So you got engaged, now what?

I got engaged to the love of my life in August of last year and we began planning our wedding. It’s 2017, we have Pinterest and access to a million books, websites and resources so planning should be easy and totally stress-free, right?

Wrong.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love being engaged and can’t wait to be married in December! I got what I wanted: my perfect man to commit and a beautiful ring. A few days later it really hit me, I actually have to plan a wedding! I’m organized and thorough but I don’t really like making decisions, which makes for an interesting dynamic planning such a large event.

Brides have to stick together. I thought it might be interesting to list a few of the most overwhelming things about planning, and a few of the best in the hopes that it might help other brides out there who are struggling to keep it all together!

The scary stuff:

  1. Getting quotes for everything. I like to think I’m organized, but getting quotes for the venue, flowers, photography and food almost put me over the edge! Like I said, I’m getting married in December (also holiday party season) so I wanted to book them all at once as soon as I could to lock in my date. Pro tip: Give yourself time to do one or two things at a time. Once you trust one vendor, they can likely give you referrals to other services you need. Referrals and online reviews is what it comes down to and what gave me peace of mind.

    IMG_6373
    I said yes to the dress!
  1. Preparing to go dress shopping. There are so many bridal boutiques in the Tampa area. I narrowed it down to three locations and notified my entourage. I was so nervous about not finding “the dress” and dragging my girls around all day. I was more worried about other people than myself. Who knew the third dress I tried on would be the dress of my dreams- at the first shop I went to! (Thank you, The Dressing Room!) I know that doesn’t happen to everyone, but I wouldn’t have minded going to all three shops- I was having so much fun once we got started and realized how much my girls were enjoying it, too. Pro tip: Bring only those who will actually help you with your decision. Make sure it’s still about you – but bring people who will really support your decisions and have fun with it!
  2. Having our wedding away from family. My fiance was born and raised in Tampa but I grew up across the state. While the majority of our guests may have to come from out of state to get to Florida anyway, we decided to get married in Tampa because it has become my home, too. It’s where we fell in love and it’s where our friends are. Planning a wedding in another city or state seems like a nightmare and I can’t think of another place that would make it worth it. Pro tip: Come to terms that some people may not be able to make it to your wedding, and decide what is best for you and your future spouse.

The fun stuff:

  1. Engagement pictures. If you haven’t taken your pictures yet, did you even get engaged? I’ll admit, photography is expensive! Other than catering, it may be one of the biggest ticket items. However, it’s definitely one of the best investments you’ll make! Who doesn’t love having a personal paparazzi? It was a great practice run for the big day when it really counts. After we got our pictures back, it hit me – we are really doing this thing! Pro tip: Go with a photographer that you feel confident and comfortable with and capturing your most important moments. (Shout out to our stunning photographers Migrant Collective Weddings) The engagement session was a little awkward at first but turned out to be so fun being silly (and let’s be honest, adorable).
  2. Food tasting. This was WAY more fun than I thought it would be. After going to all these other meetings and appointments for planning, I thought it would be just another chore. I took the lead on securing most of our vendors because I was more motivated (aren’t we all, girls?). It was something we could actually do together and the food was amazing! It we hadn’t gone with the first caterer, I would have loved to do a few more. Pro tip: Get ready to have a blast! Keep an open mind but have an idea of what you want. Most caterers have a very extensive menu. Trust your instincts on this!

    IMG_6883
    The first official “we’re dating” photo of “Shemily” (Sean + Emily)
  3. I found my soul mate. I get to hang out with my best friend for the rest of my life! This whole process wouldn’t be worth it or even mean anything if it wasn’t for the love we share. Getting married isn’t an accomplishment, but I can’t wait for what we will accomplish together. Pro tip: Don’t lose sight of your love and how it’s made your life that much better. People seem to forget that after the wedding comes the marriage – that’s what you’re planning and preparing for! Don’t go broke on a wedding you can’t afford, but invest in a shared memory that you’ll remember forever. Keep it about your love and relationship, and you’ll win every time.

What were some of the things you found scary or the most exciting about wedding planning? Have any tips? Be sure to comment below and share!

emily

Emily Pembroke
Let’s Be Besties
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