…plan your entire wedding now. Ok, maybe you don’t need to plan the WHOLE thing, but at least get familiar with your options.
I have always followed a self-made, arbitrary rule that I could not purchase a bridal magazine or go on a wedding website until I was engaged. Sure, I could look at other’s magazines if they were around, but I was not allowed to actively go and purchase something that so blatantly indicated that I was engaged when I clearly wasn’t.
Fast forward to when I did get engaged…even though we had 11 months to plan, I frequently found myself disappointed that several of my decisions were made not knowing the wealth of options available.
For instance, my dress.
I have long wanted a dress with a portrait neckline, ‚¾ length sleeves, box pleats and no ‘crusty stuff’. Once I had the lovely ring on my finger, I looked at lots of magazines and pored over pages and pages of wedding websites, but didn’t see much out there in the way of sleeves. My mom and I went to David’s Bridal around Thanksgiving (note to self…never go to a bridal store the Saturday after Thanksgiving. You are NOT the only one with the incorrect notion that everyone else will be shopping the holiday sales and it will be a crowded, sad experience) and there wasn’t much there that didn’t remind me of the ice-capades.
A few weeks later we went to a bridal boutique near Boston, but they didn’t have any dresses with sleeves, either. It was a wonderful shop and had beautiful gowns, and I eventually chose the one I liked the most out of what was in the store…but had I known all of the options, I may have done things differently. Perhaps I would have looked into finding the exact dress I wanted online, or maybe gotten a dress made to fit, or maybe I would have known to call around and find the dress to try on in other stores. As it was, I ended up purchasing a perfectly lovely dress, but it isn’t what I always dreamed it would be, and I can’t help but feel that if I had known, I would have at least looked at my other options before biting the bullet.
I also find it very ironic that I saved looking at wedding magazines until after I was engaged, but by then, I was so busy making arrangements, I never really had time to look at the magazines for inspiration. Instead of spending adequate time dreaming up color schemes and invitation layouts, I feel like I made most of my early-on wedding vendor bookings without as much inspiration as I could have had.
So here you go, I am personally giving you my permission to do all the research you want even if you aren’t engaged yet; peruse the websites, sign-on to the knot, buy out the local drug store’s supply of the latest and greatest bridal bibles…just one word of caution…please try to hold back when you do get engaged so your fiancƒ© doesn’t get alarmed when you have your wedding dress and a ceremony-in-a-box kit in the trunk of your car.