It would be an understatement to say that I love events. More appropriately, I LIVE for them! It’s not just the glitz and sparkle or the delicious food and beverages (of course those things don’t hurt), but there is a magical moment during each event when all of the brainstorming, planning and hard work comes together and you see your dream come to life before your eyes. You can see six to 12 or more months all summed up in those incredible moments, and it’s beautiful.
When Tim proposed, I, of course, was thrilled. The idea of spending my life with such a wonderful man was amazing. And then it dawned on me …”Oh my gosh, I get to have the magic moment at the most important event of my life thus far! Our wedding!” I was over the moon!
Believe it or not, I did not already have my wedding planned out when I got engaged. I knew what I liked and didn’t like, but the main concepts still needed to be flushed out. My focus is on corporate events, which are MUCH different than weddings, so this was going to be a learning experience for me, too.
I began tackling it the way I tackle every event: by creating a timeline (because needing a timeline is one thing that does not change). Here is a look at my timeline with some tips and pointers along the way!
December 24 — We are engaged! Yay! Soak in the joy and bliss for a moment, and try to sleep for five minutes before you start calling everyone!
December 25 — Call EVERYONE! Yes, it’s Christmas and people are celebrating with their families, but who doesn’t love to learn about an engagement!
TIP: First Five Things To Do When You Get Engaged
Everyone is going to want to know every single detail, and you are expected to have it all planned out the moment you announce your engagement. Of course, you don’t, and it’s ridiculous to expect that you do. Here are a few things you should do or consider right off the bat, and the rest will fall into place as you venture into the planning process.
1. Budget! Be honest, and be reasonable. Also, keep in mind that whoever is bankrolling this fabulous shindig will rightfully want to have a say in what it looks like. If the only opinion you want to hear is, “That looks great, baby,” you may want to consider keeping the expenses at a level that you and your fiancé can handle yourselves.
2. Pick a time of year (and ideally a month). You will work backwards from this to create your timeline. Is spring your thing? Waiting for fall to give your all? Land on that first. It will help when working with a venue if you can give them an option of a couple ideal dates (and there will be less heartache for you if you are open to more than just one day when looking at venues). This way, when people ask, “So! When’s the big day?” you can say, “Some time in the fall (summer, winter, spring) — it’s my favorite time of year!” and leave it at that.
3. Find a planner. Or at the very least, a day-of coordinator. Think you can do this all by yourself? Maybe, until you get to the big day and all you want to focus on is getting pretty, but, instead, you are being hit at every angle by 100 different questions. Trust me on this.
Let someone else take on the stress, and make sure you can actually enjoy your day!
4. Prioritize. Think about what will be most important to you, and write it down. Pick three descriptive words or feelings (romantic, modern, vintage, soft, vibrant, etc.) and three non-negotiables (white roses, lemon cake, a photo booth, red shoes, etc.). These will come in handy later when you have opinions and ideas flying at you from every direction and you start suffering from Pinterest overload. You will have something to come back to that will help bring focus. It also keeps you open to being flexible on other things (a necessity in any planning process).
5. Venue! You can’t officially land on a date until you know where it will be and if you can reserve during your ideal season or month. This is where a planner comes in handy! They can provide recommendations based on your needs, budget, etc. Plus, venues book way in advance, so make sure you take care of this step right away!