Wedding planning veteran
Posted: Monday, Jan. 07, 2013
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Sheri Riley is currently seeking a post-graduate degree in Invasive Cardiology. She enjoys sports and spending time outside with her fiance, Jeff, and their two dogs, Lola and Cami. She is getting married October 12, 2013. Contact Sheri here.
So when people started talking about "engagement season" I really didn't know there was one. Jeff and I got engaged in August while other friends (there's only a handful of us I honestly didnt think Id be ready to get married until about 30) got engaged throughout the spring or summer.Well, this past Christmas/New Year, I had 9 friends (including one best friend) get engaged. Holy cow. While I was excited for all of them, I was SUPER excited for Bre, who Ive mentioned before is also one of my bridesmaids. Ive been pestering her with a million questions a day, but shes done a good job of deferring to the plans of my wedding. So that got me thinking, how was I going to help my best friend, and other brides, from making similar costly mistakes? Now that I've been planning a wedding for what seems like an eternity, (for 15 months guys... and I still have 10 months to go the glories of a second degree gag) I feel like Ive gotten a pretty good grip on where to start when it comes to wedding planning. Ive made some super big oopsies and learned from a lot of mistakes. That being said here are my top 5 things to do immediately following an engagement: 1. Tell your family and friends. I think one of the most heart breaking moments for a friend is seeing your blinging ring on Facebook before they talk to you. Moms/Dads and siblings should be first, following be Grandparents, Aunts/Uncles, etc. Think of your family first. After CALLING family (dont text, they want to hear the excitement in your voice) let your friends know. Everyone is going to be over the moon excited for you, so share that special moment with them. After that, share with the rest of the world. And prepare yourself for the most likes ever. Think of your birthday on Facebook on steroids.2. Get an idea for the date. This doesnt mean you have to know exact date and time immediately, (although you will be surprised by how many people will ask as their first question Whens the wedding?) but maybe know what season. Winter wedding? Spring wedding? This will help when you look at venues. You dont want to go in completely clueless.3. Budget/Venue. I put these in the same category because I think they should kind of go hand in hand. I think its great if you look at a few venues and get an idea of how much they cost before you work up a budget however, dont go somewhere where you know you arent going to be able to afford. After you get a few rough estimates, work up a rough number that you KNOW you can afford. Be realistic. Yes, you only get one wedding (maybe) but dont start your marriage in severe debt. The wedding is going to be what you and your guests make it not what your money makes it.4. Overall vision. I bounced around with visions of our wedding day but once we found our venue, it all kind of came together. That will probably happen for you too! Once you find the venue that you love, youll suddenly realize that it visits the theme/vision you had all along. Before you find your venue though decide if you want something formal, or maybe a little more casual. It will help cut venue visits in half, which means fewer trips for you.5. Get a wedding planner. Ive stressed this before probably because this was one of my biggest mistakes. When we first started planning, our wedding was October 6th, 2012 (yeah, were a little late for it now). When the stresses of school and my clinical rotations began to pile on, I realized I just couldnt do it. Instead of hiring a planner to help, we changed our wedding date completely. Now, I dont think it was a mistake to change the date but had I had a wedding planner early on in the process, it would have helped me keep my head on straight throughout. If youre still in need of a planner, send me an email! I have several amazing recommendations for all different budgets! I hope this helps some of our newly engaged Carolina Brides! The journey can be a bumpy one, but remember its all worth it. Congratulations and let the party begin! World peace and skinny jeans, Sheri xo
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