10 Steps for the newly engaged!
|3rd June 2021
photographer - Eight bells
Congratulations! But what now I hear you say?
Let the Wilder Weddings team help you get going. We’re wedding planners by day but we were also newly engaged once too, so listen to some of our most valuable advice for those at the start of their wedding planning journey in our top 10 steps to take after getting engaged!
1. First things first – do nothing!
That’s right, don’t get bogged down in what the next steps are, just savour the moment, ENJOY IT!
It’s time to celebrate, celebrate the times you’ve had with your other half, celebrate the idea of your future together, drink champagne, get silly, reminisce, catch up with family together (perhaps on zoom right now but you get the idea). Wedding planning can all too quickly overshadow the happiness of your engagement, but this is the time to bask in the glory and enjoy calling your other half ‘fiancée’ for a while, it feels fancy, try it.
If you’re looking to get married in the next 2 years, start throwing around ideas, start talking about the time of year and the potential location but don’t get stuck into venues yet, just start to see if you’re on the same page. Make sure you mark the occasion with some sort of party, even if it’s just you two opening a nice bottle of wine or managing to meet with your nearest and dearest to raise a toast.
We also love the idea of an engagement shoot, the perfect way to practice getting comfortable in-front of a camera. Our lovely friends over at Eight Bells can organise a shoot giving you more memories to look back on and you can even tie it in with coming over to the Alps to have a look at venues, meet with caters and even us.
2. Get practical
Ok so a few less sexy, but equally important practical tips for you before we start on the heavier stuff planning stuff.
Go and get yourself a manicure, it is the perfect time to tidy up those nails and get them looking on point because the number of people asking to see your hand over the next few weeks will blow your mind, let alone the fact that you won’t be able to stop staring at your ring, (plus think of all those ring selfies!). Better still you can use it as an excuse to go with a few girl-friends, pop the bubbles and celebrate.
Secondly, get the ring insured, you’ll often need proof of value to get this covered under your home insurance and it is a must so get the paperwork out of the way. Thirdly get it resized! If your other half was sneaky enough to get the ring size correct, or even if you picked it out together (which is also totally ok too) then you might not need this step, but let’s be sure that ring isn’t too big so there’s no chance of you losing it in the first few weeks of wearing it! Final practical tip: all the excitement of the newly engaged can be draining and exhausting, we always recommend couples treat themselves to a spa day or a massage together to regroup and spend some quality time, just you two.
3. Think about a planner.
It’s a good place to start, and maybe it’s not for you, but wedding planners can help you organise your thoughts more coherently from the start and take the struggle out of planning. There’s a lot of uncertainly when planning a wedding and even more so when the wedding is abroad or in a destination you aren’t too familiar with.
We help our couples with tasks big or small depending on their needs, whether you want help pulling together the whole picture, or just the finer details on the day.
From collaboratively setting and guiding you on a budget that fits your pocket, to finding the perfect venue or arranging the ceremony of dreams. When planning a destination wedding we always recommend our couples think about organising events the night the before or planning activities the days following your wedding, to really make the most of their guests time as they are often coming for a long weekend. Wedding planners are also great at helping you create a styling plan for the look and feel your wedding and undertake the hard work on the day like laying your tables and organising all your wedding vendors. Basically think about how hands-on you’d like to be and whether you want professional help, wedding planners should work collaboratively with couples, rather than leaving you out of the process entirely, they should take care of all the monotonous boring admin, they should give you access to their vetted suppliers and really make the whole process joyful not stressful.
4. Look around for inspiration – but be careful!
It’s time to get inspired! But what you might see in the mainstream media, is not necessarily a true representation of what is available to you, within your budget or even what you want. Don’t get bogged down in traditional imagery, try websites like rock’n’roll bride or anti-bride for weddings that cut through tradition and re-invent what a wedding looks like. Anything can serve as inspiration, we’re so lucky here in the French Alps that often the scenery and nature are main focal points for our couples, but think that traditional French styling (think rustic skis and flowery aisles) are the only options available, but in fact you can be totally creative over here, many of our couples like to take a pinch of the local culture but also revert traditions and add a flare of their own (something we planners can also assist with). Remember that you don’t need to follow the crowd, reinvent the norm, and although it sounds cheesy all you need to do is follow you heart.
5. Write a rough guest list
Oh the guest list, something that has caused contention over the years but is a really good place to get started. Why? Because it will dictate what venue is going to most suitable for you and it will also help you allocate your budget better. So get together on the sofa, and start writing a rough guest list to see what size wedding you are looking at! The only time where there is an exception to the rule on this one is if you’ve already got your dream venue in mind, in this case check what their capacity and work backwards from there.
6. Agree a timeline
Oh get ready and brace yourself for the ‘have you picked a date yet?’ questions, they’re going to start coming thick and fast!
First – pick a year! How quickly do you want to move things along? Remember you’ll ideally need a year as a minimum to plan a large wedding, especially a destination wedding as you’ll want to give as much notice to your guests as you can so they can book flights and accommodation.
Whilst it is possible to organise a wedding in a shorter amount of time, you’ll end up needing to make compromises, and weddings are not about compromises! But again, this is about you, whether you want to go in right away and get yourself married, or you want to wait a few years – or 10 -it’s your day your way. Thinking about a seasons is a good place to start, check your diary for other commitments and go from there!
7. Pick a wedding party
Who do you want on your wedding journey with you and by your side on your big day? It’s time to think about who your fav people are and we’re thinking if you’ve been with your partner for sometime you’ll have already thought about this one. Not only is it a fun place to start but will give them (and you) great joy as it’s like giving someone a gift and gives you another excuse to get together! So think about who you want in your bridal party and remember, there are no rules here either, you don’t have to have just one maid of honour, or best man, and they don’t all have to be guys and gals, mix it up and write your own rule book.
8. Get pinning!
Not only is pinterest a great place for inspiration, it gives you the ability to start thinking about wedding trends you love and what you don’t. Start off with one wedding board, and we aren’t talking about narrowing things down at this point, we thinking exploration and inspiration! Once you’ve gone mad on your first board, we recommend breaking it down a bit into more specific ideas – one for your ‘theme’ so what colour pallet ideas you are drawn to, one for florals you love (perfect to give to your florist further down the line) one for dresses and grooms wear and another one for décor and fun stuff! The aim is to get more clarity on the vision for your wedding! Want some inspo? Head over to our board!
Start working out how much you’d like to spend and what is important to you, it is very easy to get swept away with planning so we recommend setting a budget sooner rather than later.
Perhaps your most important element of the day is a huge live band, that might take up a larger proportion of your budget than say the flowers but all in all, be realistic about what you can and can’t afford and what you are hoping to achieve. Another thing to consider is if you are fortunate enough to be expecting any donations or help towards the big day from family members, now is the time to discuss it with them and be sure that there is transparency on what expectations come from those contributions, it’s not easy but it needs to be done.
Many people believe that destination weddings cost more than those in the UK, but in reality, they work out around the same, overall costs will generally depend on where you choose and what costs you want to cover. Our selection of venues in Morzine vary cost wise but accommodate most budgets, and we have also compared catering, floristry, beverages and décor costs to the UK and found them either on a par or in some cases lower than their UK counterparts.
10. Think about your honeymoon
The wedding day takes all the glory in the start – but thinking about the honeymoon early is a great approach. Take your mind away from the first steps of the planning process for a moment and start dreaming of far-away places you’d like to see or explore together.
The honeymoon is the first chance you and your new husband or wife will be celebrating as a married couple! But where to start? Think about what you will want after the wedding, laying on the beach with tasty cocktails? A city break full of sky scrapers, sightseeing and shopping? Or maybe a backpacking adventure! It’s fun to start thinking about the honeymoon and means that after the wedding you won’t have the blues (trust me it’s a thing) – you’ll be on vacay!
If you’d like more tips on wedding planning and where to start, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Wilder Weddings team.