My boyfriend and I are feeling ready to take the next step in our relationship and get engaged. Woohoo! We are both very excited, but have not announced our plans to anyone in the family yet. We’ve talked about it and we both feel we would like to have a very simple wedding that is memorable and intimate, but most importantly completely devoid of fuss and stress for us and everyone involved. Is it rude to plan a wedding on short notice in order to make sure no one (especially our families) feel obligated to make a bigger deal out of it than we would like it to be? In other words, would it be impolite to start sending announcements and invites for a wedding that could possibly be held in only a few short months?
–Can't Hardly Wait, Rhode Island
Only in Downton Abbey do engagements last two years. The more formal the wedding, the longer it takes to plan a wedding, and that includes culling resources.
Since you are having a ‘family’ wedding with close friends and family, there are fewer details. But there is still a lot to do.
The first order of business is to make up a budget before finding a venue, which often determines the date of the wedding.
For a destination wedding, you would plan further out, because you would be booking a block of rooms at a resort and guests would have to buy airline tickets in advance and use vacation time from work.
Even for a local or ‘at home’ wedding, you may have to pick a date that works better for the restaurant or clergyman.
Once you’ve secured the venue for the wedding, if it is not a private home, you can send out a save-the-date card, which not only announces your engagement, but asks guests to reserve that date to attend your wedding. The save-the-date card guest list becomes the core of your wedding invitation list. It helps you to correct addresses and contact information. Especially when returns come in.
In the meantime, you should line up commitments from essential guests. Your bridal party, those who will be standing up for you, other close friends and family, to make sure that they don’t already have prior commitments for the date you have picked. If your best friend and her husband have booked the trip-of-a-lifetime to Thailand and paid a non-refundable deposit, you may wish to change your wedding date — before sending out the save-the-date and putting the deposit down on the wedding facility.
A small engagement party, held as soon as you can find someone to host it for you, would be an easy way to find out from friends and family about any huge commitments any of them may have in the near future. For instance if someone has committed to being a groomsmen in another wedding or your matron-of-honor is having a baby. An engagement party can be a simple brunch, a cocktail party with a bite to eat, or anything in between. Planning two wedding dates at the start would make it easier should you find you need to switch to another date.
During this small gathering you and your fiancé can find out what elements and information people may volunteer. Such as a person who will do the the flowers, a caterer, makeup artist, photographer, DJ. Cull a bunch of ideas from your friends and family — and don’t be timid about asking for help. You’ll find people will be thrilled for you and will want to contribute any way they can.
Start an excel spreadsheet for your invitation list to keep pertinent details in one place that is easy to update. Set up a wedding website as a source for family and friends to find updates on the particulars of your wedding. For instance, where to find your bridal registry, as well as the venue, date, time, and dress code for your wedding.
We are here to help you and your fiancé. You are welcome to ask as many questions as you wish.
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Accepting A Compliment