Post # 1
Just wanted to vent a little and see if anyone can relate. I’m newly engaged (it happened on December 28th), and we haven’t really started planning for the wedding yet. We may be having a long-ish engagement for various reasons related to family being overseas (May 2012 is our target date), so I know I don’t have to dive into the planning immediately. But I must admit…on days when I don’t look at a wedding magazine or discuss wedding-related stuff with my fiancé, I find I feel a little odd – almost like we’re not having a wedding at all! It’s like if I’m not actively thinking about the wedding or talking about it with people, I feel like it doesn’t exist – which is NOT a good feeling! Is this incredibly weird of me?
I’m hoping it will start to feel more consistently “real” once I talk to my parents about budget stuff and start the real planning. I’m not expecting them to contribute anything, but I feel like I can’t start planning until I know if they are. More awkwardness there. :S
And finally, I’m wondering if my current inability to deal with lulls in wedding talk means that I should consider having a shorter engagement. I don’t know if I can deal with 16 months of this kind of on-and-off anticipation!
Would love to hear any word of advice/commiseration on this. Thanks! 🙂
Post # 3
We had a looooong engagement (almost 24 months), so I can relate. There are going to be “good” days and “bad” days, and I can tell you that it doesn’t start to truly feel real until you start DIYing stuff or book your first vendor. However, that’s not a bad thing! It gives you tons of time to budget, gather ideas, etc. Why not make a wedding scrapbook of stuff you like and go from there? That would keep you busy for a while, I think.
Post # 4
I can identify with that. We kept our engagement secret for two weeks and didn’t tell anyone about it. Because Mr Owlie & I are overseas and away from family, we didn’t want to share the news with everyone straight away… we wanted to make sure we could personally tell everyone whom we should. On top of this, I was totally surprised by Mr Owlie’s proposal, and needed some time to process it myself. For the two weeks that we kept our engagement secret, it felt utterly surreal. I couldn’t talk about it to anyone, and I would secretly look at my ring every night, just to assure myself it had happened!
But enjoy the surreal feeling… there will come a time when you will want to *stop* talking about wedding prep 🙂
Oh, and congratulations! xo
Post # 5
It’s never too early to start making inspiration boards, looking wedding-related things, etc. It’s something that you can do on your own time and share with family and friends. I don’t involve J much right now because it is a little too early for us to start going nuts over it. As of right now, I have a few DIY projects I’m looking forward to doing, I have a general idea of my theme colors, and I’m making up a draft guest list to get an idea of how many people we can expect. I even started our wedding website so people have the background of how we met, the proposal, and little biographies of us. I plan to add a small FAQs section to the site as well.
I understand what you mean when you say it feels like there’s no wedding at all, but before you know it, you’ll be diggin in magazines, planning, etc. Sometimes I feel like the wedding is really far away, but other days I feel like it’ll be here before we know it. We plan to get married October 2012. So, as you can see, that’s a little more than a year out.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
Post # 6
@NanaimoBar: I got engaged about a week before you did, and then was on vacation for the next several weeks (I’m in graduate school). All that free time + wedding on the brain kind of drove me crazy…I wanted to figure it all out and talk about it all the time.
Finding other stuff to think about was helpful for me. Also, we had a really fun conversation where sat down and talked about what we wanted/didn’t want at our wedding, what was important to us, etc.
We made a guest list to start getting an idea of numbers. My mom and I are going to go check out a bridal show just for fun (not really a bridal show kind of person, but I figure lunch and an afternoon of wandering around with my mom will be fun).
Also, I just started doing a ton of research- I emailed dozens of venues and caterers to start getting an idea about cost. Before we were engaged we talked about a barn wedding, but quickly figured out that the cost on some places was really high to just have it for a few hours, and that they were all located far away from guest accomodations, so we started coming up with some back up plans.
And definitely have a conversation with your folks about the budget- and his too!
Post # 7
Don’t worry, you’re normal! We’re having the standard 1-year-long engagement, but to me, it didn’t really feel real until we had booked our venue, had a cake tasting and taken our e-pictures. It slowly starts to feel more real until you start panicking because it feels very real and you haven’t yet ____(insert my entire to-do list, lol).
Post # 8
Congrats! I think it is probably just because everything is so up-in-the-air right now. We waited four months after we were engaged to set a date or book anything and I did feel weird during that time because when people would ask questions I’d be like “um… well… I don’t know.” I felt like I was “bad” at being engaged because I didn’t jump into planning. Once we picked a date and booked a venue, though, it all felt MUCH more real and I could start thinking about other long-term projects I could work steadily on throughout the next year. Also at that point, when we had a few days break from planning for whatever reason it actually felt a little like a vacation heh.
Post # 9
We’ve already booked a couple of vendors and I have my dress and it STILL doesn’t feel completely real. And wedding planning is practically all I ever talk about with people these days. I don’t think the reality of it is truly going to set in for me until much closer to the wedding.
Post # 10
Thanks so much for the feedback, everyone! I feel better just reading your replies. I guess there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to go about being engaged, and you’re right…I’m sure there will come a time when everything will be wedding, wedding wedding!
I think part of my weird feelings are coming from the fact that my future mother in law seems to want us to get married SOON, whereas my own mother is being pretty hands-off about the whole thing (I think she thinks we should enjoy being engaged for a while before diving into the planning). So I’m getting some pretty mixed messages. I probably just need to have a conversation with my parents and tell them that we want to start planning.
I think I’ll also start emailing some venues, etc. about pricing and availability…that should make things feel more real!
Post # 11
That’s normal. We are having a painfully long engagement (almost 28 months…ouch). I went to try on some dresses a few weeks ago, and they said “Oh you’re starting early” I told them I’d already been engaged 6 months and was going nuts!
I can’t book our venues until July, but I took an idea from someone else and bought a sketch book from Barnes and Noble. I write down ideas, cut and paste articles and pictures from bridal magazines, and print pictures from online and put it in there. It’s a good way to keep track of all the random ideas for the wedding. I’m taking my time doing research for save the dates and invitations (which I’m going to DIY).
The typical wedding timelines don’t really apply to people with long engagements. I say, don’t wait until 12 months to start planning your wedding. Look online, make notes, maybe design some cute engagement announcements or focus your energies on an engagement party (my parents threw us one and it was a nice way to distract me for 2 months).
That being said, I do take “breaks” from the wedding every now and then. Because I’ll go crazy if I focus my energy on it 24/7 for nearly 2 1/2 years.
Post # 12
Thanks for posting this! We got engaged a week ago and I vary between feeling surreal, feeling like it didn’t happen and feeling overwhelmed! It’s nice to know I am not the only one!
Post # 13
@NJmeetsBX: I’m right there with you! The oscillating emotions are in full effect! I ended up having a phone chat with my mother today and am back to feeling excited and wedding-y. Haha.
Post # 14
@NanaimoBar: Congrats! We’re month twins! Can I give you some advice, though? You really need to start looking at venues now…I had my heart set on being a June bride, and even in my small, midwestern city (Tulsa) my venue has already booked for June 2012. I had to change to May.
What I’m doing is assuming my parents aren’t going to be contributing at all. That way, if they do, we’re ahead of the game.
Post # 15
@EffieTrinket: Already booked that far in advance?! Wow….sounds like I really need to get on this. I think I’m going to put in some serious venue emailing time this weekend.
And that sounds like an excellent strategy re: your parents. 🙂
Post # 16
@NanaimoBar: To be fair, it’s one of the only places in the city that a.) allows alcohol AND b.) has no catering/alcohol supply restrictions AND c.) is near downtown and reasonably priced, so it was probably one of the first places to start booking up.