Friday, December 28, 2012

After the Proposal...

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas! My family and I certainly did! The hubs spoiled me rotten. :)
Christmas Eve

Speaking of Christmas, I am reminded of last year at this time, when I was bombarded by the news of THREE engagements within one week!

Since then, I've attended one of their beautiful weddings. Seriously, do they not look like they belong in a bridal magazine? They are stunning together!
Image Credit: Brooke G Images

Getting engaged is such a magical thing. Listening to your other half profess their love and hopes for your future together (and a nice shiny rock doesn't hurt either, huh?) is an experience we all dream about. And after you've had a few days to soak it all in and stare at that new beauty of your finger,
About 10 minutes after the hubs proposed! 

you may be left feeling overwhelmed with all the wedding planning ahead! A lot of brides simply don't know where to start or if they do, they are amazed at all the options for each decision to be made. Trust me, I've been there too and it can be stressful.
  • Book the Venues: As tempted as you may be to start with bridal gown shopping, the first thing you need to focus on is finding a place to host your ceremony and reception, especially if you are short on time or planning a wedding around a holiday. You may be surprised at how quickly places will book up and the last thing you want is to hear the place of your dreams is reserved!
  • Book a Photographer & Schedule Engagement Pics: This one is pretty self-explanatory, but remember to do some research, ask friends and family for recommendations and visit local bridal shows. You can read more on this topic here. Most photographers will offer your engagement session for free or at a discount. Don't be afraid to ask if it isn't offered to you! I adore our engagement pictures! Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Start on your Guest List: This is, by far, one of the most tedious parts of your entire wedding! So don't wait to begin. Ask each of your parents for lists and begin working on your own. Then work on tracking down addresses. I organized my guest list in an excel spread sheet with a column for names, addresses, number of guests and a final column to check off whether they were coming. This made it much easier to update address changes and add or remove guests. 
  • Decide on a Budget: Depending on who's paying for the wedding, work together and decide on at least a rough number to keep in mind. You may be surprised to find things will cost more than you imagined. For a detailed breakdown of expected costs depending on your area, you can use this budget calculator to get a better idea of what is realistic. Remember, this number will differ based on many factors!
  • Choose your Attendants: Remember that the larger your bridal party, the higher the cost for you. This will affect the number of gifts you will need to purchase, the size of the limo you will rent and the amount of bouquets and other flowers you will need. Decide whether you will have a flower girl and ring bearer, a junior bridesmaid/ groomsman or junior bride/ groom. 
  • Enjoy your Engagement! This time will be such a small part of your life and it will be gone before you have a moment to take it all in! You will only refer to your other half as your fiance for a short while. Stressful as it may be, wedding planning goes so quickly, as well as dress shopping, cake tasting, bachelor/ bachelorette parties, bridal showers, engagement parties, etc. Don't wish this special time away!
Above all else, spend lots of time adding to your wedding board on Pinterest. And don't forget to follow me on there as well! My wedding board is kinda amazing! :)

Happy Planning!

Meaghan xoxo

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