Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Maybe you never saw it coming or maybe you did but your Valentine’s Day was one for the record books. Why? You got engaged last night. You got up this morning and checked your left hand and yes, the ring you thought you dreamed up is still there. Not knowing what to do or who to tell next, you call your mother. The conversation goes like this:
Daughter: Good morning Mom! I want to talk to you about the wedding.
Mom: You just got engaged last night. You should celebrate a little today and give it some thought and then we can figure it all out.
Daughter: Sounds good but where do I begin?
Mom: Maybe you should consider beginning with telling your family and friends about the engagement. You could also think about what kind of wedding you want and who you want to be a part of it.
Daughter: Sounds good. Call you later Mom. I love you!
Mom: Love you too Sweetheart.
After that exchange, it becomes apparent that lists will be your new best friends. In fact, my engagement gift to you is a checklist of the first five things to think about immediately after getting engaged. First, think about who you want tell. Make a list of people and their information that you are going to call. In fact, this is a great time to start a spreadsheet and include names, addresses, and phone numbers. Trust me, this will save you time later. As you call your relatives and friends, don’t forget to tell them that you are just getting started on the wedding planning process but that you will get back to them with a “Save The Date” when you know the details.
Once you have made the list and called your friends and family, it is time to start thinking about the type of wedding you want. Magazines can help with this a lot. Many brides go to Barnes and Noble and look at lots of magazines – from ones that talk about wedding planning to ones that have mostly advertisements for a buffet of beautiful wedding gowns. Now is a good time to start list number two. Here, take a notebook or open a Word document on your computer. Keep track of the things you really think you like (remember, this may change as you get deeper into the process) and those you truly cannot live without. This list will grow over time and don’t forget to cut out the pictures that really move you. Keep them in a folder or notebook so they are handy over time.
Third, think about the time of year you want to celebrate your wedding. More importantly, think about the time of year you want to celebrate all of the anniversaries to come. The wedding is just one day but the anniversaries live on forever. Maybe you have always wanted a spring wedding or a summer one. Maybe you have always wanted to get married in a winter wonderland. Regardless of your choice, now is the time to begin thinking about it. Make sure when you decide on a time of year that you and your soon-to-be-spouse agree together.
Fourth, hire a wedding planner. A wedding planner is your Fairy Godmother in the wedding process. She will guide you through all the decision-making and make your transition from single life to married life much easier. Your wedding planner will work with you to make sure all of your dreams and expectations are realized within the budget you can afford. You wedding planner will help negotiate contracts for you, find your vendors, and ensure your wedding day will go off without a hitch.
Finally, get together and celebrate your engagement with family and friends. Even though this is an extremely exciting time filled with lots of “to dos”, it is important to remember that the engagement period is also special and one you won’t repeat. It is a time to feel like a bride, celebrate becoming a bride and a groom, and enjoy the magic of this very special time in your life. As a parting engagement gift to you, I wish you congratulations, happiness, and blessings as you begin your new journey after getting engaged on Valentine’s Day!