Many couples get engaged between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, which is also known as “engagement season.” Maybe the holidays make you extra thankful for your partner, or maybe you want to make the announcement while the whole family is together. Whatever the motivation... you’re engaged now! Congratulations!
If you’ve found this article, then you’re probably looking for a way to survive the rest of the holiday season (and winter) while also enjoying your engagement. There are so many things to think about right now that you are probably overwhelmed. Take a step back and check out these 10 suggestions to survive the beginning of your winter engagement.
Wow, you’re engaged! Whether it was a surprise or you saw it coming from miles away, it finally happened. You’re probably on Cloud 9 and not sure how to get back down. You’re going to want to decompress from the excitement for a bit before jumping into the whirlwind planning process. Give yourself a week or two to soak it all in. Spend the holidays with your friends and family and try not to think about the wedding just yet (impossible, right?). If that sounds too difficult, then follow the rest of these tips...
Share the news with select friends and family
It will be hard to keep your engagement a secret for long. The second word gets out you will be inundated with calls, texts, Facebook messages, etc. The holidays can be an extremely busy and stressful time already, so consider holding off on announcing your engagement to the world until you feel ready to embrace the craziness. Once that information is out, expect to be answering a lot of questions about the wedding. People will insist on asking these questions even though you haven't even started to plan anything yet.
While you certainly don’t want to leave people off your immediate call list, you may want to tell your close friends and family that you’re trying to keep the engagement private for a bit so you can really enjoy this time with your fiancé. They should respect your wishes and not share the news with anyone else until you’re ready.
Choose a wedding date timeframe
Immediately after you announce your engagement you will be bombarded by questions that you simply can’t answer. Everyone knows that you just got engaged, right? It's not like you had time to plan your whole wedding in a few days or weeks since you put on the ring. The most frequent question you will face is “when is the wedding?” While you don’t need to have an exact date or month pinned down just yet, you’ll want to have an idea of the timeframe. The season (and year) you’re interested in is a perfectly acceptable answer.
Resize the ring
If you choose to wear an engagement ring, you’ll want to make sure it fits properly. You’ll be showing it off a lot to family and friends during the holidays, so it is better to do this early instead of waiting. It should only take a couple hours to have it resized. Better to get this out of the way early so you don’t lose it!
Create your wedding website
Keep it bare bones in the beginning, but add to it as you have more details. You can post the story of how you met, or how your fiancé (or you) proposed. Your loved ones can use it to get all the wedding details without having to ask you every step of the way. You can tell people that you will post the date, time and location on the web site when you have made a decision. That way they won't keep asking every time they see you.
This is the time when Pinterest and wedding blogs will take over your life. Embrace it. Let the ideas start to flow. Don’t lock down anything until you’ve really had a chance to flush out all your ideas. The brainstorming phase is an important time to figure out your wedding style, and what elements are really important to you. Maybe you’re all about the food, or maybe it’s the décor that has your attention. Either way, this is the fun part of wedding planning, so milk it for all it's worth.
Communicate with your fiancé
This happens more than you might think. You might get swept up in the hubbub of the engagement and forget the most important thing: speaking to your partner about their feelings regarding the wedding. It is important that you both have input and feel valued. Find out what is important to them, what they can do without, and what they are willing to compromise on. Their dream wedding may be quite different from yours. You’re going to want to find the middle ground so that you are both happy. While you’re at it, it is a good idea to schedule a few date nights or a couple's massage so you don’t end up spending every moment over the winter discussing the wedding.
Hire a wedding planner
I’m serious. Just do it. Even if you have all the time in the world and feel ready to take on any planning challenge, you may be surprised how things change once you get started. You’re going to want someone there in your corner to assist when you run across problems. Meet with a couple of options so you can find the best person to get the job done. Remember, you’re committing to a relationship with the planner for about a year (most likely), so you’ll want to make sure you get along and work well with them.
Compile a rough guest list
This is going to be tough. You’re an awesome couple, so obviously you have lots of friends and family that want to celebrate with you. Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to invite everyone. Talk to your parents about who they will want to invite and also work on your personal list. If you’ve always wanted a small wedding, you might have to break a few hearts to make it happen. If you’ve always wanted a huge celebration for your whole extended family, that makes it easier (but more expensive). Knowing who is on your shortlist is important so you can know how to approach conversations with those you’re not inviting.
Start thinking about venues
Once you have a rough idea about whom to invite, you can start thinking about venues that can accommodate your party. There are so many options available to you that it can be daunting. Narrow down where you want to hold the wedding: your hometown, currently city, or maybe a destination you’ve always wanted to travel to. For some unique, out-of-the-box venues, be sure to browse Venuelust for the perfect space.
What was the first thing you did when you got engaged?
Do you have any other helpful tips for newly engaged couples?
We welcome your comments below!