The moment has finally arrived! You are engaged! You are over the moon and can’t wait to dive right into wedding plans and make that secret Pinterest board public. After all, there are venues to see, gowns to try on and about 2,673 other things to do! Now take a deep breath and ask yourself: Am I fully present in THIS moment or am I rushing things? Many brides and grooms will start planning their wedding not even a few days a after their engagement and while this can work for some, it can lead to potential hiccups down the road. In full disclosure, I did not waste 3 seconds after getting engaged to start planning my wedding nearly 5 years ago but I wish I had spent a bit more time savoring and appreciating that brief time in my life. Do as I say and not as I did! Here are are a few things to consider before you start planning your wedding:

What Kind of Wedding Do We Want?

While you and your bae may love each other oodles, it may surprise you at how differing your wedding visions are. One may want a simple restaurant wedding while the other may want a blow out complete with 300 of their closest family and friends. Speak honestly and openly the weeks following your engagement about your wedding wants, needs and expectations and come to a compromise that works well for you both.

How Much Are We Spending and Who’s Paying?

Again, you’d be shocked at how many meetings I am on with clients where they break out into an argument over this very topic. Be VERY clear about how much you can spend, how much you want to spend and who is paying for what. There is not a shortage of things to add to your wedding day. If you want a trapeze artist to serve champagne while their Chimpanzee partner plays the banjo, you got it! Clients will often start out with a simple wedding but as they plan (usually without a budget), the list of wants and needs grows longer and longer leading to fights and sometimes broken engagements.  I regularly tell my clients “the quickest way to go over budget is to not have one!”. Make sure to be very clear about finances before you get married. Before the planning begins, it is the perfect environment for you to perfect the art of communication about this sometimes touchy subject.

Are We Ready to get married?

Do you love your fiancé but hate his mother, his friends, his job or vice versa? These are not things that will change with a ring on your finger and it is important to address serious flags and deal breakers before the planning begins. Ideally, this is discussed BEFORE you get engaged but unfortunately, this is not always the case. Being engaged and planning a wedding does not make us immune to life’s stresses and problems and planning a wedding will only exacerbate serious issues in our marriage. While no relationship is free of challenges, getting them aired out and addressed as soon as possible makes it much easier for couples (and their planers) to enjoy the planning process.