And Breath!

It may have happened quickly, maybe it was a surprise, or maybe you’ve talked about it for years?

Every couple have a moment of realisation after the champagne has been drunk, and the phone calls to family and friends made………

” We are Engaged – NOW What? “

Firstly, please do make the most of it.

Enjoy the experience, hopefully this will only happen once in your lifetime. Take time to savour the romance, and enjoy the time with each other. You don’t need to rush out and book the church tomorrow.

Spend some time as a couple chatting about how you want to get married.

I have a process that I recommend to couples I meet when they have first got engaged. And it starts with a good old fashioned chat.

I recommend you sit down with a cuppa (or a glass of wine/cocktail/tipple of your choice!!) and just talk. Ask each other what you each have in mind for the big day. Hopefully they are the same, but you may find you have slightly different expectations!

Then get a piece of paper and write down your joint top three priorities:

It is important to write this down, because afterwards this list will become your wedding planning mission statement, your budget control, your sanity!

Your top three priorities should be the things that matter most to you as a couple about your wedding day. For every couple priorities will differ, but here are some examples.

My husband and I wrote these three things:

1. Location – we both wanted to get married somewhere we loved in Cornwall- by the sea.

2. More than just a day. We wanted to spend more than just the wedding day with our loved ones

3 Food – really good food was our third priority. We are both foodies, and it was important to have memorable and delicious food, not boring traditional “can’t even remember what we had” food.

For some a certain type of ceremony is really important. Some people want to have lots of guests, to some it’s a priority to have a small wedding.

What is important is that you BOTH agree on your top three. Write them down, pin them on the fridge, save them as your screen saver, put them in “notes” on your phone!

Now what. Now you have those three priorities it will help you in every decision you make.

When you have worked out your wedding budget, set a budget for these things first. The funds that you have left is what is available for everything else.  Every other element of your day can be compromised upon, alternatives found, or scrapped. But these three elements will always be there.

Use the “top three” to help you make those big choices.  Location was top of my list, and we searched high and low for a holiday rental property who would allow us to host our wedding within its grounds within walking distance of our favourite beach and coastal village.  Luckily this also solved the second thing on our “top three” we could have our close friends and family to stay with us for a whole week during the course of the wedding.  We also chose the closest church to the house for our ceremony.  Then we found our caterer, and after receiving a quote from her worked out what we had left to spend for everything else.

We worked hard obtaining quotes, sourcing alternatives and scrapping the non essentials from the list, and it worked…. We had the wedding of our dreams within the budget we had agreed.

Further down the line, after hours spent on Instagram, pawing over wedding magazines and pining over the latest trend on Pinterest, you can refer back to your list, and ask yourself – do I really care about this thing, does it tie in with my original dream of of the “top three”. Quite often you will find it doesn’t.

You can also use your “top three” to remind yourselves what is important if you come under pressure from family and friends. This is an inevitable part of wedding planning, but being able to clearly outline your priorities to your loved ones makes difficult conversations much easier to have.

And when it all gets a bit much “your top three” are there. If you get fed up with the wedding planning process, again I’m afraid to some extent this too is inevitable, then just go back and look at that list. Remind yourselves why you are doing this, and what is truly important to you.  Take a step back, breath, put down the wedding planning file, and think about something else for a while, have a cup of tea (or a glass of wine/cocktail/tipple of your choice!!) and chat about those important things. Everything else will fall into place.

What are your top three? I would love to hear from you – DM on Instagram or send me a message on Facebook to tell me yours!

If you would like a lovely download to print out and record your top three – follow this link!

Love, Elle

Image credits: Ricky Staple, Rebecca Rees, Irena K, Ben Photography. With thanks!

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