You’re engaged!!! Yay! And congratulations to you both! You've most likely already announced it to the world via Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest and can't wait to tell everyone you encounter, the engagement story, including your local Starbucks barista. :) Now what?
You need to set your wedding date & budget, which go hand-in-hand, before being able to do any wedding planning. But for this specific post, we'll just focus on THE DATE.
Why THE DATE, you ask? You can research vendors all you want, but until you have an actual date, you can’t obtain accurate quotes from vendors across the board. The first question any vendor will or should ask is, “When is your wedding date?” You need to have a specific date, so they can first, advise you if they’re even available for that time/day, as they may already be booked with another client. Then, they can provide you with a quote based on the time of year you're getting married. As a wedding vendor, myself, that’s the first thing I ask my potential clients, as I don’t want to waste any more of your time or mine.
Having a wedding date set, gets the ball rolling and sets everything else in motion. It gives the both of you a common goal to work towards together. After you book the ceremony/reception venues, it’ll start to sink in…OMG, (singing) I’m getting married! Orrr…crap! (with a scared face) I’m getting married. Lol Esp. if you’re paying for the wedding yourselves, like my husband & I did, then it’ll start to feel like it's actually happening.
Having a set date also solidifies your commitment to each other and forces the both of you to talk about the tough stuff that should be addressed before you get married, i.e., finances, communication or lack thereof, problem-resolution skills, household chores, finances, everyone’s favorite topic: SEX, which obviously leads to children or no children, in-laws, and did I mention finances?!? Lol
If you’re Catholic and plan to get married in a Catholic Church, you’ll be required to attend a “Pre-Cana” course, where you will fill-out a 75-question scantron test that lists comments from multiple psychological, yet practical categories and you’ll either fill-in the agree or disagree bubbles. The results will be sent electronically to both you (the couple) and the priest who is conducting your marriage at your designated church. It’ll give you a cumulative score and highlight what categories are your strengths and weaknesses. Then, at your next consultation appointment with your priest, he’ll counsel the both of you through the weakness categories, making you feel like you’re going through couples’ therapy. But hey, it’s free counseling. Lol At first, my then fiancee and I went through it, to just get that Catholic pre-marital requirement checked off, but ended up becoming a stronger couple as a result.
To reiterate, the cliffs notes version of the above is…set a date! It’s the only way to move forward in your relationship together, get closer to the altar, and (gasp!) eventually get legally married. Otherwise, you’re just wasting each other’s time. I know as a day-of coordinator, I shouldn’t be saying that, but it’s true. And I say it like it is. You should be preparing for a lifetime together, not just one day.
‘Til next time, this is Linda signing off. Wishing all of you gorgeous brides…and grooms, a blessed weekend! @gingersweddings_socal