The List Before the List

Newly engaged? Congratulations! After showing your ring to everyone that you can, reality sets in and you wonder, “What is next?” My guess is you already know how you want to look and what kind of dress you want to wear because you have been dreaming of this since you were a little girl.

Next, you and your fiancé need to decide on a few things before you tackle the “list”. This is the list before the list–like picking out wedding bands, etc….

Consider these items:

  • How long do you want to be engaged before you actually marry? This might be determined by your budget. It also might be determined by what special touches you want to put into your wedding, such as a custom-made gown, or favors with logos on them, or maybe you need summer produce to make homemade jam favors.
  • How do you pick a date? One that works for everyone to be able to come? Who is everyone? You cannot determine if ALL of your friends and family can come! What dates do you want to avoid? What date would be meaningful for you and your fiancé? Perhaps the day you decided you fell in love! Some cultures use traditional methods to choose a date—Japanese families check out the koyomi, an ancient astrological calendar, to pick the most favorable day, while ancient Greeks used divined pig entrails!
  • In which season or month do you envision your wedding taking place? My husband and I chose spring because it is the beginning of fresh flowers and early produce.
  • What theme do you have in mind? This is your first party as a couple. What do you want to say about you as a couple? Do you want it to be casual or elegant or city chic?
  • Do you have a color palette in mind? If you decide on a fall wedding, oranges and yellows and reds are a natural match to the leaves on the trees. An Easter wedding might be all levels of pastels. Or, perhaps you have favorite color you already have in mind that you want to incorporate.
  • Have you dreamed of a wedding in a tent, on the shore or in a barn? The availability of the venue that you would like is key and can likely determine the date of your wedding. My husband and I got married in the March in Virginia. Now we live in Maine and March in Maine is still cold and snowy. When we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary I really wanted to have our party in a tent along the shore with heaters and hope that snow fell! As it turned out, it was a beautiful sunny 68-degree day and we had our party on a Casco Bay Cruise ship!
  • If you are getting married in a church, does it require pre-marital counseling? Most do. If yours does not you may want to consider this step. After living by yourself you might need to learn how to live with another person!
  • How do you meld two apartments/houses into one? Who moves in with who? What furniture do you keep and what do you sell or recycle? Do you need all new kitchenware, china, and glassware? You will need to decide for your registries.
  • Finally, how much are you willing to spend? It is all about the numbers. Think about what is important to you and set a realistic budget.

Wedding planning can be stressful, but remember to have fun with it! There is always a lot to think about; here are more tips from us and check out this awesome checklist from Wedding Wire!