, but as we have all grown more financially independent and saddled ourselves with the cost of a wedding after the white knight has ridden his horse into town, they can be considered an unnecessary expense.

However, if you want to go with tradition and get as many fun parties as possible out of your special day, that is another right you have. The best news is that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. A simple summer barbecue in the backyard, drinks down at the pub or a blow-out party complete with DJ and photo booth are all acceptable options. If you have one, it’s about celebrating you as a couple, not maxing out a credit card. In the event you do want to pinch a few pennies, engagement parties do offer a unique opportunity to invite guests that you might be unwilling to splurge on for the actual wedding, as per head, engagement parties are inevitably cheaper.

And they can be a great opportunity to have a lot of fun, be it a rehearsal for the big day!

Have You Set A Date!?

As soon as the “congratulations!” are out of the way, the next question you’re going to hear more than, “tall or grande?” On a daily basis is, “So, when is it all happening?” Having no set date is like being repeatedly quizzed on science questions right before you walk into sit the final exam you haven’t yet studied for. It’s panic inducing by about the second inquiry into something you know absolutely nothing about.

There are two main reasons to set a wedding date. The first is to actually get married. It is definitely a relevant component of the whole process. But the second, arguably more important point is to decide on a dress. Is your wedding going to be in the winter or summer? Spring or fall? Inside or outside? This may be the most relevant question you have had to answer since, “Will you marry me?”

If you’re indifferent to the time of year, or have the freedom to choose, exploring dress options is a good way to settle on at least a thereabouts date. If you meet The One you want to wear down the aisle but it’s sleeveless and getting frost bite isn’t the “something blue” you’re looking for, you will instantly know that a spring or summer day is what you’re looking for and vice versa.

But setting a date also has the added benefit of getting the wedding party excited about the event. When it’s just a vague “in the future” possibility, it’s decidedly harder to make plans. However, with a date to look forward to, the guests will start to get as excited as you are because, well, never underestimate the appeal of an open bar.

Knowing what day, you’re destined to become a mister or missus is also helpful because you’re going to be dealing with...

A Crazy Time Frame

We live in an age of instant gratification but the reality is that planning a wedding takes time. Fortunately, not as much time as it took to meet Him, but it will still take up a lot of your once “spare” time,, stealing some of your sleeping peace and leaving a cue of Netflix shows until well after the big day. Unless of course, you call upon a Wedding coordinator to sprinkle their magic dust while you take care of the honeymoon, did someone say holiday?!?

Churches, estates, vineyards and beachside mansions have a tendency to be booked up the moment you decide that’s where you want to say “I Do”. The reality is that some of the most sought after establishments can have a 12-18 month waiting list, which isn’t ideal when you’re excited to get hitched ASAP. The good news is, having to abide by this time frame gives you plenty of time to arrange everything else from the flowers to perfect lipstick shade. The even better news is that restrictions will force you to acknowledge what you really want and, again, provide a clear mind.

Maybe you were set on a rustic barn wedding but there are none available at the time of year you’re dress is dictating. Maybe the food you want to serve is only in season a few months of the year. Maybe other friends are getting married and it’s all about logistics. Whatever the issues, synchronising all of the elements of a wedding can be both a blessing and a curse that will eventually lead to something beyond your own imagination.

The trick is to plan ahead or hire...

The Wedding Planner

They’re more than just a Jennifer Lopez movie or a Sex And The City character. The Wedding Planner can be the actual Fairy Godmother of your real life fairy tale, swooping on in to organise the invitations, your nerves and the in-laws at the exact same time.

There are many reasons to hire a wedding planner: their expertise combined with how many things there are to do, but there can also be a reluctance to indulge because of either financial restraints or a desire to be very hands on. Both very valid reasons. However, a wedding planner is a professional and their although they may add on an expense, they also deduct many others. Their pro status means they are in the know with all of the vendors you would otherwise have to negotiate with, are on first name basis with venues and have seen so many wedding dresses in their time they already know which one will look the best on you. Basically, they’re worth checking out, as hiring one has the potential to save you time and money in the long run.

The most important thing to remember is to not be afraid to offload the stress because it’s entirely possible for your happily ever after to start as soon as you say “yes”.