July 25th, 2017 was one of the happiest days of my life! My boyfriend got down on one knee while we were hiking along Mt. Rainier in Washington State and asked me to be his wife. “Yes!” “OhMyGod!” “Are you serious?!” These were just a few of the phrases I uttered. It wasn’t the biggest shock of my life – we had been talking about marriage for a while, and this was a pretty big trip for us – but you still can’t plan for that moment when he’s lowering down to one knee and your brain is screaming, “THIS IS IT!”

We had a wonderful rest of our trip and then made our way back home.  Being the type A, slightly neurotic person I am (I’m actually really neurotic, but refuse to accept it), I already had a list of venues to go tour by the time we landed in Newark. In hindsight, I wish I would have slowed down and enjoyed those first few weeks a little more. But my brain could not enjoy the moment without knowing what was to come. I needed a date, and I told my fiancé that – just give me a date with a venue, and I’ll be as happy as a clam.

Well, we chose our date – August 10th, 2018!, and then I learned that DJs, and photographers, and videographers, and wedding dresses all need to be figured out rather quickly too. After all, now that I had the date, I needed to make sure all of the other important things were figured out as well. Fast forward one month, and we had all of our vendors chosen besides flowers. I finally slowed down after that – I needed a break, and my fiancé was so happy that we could enjoy our Fall relatively wedding planning free.

I don’t regret any of our decisions – I think our wedding will be stunning, and I’m so happy I received my first choices for all of my vendors, but I do think I put a lot of unnecessary stress on my relationship for a month or so during what should have been the happiest time of our lives. I also didn’t stick to a budget as much as I should have (more on this in a later post). I think my poor fiancé was a little shocked to say the least. He asked a simple question and the next thing he knew, he was hearing things like $220 per head and walking outside to his car before the presentation was over (We did not choose that venue).

So my advice to any couple out there planning your dream wedding – take. your. time. Especially when you have the time to take! We booked our venue one year and one week out from our wedding day. That is a ton of time to relax and think things through. Also, this hasn’t happened to me (yet!), but when you’re making rash decisions, you might not like your choices as you get closer to the wedding day and are thinking more clearly. So be patient. You will have your choice of photographer and DJ and florist. With that said, if you’ve been dreaming of using one photographer your entire life and plan to get married on a popular Saturday in September and live somewhere like New York City, you might want to book that sooner rather than later.

But for everyone else, be patient and enjoy the moments. I told my fiancé the other day that I was very happy to have one year to celebrate our engagement, because I felt the first six months were full of planning and questioning and some arguments and frustrations and my hope is that the second six months are calmer (at least until we get closer to the day ;)), more relaxed and above all joyful.

Happy planning!