the question was popped. You said yes. Everyone
got excited. Now What?
Well, everyone you know (and quite a few people
you have never met before) will start asking the
When? and Where? and How? questions.
Obviously the people you know already know the
answer to Who? and Why?
So, coming from a Marriage Celebrant, you might
expect that the way I'd answer the Now What?
question will be to tell you what you need to do
to be legally married and encourage you to book
your celebrant (hopefully me) immediately.
But I'm not going to do that - seriously, what you
have to do legally is not that much, and if you do
contact me I'll tell you what the two of you need
to do, based on your personal circumstances, which
will include the legal basics, but may require
some extra advice.
Instead, here are my top three picks for 1, 2, and
3, on your We're Engaged, What Next
To Do List.
1. Take a breath and
enjoy the moment
Whatever anyone says, do not start planning your
wedding straight away. Being engaged is a special
time. You've taken your relationship to another
level. It is a special time, but once the planning
phase kicks in you'll be future-focused, and up to
your eyes in decisions, both big and small, that
you could miss out on time to just be a couple in
2. Take your time to
talk about how you want to be married
The Wedding Industry has got FOMO* down to a fine
art. Everyone, from venues, to photographers, to
celebrants (gulp!), will be pushing you to make
decisions and sign up, book, lay out a
non-refundable deposit quick, quick, quick.
Resist. The biggest driver of wedding budget
blow-outs is change-of-mind purchases. So, take
your time to really talk out what sort of wedding
you want. But keep the talking to between the two
Start by visualising HOW you want to get married.
Religious ceremony in church? Or civil ceremony in
Registry Office or by Celebrant at the Venue of
Talk about WHO you really want to share your
wedding day with. Both your guests and your
wedding party. So who you want to be AT your
wedding, and who you want to be IN your wedding.
Who those people are, and how many of them there
are, will help you firm up your other choices. The
whole big white wedding bash? An intimate
experience? Something off the wall? Brain storm.
Just remember that, in any brain storming session
the first 10 ideas will be the predictable (boring
and obvious!) and the next 10 ideas will be wild,
wacky, and probably totally impractical and
unachievable. But if you keep going, out of those
wild, wacky ideas, germs of something special, and
achievable, will emerge.
Make sure you've talked about how you want to
feel on the day, and how you want your guests to
feel. Don't pick your "accessories" - the small
things like invitations - or book anything until
you have your plan mapped out. And definitely,
don't crowdsource your planning.
step is HOW MUCH are you willing to spend?
Total ballpark figure.
step is WHEN (date or spread of dates) and
whether you can or will be flexible about it.
look for your venue, your celebrant, and your
3. Learn the most
important four little words - and use them, if
While you are still working on your plan, respond
to every When? and Where? and How? question with
four little magical words "We're working on
. Trust me, they will come a very close
second to ''I love you"
to keeping you
sane and on track.
Don't forget that ...
- Who you lock in first will drive other
aspects of your wedding
- Your venue will be your most inflexible
choice (unless you decide to get married in
your own backyard,or have a very tiny
elopement where no booking in a local park is
necessary) Not only is it a fixed place, your
venue will virtually set the style and level
of formality of your entire wedding. (A swanky
hotel does not suggest a boho, informal picnic
vibe, for example). Venues also require
you to lock in a date and time, and an
approximate number of guests. Not only
is each venue limited in how many bookings it
can take, sometimes only one on a day, some
will require you to book a package and accept
their choice of other vendors.
- You can't set a realistic budget until you
know what you want, what you will include, and
have a clear idea of local prices. Ignore all
of those percentage based budgets in the
bridal press. They are only an approximate
guide that may not be realistic unless you are
planning on having the same size and type of
wedding the figures are based on. And ignore
price-guides that come from the US. they never
include the 20% tip that is expected there! It
is just assumed that everyone knows to budget
- It is your wedding. There are no rules
(other than a few legal ones). Traditions are
not rules - they're mostly peer pressure from
dead ancestors, including Queen Victoria.
Ditch old traditions you don't feel
comfortable with. Do your own thing. Perhaps
even create some new traditions you can pass
down in your family.
Thanks for reading!
* FOMO and
- (Fear Of Missing Out)