Post # 1
Please advise me. I am not officially engaged but a proposal is sort of in the works. A ring has been chosen and I’m thinking that in the next couple of months (after some drama is sorted out, hopefully, with my parents) I can finally declare Mrs-To-Be status. Anyway, my boyfriend and I have discussed extensively what sort of things are important to us and he has given me the go ahead to being "lightly planning." This means research, yes. But deposit-making, no. And I am completely fine with that. But I have been doing some venue research and I have discovered 4 very lovely and beautiful places. Upon contacting them all, they have all said that their venue is available for our tentative wedding day (yes, we have actually picked a date!). The next part is what I need advice on. All of these venues have suggested making an appointment to the venue to discuss our needs and wants and to actually begin planning for this event.
My problem is this: Because I am not engaged, officially, I feel like I’m planning for something that’s not real. I *know* that it WILL be real but…Should I just hold off on the planning until I AM engaged? I feel conflicted.
Post # 3
I think if your boyfriend and family are okay with it, then go for it. The ring is purchased and you know the proposal will be happening in the near future and you have a set date — that’s nothing like pretending you’re planning a wedding! Also depending on your date, it could be wise to start this early…while it’s very possible to plan a wedding in a few months, popular venues and vendors could book up to a year in advance.
Personally, I bought my dress before I was officially engaged b/c I was moving out of state and wanted to get it set in my hometown, which is where we are getting married. And I did do a lot of venue research and visiting then as well, since again, it would be harder to start that research from afar. I told everyone upfront about my situation and was sure to convey that I was serious about making plans and everyone was still willing to work with me! You may encounter some who look down their nose at you for not having the ring yet, but that’ll just mean they’re probably not worth working with. Anyway, good luck =)
Post # 4
There is nothing wrong with going there and talking over your needs with the potential venues because you are sticking to the deal and not putting deposits down. You will be getting a good head start when you do get the green light in the next couple of months, so go for it!
Post # 5
I’d talk to your boyfriend about it. I don’t think there’s a problem checking out these sites, but he might think that doing something in person crosses that "light planning" threshold. (It also may depend on how far out your date is.) Good luck, and congrats!
Post # 6
You are not alone Peakay, I’m in that limbo and everything is ok to do that imho.
I’m with you in NOT putting any down payments until it’s 100% official though as I’m a believer that good intentions aren’t enough. I require the firmest of committments before any financial obligations are created.
Post # 7
Im with @Bellenga on this one. I wouldn’t put any money down before its "official". Besides, I did alot of planning (or researching) before the actual proposal and now its so much funner to share in our planning with our family and friends and not just keep it between the two of you.
Post # 8
I’m in your position as well! Two things:
(1) I think that you should definitely talk to your Boyfriend or Best Friend about casually going to visit some of the venues you’ve got your eye on. (I was pleasently surprised that my Boyfriend or Best Friend was happy to go with me to look at places.)
(2) How far away and the day of teh week you are planning for will make all teh difference. Venue selection may take longer, book up more quickly, and determine more aspects of your wedding than you expect.
For us (planning for a holiday weekend, downtown, about 200 people) — that the venue was the make-or-break decision in terms of our budget, so I’m glad we got a head start on it. Visiting (both by myself and with my BF) a few places really did help — yes, I did feel a little strange walking around with the planner with a "naked" ring finger, but truthfully, not a single one seemed to notice (and certainly no one said anything). When is the date you’ve selected? Depending on how far away, you may really need to get started checking places out, even if you aren’t ready to write a check yet. I was amazed at how far in advance some of the places I liked booked up (like 2 years!) Also, there were a couple places that I LOVED, but once we researched further, they were incompatible with out budget or one reason or another — didn’t provide chairs, tables, etc., rental of wihch added up to a significant amount; very high alcohol minimum purchase requirement; not large enough for our number of guests and a buffet, restrictive policies, etc., so it’s better to know sooner rather than later.
At a minimum, scouer the web for reviews, pictures, etc. — have fun!
Post # 9
Thanks, ladies! You really helped to put me at ease. :o)
Post # 10
When I knew that the proposal was coming down the pike, I went out and visited the site to start asking questions and doing my own research. My Fiance didn’t even know that I went out there. It gave me peace of mind because in my area, there are only so many venues, and I knew I wanted this one probably, and it doesn’t hurt to do your thorough homework. I say go for it!
Post # 11
I went thru this same thing. Secretly he gave me the green light to start planning for the wedding and we went as far as booking the ceremony with a deposit before he proposed. I actually purchased my dress before I got the ring also. The down side is I always felt like a fraud when I went into the bridal store or if I went to a bridal show b/c I didn’t have a ring on. I felt like people were looking at my hand and would notice I didn’t have a ring. The great thing is that I didn’t have to go long without it after I started planning b/c he proposed on Valentine’s day (a month or so after booking the ceremony).
Post # 12
Wow! Maybe I’m the odd ball out here, but doesn’t going so far as having parts of the wedding already planned and paid for before the proposal take some out of the fun out of it? I would think it would bring you one step closer to turning the proposal into more of a formality than anything else.
Then again, I agree with the other bees who are interested in knowing how far our your wedding date is. If it’s in under six or seven months, I would say you are going to need to suck it up and book that venue before all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.
Good luck with everything, and I hope your proposal is so romantic it’s worth all the waiting!
Post # 13
I would take him with you to see the places and talk together about the down payments and such. That way he sees how important it is to jump on the place that you really want, and not wait to have a ring. Which, by the way, is in no way a requirement to getting married. They do not ask to see your diamond when you go to pick up a marriage license. I think him going with you to make the decisions and payments- not saying he should pay, but know that you have to pay a (often non refundable) down payment, should be proof enough that he is serious about marrying you on that day.
Post # 14
Talk to your boyfriend. Back in fall of 2008, we decided we wanted to be married in August or September of 2009. We looked at rings. My birthday was in December and no ring for either my birthday or Christmas. But we decided that ring or no ring, after the holidays we would start planning. All the while, he was designing and purchasing my ring!
Anyway, long story short, I started researching venues in January and I ordered my dress about a week before he proposed. We got engaged February 4th. He planned on proposing right after Christmas (our anniversary) but had issues with the ring.
Communication is key. He probably just needs a little bit of time to get things sorted out.
Post # 15
I agree with tessabella76, I think you should talk to your boyfriend and do whatever you’re comfortable with. If you’re planning on a short engagement it may be best to book things early to save yourself some stress down the line. However, if your date is over a year out then it’s probably not as neccessary, depending on where you live, of course.
Post # 16
I wouldn’t worry about planning without being "officially engaged" – I think the whole concept of what does or does not constitute engagement is ridiculous anyway. If you and your man are talking marriage plans, HAVE A DATE PICKED OUT, etc. I say plan away! I still don’t have my ring (it’s being made with a family stone as we speak!!!!!) but I booked my venue and I’m talking to caterers, etc.
I completely understand how you feel when you say you feel like you’re planning for something that’s not "real" – but it IS real! And honestly, the way things are now at some locations, you really do need to book way ahead if you want to get what you want. I had a date picked out too – and I went to see places a year and 4 months before my ideal date. Some places were completely blacked out through OCTOBER 2010 when I went in the beginning of April ’09! I was lucky to get a date one week earlier than my original date at a place I’m absolutely in love with. But practically speaking, planning ahead makes more sense and will ultimately benefit you more than waiting for that ring – trust me.