Your Guide To Being Newly Engaged
There’s no two ways about it: getting engaged is big news. You’re marrying the love of your life and making plans for an exciting future together. Before you know it, you'll have family and friends asking questions about the big day – often before you've even had a chance to pop the Champagne! Read on to discover how we advise beginning your wedding journey.
Congratulations! You're getting hitched! This is one of the most exciting events in the story of a couple. But, getting engaged was the easy part! While planning a wedding is a fun task, it's also hard work. And a lot of thought has to be put into your celebrations if they are to go off as you planned.
Soon your friends and family will start asking you how you envision your big day, and what your plans are. To stop you from looking like you have no idea, and to get the ball rolling in the right way, take a look at our advice on how to get your dream day off the ground. Simple steps that'll increase the chances of a nearly stress-free wedding planning journey.
ANNOUNCE THE NEWS
Whether you called your parents moments after you said yes, or chose to enjoy that newly engaged feeling together in private for a while. Letting everyone know you’re engaged is an important first step.
“Many couples send out an engagement announcement,” explains Vaishali Shah from Ananya Cards. “I think it’s especially lovely when they include a photo of the proposal!” You might prefer to bypass the cards and just post an engagement selfie on Facebook and Instagram. Just be aware that not everyone is on social media, so you may want to let close relatives and friends know privately before you go public.
HOST A PARTY
Traditionally, engagement parties were hosted by the bride’s parents. Today, however, most couples host their own celebration, as it gives them free rein over how, where and when they party.
You could plan something as simple as a barbecue, a garden party or something more glam like an evening of dinner and dancing in a country house. When it comes to engagement parties, there really is no set style.
This type of celebration does offer a great way to practise the art of party planning. Allowing you to work on something that has a much smaller scale, before the infamous 'wedmin' begins… But don't feel the pressure to host something spectacular, if you feel your wedding budget is already stretched pretty thin. You should also not feel forced to have an engagement party if you're just not that kind of couple.
Do what feels right for you, and if that means simply inviting a few of your nearest and dearest around for some pizza & Prosecco, then that's fine!
CHOOSE A DATE & BOOK YOUR VENUE
Booking a wedding venue should be the first planning step couples take. As your choice will give you a time, date, and location to base the rest of your plans around.
There’s a lot to consider when attempting to find the perfect setting for your big day. “Think about the number of guests you’ll have, your budget and what time of year you’d like to get married,” suggests Wedding & Events Manager at The Bingham, Amy Braund. “There is no point looking at a venue that can only hold 60 guests if you’ve got 150 to invite.”
To help you find the perfect wedding venue in Bedfordshire, we've rounded up our top 5 places in the county, check it out here.
SEND OUT SAVE THE DATES
“Send save the date cards once you've booked a venue and know the date of your wedding – especially if you're getting married in the summer, or at Christmas,” advises Vaishali from Ananya Cards. “You can give as much or little information as you like. Date and location are key, but if you already know it will be a certain type of celebration, a destination wedding, for example, let your guests know ahead of time.”
CHOOSE YOUR BRIDESMAIDS
Wedding planning can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride. There’ll be highs when you find your dream wedding dress, but also lows when you discover a supplier is fully booked, or there are delays to something you ordered. But ultimately, you’ll probably wish you could relive the whole process all over again (even if you're not convinced of that at the time)!
Choosing your bridesmaids early on means you'll have their support throughout the planning process. “You could ask your best girls to be your bridesmaids with a scented candle featuring an engraved cover that says ‘will you be my bridesmaid?’, gifted to them as a surprise,” suggests Jane Helliwell. from Champagne and Flamingos' Or if your bridesmaids happen to be man-maids then maybe just buy him a beer & let him know! He'll be just as happy with that!
START THINKING ABOUT STYLING & THEMES
Weddings are at their most joyous and beautiful when they're a perfect reflection of you both. Everything from the flowers, to the tablescape, to your wedding cake should feel very much, you.
It may be useful to start creating different boards on Pinterest early on, so when you do begin speaking to suppliers, you'll have a visual point of reference to share with them. By doing this, you'll soon start to see your favourite trends emerging – without you even realising. "A great cake designer will pull out little bits of this and that, and design you a beautiful wedding cake that tells the story of you both and your special day", says cake designer Suzanne Thorp from The Frostery.
BOOK A WEDDING DRESS APPOINTMENT
You may already know exactly what you want to wear on the big day, or you have absolutely no idea. Fear not, the earlier you start, the less stressful wedding dress shopping will be.
Bridal gowns, whether they're bespoke or made-to-measure, take a lot of care and time to create. We think purchasing a dress six to eight months in advance is ideal. This timeframe allows fittings and alterations to take place, and avoids any last-minute stress.
Once you've booked your first appointment, you'll hopefully have a better idea of what you like and don't like. Remember, it's true what everyone says about keeping an open-mind. Listen to the advice of the person leading the appointment. They know what they're doing and, quite often, you'll be surprised by what you end up with. We have had countless brides come in saying something like 'no lace, absolutely no lace dresses', and what do they fall in love with?
SET UP A GIFT LIST
One of the great perks of throwing a wedding is selecting all the presents you'll receive after the big day! "It’s great to start thinking about your gift list nice and early. Start thinking about the items you have always wished for, and items you already own that you might like to replace. Your wedding list is the perfect time to upgrade your home”, says Georgie Evans from The Wedding Present Co.
Ensure all the details of your gift lists are included on your invitations, or wedding website, as guests will need time to select and purchase your items.
There you have it! Your Newly Engaged Guide to starting the wedding planning journey. A crucial part of that journey is your wedding dress, and we're here to guide you and help you find that perfect gown. Book your appointment below and let's get that ball rolling!
Claire & Christine xx