I have been engaged for about a year and a half now to one of the most amazing guys in my life. We've been together for 5 years prior to getting engaged, so most people pretty much expected it. Nevertheless there were a few things I wish I was aware of before he popped the question. Maybe this list can help you and your boo thang out!
1. People will ask for a story. It can get old or tiresome for you to repeat this over and over, but it's good news! People love good news! People also have short attention spans, so it might be helpful to come up with a nice, concise script that keeps the tale short and sweet without skipping the details.
2. Be cautious of when and how you spread the big news. Everyone has a Facebook account nowadays, which can make for plenty of sticky situations, this being the first that I will mention. Think about who you would like to tell in person or call first before you post it on the Internet.
3. People will crawl back from the depths of your past to be your friend again. This is probably the most awkward for me. Friends and relatives you've stopped contacting will suddenly appear like wild zubats and try to become chummy once again. Could be good or bad, I suppose.
4. People will ask, "When's the wedding?!" As soon as they find out you're engaged. Literally within hours of the ring sliding onto your finger you will get this question. Im pretty confident that most people don't book a venue the second after they get proposed to. To this day I still don't have a date. It is the most annoying question because right now my brain is primarily focused on graduating college. I tell people over and over, "I'm concentrating on graduating first before I plan a wedding."
5. Planning a wedding is stressful, so give yourself plenty of time. Do not feel like you have to constrain yourself to your ideal timeline if it doesn't fit; it's not worth the stress. If your wedding is going to be anywhere close to a big shindig, take time to figure out what you like first before you book anything. I thought I'd be able to have the wedding within months of graduating. Boy was I wrong! Between school full time and two jobs there is no way I can squeeze in wedding planning. Depending on what you're going for (for me, as much DIY as possible) it can be a part time job.
6. Go to bridal shows! They're super fun and you have a very good chance of winning free stuff. It's a little intimidating since every vendor is trying to woo you, but it was definitely an eye opener. It was especially helpful for a gal like me who didn't give my wedding a single thought until he proposed.
7. When you start planning your big day, be careful of what details you post on the Internet. After all the hype cools down on Facebook, people go about scrolling their lives away liking the next big thing and forgetting about you. This is good if you're not planning to invite your entire friends list. The more you post about it, the more people might question whether or not they're invited. Also, everyone will voice their opinions on the matter and I'm sure we all know what that can be like.
8. Plan the finance before anything else. It's good to look around to see what things cost in your area. This way you and whoever else is contributing can decide what you can afford and what's important. Zack and I are paying for it ourselves and we've opened a savings account.
9. Learn to compromise with your future spouse. You may have it all figured out, but this is a union of two individuals so both opinions matter. This is just a sample of what's to come in your new lives together.
10. Don't settle. Contradictory to the last one I know, but if you really want a wedding in a gallery and just haven't found the perfect one, keep looking! I'm thinking about hiring a wedding planner who specializes in alternative venues. (Hint: according to the wedding mags I've been reading, wedding planners should save you enough money in your budget to cover their costs and then some! So don't tack on additional money to your budget).
I hope this list was helpful! Anyone else have any more tips? I'd love to see them in the comments!