Post # 1
I just got engaged on Christmas eve, and I was shocked because I literally wasn’t planning on being asked for about another year! Not that I’m complaining! But this means that our engagement will be about 3 and a half years (it’s very important to both of us for me to graduate from college first).
People are already asking me things along the lines of: When are we getting our engagement pictures done? When are we having an engagement party? What’s the date? What are your colors going to be? (Are you kidding me, people? It’s been two days!!!)
I keep telling them to relax, as I’m trying to enjoy this phase of my life before getting into any real planning. I’m not picking a date or colors or a bridal party until we get MUCH closer to the summer of 2014. I actually feel very lucky to have the privelege of getting a good chunk of “stress-free” engagement.
However… the photos and the engagement party are something to think about.So. Party. Since all major family events (first birthdays, first communions, confirmations, graduation parties, etc.) take place at his Aunt’s house, she expressed an interest in hosting a party for us. But when would be a good time for this? This summer? Next summer? Technically they’re both closer to our engagement than to the actual wedding.
And pictures? I have nooo idea when that should happen.
Are those the only things I need to be concerned about for now?
Side note: This site has been a HUGE help in planning two of my friends’ weddings, and I cannot even express my gratitude for all of you. I am grateful in advance for everyone who is going to help me out with all of my own planning!!
Post # 3
if i were you, I would wait a little while to start doing any planning, pics, etc. 3 years is such a long ways off that you will get burnt out or your ideas will change completely by then. I would really start planning it all about 1-1.5 years out.
Post # 4
My husband and I had an engagement that was 3 years long. We didn’t have an engagement party but we took the pictures in October 2008 before our June 2009 wedding.
Post # 5
Hmm, that’s a tough one. I’m not sure about the engagement party, since that’s usually a time for everyone to start talking about the details and stuff you know? I think you can do pictures anytime, though.
Post # 6
We are having a long engagement (28 months) and we had an engagement party about 2 months after we got engaged. From everything I read, the party is supposed to be close to the engagement. Traditionally, the party was where the engagement was actually announced. If you want to wait until the weather warms up, I think it would be ok to wait until this summer. However once you start getting into the year plus range, it doesn’t look very timely.
As far as pictures, we are doing our’s in February..which is still over a year and a half from the wedding. We’re having a destination wedding so I’m already building a website and want to use them on there. I guess it depends on how you’re using the pictures. You could even wait until less than a year out if you wanted.
Post # 7
Hmmm. Thank you guys! I think, in our case, the engagement party would be mostly to get our families together so everyone gets a chance to meet everyone else. He comes from a HUGE family, so there’s no other practical way for my family to meet everyone.
I don’t want gifts and I don’t need it to be a huge formal party; I just want our families to get to know each other a little better. What if we keep it pretty laid-back and just had a cook-out in his aunt’s back yard? Maybe the less formal atmosphere would keep people from pestering me TOO much about the details? In theory, of course. And if we did that, it could happen this summer. What do you think?
I know it sounds like I’m planning my own party, but her words to me were: “Just give me an idea of what you want to do, and we’ll make it happen!” I seriously love my future in-laws.
As far as pictures go, we’ll use them on our Save-The-Date Cards and invitations, which don’t need to go out for another 3 years or so… so I think I’m gonna go ahead and slack on that. Thanks, ladies!
Post # 8
@Miss Fish: I think no matter what people are going to ask the details about you wedding even if the atmosphere is informal. I would just tell everyone that you are waiting until after you graduate. I assume that both your families live near eachother?
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2011 - The Royal Park Hotel
Congrats on your engagement, Miss Fish! I love that you have a good relationship with your in-laws. If a laid-back get together is what you and your Fiance want, word of mouth can do wonders with family in setting the tone for the gathering!
We had a longer engagement (24 months), and were also peppered with questions about details right off the bat. Eventually our responses were honed to: “We’re just enjoying the moment! I’m sure it’ll all come together. How is <insert redirect question towards them>?”
That usually got people distracted from the engagement/wedding because it turns the center of the conversation to them. 😉
Post # 10
@MrsSaltWaterTaffy: That’s what I’ve been saying so far, and most people seem to understand.
And yes, our families live pretty close to one another. We both have a couple of out-of-town relatives, but it’s a very small percentage.
Post # 11
I, too, got engaged Christmas Eve, and have been very surprised that people were already asking me about a date when I went to church on Sunday! We’re having a 3 year engagement. I don’t even know if we’ll have an engagement party, but I’m not going to do pictures or an announcement in the paper until much later.
Congratulations, MIss Fish!
Post # 12
We were engaged for just over 3 years. We had a pretty casual party right at the beginnning with his family and friends as my parents happened to be visiting and our families live too far apart to imagine getting them in one place so this was kind of our way of including his family and friends who would not be able to travel to the wedding in my homestate. At the party, we announced our planned date so people would be able to plan the travel and it stopped anyone from hasseling us as they knew we had 3 years.
As far as photos, we did those pretty early on and I’m glad we did. Doing them early on gave us the chance to use them along the way on our website but also for our Christmas cards and in a frame, etc. Also, my family really wanted engagement photos so it kept them happy.
The only thing we really did very early on was look at venues and reserve our date. Since we were having the wedding far from where we live, we had to look at venues when we were visiting my parents. We were really happy we started this early as our ultimate venue hosts limited weddings and books out in a particular way that caused all good dates to be booked over a year out. We found our venue in Oct. 2008 and booked on the first day they were excepting 2010 bookings in Jan. 2009 for our Sept. 2010 wedding. This is a unique situation but had we waited until 2009 to look for a venue we never would have been able to get a date so you may want to consider where you want to have your reception and get an idea of a normal booking time frame for your venue. Most venues won’t let you book now for 2014 but as it gets closer, be aware that a lot of caterers/venues will honor current prices for future events so booking 18-12 months in advance could be beneficial.
Post # 13
@slicey19: Hmmm. Something to consider also. I mean, if we decide a tentative date, we should have no problem reserving it, right? Especially since we would be able to book places so far in advance. I know my friend wasn’t able to book her reception venue on the day she wanted, but then again that was less than a year in advance.
I don’t think I want to start a website just yet… but when I do, I’m sure I’ll be putting the pictures all over the place!
My friend from high school went to technical school for graphic design while she was still in high school, and she is GOOD. She recently got a job as the head graphic designer of a local bridal magazine, and she also just got hired at a printing/designing place in the area. It’s the kind of job someone with a degree would be striving for, and she’s been out of high school for six months. Luckily for me, she called dibs on my invitations and stationary YEARS ago, so I think I’ll talk to her about how the pictures will be used.and what time frame we’re talking about on those. (I totally lucked out here, because her mom is a florist who also “claimed” my wedding 2 years ago. Hoorah for built-in vendors!)
You guys are so helpful! Thank you!
Post # 14
My engagement will have been a year and a half. quite a bit shorter than 3 and a half…but here is what I have done so far.
Engaged Christmas 2009
Engagment Pictures September 2010
Engagement Party November 2010
Engagement Announcement in Newspaper November 2010 (Day after engagement party)
First Wedding Shower (holiday themed) 2 nights ago–December 2010.
If I were you I would wait at least a year before you do anything. For all the “question askers” tell them you are so excited but you have a lot on your plates with school and are going to have a long engagement. During this time really start looking at what you like (in every aspect of wedding planning). Don’r worry about the engagement losing steam–you will very excited for quite a while. Once you get to the 2 year mark I would start looking into photographers to take engagement photos–it takes a while to get scheduled and to get prints–not too long but its definitely not an over night thing. (side note–engagement pics 5×7 in frames are great holiday gifts for family and close friends). During the 2nd year I would do some planning –book major things–photographer, band/DJ, venue, food, drink, car service. Around the 1 and a half year mark i would have the engagement party. at the 1 year mark i would do the announcement in the paper if you are going to do one. At that point you should be registered for gifts. I would not have any showers or send out any kind of save the date before the one year mark. Because it is such a long engagement I would really work on creating a timeline so it is stretched out. You don’t want to do everything too early but you also don’t want everyone to forget you are engaged!
Post # 15
One thing you will run into that has happened to me….
On calling/booking places so far in advance–sometimes it is too early for them to meet with you to decide which flowers you want, or what food you want, or what songs you want played…so there is A LOT of follow up calling and confirming. CONFIRM CONFIRM CONFIRM! Also, because it is such a long time…really get to know the people you are working with. Be super friendly and try to form some relationships! It will help so much! STAY IN CONTACT with band, venue, food, drink, etc.
Post # 16
@Miss Fish ..my fiance and I are until June 2013 for our wedding due to graduate school. Even though our wedding is some ways away we have already looked at venues and photographers and actually will be making our deposit on our venue of choice in June of this year. Photographer has already been booked. This is giving us a “locked in 2011” pricing for both our venue and photographer. Not something you need to do if you don’t want to but it is a pretty good suggestion to start looking at venues next year.
Some people have said “Well you have some time.” true, but the venue and date that we wanted–we wanted to confirm that it will be booked for us.
It’s not a bad idea just to start browsing through inspiration boards to get a general idea of what you want for a wedding or to estimate your wedding budget, either.
As for us with engagement photos, we are having destination e-shoot in vegas when we go on vacation in May, but we can use them for a ton of different things such as I just created our wedding website. It honestly is up to you. But if you don’t want to plan 2 years ahead, I’d def do it 18 months or so before because venues do book quickly!!!