Congratulations on your recent engagement! This is one of the most enjoyable, exciting, and romantic times I’ve ever experienced (I’m a little jealous!). Numerous people will begin offering you advice the moment you announce your engagement, some of it extremely helpful, while others are less so. Therefore, we’re here to explain why you should pause, do nothing, and avoid falling into any wedding planning pitfalls before you’ve even had time to post an Instagram ring selfie. We’ve been there and done that, and these are the things we wish we’d known not to do after getting engaged!
1. Tell Your Instagram Followers Before Your Granny
You’d be surprised how frequently this occurs, but many couples share their joy on social media before informing their friends and family. And, while it’s entirely up to you who you tell and how you tell them – and you may understandably want to shout it from the rooftops! – you probably don’t want your Mum to find out you’re engaged through a neighbour who saw it on Facebook.
Make every effort to hold out and tell as many people in person as possible, despite the fact that we understand how difficult that can be at the moment! Then, before posting it online, contact any other critical friends and family members.
2. Don’t Over-Promise (and Do Set Expectations from the Start)
Avoid saying yes to everything now and believing you can sort it out later. Your father wishes to invite his golf buddies. Your grandmother believes you should marry in a church. And your mother-in-law wishes to begin sewing bunting in preparation for a Summer wedding in her back garden.
Avoid making any commitments during the first few weeks of being engaged. The best piece of advice a friend gave me was to prepare a vague one-liner as soon as you become engaged, so that when everyone (inevitably) asks if you’ve made plans or considered such and such, you’ll be prepared with an answer. “We haven’t booked anything yet,” she explained, “but we know we want something small and casual.” Something along those lines will suffice to set expectations and provide some information, without making any firm commitments.
3. Don’t Take All Advice Offered (But Do Be Polite About It)
When you become engaged, you’ll quickly learn that you must accept unsolicited advice and suggestions diplomatically, so this is a good skill to develop early on. Take the time to listen to what others have to say (there are bound to be some pearls of wisdom in there!) but do not feel obligated to agree to take on everything. Simply state, ‘Thanks a mil, I’ll keep that in mind,’ and continue.
4. Don’t Choose Your Wedding Party
You may already be certain of who you want as bridesmaids or groomsmen, but wait a little while before asking. Depending on the length of your engagement, the type of wedding you end up having, and the size of your budget, you may need to alter the wedding party lineup you had in mind. To avoid any hurt feelings, it’s easier to do so before you tell them.
You’d be surprised how much a friendship can change during an engagement, as well. Because so many brides and grooms believe that a different friend or sibling would have been a more suitable best man or maid of honour by the time the wedding arrives, it’s prudent to proceed cautiously.
5. Don’t Wear a Ring That Doesn’t Fit
Many brides-to-be are so eager to rock their rock that they overlook the possibility that it will not fit properly. If your engagement ring is excessively large or excessively small, have it resized immediately before you begin wearing it. Otherwise, you risk losing or damaging it, as well as severely injuring your finger. It takes only a day or two to resize a ring, and then you’ll have it safely back on your hand for the rest of your life!
6. Don’t Book Anything
It’s natural that you’ll begin looking for venues and vendors shortly after getting engaged; it’s all part of the excitement. However, do not make any bookings until you have a firm grasp on the details of your day. When you begin to lock things down, you are forced to consider practicalities, and your infinite possibilities begin to narrow. Allow yourself some time to be engaged before making any decisions. Allow yourself to dream big for a few weeks (or months).
7. Don’t Buy a Dress
I came dangerously close to purchasing a wedding dress before I was even engaged, so I’m not really qualified to speak on this subject! It’s so tempting to schedule an appointment with a bridal boutique the moment you’re engaged and begin trying on dresses immediately. However, as with the suppliers, it’s critical to pause for a moment and consider what you want and what you can afford before falling in love with any stunning white gowns. Similarly, selecting a gown too early in your engagement means you may grow tired of it or see ten additional gowns you would have preferred during your wedding planning.
8. Don’t Start Stressing
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of wedding planning, whether you’ve been planning it in your head (and on your secret Pinterest board) for years or it’s completely unexpected. Avoid allowing it to cause you stress or sleepless nights worrying about money. After all, it’s just a large party; you can make it as elaborate or as simple as you want. And if all else fails, you can always elope!
9. Don’t Go on a Diet
Marriage does not require you to go on a diet. Alternatively, obtain a boob job. Alternatively, have your teeth cleaned. Or any other dramatic transformations you may be contemplating. While brides and grooms naturally want to look and feel their best on their wedding day, this does not mean you have to abstain from pasta for 18 months beforehand (the horror!) in order to lose a few dress sizes. You’re marrying because your other half adores you exactly as you are. Therefore, refrain from changing, you hear? We’ve got an excellent podcast episode on this subject, so be sure to check it out!
10. Don’t Invite Any Guests
Everyone becomes swept up in the excitement surrounding an engagement, and some individuals may unintentionally invite themselves to the wedding. Similarly, you may find yourself getting carried away by the well wishes and inadvertently inviting people along. As with the bridal party, keep things vague and avoid making any commitments, particularly with work colleagues, extended family, and old school friends who may not make the cut when it comes time to create your guest list.
11. Don’t Forget to Say Thank You
There is a good chance that many people will send you cards and gifts after you become engaged – I recall being quite taken aback by the outpouring of kindness. Maintain a list of all gift recipients and send them a thank you card or message within about six or eight weeks. Not only is this courteous, but it will establish a good habit for all the lovely gifts that will undoubtedly arrive in the weeks leading up to your wedding.
12. Don’t Forget to Lap it Up
Being engaged is the most wonderful feeling imaginable! You’re in a love bubble with your significant other, everyone is rooting for you, and it all feels very happy and hazy. Therefore, milk it! Host a celebratory gathering (if restrictions permit), escape for the weekend, and crack open numerous bottles of bubbly. Allow yourself a few weeks to bask in the glow of engagement before diving headfirst into the fun of budget spreadsheets, venue visits, and cake tastings!