Engagement 101: Your First Wedding Planning Checklist

Now available on YouTube: Your First Engagement Must-do’s – Before you Start Wedding Planning,  don’t forget to Subscribe for more Wedding Planning Videos

Congratulations on your engagement, how awesome, exciting and possibly slightly nerve-wracking is it that now you get to plan your wedding!?

Don’t be indimidated, wedding planning is nowhere near as stressful as you may have been led to believe, especially if you let She Said Yes be part of your journey. I’ll be with you every step of the way, starting with your first wedding planning checklist.

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Engagement 101: Before you Start Wedding Planning

1. Take a Moment for Yourself

The next few months are going to be incredibly fun, as you start to think about and organise the big day of your dreams. Before you start working methodically through wedding planning checklists, though, have a few weeks of calm. The magic of your partner proposing, and you agreeing to marry him or her, is a momentous occasion – worth celebrating and savouring. Your engagement is a symbolic moment, as your relationship changes for eternity – to marry and commit to a lifetime someone is SO very special.

What does that mean to you? What significance does marriage have to you, in terms of family values, or or committing yourselves to each other, and the world, as one?

These are just a couple of questions I suggest you give a little thought to – set your wedding planning intentions, so that you can plan mindfully (such a buzzword, I know, sorry!). Write your thoughts and purpose down in your little white book, and if/when you start to feel a little of the pressure of wedding planning, remind yourself of those. In years to come you can look back on them.

So, my suggestion is that the first thing you do as a newly engaged bride-to-be (or groom-to-be) is take note of your feelings – start a wedding diary, or make notes in your journal if you haven’t bought a wedding planner/organiser yet. Write about your proposal – the moment you agreed to marry him or her, the planning that went into the occasion, whether you had any idea, how you felt, and how you celebrated.

2. Announce your Engagement

You don’t have to announce your engagement right away – don’t be in a rush. It might be nice to enjoy the news between the two of you and your immediate families first, because as soon as you do, these annoying engagement questions begin (you’ve been warned). Even if you can’t wait to share your happy news with everyone, ensure to tell your VIPs first, and decide as a couple how you want to share with everyone else. Personally, I told Blair I didn’t want to share our engagement for a few days, but moments later I was too excited and had to call all my closest friends. We announced our engagement online a few days later. Scroll down to find some engaged memes, engagement quotes and ideas for your engagement announcement.

3. Discuss with your fiancé first

Before discussing your wedding plans and priorities with your families and friends, discuss with just your fiance any particular visions you want. Consider whether you both want your parents’ input, in terms of financial contributions, whether you’re also going to let them invite their closest friends too, and how much ‘help’ you want towards decision-making and planning. One of the hardest thing about wedding planning is often negotiating and managing family relationships and expectations, so discuss and agree with your partner before you cross that bridge. Read also Dealing with Momzilla and Prioritising your Budget.

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4. Work out what’s important to you

Remind yourselves what your engagement (and wedding) is really about.

Notions of “getting married” or planning a “wedding” often conjure pictures of Hollywood style/Royal Wedding celebrations (as well as everything you’ve ever seen on Pinterest). Well, that is not necessarily what weddings are about.

Styled shoots, wedding magazines and other visual inspiration can be a great source of inspiration, but can also cause pressure and unrealistic expectations. Your wedding is not a photoshoot, it’s a celebration of your love and commitment. Don’t feel the pressure to mindlessly ‘tick’ all the boxes and plan a wedding according to what you think it’s supposed to look like, or what the ‘average’ wedding budget is.

Plan a wedding that’s just right for you, however small and simple. I suggest reading The life changing magic of Wedding Planning!

5. Let me (and others) help you

If you haven’t already responded to the pop-up, head here to subscribe and join the ‘Bride Tribe’! She Said Yes will be your new wedding BFF, helping you get organised and inspired for the big day. I’ll be something of a virtual bridesmaid, you can follow along (Facebook & Instagram) and email me on hello @ shesaidyes.co.nz if you have any questions.

A couple of years ago I created the little white book, it’s since been voted the best wedding planner book, so have a look and read the reviews. As well as getting helpful wedding planning checklists and emails, you can also go straight to the index for whatever you need.

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