The average length of engagement is 14.5 months. Seem like a long time to you, too?! I always thought I would get engaged at Christmas and get married the following summer (which would be about a six month engagement). BUT as we all know, life does not cater to our wants and wishes. Being engaged for a whole year was not what I had in mind, but it is the norm for couples nowadays. When Ryan (my fiancé) and I began planning our wedding, we quickly learned that being engaged for less than 6 months would force us to settle for a venue that neither of us loved… which just wouldn’t feel right!!! We decided to be patient and have a year long engagement so we could get married on a dock in the summer.
I know not everyone is engaged or even likes weddings… but I really do love weddings, which is why I wanted to write a series on wedding planning!!! I love how weddings are a celebration of two people committing themselves to each other for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever… till death do them part. I love seeing everyone dressed up and fancy. I love meeting new people and learning who they are and how they’re connected at the shindig. I love dancing and laughing with friends and family. I love being at a party to just to celebrate love! And most importantly, I love seeing two families become one (cheesy, but true.) *shrugs*
Since I am smack dab in the middle of planning a wedding (and loving most of it!), I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned so far. So, over the next few months, I’ll be diving a little deeper into what to do and when to do it. This schedule is how I went about wedding planning, and so far it’s worked out well. BUT, it’s not the end all be all! For example, you don’t necessarily need to book your DJ immediately, but since this was a huge priority for us, we booked ours ASAP. We wanted to have the peace of mind that the DJ we wanted would be there on our big day. If you know a caterer that you have to have at your wedding, then I’d suggest booking them in the first few months after you get engaged (even though they’re typically booked 4-6 months out from your wedding date.) I generally tried to follow The Knot‘s schedule, but I pretty much just kept in touch with vendors and booked who I felt most comfortable with (and who didn’t break the bank haha.) Anyways, here’s the general schedule that I stuck to. I’ll be diving deeper into each phase soon!
Phase 1: Make a prelim guest list. Determine a budget and who’s paying for what. Find your perfect venue. PSA: The guest count is something to roughly figure out right away. That number governs where you can party and how much it’ll cost. (Immediately)
Phase 2: Book your photographer and DJ. Find your wedding dress. (twelve – nine months before the big day)
Phase 3: Reserve hotels/cabins/houses for the week/weekend. Order save the dates. Decide on your bridal party. Reserve rehearsal dinner location. (six to nine months before the big day)
Phase 4: Book your caterer and florist. Decide on bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen suits. Order wedding invitations. Book your honeymoon!!! (three to six months before the big day)
Phase 5: TBD!!! I haven’t experienced this phase yet. 😉 (zero to three months before the big day)
I am super excited to share more with y’all about how I planned our wedding! There’s so much to do when it comes to planning for the big day, so I’m hoping I can give you some insight and prep you for what’s to come.
Just remember: This day is about marrying the love of your life. Even if it rains, or if Aunt Betty starts some drama with Uncle Joe, or if the cake is buttercream instead of vanilla, you’ll still be married to your other half at the end of the day. <3