You're engaged! High five!
Whether it was a total surprise on a romantic weekend in Paris or a 'Hey, you wanna? Yeah, sure' at the breakfast table, guess what? You're planning a wedding.
So how do you, like, you know, start doing that?
Step One: Absorb It
Have fun with it for a hot second! There's no need to jump into planning right away (unless you're pregnant, are you pregnant?), the magazines and Pinterest boards can wait.
Your other half has probably just spent the past few weeks or months sweating at the thought of asking you this question, with a ring possibly burning a hole in his pocket. It's likely they will want a bit of a breather too! Go out and celebrate and revel in the moment.
Why not spend the next few weeks seeing how many restaurants and hotels will give you free wine because you 'just got engaged'. You know, just for fun.
Step Two: Communicate
I mean, let's hope now is not the time you find out your partner has been secretly hoping for a biker wedding while you've been dreaming of a rustic barn do, but we suggest you talk about it just in case.
You both might have different ideas on the size, style and location of the wedding day so it's time to put all your cards on the table. But not like a magician. Though you should probably also lay out your position on magicians at the wedding.
You want to make sure your ideas are in sync right from the start, and if they aren't, find room for compromise where you need to.
Talk about what the most important aspects of the wedding day to you both - perhaps it's food, headcount, location or music. This will really help you figure out how to put together your budget later down the line if you know where your priorities are.
Step Three: Cash Money
No one enjoys talking about money, but you need to set the goal posts right from the start to avoid problems down the line. How much have you got put aside, how much can you save, and who else might be able to contribute. Knowing how much you're working with will help you set your priorities for spending.
Step Four: Get out the Calendar
How long do you need to be able to plan your big day? Do you fancy a mid-summer soiree or a moody, Winter celebration. Make sure you always check with your most important friends and family members to make sure you're not looking at dates when they know they aren't available [top tip: someone is always pregnant]. Let them know your possible wedding date before signing on the dotted line.
Also consider whether your big day has to be on a weekend at all. Mid-week weddings are increasing in popularity, especially for more intimate gatherings, and will always be kinder on the budget when it comes to venue hire. Plus, it gives you a good excuse to keep the headcount down...
Step Five: List the People You Don't Hate (That Much)
Draft your wedding guest list but start with everyone you can think of. Don't think about money or venue capacity right now, just do it for the process.
Then, label your must-haves as your A-list, your would-like-to-haves as your B-list, and your 'meh, not the end of the world if they weren't there' as your C-list.
That way, you know you have a little flexibility when it comes to venue hunting for capacity and budget for food and drink.
Step Six: Get Inspired
As if we have to tell you, but now is the time to start getting some ideas from blogs, magazines and Pinterest. They are your best friends. But also your enemy. Pinterest is your frenemy.
For now, flip and scroll to your heart's content to get a good idea of the style and design of your wedding. Figure out what you do and don't like. Find a cohesive theme or colour scheme. Keep all this accessible so you can show your suppliers later down the line.
Step Seven: Make Bookings
If your preferred wedding date is in the not too distant future, make those phone calls to suppliers now to find out who is available. If you have you eye on a particular band or caterer you've wanted to hire, don't hang around too long. Get something pencilled in, as lots of suppliers get booked up way in advance.
And if you want to hold on to that incredible, lovely, isn't-engagement-wonderful-we're-on-cloud-nine feeling for as long as you can - consider hiring a wedding planner (yep, I went there). Whether you're working with six months or two years, planners can help you streamline the whole process, take the annoying wedmin off your plate and actually allow you to enjoy (God forbid) planning a wedding!Suggest a correction