It was a whirlwind holiday season – and now you’re engaged! There’s no better present than saying yes to a lifetime of love—and perhaps a beautiful engagement ring. By now you’ve had time to pop the champagne, share your photo on social and start thinking about the next step: Wedding planning!
The early engagement days are so special. You’re in love and you and your fiancé should enjoy every moment of bliss. Don’t feel pressured to rush into wedding planning, but when you’re ready, our experienced event specialists at Meadow Brook Hall have pulled together their top tips for newly engaged couples!
1 – Dream Before You Plan
Try not to rush into wedding planning, but make time for wedding dreaming. Before you have to make decisions about seating charts and flower budgets, make time to experience your happy news, and dream about your wedding.
The first few weeks and even months that you are engaged are some of the most fun, exciting and romantic of your life. Let yourself get swept up in the moment—enjoy all of the congratulations, call your special people, and feel all of your feelings. There is no other time like this one!
2 – Choose Your Vibe
These days, it is all about the vibe. Are you focused on romantic vows? A lively dance floor? Exquisite food? Imagine—and discuss—how you want your wedding day to look and feel will help to make big decisions about budget and priorities.
Your style is part of your vibe, but it is so much more. What kind of atmosphere do you want for your wedding? How do you want your guests to feel? Do you and your soon-to-be-spouse have the same style or will you need to pick and choose? Understanding how you want your wedding experience to feel can help with everything, from venue, to the size of the guest list, band vs. DJ, and your aesthetic choices, from classic or boho to trendy, glam, romantic or beyond.
No matter if you are looking for an intimate vibe—or to throw the party of the century—once you are on the same page about your wedding’s vibe, it will influence all of your conversations to come.
3-Learn the Art of Compromise
It has been said that wedding planning is an exercise in the art of the compromise. Wedding planning requires couples to make a lot of decisions—both together and with their new parents-in-law, who often have a lot of opinions and influence, and who may be helping to pay for the wedding. How you navigate these early days as a couple will help to set the tone for your future life together.
For most couples, the biggest decisions will come down to budget, size and timing.
While you don’t need to get down to every detail right away, the early days of an engagement are a good time to take each other’s temperature on important issues, such as who you’d like in the wedding party, religious considerations for the ceremony, size of the guest list, general budget and when and where to get married. You may be surprised by which of these are important to you and to your fiancé, and it is a great opportunity for you to compromise and work together to plan something special.
4-Determine Your Wedding Timeline
A 2021 article by Brides.com shows that the average length of an engagement in the U.S. is between one year and 18 months—which accounts for why winter (especially the holidays!) is a popular time to get engaged and summer is a popular time to get married. When to get married is one of the most helpful decisions an engaged couple can make right away, as it allows them to set a timeline for the rest of their wedding planning.
There are many celebrations and milestones on the way to the chapel, and you want to provide enough time to enjoy them—and give your friends and family time to plan special events and celebrations such as engagement pictures, wedding showers, and more.
5-Start Wedding Planning!
Finally, it is time to start actual wedding planning! With so many key elements underway, you are now ready to attend wedding open houses, visit venues and research great vendors such as photographers and florists. Ask for recommendations from friends and family who have recently been married and consider working with a wedding planner or event specialist who can help.
Wedding planning comes with a lot of details, so it’s important to be organized from the start. Create a shared digital folder where you can save quotes, budgets, contacts and more. Keeping everything in one place helps to keep the planning smooth and to share important information with your soon-to-be spouse and any key family or friends who are helping with the process.
While planning a wedding can certainly be an exciting (and sometimes overwhelming experience), it is filled with important skills—such as the art of the compromise—that will not only ensure you have an amazing wedding, but an amazing life as a married couple. Happy wedding planning!
Meadow Brook Hall hosts free wedding open houses and site visits that give couples a chance to explore the estate and meet with our event specialists who can help you navigate the path to your dream wedding.