Seven years ago I was right where you are. The excitement of my engagement had calmed down and I was ready to start planning the wedding of my dreams. I remember it like it was yesterday. All the excitement and all the stress. Planning a wedding is a lot of work and you only have one chance to do it right.
Today I want to travel back in time to when I was a bride and in your shoes to give you a few pieces of advice, from one bride to another.
1. There's no rush. Sort of. Of course the clock starts ticking once you officially have a date and venue booked. With that being said, there is no right or wrong amount of time to be engaged! One of my friends recently said to me "I really want a fall wedding but this fall is too quick to plan a wedding and I don't want to be engaged for almost two years." My question is, why? I'm not going to lie, this thought crossed my mind a couple of times when I first started planning my wedding. We were engaged in December of 2009. I wanted a summer wedding and 6 months seemed like such a short amount of time to plan a wedding. We ended up waiting until 2011 to get married and you know what, it was amazing! Waiting also helps you save some more money to help with the cost of the big day. Don't give up on your dream wedding just because it means you'll have a long engagement.
2. Ask for help. In the age of Pinterest and the DIY bride, it may seem like you can (or have to) do it all yourself. That's not the case my friend. While DIYing is definitely a great way to save some cash, Weddings are enough stress as it is. If the budget allows, anything you can outsource you should! Or at least find some great friends/family members to help out as much as possible.
3. Hire a day of Coordinator. I really would recommend to hire a wedding Coordinator for the whole process, however that might not be in the budget for everybody. Day of Coordinators are a little more affordable than a full wedding planner. This was the best thing that I did for my wedding. At noon on my wedding day I was relaxing by the pool! I didn't have to worry about flowers, decorations, or whether or not all the vendors showed up. I got to relax and simply enjoy the day.
4. Take a break. Make time for each other. Wedding planning can be stressful and takes up a lot of time. Don't forget to stop every once in a while and just enjoy being engaged. Go on a date or have a date night in. Make sure that throughout the whole process you're taking the time to remember exactly why you're doing this in the first place.
5. Follow your heart and enjoy every minute of it! This is your wedding and like I said before, you only get to do this once! Plan a wedding that makes you and your future hubby happy! <3