Post # 1
My partner and I have talked about marriage at length – we’ve looked at rings, had multiple “when we get married/when we’re married” conversations, etc. The actual proposal is on hold, as my partner searches for a new job, which is absolutely our number one priority. But, I was wondering how many people do wedding planning BEFORE a formal engagement?
We went to see a wedding band earlier this week (his suggestion!), who we loved! We talked a bit about how we’d like to prioritize having a live band over a DJ, if that meant having a limited open bar instead of an open bar for the whole reception. We also talked about late-August to mid-October 2021 as our ideal timeframe for a wedding, with Sept 25, 2021 being a potential option.
For those who planned before, how far did you go? Simply finding preferred vendors? Did yall decide definitively on a date and/or book any vendors in advance?
Post # 2
- Wedding: February 2019 - City, State
So my husband and I knew each other for 12 years before deciding to get together. We were together for three weeks before deciding to get married. Two months later we looked at a venue and booked it. Maybe one month after that he officially proposed with a ring. The reason he didn’t officially propose before that is because he knew I was wanting a Christmas proposal.
Post # 3
- Wedding: July 2020 - City, State
The more planning you do in advance, the more prepared you will be. It would be fun to keep an idea notebook so that once you are engaged, you’ll be well on the way to setting dates for things.
Post # 4
Eh. I don’t enjoy wedding planning and would have RATHER had an elopment or courthouse wedding. So we didn’t really plan. Although I knew he wanted it to be at a family members farm as soon as we started dating.
He was asking about rings though only a few months into dating because he was the weird guy that wanted to do a promise ring but NOT YET ask… lol. So that and the farm (venue) was about as much planning we did prior to engagement.
Post # 5
We talked a lot about it, but didn’t book or solidify anything. We both knew we were headed in that direction and talked about time lines from early on in our relationship. He had moved in at 4 years, we got a dog together, etc. so engagement was naturally the next step. But, I had a date in mind long before we were engaged. We were on our 4th year together and I started to hint and joke (but not really joke) that our 5 year anniversary was on a Saturday… hint hint if you wanna propose in enough time for us to plan a wedding for that date. And he did, he proposed about 11 months before that date so we were able to secure it. Now our wedding anniversary is on our 5 year dating anniversary which is super fun when we celebrate.
Post # 6
achicago : I definitely have a Pinterest board and Google doc full of a bunch of ideas. We are both 31 and I’ve been to a TON of weddings & helped all my friends plan. So I have a good idea of what I’m leaning towards – hopefully he’s on board.
temeculabride : That’s SO sweet! I wish we could get married on our anniversary, but it will be midweek. 🙁
Post # 7
We booked our venue (solidifying our date) about a month before we were officially engaged. They only had a few dates left open for the year and our first pick of season was already full, so we didn’t want to risk missing out. We talked a lot about budget, expectations, themes/decor in the months prior to getting engaged, just to make sure we were on the same page.
Post # 8
gatsbygirl : Yeah, the second I realized it was a Saturday I was all for it. We knew we wanted a fall wedding and our anniversary is in October. So I was a pain to him for months, like hint hint hint our 5 year anniversary is on a Saturday in October.. lets get this moving! I am sure he would have proposed soon enough without the push, but we probably would have missed that wedding date.
Post # 9
I did a ton of research 1 year before, checked out and selected a venue, decided against flowers and was down to 2 dj’s before the actual proposal. I had all my vendors booked 3 months in. Obviously we knew it was happening.
OP its better to to start early….wedding planning is stressful enough when you’re working from scratch. If you’re budget conscious you have an obligation to start early!
Post # 10
Maybe I’m cynical but I wouldn’t plan anything until it’s official. If you go looking at venues and vendors you’re just going to feel anxious to book right then and there to get the best deal- it’s a slippery slope. It can ramp up feelings of frustration with your SO if you’re waiting on him to propose and it can put unnecessary pressure on the situation.
i kind of feel like it’s similar to visiting an animal shelter before you’re ready to adopt a pet. You say youre just going to look and before you know it you have a new puppy! Lol
it sucks because youre waiting for him to land on his feet again and that leaves things up in the air indefinitely. I was in your shoes a year ago so I know how it feels.
I would recommend visiting vendors when you are ready to book. Otherwise you’re just setting yourself up to feel upset and stressed when you have all these things you want to book but can’t because you’re not engaged yet.
Someone I know made the mistake of putting down a deposit and was trying on dresses because she just knew the engagement was coming. Turns out he never proposed and he left her. And she lost money on the deposit and was humiliated in the process.
im not saying this will happen to you or that broken engagements don’t happen but you just never know what could happen from one day to the next. Even another day isn’t guaranteed
There’s nothing wrong with getting ideas and going on Pinterest and things like that and it’s great if you know some preferred vendors but I’d be cautious about booking anything prematurely.
Post # 11
My husband and I chose and booked our date and venue before our official engagement! We knew what date we wanted, and that it was a busier month for weddings, so when it got to about a year out we started making moves. We planned from out of state at first, and I was surprised that my parents were willing to help out by checking out the venues for us and such before the engagement was official (he had asked my parents for their blessing when we were in town visiting them a couple of months earlier, I later learned). But we got the basics booked and caterer chosen, and honestly I was a little like “are you sure though? Why haven’t you proposed but you’re ready to put down thousands on a venue deposit?” just wondering what the hold up was on making it ring-on-finger official if he was sure enough that he was ready to start booking. I kept suggesting we just get engaged, it didn’t have to be a big thing and we could even get the ring later, then learned he had the ring and STILL hadn’t proposed, and was like ? ? ? Eventually about a month and a half later he proposed with a really elaborate proposal he’d been working on for a year, which is what took so long. I really didn’t need any of that, but it was so so special and so I’m glad he didn’t let me rush him and that we still were able to book our venue in time, even though it was kind of weird wedding planning without feeling like I could tell everyone about it until we were engagaed haha.
Post # 12
Does “a new job” mean they are currently employed? Underemployed? Unemployed? If a proposal is on hold because of the priority need to search for a new job, I certainly wouldn’t be making any definitive plans or putting money down, especially if he is unemployed (ETA and your post history indicates his job was cut three months ago so he’s still unemployed? Is he living off severance and/or savings right now? Cause that would definitely mean you should slow your roll. What happens if it takes him 6 more months to find a job? Or his new job pays significantly less or he can only find a temp contract?). I mean a proposal takes 30 seconds and doesn’t require any money, so if you’re feeling that you need to pump the brakes on a proposal due to this job search, I’d be pumping the brakes on everything else except maybe hypothetical discussions about preferences and priorities.
And no decision making or deposits should be made until you’ve set a firm budget for your wedding. Presumably having a new job and knowing how much that new job pays will factor heavily into the budget setting process unless you’re independently wealthy and the job is just for funsies.
Post # 13
We’re planning together at the moment and won’t be officially engaged for another two months.
I just see it as having more time to do something, which is always welcome. The only problem (for us at least), is we’re not 100% sure on budget as we know parents would like to contribute and it’s awkward having that conversation without an offical engagement despite them knowing our plans.
Post # 14
We started planning before the formal engagement. We actually set our wedding date and booked our venue a week or so before he proposed. We were only officially engaged for 9 months so I think it was useful for us to start planning in advance. And it was nice being able to say “yeah, this is the exact date we’re getting married” when people inevitably asked right after we announced our engagement lol.
Post # 15
We didn’t plan out vendors, venues, date, etc but we planned other logistics that I’m SO glad we had already agreed upon in advance. The biggest one being we had already created a 98% final guest list before we got engaged, which has been a huge stress reliever for us because when people tried to pressure us into inviting more people we just said “sorry, we already have our final guest list” even though we had been engaged 1-2 weeks. And because it was done before the proposal neither of us succumbed to the pressure because we were both 100% on board with it.