Post # 1
FI and I got engaged just over a week ago. We decided to have a long-ish engagement..about 19 months. We decided to wait a little longer than we originally wanted (which was next September) so we could save some more money and because September would have been disastrous – my mom is a principal and would have been SO stressed out with having a wedding and starting school at the same time.
Anyway, because we’re having a longer engagement than we originally wanted, I’m feeling kind of bummed about not jumping into planning right away. We already have our “venue” picked out – we’ll be hosting our wedding on his family’s beachfront property in Rhode Island. We’ve both known for a long time that we want to have an outdoor/tent wedding there, so that was the easy part.
The hard part will be waiting SO LONG to start planning! I know that people usually start the real planning about a year ahead of the date, but I’m just so excited and don’t want to wait that long. So, I’m wondering, for those Bees who were engaged for 1.5 years or more, what did you do early on? I have the planning itch and want to get started, but have no idea what is a good idea to do now vs. later. Our wedding will be a LOT of work, since we won’t be having it at a traditional venue, so I know I will have to do a lot of stuff myself.
Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Post # 3
We had a longer engagement than you guys, a little over 2 years and we honestly got just about every vendor booked before the 1 year mark to our wedding. The best part about having a long engagement, is that you basically can get any vendor you want due to booking early, and you will get a better price. We booked our venue, church, and dj all before 2012 rolled around, once 2013 hit we booked our photographer, florist, limos, etc.
Also, if you want to DIY or buy some stuff that you KNOW you want at the wedding, start doing it now. All those “little” expenses really start adding up! I did this and wish I did it more, as there were lots of expenses in the last 2 months before our wedding.
Happy Planning!!! 🙂
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2014 - EDD 06/12/2016
@nber0815: our engagement is 19 months long, now we are down to 8 🙂 within a few months of being engaged I already bought my dress, booked a venue, booked a DJ and photographer, and have been shopping for little things here and there for example I got the flower girl basket, ring bearer pillow, guest book, and garter all matching on clearance at hobby lobby. There is a lot you can do! I could NOT wait so we got started right away 🙂
Post # 5
I started planning about two years in advance. It was AMAZING! I had my choice of any date I wanted, and any venue and vendor I wanted too. I had my ceremony, reception, photographer, and videographer locked in by the time we were 18 months out.
By booking my venue in 2009, I was also able to lock in 2009 prices, even though my wedding wasn’t till 2011. It saved me almost $2000.
Obviously, you’ll also want to get together a tentative guest list, but definitely realize that it may change a bit over the next year!
Post # 6
We’re about midway through a 20 month engagement. I decided to focus early on DIY projects and decor. I started making paper flower centerpieces in February and have been working on them casually since then (they should be finished by the end of this year too). It kept me focused on wedding stuff until I could start booking vendors. Also, FI and I have been figuring out details sooner and have been paying for them as we go. I just bought my bridesmaids’ jewelry and accessories during a month where expenses were light for us, and now we don’t have to panic about buying them closer to the wedding. These little expenses can add up, so anything you can cover now is helpful.
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2014 - Turf Valley
I had an 18 month engagement. We got engaged Dec 2012. I got my venue booked in April 2013. That’s when I started. 🙂 Have fun!!!
Post # 8
@nber0815: if you don’t want to wait, then don’t! My situation is a lot like yours. Our wedding was set for June 2014, approx. 1 year after we got engaged. Then we realized how much money it was going to be and pushed it back to 2015. But did that stop me from planning? Nope. Sure, people give you some odd looks when you ask about prices or they see you planning and find out your wedding isn’t for a while. But I feel like when the year mark comes (8 months!) I’ll have plenty to do, but I won’t be frantic trying to iron out the details that I want, because I will have already done it. I don’t know about you, but I am extremely indecisive and I know that if I waited until the usual time to plan I’d be pulling my hair out! Plus with having so much time to plan I feel like I’m getting what I really want!
Post # 9
@nber0815: We also had a 19 month long engagement and all I can say is TIME FLIES. Definitely start now, it will be here before you know it and having a 19 month long engagement really helped spread things out! 🙂
Post # 10
I’m 9 months into an 18 month engagement. We took the first month just to enjoy being engaged, but then started planning. We secured our venues, and got a photographer (sometimes they can be booked way in advanced and with a long engagement why not), started looking at florists, and started dress shopping. I found the dress probably 2 months into the engagment, but looked around at other stores and went back to that store 2 more times to try on new dresses that came in just to make sure and officially put money on the dress 11 months before the wedding. The dress I picked is Italian and must be ordered at least 10 months before. I’d say you might as well start looking at options. The plus of a long engagment is a lot more options. Plus you can lock in the rates!
Post # 11
@nber0815: I started right away and we were engaged for a year and 7 months. Started looking for dresses, venues, photographer, videographer. Hey, it gives you the chance to get in there early and get the vendors you want before someone else books them!
Post # 12
@nber0815: I actually started planning as soon as I got engaged, which was March 2013. By the time we get married, our engagment will be 2 yrs and 2 months. Our ceremony and reception venues are booked. Our deposit was made for our reception in August, we locked in 2013 rates by doing this.
I am planning still but taking my time and researching! I have contacted photographers, djs, and DOC for pricing information and what their packages offer. I also started my dress shopping. I am doing it now because I want to enjoy the planning and not feel pressured. I have started designing my save the dates, invitations, & bouquets (I am not going with fresh flowers),
Friends that had less than 1.5 yrs to plan hated the planning part, they were completely stressed. I LOVE the planning aspect! If you want to plan, start contacting vendors, get their pricing. Try on dresses! Don’t wait til the 1 yr mark – especially if you live in the Boston area. Metro area vendors get booked quickly. I contacted photographers that already have contracts and weddings booked for May 2015.
Post # 13
Congratulations! I’m getting married a couple weeks before you, and we have already started planning. I would highly advise you to go look at venues (even if it’s just a field for the tent) immediately — we decided on our wedding date because it was the only date left in May OR June of 2015. We do not live in a big city either. The only thing I would wait on is dress shopping, there’s way too much time for styles and tastes to change and you can end up with dress regret. Like PPs have mentioned, you would not believe how fast the time flies.
So far we have done the following, and have locked in 2013 prices which is awesome:
- In the process of booking Videographer
Also, check out the May 2015 wedding board, you’ll get lots of advice there 🙂
Post # 14
@nber0815: We will have had an 18 month engagement when we get married. As soon as we got engaged and figured out a couple of things, I started planning and booking! At a year out, I was already fully booked with venue, florist, caterer, DJ, photog, rehearsal venue, etc. There’s no reason to wait if your vendors will book you now.
Do it, do it, do it!
Post # 15
We have a long engagement as well…about 17 months, although we’re down to about 6. The first thing we did was book the venue (good thing too, prices went up by $3k since last year!) The first few months we couldn’t do too much so I just did a lot of research on photographers, florists, DJ’s, ect. Once we had it narrowed down, we booked those too. I also went dress shopping! having a long engagement allows us to not have to be so overly stressed. I do something every month…and now 6 months out, all we really need to do is decide on small details!
Post # 16
I already started emailing photographers, tent companies, caterers and florists. I definitely want to take care of the big things ASAP and then take my time on the smaller details, especially since I want to do a fair amount of stuff myself.
At first I was regretting waiting so long, but now I’m so glad I am. I can’t imagine trying to do everything in less than a year!