Advice for the Newly Engaged?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Colby2000. Show Colby2000's posts

    Advice for the Newly Engaged?

    Hi Ladies,

    I have been a lurker for many months (possibly years!) however became engaged over the weekend - yay! While we are still enjoying the newness of our engagement, I am also excited to begin the planning process. I feel like I've been planning my wedding since I was 5! We are hoping to be married sometime next fall (09) and are hoping to have the ceremony and reception at one location in the city of Boston. We will be meeting with our families later this week and at that time will have a better sense of our budget, size of guest list, and also what is most important to them. I am a firm believer that this is a joining of families so want to be sure both sides feel included....although I may live to regret saying that!

    For those of you who have been through the planning process, do you have any advice on how best to proceed? What should I consider when contacting venues? Should I just call them, or will I then be bombarded with info, calls, emails, etc? While I thought that I'd have no problem, I'm realizing how overwhelming everything feels! I'd love some advice from all you wise women!
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from NorthernLghts. Show NorthernLghts's posts

    Advice for the Newly Engaged?

    first, congrats on your engagement!

    Things to consider: the size of the room/venue and your guest list size. it's best to assume that everyone on your list will come. Make sure you can meet the minium even with some no's. That's what helped me choose-I had two places I liked but only one i'd be able to meet the minium on with regrets. And it's best to go and see the place in person to ask questions. You'll probably think of more question once you are there and see there packages vs what you see on the website. So call and make an appointment to go see a venue.

    Also, what is important to you in a venue? Some venues have more than one wedding going on at the same time. Are you going to be ok with this?

    I think it's wonderful you want to involve both sets of parents in all this. Good luck!
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Prill. Show Prill's posts

    Advice for the Newly Engaged?

    Firstly, congratulations!

    Secondly, get an idea of both how many people (max) you will invite and decide what 'style' you want everything to be - do you want formal ball room, sit down meal etc, or is a more laid back cocktail reception more your thing.

    Third, I think it is great that you want both families to be equally involved, but never lose site of the fact that it is your day - I do hope neither family is the 'bullying' type.... and be forewarned, that regardless of personalities, wedding planning can bring out the worst in people.

    Fourth - have a 'must have' and 'nice to have' list that you and your fiancee can agree on - are there things that you will not negotiate on and others that you are willing to concede.... pick your fights!!

    Finally - remember it is only one day, it is the marriage aftewards that is more important.
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Advice for the Newly Engaged?


    My advice is to try not to tell everyone you know about the engagement/wedding right away. I know you are excited, but you might regret it later if you need to cut the guest list and you feel bad because you told so-and-so all about your plans and she was so excited for you!

    I wouldn't worry about being bombarded if you email/call venues for information. I never got bombarded with emails after contacting venues, or photographers and DJs either. I think that tends to happen more if you give out your email address at a bridal show or at David's Bridal, for example.

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Advice for the Newly Engaged?


    The number of guests and your total budget will determine what venues you can consider.

    A downtown Boston hotel ceremony and reception for 150 will run you anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000, generally speaking, although you can do it cheaper off season, on Friday or Sunday, etc. etc.

    Prepare for fainting parents....sticker shock is very common.

    However, it is VERY possible to have a lovely wedding for much less if that is what interests you.

    Never, ever go visit a venue that you can't afford -- everything else will seem disappointing. Just like don't try on a $20,000 gown if your budget maximum is $2,000.

    When you talk to the parents, remember that the more they contribute, the more say they will want (and deserve). If they are all local, try to divide up the guest list allotment in 3rds -- his, hers, and ours.

    Enjoy your newly-engaged status and DON'T let your FI know that you've started planning'll scare him. You must ease him into this very gently! Best wishes!

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Advice for the Newly Engaged?

    First off, congratulations!

    My advice: since you know you want a city wedding, you've got the first step done.

    First thing we did: figure out a rough guest list (we literally went through our phone book, my parents' phone book, and asked each of his parents to do the same and wrote down everyone we thought we'd want there...and then we whittled down to a number that seemed reasonable).

    Next we figured out a budget, and using that combined with the guest list, then we started looking at venues. No point in looking at a room for 150 people if you know you're inviting 200 and vice versa.

    For us, the priorities were being the only wedding at the site, being close to the church we're getting married at, and being convenient for the many out-of -town guests we're having.

    Once you have a guest list, a budget and a venue, everything else really does start to come together. Don't let the Knot checklists freak you out, and don't think that you have to do anything a certain way. Figure out what's important for your day, who you want to be with you on that day, and you'll be fine! And remember, the venue is just a room, the flowers are just decoration, it's the people who you'll be with that will make your wedding wonderful and beautiful and memorable, so don't get too mired in the details!

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Colby2000. Show Colby2000's posts

    Advice for the Newly Engaged?

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful suggestions! I think after speaking with both sides of our family we will have a better sense of guest list, budget, etc. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!

    I'm sure I'll be back with many other questions! So excited! :)
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from starbuckslas. Show starbuckslas's posts

    Advice for the Newly Engaged?

    First many many congrats. This is just the start of things wonderful.

    Since I just got married and did the Boston wedding here are things I can tell you.

    1. Look at many places... We saw 15 in total. You'd be surprised at how beautiful some are and how dumpy others are..

    2. Factor in the cost of tip and taxes when looking at pricing packages. Those two alone can add on 18-24%.

    3. Think of hiring vendors outside of Boston, ie florist, band/dj..

    4. Be firm on your guest list once you get the final numbers. It's hard to say no, but it's so easy to go overboard and suddenly have another 25 people at 100 a head.

    5. Remember it's your day... Don't let other people make decisions for you and your FI. If you really don't like something speak up.

    6. Start getting ideas now of songs you like, food you like, floral designs, color schemes, a theme if you want to use one.

    7. If you want to use votives on your tables buy them after christmas when they are all on sale and save them. I got mine at Walgreens ( 96 of them, holder and candle) for $12

    8. Start thinking about what style of gowns you like, yours and your maids.

    9. Last but not least, enjoy.... it goes by very quickly
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from circles82. Show circles82's posts

    Advice for the Newly Engaged?

    I think the very first thing that needs to be done is a review of your finances. Make a list of all yours and his debts truthfully as well as income. Finances, while not a romantic topic, are quite important as a first step. Once you have that nailed down, you can start in with the fun! I did mine on a very low budget and still had everything we wanted, so don't be discouraged if you come up with a lower number than you think you will need. It just makes for a little extra creativity.
    Start thinking about colors and/or any theme and the overall style you are looking for. It would be a good idea to keep a folder of swatches, pictures of things you like (hair styles, cake designs, dress shapes), potential vendor contacts, and eventually any contracts you may have with them.
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Colby2000. Show Colby2000's posts

    Advice for the Newly Engaged?

    Everyone, thanks so much for all your great ideas and suggestions! We will be leaving tomorrow to head down to NY for Thanksgiving with my future in-laws and I cannot wait to show them the ring and celebrate. Such good timing my FI has! (How cool is it to call him that?!) While down there we plan to talk with his folks, and then when we return to Boston on Friday (for Thanksgiving round #2 with my folks!) we'll talk some more. As many of you mentioned, I think with that nailed down I can then get on to the fun stuff!

    I will say, I've lurked on this board for a while and always thought it was such a great group of supportive women. I am so excited to finally feel like I can post and be part of the group -- although I know you'd all have accepted me before!

    Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving!
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from CityGirl07. Show CityGirl07's posts

    Advice for the Newly Engaged?

    Congratulations! It sounds like you have the right idea and the right attitude. My advice, if it hasn’t been said before, is to talk with your fiancé about your priorities. That way you can present a united front to your parents if and when the time comes. Then from there you’ll need to pick your battles. My parents were very weird at first about money – after we picked the venue they kept saying “don’t worry about it.” I wasn’t worried, but I needed to know, so that I could research appropriate vendors. Once that was cleared up, things were easier.

    Enjoy this time – it’s so exciting – especially at the beginning! My husband proposed last year over Thanksgiving weekend and I get teary just thinking about how great that day/time was!

  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Advice for the Newly Engaged?

    Congratulations! Seems like we were just in your shoes, and now our wedding is 23 days past (the Knot continues to keep track!).

    Prill hit on a huge point. The details of a beautiful wedding will definitely come together even as overwhelming as it may seem right now. However, the divorce rate betrays that happy marriage may or may not come together. So, if you've been planning your wedding since you were 5 (figuratively, I know), you may want to shift gears and plan heavily during your engagement for the marriage. It truly doesn't just work by love and accident. My DH and I went through "Preparing for Marriage" by David Boehi, et al. My brother and his fiance used it, too, and as he told me, "Buckle your seatbelt - this isn't no cake tasting." It's something you go through with your pastor, priest, or church marriage prep group. Of course, as that implies, it's a Bible-centric book (yes, it covers sexual intimacy and the 3 reasons God designed it, yes 3, that can be eye-opening to learn even if you grew up in the church). If you search in Amazon for "Preparing for Marriage," it's the first one. You'd need to buy two - it's a workbook you both do separately and then confer on together. If the workbook isn't for you or you are not getting married in a church, at least focus somehow on secular marriage preparatory counseling from a professional counselor. Building a foundation during this time will set you up for a lifetime of marital success. (I was married for 9 long years before this...I know.)

    As others have said, ENJOY this time! Try to let go of expecting perfection and assuming you can plan well enough to guarantee it. The idea that you can acheive wedding perfection will only serve to drive you crazy and will hamper your relaxation and joy. It may end up perfect (like ours!), but may not. Oh, well, you'll be married at the end of the day either way.

    What made our day go best was having a wedding coordinator on site that had tons of experience. I didn't have to know how anything was supposed to go - she did. It was Sandy Brown at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury. I know you said you want a Boston venue, though, so just ask about the coordinator at your reception venue.

    As for where to look, get your details about your wedding first (as others have said). Formality (black tie, white tie, casual BBQ?), time of day, guest list size, and budget will all narrow down your venue choices making the chore more managable. You'll know what questions to ask after you have a list of must-haves to find out for the wedding you want.

    Best wishes and keep coming back here! The ladies of these boards have seen me through very tough and very joyous times.
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from bleeble. Show bleeble's posts

    Advice for the Newly Engaged?

    Congratulations! My advice is that you have about a 3 week jump on a huge wave of people who will be getting engaged over the holidays. Statistically, 20% of all engagements happen in late December and early January.

    Two things:
    1) Prioritize. Of course, everybody wants every element of their wedding to be perfect, but figure out which ones matter the most to you. Think about which things really impact your guests the most and make those the vendors your priority.

    2) When you have a gut feeling about a vendor, take steps to move forward. That doesn't necessarily mean sign a contract, but set up a meeting, ask for references, do something to move forward. A lot of the vendors I was initially attracted to sat on my desk for 3 weeks or a month and I was really surprised when their availability changed.

    Best of luck to you!