I remember the day I got engaged like it was yesterday! It was my (now) husband’s 30th birthday and we were expecting our closest friends and family over to celebrate.
There was still a lot to be completed before welcoming our guests. But then…he throws me for an absolute surprise, gets down on one knee, and asks me to marry him! I was in complete shock as I was not expecting this, but I immediately said yes (obviously!), we called our families, and then we got right back to work on setting-up for his birthday celebration turned engagement celebration!
It wasn’t until the next day that it actually sunk in – we’re engaged! Over the next few weeks, I read article after article about what you’re supposed to do when you first become engaged, as I am sure you have, too.
Yes, it’s important to make sure your engagement ring is insured, and it’s a must that you begin thinking of your guest list and begin dreaming of the perfect venue. But let’s pretend you have already conquered those tasks. Today, we’re here to help you with what all those online articles don’t prepare you for and the things I wish I had done…well, differently.
01. Set-up an email account that is dedicated to wedding-related matters ONLY.
There are a million (okay, maybe not a million, but A LOT!) of places where you will be asked to provide an email address. Don’t believe every vendor that claims they don’t intend to share contact information or that you won’t receive unsolicited emails. That’s just not the case. Case in point…Can’t resist entering that free honeymoon giveaway featured on The Knot’s Instagram? Do yourself a favor and create an email account that both of you are able to check throughout the planning. Then, once the wedding is over, you can determine whether or not you’ll keep it. You’ll thank me later when your inbox doesn’t get filled with spam…. just don’t forget to check the account on a regular basis!
02. Research credit card companies that you can use for future wedding expenses and one that gives benefits for each purchase made.
Every couple has different financial means, but if you are able, this will benefit you as a couple in the long run. It’s important to keep in mind that there are many different credit cards that offer different benefits, but you will be making large purchases in the months to come, so why not use a credit card that you know will be giving you something back?
Let’s get a little more specific. For example, CaptialOne Venture Rewards Card earns unlimited 2x miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. You can earn a 50,000 bonus mile once you spend $3,000.00 on a purchase within the first 3 months of your account opening. If you have two vendors around the same time that require deposits, you could meet the minimum easily.
You can then redeem your points for travel, gift cards, or even cash.There is a lot to consider when opening a credit card, but make a list of the pros and cons with your fiancé and see if this is something that could work for you. Chances are, the signing bonus could potentially make a significant dent in those honeymoon flights, or even pay for them completely. To me, it’s a no-brainer! If you have any major concerns, feel free to email me and I can provide details on the credit card we chose!
03. Collaborate with your partner about each of your wedding must-haves!
Make separate lists and then do some comparisons. Chances are your priorities may align with each other. Maybe your must-have is wanting menu selections vs. a buffet and his are booking a live band vs. a DJ.
Either way, knowing each other’s priorities and keeping them in mind when speaking with your wedding planners will help you be flexible and considerate during future planning and when it comes time to make compromises.
Also keep in mind that these priorities may change throughout the wedding planning process, and that’s okay! You’ll quickly find that wedding planning is a testament to the art of compromising. So be cognizant of each others must-haves from the start and then make the necessary adjustments along the way. It’s beneficial to go back to these lists throughout the process to stay focused on the items that matter most!
04. There is no way around it, you must speak about a budget.
It can be uncomfortable and it could be the first time you’ve really talked about money that comes from both wallets, but there is a first time for everything. This conversation isn’t something that you can bring up casually or unexpectedly, so don’t expect to walk away from the first conversation with a feeling of completeness. It may be something that requires multiple conversations. Any wedding planner can put together a budget once they have numbers to work with, but we can’t help you unless you know what you are comfortable spending. This number should not include any “maybe money”.
What do I mean? A holiday bonus or money from the “always generous” relative is what I consider “maybe money”. Don’t include this in the budget because you just never know if it will actually come to fruition. Better yet, make a separate list of “potential’ income between now and the date of the wedding. Every time you receive additional or unexpected income, put that towards something on your wedding wish list.
As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions!