YOUR SURVIVAL STRATEGY: Enjoy the Journey from Engagement to the Alter
Now that the holidays are over and Valentine’s Day is almost here, many lucky ladies out there will find themselves engaged! Tempting for all you new brides to be to run out and buy every wedding magazine you can find . . . purchase your four-inch thick planning notebook . . . and shop for the most exciting stuff . . . dresses, those cute ring bearer pillows, bubbles, favors, etc.
My best advice? Slow down. First savor the celebration of your engagement. What a huge milestone in your life; don’t pass over it so quickly to get to the wedding faster. Shout it from the rooftops, polish your ring everyday and show off your fiancé with pride.
When it’s time to start planning try to resist the temptation to just do the fun stuff first. Go ahead and get the magazines and start clipping pictures of things you love, but before you start buying everything that strikes you, make sure you have definite answers to TWO very important questions:
1. What is your budget and where are the funds coming from? The answer to this question will dictate almost every other decision you make along the way. Be sure you know for sure what you have to spend and that you have commitments from those spending it.
2. What is most important to you? Make sure that you know what your wedding priorities are. Early on make a list of everything your budget needs to cover; i.e. flowers, rings, venue, etc. Literally rank the items beginning with what’s most important to you and ending with what is least important.
Knowing how much you have to spend and what your priorities are will give you the blueprint for your planning process. Begin making decisions and purchases in the order of your priority list. This will ensure that you make the best use of your money and any necessary compromises or sacrifices are on the things you care the least about.
And all those pictures you clipped from the magazines? Use these as your inspiration to pull all the details together. Bring them to vendors such as cake and floral designers so that they get a true sense of what shapes, sizes, colors and styles appeal to you.
Follow these steps and you have a practical strategy for not only surviving the planning process . . . but enjoying it.
Happy planning everybody!