Congratulations! He/she/they proposed or you made the decision together to tie the knot and you are now engaged! Everything feels so new and exciting and you feel truly invigorated by the love you have for each other. This is a wonderful moment in a relationship, like a second honeymoon phase.
Announcing it to family and/or friends might however burst your bubble. When is the wedding? Where are you having the ceremony? Will you have a small or a big affair (i.e., are we invited)? So many -possibly stress-inducing- questions, not to mention we are in the middle of a global pandemic. It is not currently possible to get married unless exceptional circumstances and we don’t really know when it will be allowed again, nor how many guests will be able to attend.
So yes, these are uncertain times for the engaged lovebirds but there are some upsides to it and you can use this slow season to step into wedding planning in a more serene way.
Be in the moment and enjoy it
I know, in the era of social media, where snaps of hands with a ring on it get hundreds of likes, it is very tempting to go ahead and just do that. However, there is no rule that you need to announce the world about your engagement the moment it happens. Imagine if you kept the big news a secret for a little while, your secret! Not only it adds a little spice to your life, but it also gives you time to really be in the moment and enjoy it for what it is: a very special chapter of your love story, no one else’s. So take your time, stay on cloud 9 for a little while and when you are both ready, shout it from the rooftops (or just say it to your closest ones).
Get on the same page
Use this quiet season to take time to have conversations about what you both want for your wedding. It’s important to talk to each other about what it means for you to get married and to establish what are the most important things you want to have or to happen on your day. And if you’ve managed to not tell your friends and family yet, you get to focus on yours and your partner’s voice rather than all the noise from outside your relationship. You can there and then make decisions about what your wedding will look like, as well as what traditions you want to ditch or keep.
This is also a good time to decide how you will both be involved in the planning. Yes, marriage is an old institution but there is no need to fall into the “bride plans it all” trap (THE cliché in heterosexual relationships). Your wedding is for you both and planning takes a lot of time and organisation. By sharing the items on the to-do list, in a way that you both feel a part of it but not overwhelmed, is a good way to make your engagement and wedding planning less stressful.
The C word
Now you have a clearer picture of what kind of wedding you are about to start planning, let’s talk about how COVID comes into play. Not only 2021 weddings will see restrictions on numbers but think of all the 2020 weddings that were postponed. Venues and other wedding suppliers will be in very high demand for the next couple of years. But luckily, after your all-important conversations, you have nailed what matters the most to you! Don’t want to wait for too long and want something intimate? You can opt for an elopement or a micro-wedding and get married as soon as it is allowed. Want a big affair? Then you already know that it might be a while until you exchange your vows and, just to be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong about a long engagement, it is YOUR story, remember? * The current situation with the pandemic is what it is and is completely out of your control so best to be at peace with it and with your timeline. Again, enjoying your engagement is the priority, not getting filled with anxiety if you can avoid it.
*though you might not want to drag it for 7 years like Pam & Roy – have you watched The Office U.S.? I'm a big fan!
Engaged, steady, GO!
Cheesy, I know, but actually making my point. You got engaged, you paused for a bit to relish in it and think it all through and you are now ready to get started.
I won’t lie, this is all very exciting at first: finding inspiration, building Pinterest boards or asking around for recommendations. But before getting lost in all the details, you’ll want to make sure to find your venue and set your date, those two go hand in hand unless you’ve chosen to elope. Once this is done, you will want to find suppliers who truly speak to you, as in whose work and values resonate with you. Planning is never plain sailing so it’s important to get to know suppliers through the consultation they offer. Make sure they get you and will make things easier for you before you book them. I also advise to trust your instincts and choose the right fit for you rather than whoever gets the more likes or following on Instagram.
And, as a stationer, I can’t leave you without reminding you to send those Save the Date cards (read more about them here) so you are surrounded by all your loved ones on your wedding day.
Hi! I'm Hélène, stationery designer & calligrapher and founder of Smitten with Ink. I can help you with wedding invitations and all paper details of your big day. I design bespoke suites and I have also just released my Semi-Custom Collections. If you'd like to have a chat (the consultation mentioned above is completely free), just get in touch!
Happy engagement and happy planning!
Photography credits: Imogen Eve Photography