Just Engaged and Proposals

Engagement Questions..?

I neeeeeed help!! My fiance and I have decided to have a long engagement. I just graduated from college and looking for a teaching job; in the meantime I am a nanny. We will be saving as much money as we can, but I will starting to pay off student loans. So we aren't getting married until 2016. Is this too long? I have already started budgeting, flagging things in magazines, picked out our wedding parties, and have plans to go to a wedding show this weekend. Is this too much? Am I being crazy? 
You should probably know, I am a crazy organizer! I have lists and schedules and calendars for everything in my life! So I feel like I am just trying to be prepared. My fiance on the other hand, keeps telling me not to think about all this, we have 2 1/2 years... and I HATE HEARING THAT!! 
So I guess, I am asking what is a good timeline for "the important things"? Who to pick for our wedding party? Getting a budget? Looking at venues? 

Thanks :)

Re: Engagement Questions..?

  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I agree with what's been said already!  Your plans may change as you start looking and making decisions.  I know my wedding changed drastically from what I imagined and when FI and I sat down and started talking (we went from a 'traditional' wedding to an intimate destination wedding).

    I want to re-stress - do not pick your bridal party now; you don't know what's going to happen in the 2+ years and you may get stuck with people you'd rather not have or even a wedding that you changed your mind on.


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    djsonntag
  • I was in an extremely similar situation when I first got engaged (was a nanny, looking for a job in my career choice). I would say that my advice varies based on the area you live in. Personally, I'm having my wedding in NJ, and things book up quickly here. My advice for 2014 would be...

    1. Set a budget, see how much you can save in the next 2.5 years.
    2. Figure out the # of people you will be inviting (approximately).
    3. Browse wedding magazines, blogs, etc. to get a feel for what you like.
    4. If you're area is like mine, I'd say you can start looking at venues within the next 6 months.

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  • HaileyDancingbearHaileyDancingbear Arkham Asylum member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I'm also in a long engagement because FI is in college, and I'm in the process of building a career as a makeup artist.  I'm also on Pinterest looking at wedding ideas (And cross referencing with TK to make sure I'm not planning any etiquette fails) looking at magazines, etc, I have rough ideas of the color schemes/decor I want.  I think it's fine to do planning right now, but don't set anything in stone.  If I find any ideas I do want to set in stone, I put them in this binder I have, so when it gets closer to the wedding and it's time to start really planning, I can go back to the binder. 
    I have already asked people to be in my wedding party because it was a complete no-brainer for me, one BM and my MOH have been my best friends for 6 years, and my other two BM's are my two cousins who I'm very close with.  Although I do agree with PP's that relationships can change, so I wouldn't recommend asking anyone unless you're positive they're a permanent part of your life.
    I think it's fine that you're doing so much planning, just as long as you're ok with the fact that the things you're planning now may change in the future.
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    djsonntag
  • It can't hurt to start looking around and getting ideas. I wouldn't make any decisions yet because your tastes may change and things that are available may change.  I went to my first bridal show 2 years out from our planned wedding date but it was a huge help talking to people and seeing how much some of the local vendors charge.
    djsonntag
  • laurenstlouislaurenstlouis member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited January 2014
    Hey, Love! Congratulations on your engagement, how exciting!

    2016 is definitely not too long, and in fact, I personally prefer longer engagements to shorter ones. This means more time to save money, you can spread out all of your wedding payments over the course of 2 1/2 years (vs 9-12 months) AND if you start early, you'll more than likely get your first choice of vendors. I knew when I got engaged that the two most important things (for us) were locking in our venue and our photographer. My FI and I are going to have a "long" engagement too (we got engaged 9/21/13 and our date is 9/19/15, so an engagement period of about two years), but we didn't wait to book our venue or photographer--and it's a good thing, too, because by the time we actually went to meet with our photographer (two months after getting engaged), our weekend was the only one in September 2015 that she still had available...two years out! Our venue is one that isn't too well-known in our area (I'm a wedding coordinator, and I had no idea it even existed up until about a week before we toured it), but it's definitely an up-and-coming venue...so while 2015 was still wide open, 2014 was already almost completely booked up. I would say that while it's unlikely your #1 venue choice will be booked right now, it's still definitely worth it to at least set up an appointment to meet with someone there, get a tour, talk pricing, and, of course, their availability for your date.

    That being said, I totally agree with everyone else: there are definitely things that you can start taking care of now, regardless of how far away your date is. Go ahead and set your budget, get a feel for the theme or overall vision you want for your big day, put together your wedding website (if you two are going that route), maybe check out a few bridal shows in your area, start compiling draft guest lists, put together and organize a wedding binder and calendar to keep track of all your ideas, receipts, contracts (basically everything!), and definitely start keeping track of ideas that catch your idea! If you're still dying to plan something but are hesitating because of how far out the wedding is, maybe focus on planning your engagement party or something smaller like that? I'm totally the same way that you are (about being hyper-organized and such!) and I actually started planning our wedding before my FI and I were even engaged! It was so funny to go back and read all the details that a couple of years ago, I was CERTAIN had to be included in our wedding, that now I actually cringe at! Your mind can definitely change in the span of a few months (let alone years!), so I think it's definitely worth it to go ahead and at least start compiling ideas you like and maybe start calling around to venues and such, just to get an idea and feel for the different places and people you and your future husband could potentially be working with, price points (so that when the time comes, you'll be prepared to put down a deposit), and all that good stuff!

    I also wanted to point out that (at least with me), while I had what I thought was a very focused, clear "vision" for our wedding day, it wasn't until we actually officially booked our venue that suddenly everything seemed so clear and my thoughts and ideas seemed waaay more focused than they were before! I was so inspired by our venue that ideas just started pouring out of me and I could start cutting other ideas that I had before that were no longer as big of a deal to me, etc. I don't know if I'm the only bride who feels like that, but I feel it's worth noting just in case I'm not and you find this helpful! :)

    Best of luck to you with your planning, and congratulations again!
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    djsonntag
  • Yes I have been doing the binder thing too. I look at things around and just save ideas online or in the binder. 
    I also have a select few friends whom I have been friends with many, many years and it is a no brainer on them being apart of the big day. 
    Thank you!!! 
  • Hey, Love! Congratulations on your engagement, how exciting!

    2016 is definitely not too long, and in fact, I personally prefer longer engagements to shorter ones. This means more time to save money, you can spread out all of your wedding payments over the course of 2 1/2 years (vs 9-12 months) AND if you start early, you'll more than likely get your first choice of vendors. I knew when I got engaged that the two most important things (for us) were locking in our venue and our photographer. My FI and I are going to have a "long" engagement too (we got engaged 9/21/13 and our date is 9/19/15, so an engagement period of about two years), but we didn't wait to book our venue or photographer--and it's a good thing, too, because by the time we actually went to meet with our photographer (two months after getting engaged), our weekend was the only one in September 2015 that she still had available...two years out! Our venue is one that isn't too well-known in our area (I'm a wedding coordinator, and I had no idea it even existed up until about a week before we toured it), but it's definitely an up-and-coming venue...so while 2015 was still wide open, 2014 was already almost completely booked up. I would say that while it's unlikely your #1 venue choice will be booked right now, it's still definitely worth it to at least set up an appointment to meet with someone there, get a tour, talk pricing, and, of course, their availability for your date.

    That being said, I totally agree with everyone else: there are definitely things that you can start taking care of now, regardless of how far away your date is. Go ahead and set your budget, get a feel for the theme or overall vision you want for your big day, put together your wedding website (if you two are going that route), maybe check out a few bridal shows in your area, start compiling draft guest lists, put together and organize a wedding binder and calendar to keep track of all your ideas, receipts, contracts (basically everything!), and definitely start keeping track of ideas that catch your idea! If you're still dying to plan something but are hesitating because of how far out the wedding is, maybe focus on planning your engagement party or something smaller like that? I'm totally the same way that you are (about being hyper-organized and such!) and I actually started planning our wedding before my FI and I were even engaged! It was so funny to go back and read all the details that a couple of years ago, I was CERTAIN had to be included in our wedding, that now I actually cringe at! Your mind can definitely change in the span of a few months (let alone years!), so I think it's definitely worth it to go ahead and at least start compiling ideas you like and maybe start calling around to venues and such, just to get an idea and feel for the different places and people you and your future husband could potentially be working with, price points (so that when the time comes, you'll be prepared to put down a deposit), and all that good stuff!

    I also wanted to point out that (at least with me), while I had what I thought was a very focused, clear "vision" for our wedding day, it wasn't until we actually officially booked our venue that suddenly everything seemed so clear and my thoughts and ideas seemed waaay more focused than they were before! I was so inspired by our venue that ideas just started pouring out of me and I could start cutting other ideas that I had before that were no longer as big of a deal to me, etc. I don't know if I'm the only bride who feels like that, but I feel it's worth noting just in case I'm not and you find this helpful! :)

    Best of luck to you with your planning, and congratulations again!
    AH thank you sooo much!! I am so glad there are other people in the same boat as us. I actually just received my "The Knot Wedding Planner and Organizer" the other day in the mail and have started looking through it to get somewhat of a timeline for everything. That book was the best $35 I have EVER spent so far!!! 
    I think I will be dragging my FI to a few wedding shows this year and talking to a lot of vendors as well. We do have a "dream venue" and I would hate to lose it because someone told me it was too early to start planning a wedding that's 2 years away. I also did not think about a photographer being booked up to 2 years in advance!! That is definitely something that is hugely important to us, so we might as well start looking for that too. 
    Thank you soo much for your advice and insight!! And congratulations on your engagement, and good luck with the planning!! <3 
  • Oh, I know! I live and die by the Knot Organizer, haha! 

    Absolutely go to some wedding shows! They're SO much fun and it's so nice to have a little bit of everything all in one place! I'm sure it varies from bridal show to bridal show, but a lot of the shows here in St. Louis have a "man cave" area for the Grooms (or any other guys in attendance), where they can get massages, watch whatever sports are on, have pub style snacks and a beer garden--so it's nice that it's not all beautiful dresses and "bride oriented" things; there's stuff for guys, too. I would definitely set up an appointment to at least see the venue, just to make sure that it's everything you all want, what pricing looks like for it, and if they're available for your date. I am super paranoid about losing things (such as a venue I really want getting booked before I could book it), and with engagement season coming up shortly after we got engaged, I knew that a lot of brides were going to start picking out dates and touring venues--and I wanted to make sure I was ahead of the game, haha! We toured the venue we ended up going with around mid-December, and by Christmas, we had signed our contract (same for our photographer!) I was in a good position though, because our venue updates their calendar pretty regularly with booked dates...so I could see as other weekends got booked. As soon as the weekend right after ours got booked, we went ahead and officially put down our deposit to secure our date (so that I could start breathing again!) As far as our photographer goes, it might be a different story depending upon your date and such. We're planning a September wedding with a fairly well-known wedding photographer in our city--so that's more than likely why she was almost booked two years in advance. It could very well be another story for any other bride, though! I booked our photographer because I've known that I've wanted her forever; for me, there was just no one else I felt could capture the spirit of our family and friends, and all of the awesome emotion of the day like I know she can. If you have a photographer that you feel strongly about, I would say definitely check them out! 

    Happy planning! Keep in touch, I'd love to hear how your plans are going!
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  • Oh, I know! I live and die by the Knot Organizer, haha! 

    Absolutely go to some wedding shows! They're SO much fun and it's so nice to have a little bit of everything all in one place! I'm sure it varies from bridal show to bridal show, but a lot of the shows here in St. Louis have a "man cave" area for the Grooms (or any other guys in attendance), where they can get massages, watch whatever sports are on, have pub style snacks and a beer garden--so it's nice that it's not all beautiful dresses and "bride oriented" things; there's stuff for guys, too. I would definitely set up an appointment to at least see the venue, just to make sure that it's everything you all want, what pricing looks like for it, and if they're available for your date. I am super paranoid about losing things (such as a venue I really want getting booked before I could book it), and with engagement season coming up shortly after we got engaged, I knew that a lot of brides were going to start picking out dates and touring venues--and I wanted to make sure I was ahead of the game, haha! We toured the venue we ended up going with around mid-December, and by Christmas, we had signed our contract (same for our photographer!) I was in a good position though, because our venue updates their calendar pretty regularly with booked dates...so I could see as other weekends got booked. As soon as the weekend right after ours got booked, we went ahead and officially put down our deposit to secure our date (so that I could start breathing again!) As far as our photographer goes, it might be a different story depending upon your date and such. We're planning a September wedding with a fairly well-known wedding photographer in our city--so that's more than likely why she was almost booked two years in advance. It could very well be another story for any other bride, though! I booked our photographer because I've known that I've wanted her forever; for me, there was just no one else I felt could capture the spirit of our family and friends, and all of the awesome emotion of the day like I know she can. If you have a photographer that you feel strongly about, I would say definitely check them out! 

    Happy planning! Keep in touch, I'd love to hear how your plans are going!
    Thanks soo much Lauren! We have a few different bridal shows to go to in the next few months (one is actually at the Reds baseball stadium and HE WANTS to go haha). But I love that idea of having a "man cave" section at those bridal shows; my FI would diee!! 
    I think we are going to wait until May-ish to go look at the few venues we have on our list (only because we are getting married in May, so we can scoop out the views, sunsets, all that stuff). 
    As far as the photographer goes, one of my bridesmaids and close friend in a wedding photographer for a company so I think they are going to do mine for a good deal. They did my friend's wedding and I've obviously seen her work, and they are amaazing! I think I am still going to look and ask around for others, just in case they can't do it for any reason.
    And good luck on your adventure as well! Yes, let's keep in touch!! Do you have Twitter? I feel like other than TheKnot,com, I am always on Twitter or Pinterest getting ideas and and following (and getting new followers) because of my wedding pins or tweets or whatever haha. I kinda love it :) 
  • I am in the same boat. We've been engaged for 2 years and still have 8 months to go. The first thing you should do is discuss your budget with each other and then discuss financial contributions with your parents or respective family members. Then, browse for some venues because they can book up very early in advance. Look at styles of dresses but wait a little while before you shop. I bought mine 1 1/2 years in advance, but that's just me. I loved having all of this time to plan because we are paying for everything ourselves and it was plenty of time to pay for everything!

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    djsonntag
  • itslizzzz said:
    I am in the same boat. We've been engaged for 2 years and still have 8 months to go. The first thing you should do is discuss your budget with each other and then discuss financial contributions with your parents or respective family members. Then, browse for some venues because they can book up very early in advance. Look at styles of dresses but wait a little while before you shop. I bought mine 1 1/2 years in advance, but that's just me. I loved having all of this time to plan because we are paying for everything ourselves and it was plenty of time to pay for everything!

     <a href="http://www.theknot.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Wedding Gowns"><img src="http://global.theknot.com/tickers/tt19a0e4.aspx" alt="Wedding Countdown Ticker" border="0"  /></a
    YESS!! That's exactly how I feel. Some people are saying it's wayy too early to do anything. But we have a verrry popular venue we are looking at and do not want to miss out on it, so we are going to look and possibly book this Spring. 
    Thank you for your insight! <3
  • IrishPirate60IrishPirate60 Clare Island member
    Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    @KnotPorscha the vendor strikes again.
  • djsonntag said:
    I neeeeeed help!! My fiance and I have decided to have a long engagement. I just graduated from college and looking for a teaching job; in the meantime I am a nanny. We will be saving as much money as we can, but I will starting to pay off student loans. So we aren't getting married until 2016. Is this too long? I have already started budgeting, flagging things in magazines, picked out our wedding parties, and have plans to go to a wedding show this weekend. Is this too much? Am I being crazy? 
    You should probably know, I am a crazy organizer! I have lists and schedules and calendars for everything in my life! So I feel like I am just trying to be prepared. My fiance on the other hand, keeps telling me not to think about all this, we have 2 1/2 years... and I HATE HEARING THAT!! 
    So I guess, I am asking what is a good timeline for "the important things"? Who to pick for our wedding party? Getting a budget? Looking at venues? 

    Thanks :)
    First, congratulations!

    Second, I'm a 2016 bride myself.  All I have done is looked at contracts for our venue, photographer and our reception hall.  We're currently getting estimates for rings, food, flowers, decorations so we have a rough idea of how much to budget for each item and then coming up with a savings plan.
  • djsonntag!! I will finish my teaching degree Fall 2015! lol My bf/fi and I have purchased a ring but he has not officially asked me "the question." But like your FI, mine just thinks I am over doing it a little bit.. I like to stay crazy organized and be prepared, especially with the money situation. I wanted to make sure that if no one in our families help us out financially, that we could afford a wedding of our dreams. WE CAN! Thank goodness. lol Anywho, this post helped me significantly as I was over doing it a bit. I am glad to know I am not crazy for wanting to book our dream venue so far in advance. Plus, it definitely helps spreading all these big expenses out over the next 2 years. I love everyone's idea about setting up a pinterest page, wedding binder, etc., for ideas, but not make any "set in stone" decision till a year out.

    Thanks everyone!
  • Blackbird230Blackbird230 Connecticut member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper
    May 2016 bride here! We did engagement photos, got our photographer and are visiting venues currently. After that, things will settle down until we're closer to the year mark. Feel free to PM me!

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  • My fiance and I became engaged in Sept 2013, and picked a date for April 2015. We actually didn't start picking necessary things until the first of the year 2014 after I went to a bridal show where all I heard was 2015 this, 2015 that, and that is when I knew we had to actually start picking vendors.

    I actually bought my wedding dress in October or November of 2013, and we bought our wedding bands in January 2014 due to bridal savings dollars that expire. We went through 2 bridal shows and with all of the discounts, we found a tuxedo shop that had the best savings for us, and 9 months left to go as of 7/25 we have everything completed, minus our food tasting, picking our menu, ordering STD and invitations. Certain things you can do ahead of schedule, I like having a long engagement, you can work at it little by little, if you want that must have expensive venue you have more time to save, and so forth.


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