Just engaged and already overwhelmed? 5 Ways to Take a Breath & Start Planning Your Wedding on Purpose

You've said "yes!" and suddenly you're swarmed by friends, family, Pinterest, and every wedding magazine currently on shelves. It's awesome but it can be overwhelming, especially if you want your wedding to be about more than a fancy dress or a sparkler sendoff.

So today, please 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. Here's a few tips on how to actually enjoy just being engaged, start planning an intentional wedding, and not feel like the bride-to-be that's already 1,000 steps behind.

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 the fancy stuff) and pour two glasses. Raise a toast 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 to you both for pledging to spend the rest of your lives together.

2. Make a Plan to Wedding Plan

Contrary to popular belief, planning doesn't have to start the minute the ring hits your finger! (And let's be honest, some of us had more than just a few ideas or Pinterest boards before we made it official.) Keep in mind that your wedding can still be amazing even if you don't have everything figured out in week 1, or even month 1.  Take the time to enjoy just being engaged by making a plan to plan. It may not be easy to put wedding stuff aside, but try putting a date on the calendar some time to sit down with your fiance and officially start planning. It can be a week later, or a month later, or several months later - whatever timing is best for you. Then stop worrying about it. You'll be on track because you'll have a date to officially start looking at things, but also you will have given yourself this buffer time to say it's ok just to truly enjoy being engaged and being together in this new time.

3. Love on your friends and Family

Everybody's going to want to know about your wedding plans (especially if they are included them as a bridesmaid)! In keeping with the idea of slowing down and taking a breath to enjoy recent events, tell your friends and family about your date that you set to wedding plan. Then explain that in the time before you kick things off, you want to spend time loving and appreciating them and not talking about you and the wedding. Think about all the people that have been there for you both throughout your relationship and put the focus on them! Dream up some ways in which you can show them you appreciate all that love and support. 

Where to start? Maybe thank the people in your life that participated in the proposal. Did your parents help with the surprise? Surprise them with unexpected flowers! Or did your best friend do an awesome job listening to you talk about getting engaged and weddings for the past 2 years? Do something unexpectedly kind for her, like taking her out to lunch and talk about what's new with her in her life. Flipping this time on its head and focusing on others, rather than your new role as bride or groom-to-be, is a great way to do something awesome for the people you love and feel less overwhelmed about your upcoming big day.

4. Do a Goodwill Tour

This is something my husband Gus suggested from our own experience being engaged: think about your engagement as an opportunity to go on a Goodwill tour with your spouse-to-be's family. 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 a bit better at your engagement party or traveling during one of the year's holidays. Gus and I both had big families and after we got engaged, made a point of developing more of a relationship with each other's closest relatives prior to the wedding. By the time the big day happened, I'd met most of Gus's family or spoken to them on the phone which only made the day more special for both me and this family because we actually had connected in some way beforehand.

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

When I do custom invitations and decor for couples, all the inspiration starts with the love story. The venue, the color palette, the fonts, and everything else truly is secondary and complimentary to that heart. With your wedding, think about everything 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 Gus and I had known about when we got engaged). 

In starting a massive project like planning a beautiful wedding, begin with the end goal and biggest purpose in mind: a strong and amazing marriage. If you continue to have meetings/times to plan with your spouse as a scheduled thing, make it a point to start every time together covering something related to your marriage rather than the big day. It'll remind you that while all the details are great, it's your continuing love story that matters most. 

Image (and Header Image) | Brett & Jessica

Image (and Header Image) | Brett & Jessica

"Just engaged & already overwhelmed? Five Ways to Enjoy Getting Engaged & Start Wedding Planning on Purpose" written by Annie Franceschi for Greatest Story Weddings