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Did you hear?
It’s wedding season and…
I’m a FEE-YONCÉ (*queue the fireworks, explosions, bells ringing, the works* haha).
It’s the moment probably every little girl has dreamt of and partially planned (without being too much of a psycho).
I can honestly say that I’m on cloud 9! We went to Barbados for the first time and girl…I’m half-Trinidadian but the beautiful, jaw dropping island of Barbados will always have a place in heart. Mike really is my best friend and already my partner in-crime… So, this romantic proposal on our FIRST trip out of the country just made us more official (as if buying a house didn’t make it official enough lol).
I’m BEYOND ready to start planning this extravaganza (and may have partially done so smh) but I realized that I need to make a hard stop. I need to take a pause and just smell the flowers before getting ahead of myself. Before picking out flowers and cake tastings, I want to embrace this short period of being engaged.
You should, too!
…Many of us have tunnel vision and are ready to go-go-go because we’re so excited and finally going to be someone’s WIFE (whew, 20-year old me would be so shook right now)!
But don’t lose yourself in all of that s**t, take your time because precious moments like being engaged is once in a lifetime…and it goes by quick (especially if you’re getting married in a year or less). Don’t zoom by it and head straight to the wedding; slow down and settle in to being the beautiful FIANCÉE that you are.
Just a friendly disclaimer that this engagement advice from your good sis (aka me) is just a suggestion, this is not me telling you what to do! Throw caution to the wind and do whatever the f**k you want as long as you continue to be happy throughout this experience.
It’s advice and you can honestly do what you want with anyone’s advice, right? Right.
It’s what I think should be thought about during the first few months of being engaged while everything else gets put on the back-burner (just for a little while) so you can enjoy your engagement before all of the planning!
- Take Lots of Pictures (Including a Ring Selfie)
Oh, come on!
You can’t tell me that watching all of those other engaged couples posting their ring selfies didn’t make you want to do that just once. Just for the satisfaction of being upgraded from a girlfriend to a FIANCÉE (saying that never gets old by the way lol).
Even though it may be a tad overdone and a bit basic, it’s a rite of passage and absolutely must be done! Plus, you can show it off to everyone you may not see in person for a while.
You know you secretly want to so do it, no one’s judging (and who cares, you’re a FIANCÉE haha).
- Share the News With Friends & Family
Do what works best for you; text or call the family members you want and leave the rest for social media to work out.
You can be as vocal as you want or keep this gem to yourself until you want to spill the beans. Whatever you’re comfortable with…just make sure you’re okay with a couple of people being upset about not knowing the news sooner!
- Make Sure the Future Hubs Insured the Ring
Your engagement ring is one of the most valuable things that you’ll ever own and wear in your life. I’m not just talking monetarily here, either. It’s worth a lot to you and symbolizes a lot for your relationship and how far you’ve come.
You may debate as to whether insurance is worth it or not, but hell f***ing YES IT IS! We all hope it never happens, but accidents and unfortunate situations happen every day where your ring could end up lost or stolen (*knocks on wood*). It’s better to be safe than sorry and just have your precious ring insured if you ever lose it.
If your partner is as smart (or as cautious) as mine, then they already purchased the insurance to safeguard the ring they worked so hard to present to you. If not, get it done as soon as you can (promptly after the proposal is best lol).
Side note: If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, you can get your engagement ring covered through your plan!
- Decide How Long You Want Your Engagement to Be
Are you ready to jump the broom as soon as possible or are you leaning more towards a longer engagement?
To be honest, it all depends on your finances, whether your desired dates are available, and whether you’re going to have a destination wedding. As with destination weddings, you should send invites at least 8 months prior so guests have time to make arrangements.
For all we know, you may want to do a Vegas elopement and not have to worry about planning, costs, or anything at all. It’ll be like a normal vacation with a wedding mixed in there!
Whatever the case may be, you need to make a decision so you can plan your life accordingly.
And pick a date/season you would ideally like to be wed. That matters. And it matters how far in advance you contact vendors and venues. In other words, don’t wait until a few months prior to the Big Day to start making these calls!
- Bridal Party or No?
I straddled the fence for only about 5 or so minutes with this debate… Should I have a bridal party?
We ‘re nothing close to traditional; we always knew we wanted our wedding to be not too much of a hassle. A fun event for everyone to enjoy, not just us. So, I figured that not having a wedding party altogether would be our best bet.
Some people tend to forget that the wedding party has to pay for their own wedding attire, the bachelorette/bachelor party, and hair and makeup on the day of the wedding. Not including their travel flights and accommodations if your wedding won’t be local! That’s a lot of moolah that some won’t be able to or willing to dish out for your special day (no matter how much they love you).
I wanted to lessen the load for our friends and family so this decision just made sense for us. I may still do a bachelorette but everything’s just more “chill” this way and the pressure is off of everyone.
It all depends on what feels good to you; forget about old traditions and expectations. If you want just one bridesmaid, ten bridesmaids, or none at all then do it! It’s your big day and you can have whatever you want (who the hell is gonna stop you?).
- Hold Off on Planning (For Just a Moment lol)
Now that you’ve shared the long awaited news and decided on a date, you should rest a bit.
Girl, you’ve got a long way to go and as they say, “It’s a marathon, not a race.”
You don’t want to get burnt out and lose all of your steam wayyy before the real fun even begins! You want a nice buildup for a smooth experience that is once-in-a-lifetime (most likely).
The basics are handled so take a month (or a few) to bask in your engagement. After your waiting period has passed and you can’t contain it any longer, research a free wedding planning program to organize your ideas, create cohesive wedding invites and save-the-dates that fit your theme, set up a wedding registry, and even design you’re your wedding website for FREE!
Look into Zola or The Knot for a wedding registry that includes every planning tool you need for a seamless wedding. As mentioned earlier, you can create your own wedding website for free but you can also manage and organize your guest list, RSVPs, and receive expert advice from actual wedding planners and past brides! They have an easy-to-follow template so you don’t have to break a sweat (or the bank to hire a wedding planner 😉 ).
Sidenote: Amazon has some great wedding planner books to keep all of your ideas, budgets, etc. organized. Especially for my brides who won’t be having a professional wedding planner to keep you from crumbling.
Invite all of your friends and family over and throw a party to show off your new ring. This is your moment to officially announce being off-the-market. You’re a fiancée now and everybody better act like it!
Or if you’re not the party host-type then go out for an intimate night of good eats and drinks with friends and family. They just want to be excited and celebrate with you…so let them :).
- View a Trunk Show
A trunk show is hosted by bridal shops and bridal designers where you can try on sample dresses and buy them at a discounted price! Didn’t know? ME NEITHER!
They may not be marked as discounted but most bridal salons offer discounts at trunk shows, just ask!
Didn’t this just make dress shopping 10x more affordable and f***ing fun?
Trunk shows happen often but if you have a designer in mind, be sure you’re available for their specific dates. Start going to trunk shows to see what you like and the price range of those dresses.
Maybe you’ll luck out and find your dress early but if not, begin looking seriously for a dress at least a year from your prospective wedding date (you don’t want to risk not finding your dream wedding dress in time).
- What are Some Things You and the Mr. Want to Accomplish Before Tying the Knot?
Okay, this is more serious but Mike and I have discussed this, and I believe that every couple should, too!
What are some things you think you should work on in your relationship for you both to be sustainably happy? What about in yourself?
Make the commitment now to continue to work on being your best selves not just for your future family but for you. Do a self-audit of sorts and determine what you love about yourself, what could be improved upon, what you expect out of your life partner… and how you plan to work towards that.
You’re still dating each other, and the love hasn’t changed but it is evolving. You will have to put in consistent effort to break down childhood traumas and toxic habits to be happy and long-lasting. Two broken people are not going to be much help to each other or grow much together, if at all.
Pre-marital counseling is always a great start and it doesn’t mean you have problems but simply means you recognize you’re two different people coming together as one unit. How can it be the best unit? What can you do now to make your relationship and friendship even better than you ever thought possible?
It’s time to get into the knitty-gritty and get real honest with each other (this is your future SPOUSE, girl). Ask yourselves, “Do I want better than what I’ve seen or been taught, or do I want to settle?”
Many millennials, including myself, don’t have great relationships to look up to. You have to make that decision for yourself to create a foundation for your marriage that is so solid, nothing could ever break it. Vows are great but putting those words into action and actively working to make them mean something is priceless.
- Enjoy Your Engagement!
This goes without saying but I had to say it just in case you forget…
Please, pleaseeee enjoy your engagement!
Yes, you’re getting married and you’re eagerly waiting to plan and Pinterest all of your ideas to your wedding board (which by all means have a ball lol), but hold off for a month or two and soak up these moments of just being.
Just be happy and in looove. Have fun together, celebrate with your girls, celebrate with your family, celebrate with your partner, and then celebrate some more!
Don’t fly by this part of your journey to becoming one, it only gets better from here. 🙂
If you’re engaged, what do you look forward to the most about wedding planning?
And a question to all of my newlyweds (as well as seasoned spouses), what’s one thing you wish you took more time to focus on before getting married (whether self-improvement or relationship-wise)? Let me know in the comments below!
Another great read Deni!! Thanks for all the great info You are amazing and that man of yours did the damn thing! Congrats to you both 🙂
Deni Hercules says
Haha he sure did, huh?
Thank you so much 🙂 🙂