You’ve said “yes!” and suddenly you’re swarmed by friends, family, Pinterest, and every wedding magazine currently on the shelves. It’s awesome but it can be overwhelming, especially if you want your wedding to be about more than a fancy dress or great cake.
So take a minute, breathe, and check out this list of five things you can do to take it all in and still stay on track. These few tips can make all the difference.  Especially, how to actually enjoy just being engaged and start planning an intentional wedding.

 1. Toast Each Other

Who says a champagne toast needs to wait until the speeches at the wedding reception? Grab your fiance and a bottle of bubbles (doesn’t matter if it’s Andre or sparkling grape juice) and pour two glasses. Raise a toast to just the two of you – the more ordinary the night, the better – like a Monday! Don’t dress up. Kick back and cheers to your love story and this major decision to get married that you’ve made together. It’s an awesome, huge thing to do. Take this as a moment together to appreciate each other and even thank the other for putting all the effort and thought into proposing. Cheers!

2. Make a Plan to “Plan”

Keep in mind that your wedding can still be amazing, even if you don’t have everything figured out in week one, or even month one.  Take the time to enjoy just being engaged and be present in it.  So with that said, make a plan to plan.  It may not be easy to put wedding stuff aside, but try putting a date on the calendar for some time to sit down with your fiance to plan together. 

Also, if you think you may need some additional guidance so you can be present in your engagement and on your wedding day.  You could consider hiring a wedding planner to help guide you through all those decision and details.  This would give you the space to plan what needs to be done and not be all consumed by wonder and uncertainty of what need to be accomplished.  

Engaged Couple loving their time together
3. Let Others Know

Everybody’s going to want to know about your wedding plans. In keeping with the idea of slowing down and taking a breath to enjoy this time you are in.  It is perfectly fine to communicate with your friends and family that you are taking a step back and would like to put the focus on enjoying your engagement.  By flipping this time on its head, rather than the focus being on your new role as bride or groom-to-be, is a great way to feel less overwhelmed about your upcoming big day.

4. Create Some New Connections

Are there relatives that are important to your fiance that you haven’t yet met? Make an effort to see and get to know them better. Making it a special point of developing more of a relationship with each other’s relatives prior to the wedding will make connecting with them on the wedding day be much richer (and less awkward) experience.

5. To Plan a Beautiful Wedding, Start by Planning a Beautiful Marriage First

The venue, the color palette, the dresses, and everything else is secondary and complementary to the true reason of the wedding day and that is your marriage. With your wedding, think about being inspired and guided by the marriage you’re going to have. When you officially start planning, make it a point to start with at least one project related to planning your marriage. This might include discussing what sort of marriage preparation you’d like to do (a church retreat, counseling, reading marriage books together) or signing up for a financial planning course to set up a budget together, like Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (something I wish Steve and I had known about when we got engaged).

In starting a massive project like planning a beautiful wedding, begins with the end goal and biggest purpose in mind: a strong and amazing marriage. It’ll remind you both that while all the details are great, it’s your continuing love story that matters most.

Happy Planning,
Marsha VanArk
Distinctly Yours Wedding & Events

Marsha VanArk, a professional wedding planner