Rules of Engagement

After being engaged for two months, I wouldn’t call myself the next Editor of The Knot…..but I have learned some do’s and don’ts along the way I thought I would share. 
So many emotions happen in the first few months of engagements. You’re expected to make 15 decisions a day, and no matter how many pins I pin on Pinterest, I still was always like, “Umm….I don’t really know what flavor of cake I want?” 
Here’s a few mistakes and tricks I found along the way!
1. You Don’t Have to Call Everyone Immediately.
When we got engaged we had a moment to ourselves for 5 minutes and then he was taking me to another location with friends and family. He said we should call our parents and siblings in between. “Call your mom and sister” ended up being code word for “Call all your besties and tell them the news.” We had about a 20 minute drive in the car and I never spoke to Paul. It was a blur. Once you start telling people they all get excited and call you and want to hear the details. It literally took me a week to catch up with phone calls! Enjoy however long you want with your soon-to-be groom and then make phone calls over the next few days. Call your family the first day and your best friends the next. My best friend called me the day after she got engaged and did I care? Not at all. I was just so happy for her in the moment! You’ll really enjoy that space in between and be able to allocate about 4-5 hours for phone calls. You will want to share every detail and your friends will want to hear. 
2. Stock up on Thank You Notes.
Right when I got engaged my mom got me a boxed set of 500 monogrammed thank you notes. This has been my bff the past few weeks. Little presents are always coming in the mail and before I even allow myself to use whatever it is, I write the thank you note. It sounds silly, but something as simple as not wearing a little “Mrs.” necklace until you write the thank you note gets that note written a lot more quickly.
3. Make Someone The Bad Guy.

Wedding planning isn’t stressful. Picking your dress and tasting cake is kind of the best thing in the world. Balancing all of your worlds is what can become hard. For example, if your rehearsal dinner is smaller and you can’t allow your bridal party to bring dates you don’t want to have to say that. You’ll feel terrible and if you are a people pleaser like me it kills you. However, as a bride you really don’t have a lot of control in as many things as you would think. People throw parties and plan events for you, meaning they set the rules. Have your MOH, best friend or even mom be the bearer of bad news.  No one will be upset if your MOH explains the expectations for events. 
4. Plan Out Your Appointments with Important People.
We kind of have a large bridal party. 10 bridesmaids. 10 groomsmen. #SouthernProblems. I like to schedule specific tasks and events with a few of them at a time so they all know how much I value their input. I took 4 with me dress shopping. Some are coming with us to pick the menu. I let one pick out the bridesmaid dress color. One of them helped me create my wedding spreadsheet because she is an Excel goddess. Haha. By taking the talents each of them have and allocating special time with them for wedding help it allows them to infuse their taste and it gives you special time with them before you get married.  
5. Write Down your 3 Most Important Things & Move On.
95% of weddings you see on Pinterest aren’t real. They come from editorial shoots that magazines spend millions on. To not get caught up in the comparison game and to really focus on what matters [you getting to spend the rest of your life with your best friend] write down 3 of the most important factors to you.
Mine were:
1. That we wrote our vows
2. My Dress
3. Photography
To help pick your top 3 think, “If we were getting married in a back ally by a dumpster what would I care about?”
Once you have your three priorities invest your time in that and move on from the rest. Don’t worry about if you only serve chicken and no beef. Don’t worry if you aren’t having a wedding website. Don’t worry if aren’t serving wine. At the end of the day you get married. If you spend $500,000 on your wedding or $500 it will be beautiful because you are celebrating the love you have for each other. You aren’t celebrating the table settings. Granted, those things are fun to plan and make your day so memorable. But never compare your wedding to some stranger’s you see on Pinterest. Half the time the strangers aren’t even married because it was a photoshoot! 🙂
If you are engaged or married you get to stock up on some Mrs. gear! I’ve pulled my favorite monogrammed/wife pieces for you below! 

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  1. love these tips! these are great! and congratulations!!!

    Published 21 Mar 15Reply
  2. Love your focus on what’s important! Sounds like you’ll have a beautiful wedding that’s not weighed down by a bunch of things that don’t matter. Congratulations!

    Published 22 Mar 15Reply
  3. Kayleigh wrote:

    These are all really great tips! If only I had you around when I got engaged last fall! But about this wedding Excel sheet…is this a shareable thing? Planning a destination wedding while in med school and fiancé is finishing law school and we could REALLY use some organizational help!

    Published 08 Apr 15Reply