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Long engagement problems!

Hello!

My boyfriend became my fiancee last month, and we are planning for a wedding on May 16th, 2015. Since this is two years away, I am struggling with how to organize my planning to fit the time frame. All of the tips are for a 1 year engagement, so I am lost!

When is an appropriate time to ask my friends to be part of the Bridal party? Is it too early to book a venue?

Waiting until the day is closer is not an option, I'm a planner! I'd go crazy!

Thanks for your help! :)

Re: Long engagement problems!

  • Congratulations! 

    The reason why they say wait on the bridal party is because relationships change. Your BFF might not be in two years. Click around here and you'll see brides wanting to kick people out. Once you ask, you cannot do this without looking like a total bridezilla. 

    Two years is a long time. I wouldn't book anything- what if they close? go out of business?



  • I know you said it's not an option, but honestly you would be wise to wait until the day gets closer to start taking action on your planning. You will go crazy having things done too early believe it or not. It's never too early to start planning theoretically- you know, work on your pinterest board or clip magazines, come up with ideas. You can make lists that will be helpful to you in the future- such as the colour theme that you think you want, and you can go through all the different categories and come up with ideas or even narrow it down to the one you think you want. You can even find vendors ahead of time since you love planning. You can work on your budget. Just keep in mind that this is just what you are PLANNING to do in your attempt to be organized ahead of time. Save your final decisions for later. 
    Don't ask anyone yet to be in the bridal party. Don't book anything, don't purchase anything. Just enjoy this time and feel free to come up with lots of ideas and information. When the time comes you will put things together quickly and easily because of your pre-research.
    "It's always better when we're together." -Jack Johnson
  • The main thing you can work on at this point is budget. How much can you save each month between now and then and how much will that give you to work with? Depending on your area, things may actually book more than a year in advance, so you certainly could start looking at vendors to narrow down what you may want (again, with your budget in mind). Do NOT, under any circumstances, pick a bridal party before the one-year mark. Six to nine months out would be better. If anyone asks, just answer, "Oh, we're not thinking about that at all yet. Have you tried this bean dip?"

    Obviously, we call this technique 'bean-dipping.'
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  • My friend is almost at the end of a 2 year engagement (getting married in July). She had an engagement party but didn't do any other planning for basically the first year. She did some of the big stuff, and then didn't really do anythihng in earnest until she hit 6 months out. 

    If you're looking at a very, very popular venue, feel free to book it further in advance, but her timeline has worked just fine for her it seems.
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  • daria24daria24 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Some venues book up 18 months-2 years in advance, especially if you want a Saturday night during a popular wedding month, so I don't think it hurts to look at venues at this point. Also, if you are getting married in a church I would contact them to see what their requirements are, what sort of prep you need, etc. And ditto PP, prepare your budget and a savings plan. 

    Other than that, feel free to look at Pinterest & wedding blogs for inspiration and enjoy your engagement. Don't ask your WP until 6-9 months out, and definitely don't shop for WP attire until that mark. I once bought a BM dress 18 months before the wedding-thank god my weight didn't change that much! 
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    melbelleup
  • smalfrie19smalfrie19 Home of SB XLVIII Champs member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited May 2013
    I too am having a long engagement. My FI and I are coming up on our 1 year mark of being engaged and at that point we still have over a year until we get married. We are putting the down payment on the venue here in about a month and a half. I disagree with 6-9 months to ask your BP because thats normally when you have to order dresses by. I would recomend a year.

    ETA, start planning you budget and figuring out how much you can save for the wedding, also a tentative guest list so that you can budget around that as well.
    Anniversary
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  • I agree that you should wait on most things for awhile - especially BMs, though I think if you ask them a year to 9 months in advance that's a better time table. However, there are multiple things you can start doing. Budget, as PPs have mentioned, but also the must have family and friends (as of right now) for guest list. No, this won't be your final guest list, but it will give you a sense of what size wedding you would like. That is key information for venue hunting, and depending on where you live, you may want to start that search in the next couple months. I only had a year to plan my wedding - last June I got engaged and we started looking at venues right away. The one we loved had only two dates left available for the entire summer of this year - they had some weekends already booked 18 months to 2 years in advance - we lucked out and one was our perfect weekend timing-wise.
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  • thank you, everyone; you all have been very helpful :)
  • The most important thing you can do at this point is budget.  You also can put together all your ideas.

    As for booking, I'd only look at the major things this far out: venue and photography.  Especially if you're looking at popular ones, they may book up quickly. FI and I got engaged at the end of December and booked both of them around three weeks later.  We were almost exactly 16 months out at that point and we were the 3rd couple who had contacted the photographer for May 2014 already.  We're a year out now and the only thing we've done since is get my dress.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Congrats on your engagement. I totally get where you are coming from, I'm a planner myself and it so paid off in the end. At this point I would focus what your budget will be. Nothing wrong with thinking of what you would like for your wedding and starting to shop around & price things out. Also maybe go look at a few venues to get an idea of style, menu options & what you can get for the money. Now keep in mind prices will change in the next two years. Start going to bridal shows and getting the names of vendors and ideas of what you want. Then take your time to check out online reviews of the vendors to start a keep/no way list of who you will want to deal with.  Enjoy your engagement but nothing wrong with figuring out what you want & how to make it happen within your budget.

    But DO NOT as anyone to be in your bridal party yet. Wait until you have less then a year to go. I've seen too many posts of brides regretting who they asked & couldn't change it because they asked a year or more in advance. Plus keep in mind that the larger the bridal party the larger the expense (gifts, rehersal dinner, etc).

    Good luck with your planning and enjoy it and have fun with it.
  • I had a long engagement. We got engaged Aug 2011 and will be getting married in November. The first thing we did was figure out our guest list. The guest list will dictate which venues you can use because some may not be able to accommodate your amount. I would say that by the 1 year mark you should try and book your venue so you can ensure you get the place you want.
     
    I would not ask you bridal party too early because many things can change in 2 years. I waited until 10 months before wedding.

    I also booked my photographer before the 1 year mark because they too can be snatched up quickly.

    The nice thing about having a long engagement is you have plenty of time to do research and get the things that you want. Good Luck planning and enjoy being engaged :)
  • liv1228liv1228 member
    First Comment
    Congrats on your engagement! I'm at the half-way point of a two year engagement.  As the other women have suggested before me, take this time to set a budget, make a preliminary guest list (to get an idea of what the size of your wedding will be), and enjoy being engaged!  Deciding when to contact venues so far from the wedding date can be tricky.  My finance and I were initially looking at May 2014. What I found was that, for May, many banquet/reception halls book very far in advance in my area because of local proms.  This is especially true if you are planning a Saturday evening wedding!  If this is the sort of setting you're looking for, consider contacting venues sooner rather than later to ask how far in advance they book.  

    In my case, we were flexible and the date to the last Sunday in April.  We booked the church and reception venue about 13 months before the wedding, and the photographer around the 1 year mark.  I'm talking to DJs now and found that a few are already unavailable on my date (not something I expected, especially since we are planning for Sunday).  I wouldn't ask BMs until the wedding is less than a year away.  

    Enjoy being engaged! Congratulations, again!
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I too am having a long engagement. My FI and I are coming up on our 1 year mark of being engaged and at that point we still have over a year until we get married. We are putting the down payment on the venue here in about a month and a half. I disagree with 6-9 months to ask your BP because thats normally when you have to order dresses by. I would recomend a year.

    ETA, start planning you budget and figuring out how much you can save for the wedding, also a tentative guest list so that you can budget around that as well.
    Usually 6-9 months is the bride's dress.  I've never heard of BM dresses taking that long.  David's told us 3 months, but, as usual, they were in within 2-3 weeks.
  • From another Bride who's had a long engagement, I had the same questions. As for an answer, it is never too early to start looking at things to get an idea of what you want! Come December, I'll have had a 2.5 year engagement. I bought my dress WAY to early, but other than that just followed the timelines. Enjoy being engaged for a year! Show off your ring and just be happy. 

    I asked my bridesmaids to be my maids literally one hour after becoming engaged and wish I wouldn't have. Ask about a year out... It will all work out in the end!

    Happy Engagement!
    melbelleup
  • There's no reason you can't prep your budget and do some research.  You might not be able to book a venue this early, but you can go look at some venues, research some DJs, look at some photographers.  That way, when it's time to book vendors, you already know what your favorites are. 
  • It is too early to do a lot of wedding planning work, however, popular venues often get booked for years out.  I know I was shocked when a year wasn't enough time for booking a lot of popular venues in my state (which is not a high population state).
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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    Anniversary

  • manateehuggermanateehugger member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited June 2013
    FI and I will be engaged about 1 year and 9 months when we get married. I've booked some of the bigger" vendors - we have venues, almost a caterer, a florist, and a photographer. 

    Everything else I've been slowly doing at my leisure. Hold off on asking the bridal party. Plans and friendships change. 

    Edited for clarity. 
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  • I would wait to ask bridesmaids to be in your bridle party. You can always do research and ask venders questions if you like. I did this 2 years out, because I knew my top 3 photographers and top 3 caterers would be booked 9 to 12 months out. I wanted to know who I would be signing a contract with at the 12 month or 14 month mark. Some venders do a year in advance some do 18 months. Others do 6 months or less. My main advice is know your city's wedding industry time frame. ( ask other brides in the area ect.) You can do research without signing a contract. Just find out what / who you like. I started a notebook and had at least 3 venders I liked for each section. When my time frame got closer I seriously looked into each of my top venders. Hope this helps a little. ( I'm a planner type too.)
  • Congrats!
    My fiance and I just got engaged a couple months ago and we are getting married June of 2015. My advice: It's never too early to go testing! Tour venues, do food/cake tastings. We just looked at a venue and fell in love with it, and I'm glad we started so soon because booking opens in January and fills up SUPER fast!
    And it's never too early to go through bridal magazines and pick out dresses and hairstyles you like :)
  • Be careful about wedding burnout! You don't want to throw yourself headlong into it and then get sick of it. Also you WILL talk about the wedding WAY more than you think you are talking about it (Think middle school/high school and guy you liked - you talked about him constantly and didn't even realize it right?) and you have to be careful not to annoy everyone (this is regardless of if you are engaged for two years or two months though). 
  • My advice is to avoid making deposits or signing contracts because things could change. Spend this time paying off bills, saving money for the wedding, and preparing for your marriage through books, videos, or premarital counseling.
    melbelleup
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    cmm012 said:
    My advice is to avoid making deposits or signing contracts because things could change. Spend this time paying off bills, saving money for the wedding, and preparing for your marriage through books, videos, or premarital counseling.
    One of the most important tasks of engagement is paying off the things that have absolutely nothing to do with your wedding.



    Anniversary
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    Ajuliana
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