When John and I first got engaged, we were so excited and ready to jump right into wedding-planning bliss. Going through the planning process, we quickly learned that while being engaged is a very fun time in your life, it is also extremely hectic. It can be terribly stressful if you both aren’t on the same page. I created a list of some things not to do after getting engaged that we learned as a couple—some the easy way, and some the hard way.
1. Don't immediately post a picture of your ring on social media. While having some new bling-bling on your finger is awesome (and I'm sure you're dying to show it off!), don't post a picture of it right away. Take some time to soak up the moment (with your future husband- or wife-to-be!). After that, make sure to call family and friends to share the news—THEN you can share the good news online.
2. Don't put off talking about the wedding budget. Don't allow yourself to get in over your head financially because you didn't talk about your budget. Bring up the conversation sooner rather than later and make sure to be realistic about how much you and your love want to spend on your big day.
3. Don't book vendors without doing your research. We made the mistake of booking some of the first vendors we spoke with. We were so excited to be crossing things off the list that we didn't take the time to research and ended up finding vendors with more affordable prices after the fact. Unfortunately, because we were locked into a contract, we couldn't take advantage of the other deals, so we ended up spending more money than we should have.
4. Don't forget to keep dating each other. With the craziness that comes with planning a wedding, it can be easy to forget to make time for each other. Just because you're engaged doesn't mean that your romance should be put on the back burner. Make sure that you're still setting up date nights and doing special things for each other. Make your relationship a priority before anything else!
5. Don't put off talking about your future together. Make sure you're on the same page when it comes to your future. What are your religious views? How many kids (if any) do you want to have? What happens if one of you loses a job? Do you want to live in Minnesota? Do you want to have a combined bank account?
6. Don't feel like you have to involve your family and friends in every decision. This is you and your fiancé’s wedding. It is all about what you two want, nobody else should have a say (unless someone else is paying for it, which can add a layer of complication). Don't let other people's opinions change how you want your day to go. If you want to get married in the winter, do it! If you want to have a destination wedding, pack your bags! Courthouse wedding? Go ahead! The day is all about you and your fiancé.
7. Don't buy décor right away. As tempting as it is to want to take advantage of a sale, wait until you've finalized your wedding vision before buying décor. Take it from someone who saw a great sale and now has a giant box of light-up branches that no longer work with our theme, tablecloths that don't fit on our venue’s tables, and 15 sets of centerpieces that don't match! Wait until you have a specific wedding vision—more often than not, there will be another sale later on.
8. Same goes for your dress. As tough as it might sound, wait until a lot of your bigger wedding details are finalized prior to looking for a wedding dress! You don't want to end up stuck with a gown that makes you sweat like a popsicle on the 4th of July because it has sleeves and you’re getting married in the middle of the summer.
9. Try not to stress too much. This is such a fun and exciting time in your life! While wedding planning can be stressful, don't let it get the best of you. Enjoy this time together and soak it all in, because it sure goes by fast.