A Letter to the Girl that just got Engaged
I got engaged 1,071 days ago…3 years on February 6th! (I have an app on my phone…I promise I didn’t count all those days myself!) It was a beautiful day and the proposal came as a complete surprise, which in my opinion is how it should be. We were surrounded by both families and it such a magical moment that I will never forget. Through the journey of being engaged, planning a wedding and building a life with my now Husband, I learned a few things from my personal experience and other’s experiences that I want to share with you. I hope these are helpful and make your journey more enjoyable and that it brings you closer to having the marriage of your dreams.
So to start off, CONGRATULATIONS! Being engaged is so much fun! You get to show off your ring, share your proposal story with friends/family, and you have some new bling to show off in your Instagram photos! Who doesn’t love that?
I know that you probably have way too many lists in your life right now as a bride-to-be but here is one more list full of advice I wish I had when I was engaged.
1) Do not compare your engagement ring to someone else’s engagement ring. There will always be someone with a bigger diamond or a more unique setting so once you learn to not compare your ring to others, you will fall in love with it even more.
2) Even though it is easy to focus more on your wedding than your relationship make sure you are focusing on your relationship first. Your wedding will be beautiful and memorable no matter what but if your relationship isn’t strong then you will have a lot of repair work during your first year of marriage instead of enjoying it and having fun! I say this from personal experience because I look back I realize that though I had a okay balance, I should have focused less on creating the wedding of my dreams and more on creating the marriage of my dreams. Both are important but your relationship comes first.
3) Make sure you LOVE your wedding dress! Looking back, if I could change one thing about my wedding it would be my dress. I didn’t have a huge dress budget and my style of dress wasn’t available in my price range (darn you BHLDN for having endless options in my style and price range available now!) so I had to create a combination with my dress and a skirt to create a style I liked. It ended up being beautiful and working out perfectly but with the options available now, I would definitely change it. So, when creating your budget, do your research to make sure you are budgeting for your style!
4) Be creative with your wedding ceremony. There are so many people that get married, have a super short ceremony, and then go on to the reception to party all night long. And if that is what your dream wedding looks like, then go for it! If it doesn’t, then think about something that is meaningful to you and your groom and find a way to add that into your ceremony. My Husband and I both love music and love to worship so we decided that after I walked down the aisle, we would have three worship songs. Did it elongate the ceremony? Yes, but it probably one of my favorite moments of the entire day. I forgot that I was in a wedding dress, in front of all our family and friends and I was truly able to remember what the point of the day was. So don’t be afraid to do something out of the box to create a special moment!
5) Alter your dress to wear heels and flats. I know that you fell in love with that pair of heels from Pintrest but trust me, you will end up taking them off and your dress will be dragging on the ground all night long. I am a shoes girl so I decided to spend the money and design my own ballet-inspired shoes. I LOVED them but they only lasted through Family Formals and then the came off. Go ahead and find a beautiful pair of shoes for the ceremony and so you have them captured in your detail shots but plan for something a bit more comfortable once everything is over. Find a dress length where you can’t see your heels completely but it won’t drag terribly on the ground when you change into flats. You’ll email me later thanking me.
6) Have a first look with your future Husband. I know it is super untraditional to see the groom before the wedding ceremony but guys, it is so nice to see him and hug him and talk to him before everyone is starring at you. I had a story about a snake to share with Dustin and by then I knew he had gotten me a kitty as my wedding gift (best wedding gift ever) and I was so excited to show him my shoes. It was such a great moment to catch our breath before the day started rolling because it never stops after that.
7) Have a first look with your Dad. Dads can sometimes be left out of the planning unless we need money, help carrying something, or to get advice about what to give our future Husband as a wedding gift. But if we are honest, they deserve so much more than that. If you were lucky enough to have a great Dad, he has been emotional about you getting married and having that one-on-one moment with him will be something either of you will never forget. The hug that my Dad gave me when we had our first look was a hug that kept me going. I felt loved, supported, and I knew that he was proud of me. So give your Dad the chance to give his little girl another bear hug before he has to walk her down to the aisle to another man. He deserves it.
8) Have fun! Make sure to invest in a good DJ because they will be in charge of keeping the reception music flowing and getting everyone out to the dance floor! You can tell a difference between an okay DJ and a fantastic DJ by the dance floor and how much fun everyone is having.
9) This is obvious coming from a photographer but invest in a quality photographer and/or videographer. Once your wedding day is over, people will keep talking about and be excited for a week or two and then it will fade away, the flowers will die, you’ll come home from your Honeymoon and be married. Your photos/video will be all that you have to remember and share with people other than your memories! I loved my photographer and videographers. I am happy that I made it a priority!
10) Put God first. I have been married for about 1½ years and I can tell you that this is so, so important. Dustin and I have faced some things that could have torn us apart but because we have the same foundation, we stood strong and faced what life threw at us, together. We have grown stronger and I truly believe that God is building us up so we can help build up other young couples. Being 23 and 22 years old and married isn’t always the easiest thing but I can promise you that it is worth it. 100%
There it is! 10 pieces of advice and I hope that you have found them helpful already! If you looking for a wedding photographer, I would love to be your photographer or help find someone else that fits your style because you deserve the best!
Talk to you soon!