Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Things you'll be glad you did during your engagement

We were engaged for a year and the months flew by so quickly, before I knew it I was walking down the aisle. I didn't get everything done that I wanted to because life and work got in the way and there was just not enough time but I also didn't really plan and prioritise well enough. Here are a few things I think are really worth doing during your engagement; some of which I did, others I didn't make time for:

  • Keep a journal. Write about everything from the moment of the proposal or even before that. Include all of your thoughts and feelings at the time and detailed descriptions of everything, from what you were wearing the moment you got engaged, to the flavours of all the cakes you tried at tasting sessions, to the highs and lows of searching for your perfect wedding dress. You forget the small things so quickly and one day when you look back on everything you wrote, you'll be glad you made the effort.

  • Build up a wedding folder. I used a big ring-binder and filled it with everything wedding-related: quotes and other information from suppliers, gift registry lists, cutouts of useful tips, ideas and images I liked, guest list, seating plan, venue info, menu options. Take it along to all your meetings with suppliers to show them your ideas.

  • Try to get at least 3 quotes for everything before deciding on your suppliers and sample things wherever possible, especially the food, wine and cake. I highly recommend going to cake tastings - some of them can be a bit pricey but it's a fun and yummy treat for you and your fiancĂ©, plus cake can be amazing or terrible. You need to know what you're paying for. We sampled some dry, tasteless and sometimes downright weird  cakes that were in the same price range as other delicious cakes. You can't just assume that all cakes taste good.

  • When asking friends to be your attendants for the wedding, make it special. It doesn't need to be elaborate, it  doesn't even need to cost you anything. If you're on a tight budget, why not make each of them a special e-card using one of the many creative apps available that allow you to edit images and add words or special effects, such as Repix, Instaframe and Pixlromatic.

  • If you're on a tight budget, don't pay too much attention to guidelines about what each aspect of a wedding costs. With some extra effort I managed to get quality suppliers that I was happy with for less than the prescribed minimum. These guideline budgets are often created by wedding industry suppliers who want you to think you need to spend more. Having said that, I did find the guidelines helpful as they gave an indication of how much you can expect to pay for everything, however, it is possible to plan a beautiful wedding on a tighter budget than the minimums projected in the guidelines.

  • If your budget allows, do have an engagement/couple shoot. Luckily for us, ours was included in our wedding photography package, otherwise we probably wouldn't have done it. I'm so glad that we now have some good quality photos of us other than the wedding photos. It was only an hour session and we had lots of fun and it prepared us for what to expect for our photoshoot on the big day.

Wishing you a very happy engagement! It's such a special time in your life and it goes by so quickly, so enjoy every moment!

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