Congratulations! You’re engaged and you’re discovering the many ways to creatively express your love and celebrate your marriage. Finding your own way can be one of the most rewarding things about wedding planning, and one of the most challenging. You want to hang on to the euphoria you felt when you first got engaged without having it turn into worries about planning an event. So, before you begin to make the many decisions that will make your big day unique, stop to spend some quality time with your partner focusing on these simple steps to stress-free wedding planning.
(wedding photo by Sarah Ainsworth
Step one: Begin by sharing your dreams and expectations. Talk about what having a wedding means to you, and think about the people and traditions that you want to honor, and the things you’re looking most forward to. Imagine the place you’ll be married, the time of year, and the overall atmosphere. Chances are you both hold some preconceived ideas and desires about your wedding day, and the best time to examine them is when your both ecstatic about getting married.
(wedding photo by Caroline Tran Photographer
Step two: Create a list of the most important things you’ve shared. Then, take turns prioritizing the list so it’s a reflection of what you both want from your wedding. Understanding your partner’s dreams will help you make decisions you’ll feel good about when you get married and throughout the years to come.
(wedding photo by Scott Hopkins Photography
Step three: Have fun brainstorming creative ways to celebrate your preferences, your backgrounds, and your differences, both now and in the future. Use your love and imagination to find ways that you can both get what you’re looking for, and remember that the partnering skills you’re learning today will be a gift you’ll both be grateful for in the years to come.
(wedding photo by Juliana Wiklund Photography
Step four: Once you have your priorities set, decide on your wedding date and which people you want to tell about your engagement, and when. Consider making your announcement extra special by hosting an engagement party, sharing it at a family event, or putting it in the paper or on your own website. Chances are your parents (and a few of your very closest friends) would rather hear the news directly from you and not through the grapevine, so if it feels right, tell them first.
(wedding photo by Callaway Gable Photography
Step Five: Keep your list of priorities posted and close at hand throughout your wedding planning process. Use it as a foundation to return to if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it will help you remember what’s most important to you when too many details vie for your attention, and when well meaning friends and family members let you know what they think you should do.
(wedding photo by Elizabeth Messina
As you're beginning your wedding planning, don't miss finding inspiration in our Wedding Photo Gallery and Real Weddings Section, and the best wedding professionals in the world on our Plan Your Wedding Hotlists!