Today marks one year since Ryan proposed! I can’t believe time has gone by so quickly and we are now married! Before I get into what you should do when you get engaged, I wanted to share our engagement story. Everyone’s engagement story is perfect for them and ours is no different. Ryan swept me away to the coastal town where we went to college and took me to all of our favorite spots around the city and campus. We ended our weekend trip with a walk on the beach. We turned the corner of the end of the island where there was NO ONE around at all. I was walking ahead of him when I heard, “Hannah…” I turned around to see him down on one knee and the rest was history. For us, it was the perfect moment and I will forever cherish that day weekend for the rest of my life.
The moment you get engaged your heart feels so full and happy you think you might explode. You never knew this kind of happiness existed that you get to spend the rest of your life with your best friend and love of your life sharing their name. You enjoy the day/weekend/week and then reality sets in. You’re a girl who’s been planning your wedding since you were little and Pinterest planning your wedding for months under a secret board or “One Day”. We’ve all done it, it’s okay. Now you can actually start to plan so what do you do? Where do you start first?
What do you do first when you get engaged?
- Enjoy being engaged! It sounds crazy, of course you are going to enjoy being engaged, but I mean don’t plan anything yet. It’ll be hard and you can pick little things, like the date, but don’t get overwhelmed with going full speed ahead just yet. Enjoy this time together and soak in the moment that you’re getting married to the love of your life. Trust me, everyone will tell you, the engagement goes by so quickly and it’s such an exciting time that you wish you could hold on to.
- Pick a Date: Narrow down when you would like to get married. Is there a particular season, month, or even specific day you want to be married?
- Pick a Location: Where would you like to get married? Your current town/city? Hometown? Destination wedding?
- Pick your Budget! This is SO important. Weddings are expensive, really, really expensive. DIY weddings aren’t always cheaper than buying or renting decorations. (There will be a post about DIY weddings later). So, talk about what is important to you both. Is the food important, photographer, venue? What would you like to make sure you spend the money on to get the service you desire for your special day? You can expect to spend anywhere between $20,000 – $40,000 + depending on how many guests you invite, where the wedding is, and how elaborate your florals, decorations, and other expenses.
- Inspiration Board: I would say start looking at different wedding designs and styles, colors, themes, that you would like to be the inspiration for your own wedding, but let’s be honest, you probably already have that!
- Planning: When you’re ready to start your planning process and have your date, location, budget, and inspiration picked out begin by finding a venue! Everything else will fall into place and I’ll have another post about a wedding planning checklist later. Ryan and I did our planning a little differently and for us, it worked out wonderfully! We found out we were going to be moving across the country to Arizona just weeks before we got engaged (and had to move 5 weeks later), but we knew we wanted to get married in North Carolina. So for two weekends, we booked our Saturday and Sundays and met with our officiant, venue, florist, baker, caterer, and DJ. It was a busy two weeks and we made sure we didn’t schedule anything during lunch (you don’t want to get hangry when you’re wedding planning), but once those two weekends were over, we were done with all of our major planning. This made moving across the country much less stressful and didn’t leave our family to have to meet with these people on our behalf. Although we did everything really quickly because we were moving, I would do it that way even if we weren’t. It make the rest of the planning months easy, enjoyable, and stress-free. I was able to focus on the little details and pretty things that us girls get all giddy about.
If you’ve gotten engaged, HUGE CONGRATS! Just remember before you dive right in planning process, soak it all in. This is a big moment, a big time in your life, enjoy it.