You did it! You got engaged! Now What?
Planning a wedding is a journey you should take together - whether you care at all about them or not. This is a chance for you to discover new things about each other, practice your teamwork, and hone your communication skills. Being seriously involved in the process will bring you closer to each other in ways you never thought possible. Be sure you are working together when the very first decisions are made, like setting the Date.
SETTING THE DATE
This is it. The day your life is over.... or the day your life begins. Whether you eagerly anticipate or nervously approach it, your wedding date is one of the most important decisions. If you are here in the Northwest, you will likely want a summer or fall wedding so festivities can take place outside. Some people get so obsessed with picking a "perfect date" that they often forget to pick the "right date".
When discussing dates, important things to discuss with your partner:
- Where do most of your family and friends live? If many of your guests will have to travel long distances, your date will have to consider things like:
busiest air travel days
important people on deployment that may not be able to attend
weather conditions that could delay planes, trains, and vehicles
international relations that could affect guests' ability to cross borders or obtain visas, and
the availability of lodging.
- Do you have a small budget? Many venues have lower rates during off-seasons, slow days of the week, or earlier in the day. Some dates that will save you money:
10:00 AM Sunday morning light brunch with a mimosa toast
Thursday late night dancing with heavy apps and full bar
an outdoor winter wedding in the snow with Hot Toddies and Cocoa for everyone!
a midnight Halloween costume wedding at a historical building
- Does a specific date have emotional significance? Many people like to get married on anniversaries of special days, like the first date, your parent's wedding date, day of first kiss, or holidays like Valentine's Day and Labor Day, or even dates with special numbering like November 11, 2011 (11/11/11). Be sure to talk about if this number really needs to be important, and whether or not it is more important than your guests being comfortable or inconvenienced, or saving significant amounts of money.
- How will your REAL LIFE factor into this schedule? I have had clients who planned their entire weddings by phone and e-mail because they were too busy writing their masters dissertation to come in to the showroom or talk in person. Planning a wedding is time consuming and stressful. If you don't have a place in your life for it - do have a place for a marriage too? How to factor in your real life:
Are you or your partner in school? Pick a date in which not only the wedding, but the planning won't interfere with important events in your education or may hinder your ability to perform academically. A wedding is not more important than this.
What is your career situation? Do you think you might be moving soon due to a new job? Do you have big projects that need your attention? Will your boss be okay with taking time off?
Are you in a place financially to move in together/pay for a wedding? Are you willing to wait a year and save money so you can have some of the high-end ideas you find on Pinterest? Is your family in a place to assist you financially?
What is happening in your families' lives that might affect their ability to attend? (wait until Aunt Mary's chemo treatments are done, someone coming home from deployment, your parents want you to wait until their house is done being remodeled...anything!)
Just remember to express the most important things to you when choosing a date, and be willing to compromise on some things. What really matters is that you are married to each other at the end of the day- no matter what day it is.
Rachel Andrews is owner of Bellingham Wedding and Event Rentals LLC