If you are recently engaged and asking yourself “what now”, you are not alone. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of what is referred to as “engagement season”. According to Wedding Wire, 7 out of 10 engagements happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.

So we decided to compile a list of 5 unexpected tips that will help you navigate your engagement…

No. 1 Take One Month Off to enjoy.

The moment your friends and family hear the exciting news you’ll be peppered with the same question over and over again… “Have you set a date?”

That can lead you to think that you should begin looking for a venue and solidifying your date immediately. We think, though, that the most important thing you can do to start wedding-planning is to stay calm, centered, and enjoy the first month of your engagement. Carving out this time to enjoy your time as a newly engaged couple- have fun, have a few date nights, and explore new places together. Try to resist thinking about all the details. This can be difficult to execute but will ensure that you take a deep breath and enjoy being engaged. Once you start wedding planning, you’ll be so glad you took some downtime.

Hawk Ranch, Engaged

No. 2 THINK about your wedding party.

This might sound obvious, and silly but it’s true. Deciding who will be in your wedding party can be one of the most important parts of planning your wedding. Engaged couples often let the excitement get the best of them. They line up their party far too early in the planning process. Allowing for some time to think about your wedding party and giving your friends an opportunity to get to know each other before you ask them to be in your wedding is a good idea.

This is especially true if you’ve got friends who’ve never met each other and ones who you haven’t seen in a while. Using an engagement party as a starting point is a great way to see how everyone interacts and gets along with each other.  Are there potential members who clearly don’t get along? Is your best friend from college still as close to you as before? Think about these things before asking friends to be part of your wedding party. It’s important to remember that once you ask someone to join the wedding, you can’t rescind the invitation. You’ll want to be certain before you ask

Hawk Ranch, Engaged

No. 3 Utilize Online Planning tools.

You’ll find you need an online collaborative planning resource more than ever. Aisle Planner is one of our all-time favorite online planning tools, but be sure to check for one that works for you. Perhaps something more simple, like a Google Drive can work for you when it comes to wedding planning. The ability to access budget, images, contacts, guestlist and more from anywhere with WiFi will make things easier and will come in handy during your planning process. 

No. 4 Try Planning with Pinterest.

This might sound like a no-brainer but you might be hearing the opposite. Pinterest can be a great resource for creative ideas. We’re not saying to get the entire look and feel for your wedding from Pinterest… what we are saying is that it’s a great way to get inspired. Do you love wine? Why not work a wine theme into the event? Do you both have a shared heritage? Your wedding will feel more personal if the foundation of the event comes from the two of you, than just from ideas found online but it can offer a jumping-off point.

Once you’ve figured out what you want to incorporate,  Pinterest can help with identifying unique ways to execute them. Pinterest is best used as inspiration… after all, if it’s posted on Pinterest, it’s likely been seen already. You’ll want your weddings to be like the two of you.

Hawk Ranch, Engaged

No. 5 Time to find your Venue.

You might find that you fall for your first venue… but, we recommend seeing more… at least 5 more. Most experts say to narrow down your list and only look at your top 5-10 in person, and we agree. The venue will be at the center of your wedding and your planning. No matter how incredible your flowers and decor are, without the right venue, your wedding could come together… wrong.

Visiting in person is also key to making this decision, what you see online is not always how it feels in person. When scheduling your appointment (which you will need) pay attention to response time and tone, how a venue treats you before you book is a great indicator of how you will work with them through the process. One last thing on this… don’t be afraid to look at something completely different, you never know how you might feel when you get there.