This is my blog, so I can offer advice and opninions. If you don't want my advice, please stop reading this post.
I wrote this post because I was thinking "what advice would have been helpful for me to know a year ago?" So here are some things that would have been helpful to know when Wade & I started planning:
1. Don't buy anything. Not yet, anyway. It may be a great price, but it's a waste of money if you don't use it. You shouldn't buy anything until you have an idea of the date (or at least time of year), location, and what both of you want for your wedding!
2. Enjoy the initial excitement of your engagement. Don't worry about planning anything for at least 2 weeks, but even 1 or 2 months (or more) is perfectly acceptable. People will ask questions, but just explain that you're just enjoying yourself now and will start planning in the spring.
3. Go to bridal shows and do all the bridal things you want to do. Take your fiancé if you want to get his opinion (I dragged Wade to one show, and he didn't mind it). Then go to another show with a friend. Then go to another show with the same or other friends. If you're into bridal shows for the ideas you can get, go to as many as you want. But many friends have limited excitement for your engagement. Unfortunately, most of your friends are just not as into your wedding as you are. This won't be true of all friends, but if you have a friend who has gotten / is getting wedding-overloaded, don't drag that friend to multiple bridal shows.
4. Read magazines. My favourite, by far, is Martha Stewart Weddings.
5. Visit (free) websites, such as: Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot and Brides.
6. Go to blogs. For a starting point, look at "My Blog-Stalkers" (aka bloggers who follow me, all of whom I also follow), as well as my blog roll ("Who I Blog Stalk", aka blogs I read). Then go to The Bride's Café, The Bride's Guide (the blog of Darcy Miller, editor of Martha Stewart Weddings), Something Old, Something New and finally, Snippet & Ink. I follow all four of those blogs, but they are not in my blog-roll because they are pretty much all updated every week day, so I read them every week-day.
7. Of course, there's also WeddingBee. There was quite the controversy when it was bought out by e-harmony earlier this year, and since the change I don't find the quality of comments on the boards to be as good. My favourite blogger was Mrs. Lovebug (who no longer posts for WeddingBee, but her original posts are still available), but I'm now partial to Miss Glitter (aka Carly from Westside Bride, my "blog-twin" who appreciates organized messes & messy organization)! If you read the WeddingBee boards, take what you read with a grain of salt.
8. Don't buy anything yet. Not until you've discussed with your date, theme (if any), colours (if any) and desires with your fiancé. If you've always envisioned a bubble gum pink coloured tea party, and your fiancé hates pink and tea parties, you may have to nix that idea. If you've wanted to get married on the beach somewhere south, and your fiancé wants to get married in your hometown, again, you're going to have to discuss compromises, such as getting married down south then having a reception in your hometown or getting married in your hometown then honeymooning down south. Either way, don't buy a thing, no matter how good the deal, until you have an idea of the date (or at least time of year), location, and what both of you want for your wedding!
9. Enjoy the first few weeks of your engagement! It's such an exciting time.
3 hours ago