Post # 1
Being it that my engagement is so new ( Dec 24) I’ve been doing alot of thinking about it. We have not set a date yet and I’m not even sure I want a big wedding. I want to marry him because he’s a sweet man and I can’t imagine being old and grey without him. I’m excited to be his wife but I have no idea how soon I want to get married. I don’t want to rush it .. but I also don’t plan on making him wait forever. Has anyone else been this confused soon after your engagement ?
Post # 3
I guess I’d say, set a date first? Lots of people do an 18 month/2 year engagement. It gives you time to enjoy the engagement stage and still time to plan what you want your wedding to be. Then you can decide together if you want to do simple courthouse, a bigger wedding at a venue, or something different. You don’t have to get everything done in 2 weeks, take your time.
Post # 4
@elisa1128: Yup, I was totally overwhelmed when we first got engaged. I would say give yourself atleast a month to just enjoy the engagement with your new fiance. After that we picked out the season we wanted and a budget estimate. And then the planning just started to happen.
Enjoy it now because it goes by sooo quick once you start planning! Oh and our engagement will be 17 months.
Post # 5
I am a newly engaged bee as well (Dec 22nd) and I am just about as confused as you are! we have decided to have a 2 year engagement so that we can save money and also enjoy our engagement. Don’t rush into anything! Enjoy this time and have fun planning! I wish I could give you more help but like I said, I am in the same position you are! Congratulations and best wishes!
Post # 6
You are not alone at all!
You don’t have to set a date less than a week after getting engaged. Take your time! When we got engaged in Feb. 2011, we waited until Oct. 2011 to set our date (we considered ‘setting the date’ to be when we put a deposit down on a venue, not just picking a date on the calendar and then trying to find a venue with that date open).
We took so long because we had no idea what we wanted. We knew we wanted a small wedding, but we didn’t know where or when. We toyed with a destination wedding and traveled to the location, and when that didn’t pan out, we decided to go local. We spent a lot of time researching the pros and cons to both and we also talked a lot to our families. In the end we made the perfect decision for us, but we took our time. Yes, our families were driving us nuts asking ‘when is it! when will it be! omg it’s almost been a year and you haven’t done anything!’…but we ignored it and took our time.
Don’t give into the pressure! Just start slowly…read things on here, browse magazines, look at some venues in your area and see what stands out to you. There are pros and cons to small weddings vs big ones, local vs destination, etc. Eventually, you will figure out what is best for you and your Fiance. It might take a week, it might take a year. It will happen! 🙂
Post # 7
You’re definitely not alone! We didn’t really talk about dates until 4 months after our engagement because we needed time to get used to the new place our relationship had progressed to. Engagement is a big step in of itself, so take the time you need and don’t rush! You’ll never get to be engaged again, so relish this period in your life/relationship.
Peruse some wedding planning websites and just read about the typical things that take place with most weddings. You might even benefit from checking out some wedding planning books from the library. As you read, think about what you want compared to what you’re seeing. Talk to your Fiance about what he envisions. You will probably have some differences in opinion, which is fine – marriage is about compromise, so learning to compromise with your wedding will be a great preview.
Just remember that your wedding is about what the two of you want. Don’t want a big one? That’s fine! You can do anything from a 300+ guest, plated-dinner reception to a small JOP ceremony at the courthouse with cake in your living room afterward. Whatever you want, you should do.
For now, enjoy being engaged and just do some reading and surfing around the internet to get ideas. Keep a notebook for anything that strikes your fancy. When you’ve gotten out of the “omg we’re engaged!” phase, you’ll begin thinking about dates and that’s when you can decide on a budget and a date. And then the other details just kinda fall into place.
Post # 8
We got engaged Dec. 2010 and picked three dates very quickly, each of which were spaced out over time(Oct. 2011 was the earliest, Aug. 2012 was the last). We formed a list of people that had to be at our wedding, we asked our parents if we forgot anyone important (BAD IDEA! They will add people you DON’T need to invite! – This caused too much stress especially if you are paying for the wedding yourself) and we ended up with a rough number of people the venues needed to accomodate. We decided how much money we had to work with, and then we went venue searching.
When we finally found one we liked and would hold everyone in September of 2011, we decided to go with the August 2012 date to give us almost a whole year to finish the planning. After that we used wedding planning books and websites to help us finish planning.
Post # 9
We just got engaged. Dec 24th. We plan to be engaged for about 18 months. For the 1st 6 months give or take I plan to just soak it all in and gather ideas. I don’t plan on contacting vendors or anything like that unless it’s really high demand. Good luck!
p.s. so glad everyone else has good suggestions!!
Post # 10
First figure out a rough date so that you know what kind of wedding you want. Do you want a winter wedding, summer, holiday weekend, etc. This might also help you figure out what type of venue you want. For example, if you want a summer wedding because you want to be outside, then you wouldn’t bother looking at hotel ballroom venues.
Next make a rough guest list. If you aren’t sure how big of a wedding you want then try making a tiered guest list. Make one list with every single person you and your Fiance would want at your wedding if money was no object. Then narrow down that giant list to different tiers, such as “family and close friends only” and “guests with plus ones” so you can see which guests can be included or excluded depending on your budget.
Now comes the tedious part — the budget. Make sure you are very detailed and honest when you make your budget. I have my budget in an Excel file. On one tab I have a very detailed list of every item that I plan on purchasing with the estimated cost plugged in. Then I update it with the actual cost once I make the purchase. For example, I estimated the cost of my Save the Dates (including separate line items for the magnets, the envelopes, return address labels, and postage). Then when I made the purchases I entered the actual prices into the spreadsheet for each item. It really helps because you are able to see where you allot most of your money and what items really aren’t that necessary. Plus it will help you narrow down a venue. When you start your venue search you will already know your price range for the venue without having sticker shock.
And most importantly, enjoy this. If it starts to feel like a second job or you get stressed or it’s no longer fun then take a break. I’ve taken two wedding planning breaks already and I’ve been engaged for over a year now. Trust me, taking a few weekends off to just hang out with your Fiance without doing anything wedding related is really refreshing.