What No One Tells You About Being Engaged

Although it feels like a forever ago, it was only a short time ago that Gus and I were engaged and planning one of the most important days of our lives. It is one of the most meaningful experiences we’ve ever had as well as one of the most stressful experiences too.

Here are 3 of the most important lessons I learned about being engaged.

Photo Credit -  Dipp Photography

Photo Credit - Dipp Photography


No matter who it is - Mother, Mother-In-Law, Friends, Co-workers, that random person in the store - everyone has an opinion about YOUR big day. It’s almost like a tube of toothpaste. Once you open the cap, if you aren’t too careful, the toothpaste is just going to keep flowing out. And in no way do I mean to demean the advice of your loved ones. Most are just trying to be helpful. But too much of that help can sometimes feel really overwhelming. 

Advice - Limit what you tell folks about your big day. If they aren’t really apart of your bridal party or wedding vendor team, they really don’t need to know #allofthedetails about your plans. Some loved ones won’t understand why you want to do a first look or not want to do a bouquet toss. That’s ok, because at the end of the day, YOU and your future spouse need to be happy with how you want to shape YOUR DAY.


PHoto Credit:  Kristy & Vic Photography


One of the biggest disappointments from our planning experience was truly knowing the difference of a “dream budget” and what our “actual budget” was. Although we paid for parts of our wedding, we still had a lot of help from family and friends. It was truly a blessing as we were gifted some of the main items (my dress, our cake to name a few) so we could concentrate our budget on other items that were details we wouldn’t have had.  Another disappointment was the reality of planning on a tv show to real life planning. When visiting the first florist we initially booked, I fantized about a bouquet being built in front of me and hand picking the flowers, in person, that would go into the floral details of our big day. Boy was that bubble burst. Not only did they not build any bouquet in front of me, but they didn’t have any fresh flowers in person PERIOD. After two other big let downs, we terminated our contract and found an amazing florist (who did build the bouquet in front of me). 


Advice - Before you go visit any venues or book your first vendor, write out wishes and needs on a sheet of paper and have an idea of what your budget really is. You will need an initial list of guests to really help you get an idea of the cost per guest. If you need an idea of what to write down, click here to download a sample worksheet that you can work from to get started.


Photo Credit:  Erica Melissa

Photo Credit: Erica Melissa


Yes, this is one of those pieces of advice that you’ve probably heard from 90% of the people you chat with. From experience, you and your fiancé have to mentally make the decision to do so. And trust me, with all of the details that can go awry, it’s super easy to displace your anger or disappointment on your partner. This is why at one point of our planning story, Gus and I decided that any time we would spend together on a date would be just that - a date. There would be no talk of wedding planning unless we had both agreed to set that time as planning time. One of the ways we did that was by playing games of UNO until our food arrived to the table. One of our favorite restaurants even dubbed us as the “Uno Couple” because of how much entertainment they received from watching us play (it was super competitive and there may have been a few choice words shared). 


Advice - God willing, this is the one and only time you will ever plan your own wedding. That is one of my hopes and prayers for all of my brides. But you and your fiancé really need to agree ahead of time on what details or possible occurances you are willing to entertain or shoot down. This is, in a way, a build up to what marriage is like. Being a team that works together to make the best life possible WITH one another. #foodforthought


At the end of the day, everyone’s wedding planning experience is different. You can watch #allthemovies and read #alltheblogposts, but no one experience is ever alike. My hope for all my brides is that no matter what their planning experience was like, that they feel nothing but calm and peace as they get ready for their big day. I call it the “calm of the storm” GET THE REAL NAME. (Eye of the storm?)


If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at the button below. I’m more than happy to share some of my experiences from my big day. 

How I didn't follow my own advice

So if you recall a few months ago, I wrote a post with some sound advice about using Pinterest as a tool to record ideas for your special event. How easily it was to get lost in the vast amount of pins and details that are just perfect, followed by the overwhelming feeling at how much each of those "ideas" truly cost.


Ugh...yes. I admit it. I totally gushed over gorgeous and smart pins that promised not only functionality in my new home, but the DIY (Do It Yourself) way to get 'er done. But as I followed each pin to it's source, I slowly realized I hadn't followed my own advice to my clients.

I will admit that the one thing falling through the Pinterest Rabbit Hole did was at least gather my thoughts on what I wanted our special space to look like. I was encouraged with some pins that proved my ideas weren't as crazy as I thought.

What was the last thing you obsessed about on Pinterest? Please let me know...I can't be alone. ;)


Uphill Battles - Pinterest

From ceremony florals to goodnight send offs, Pinterest has become one of the number one resources for brides to imagine their big day. One thing I am always impressed by are the visions that brides put together to inspire their wedding day. One thing I'm always, in turn, saddened by is the disillusion it creates for most brides. Don't close the page just yet...I am going somewhere with this. 

To me, its like inviting someone to shop at an insanely expensive department store like Harrods. Letting them fill up a cart with designer shoes, luxury purses, clothes, etc. Once they are content with how wonderfully the diamond necklace matches their stunning red, bottom Louis Vuittons, it hits them. The dreaded cashier lane. With a Old Navy type budget, how are they supposed to afford all the nice things they've gathered?

Here are some options:


Put it on the credit card. We'll pay it off. People, I still know friends who are paying off their wedding from 4 years ago because of this mentality. Don't do it.


Take out a loan. We'll pay it back once we get our gifts from the wedding. The money guests are giving you are to help you on this brand new journey you are embarking on with your spouse. I am the first one to admit to the many ups and downs that come to being married. Let alone un-foreseen financial stresses that can tear a couple completely apart. This money can help you go on your honeymoon, begin saving for a place of your own...the list goes on.


WE'RE ELOPING!! THIS IS ALL TOO MUCH STRESS!! (Not touching this one lol...although you will find yourself stating this at some point of your planning process...multiple times)

Do you mind if I step in and give some lovingly free advice? Sit down with your fiancé a few days, maybe even weeks after you've become engaged (Enjoy this moment. Its a really special time.) and discuss how you want to celebrate this once in a life time moment together. Once you even have a basic vision, start setting up a budget. Setup your top 4 dream details and see how the others fall. I will not be blind to know that stationery is not in that top 4 category, but its something that you can work with. 

I am more than happy to sit with a couple and toss around some great ideas for stationery, but do you want to know what the most rewarding thing I do is? I can take a small glimmer of an unattainable design for most and make them into an attainable reality. Warning: I'm not a Miracle Worker, Magic Genie, or a Mary Poppins that can pull so much great stuff out of that handy bag of endlessness she has and make unimaginable things happens. (Although, I have always wanted to jump into a chalk painting and ride off into the country side on a carousel horse.)

I will be talking about ways more about this as it details to stationery with you, but that will be a topic for another blog post. For now, I want to leave you with this: 

The one thing I would want most of all for any engaged couple is that they truly are happy with all the choices they made for the wedding and are in no way financially hurting afterwards. This would mean that you found the right vendor that made each detail worth while within your budget, not someone else's.