You're Engaged, Yay! Now What? Wedding Planning!

by Erica Barry 22. February 2013

 

Relax and enjoy the moment.

Wooohoo! He asked, you said yes…welcome to the wonderful world of wedding planning! But not so fast - before you start envisioning your wedding day place settings, stop, take a deep breath and ACTUALLY enjoy the moment. Too often, brides-to-be don’t take the time to actually enjoy being engaged, and before they know it, they’re up to their eyes in wedding planning and wedding costs. So why not REALLY let yourself experience the engagement phase before jumping into the wedding planning phase? Trust me, there is a huge difference. You’re only doing this once, remember? Enjoy it!

Call your mom.

Believe it or not, she’s been waiting for this moment for as long, if not longer, as you have. As a matter of fact, call everyone that is important to you and your new fiancé. Yes, CALL (read: a voice conversation) all of these important individuals before you even consider hitting the social media highway. As much as Aunt Cathy likes to keep up with what is going on in your life via Facebook, finding out that you are recently engaged is NOT one of the things that she’d like to discover. Trust me, Christmas dinner will never be the same.

Get the ring insured.

What’s the first thing people ask when they find out that you are engaged? They ask to see the ring. This ring, ladies and gentlemen, will be the single most important ring of your lives. It symbolizes your love for one another and all that will come in your future life together. That being said, what can go wrong most likely will at some point or another. While nothing will ever replace the sentimental value of “the ring” if something were to happen to it, it’s always comforting to have peace of mind knowing that IF Murphy’s Law occurs, you can at least get money towards a replacement.

Contact your insurance agent to price out getting the ring added to your homeowners or renters insurance plan. However, many homeowners and renters insurance policies only cover up to a certain amount. If this is the case for you, you can look into a personal property insurance policy extension that covers particular items. Another option is to look into insurance companies that specialize in jewelry items. Whatever your preferred plan of attack, don’t take the risk of waiting…he put a ring on it, so you’d both better make sure there’s an insurance policy on it.

Ballpark your date.

The second most popular question that you’ll hear after getting engaged is, “Did you set a date?” Do yourself a favor and at least have a ballpark estimate of when you’d like to get married. It doesn’t have to be a specific date - it can even be an entire season (i.e. summer of 2014), but at least have some sort of answer for your fan club.

Start a tentative guest list.

Ah, the guest list...depending on the size of your families, the guest list can be the most fun or the most stressful part of the wedding planning process. Either way, you’ll want to get an early jump on it. The earlier you figure out your “tentative” guest list, the sooner you can start looking at venues (depending on the size of your wedding, some venues may not be big or small enough), pricing out menus and playing the lovely game of “Do we REALLY need to invite so-and-so?” Most importantly, once you have a tentative list you can begin to develop your budget.

Develop a budget, prioritize and start saving (in that order).

At the end of the day, the budget that you, your fiancé and your families come up with will be the deciding factor in all future decisions to come. I strongly encourage sitting down with both the bride and groom’s families to have an initial conversation about who is paying for what. While traditionally the bride’s family is mainly responsible for the wedding, nowadays the groom’s family often takes on more responsibility as well as the bride and groom themselves. It’s very important to have all involved parties on the same page early on in order to prevent any drama or misunderstandings moving forward.

Next, prioritize, prioritize and prioritize some more. Depending on your budget, you will more than likely have to start sacrificing the less important things for the more important ones. For example, if you both have big families, you may have to sacrifice the expensive venue in order to pay for everyone you care about to be invited. Is having a full open bar at the reception important to you and your fiancé, or will beer and wine work? These are all conversations and decisions that you’ll come across as you move down your wedding planning checklist.

If you and your fiancé have been discussing getting married in the near future, chances are you’ve probably already started saving for the big day. If you haven’t, now is the time to start. If you are like most people, after the sticker shock of the average cost of a wedding in 2013 wears off, you’ll quickly realize that you have drastically been under budgeting for the past twenty or so years of your wedding day fantasizing life. Sit down and talk with your fiancé about the best approach to start a wedding fund. There are lots of flexible interest-bearing savings accounts out there that make it extremely convenient to start putting money away for the big day.

Rinse, repeat and revisit your budget.

Before you know it, you’ll quickly start to move down your wedding planning checklist. From finding a wedding photographer to spending endless hours on “wedding ideas on a budget” boards on Pinterest, you may find yourself so caught up in the fairytale that you forget to consult your budget. Every time you are tasked with making a wedding related decision, always, always, always consult your budget before falling in love with the idea. Wedding planning is emotional enough. Don’t set yourself up for heartbreak by not reminding yourself of your financial priorities and limitations.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out these related articles:

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The Imaginary Mortgage - Fake It Til You Make It

The Cost of Love

The Cost of Love

by Stacy Levin 12. February 2013

Falling in love can be easy or it can be a rough and bumpy road. Either way, it comes at a price - literally. Just how high is that price? We looked at how much time and money is spent on average from beginning the search for that special someone to walking down the aisle and saying, "I do." Here is what we found:

The Best Things to Buy in the Winter

by Andrew Schreiber 7. February 2013

Winter Sales

 

If you are like me, now that the holiday season has passed you’ve been counting down the days until spring. We all try to pass the time in different ways, but some of those things you plan to do in the spring might be beneficial to do sooner rather than later. The slow times of the winter are felt across many industries including real estate, consumer electronics and construction. This is good news for those of us that are always looking for a good deal. Here is a list of the best things to purchase during the winter.

Homes

For those of you who are looking to purchase a new home, winter is a great time to find a good deal. Most people don’t want to trudge through the winter weather to shop for a house, so they put the shopping off until the spring. This lack of demand provides a great opportunity to find a good deal. Less competition for available homes allows you to offer below the list price, especially since if a home is placed on the market in the wintertime when sellers are aware that they could make more money waiting, it could mean they are motivated to sell quickly.

Home Improvement

Home Improvement

Everyone spends a lot of money during the holiday season which often causes them to put off any big purchases for awhile so they can recuperate funds. This provides a perfect opportunity to those of us who plan ahead. Contractors have large holiday bills as well, but demand for contractors is down in the winter because of the spending during the holidays, which makes them more eager to find jobs that will keep them busy. Also, material demand is lower due to the slow time of the year so you are likely to save some money there as well.

Electronics and Cameras

The International Consumer Electronic Show in which technology companies introduce their new and improved products occurs in January. This event helps build buzz and demand for the new products. So if you are one of those people that doesn’t always have to have the newest, most up-to-date gadget, now is a perfect time to buy last year’s model of TVs, cameras, home entertainment systems, etc. With all of the new products and lines being introduced, retailers need to make room for the new inventory. You can usually find higher end items that weren’t on sale for Black Friday on sale now to make room for the newest models. If holiday sales were less than expected, you can expect better deals on a wider range of products after the holidays are over. Despite the winter being a good time to purchase most electronics, laptops are not one of these.

Transportation

Sometimes the best time to purchase something is when it is painfully obvious that you have no reason to currently use it. The winter months are a great time to purchase motorcycles, bicycles, and even boats. Demand for motorcycles is low during the winter so you can usually find dealers having sales to help boost sales. These sales have a trickle-down effect, causing current motorcyclists purchasing new bikes to sell their old ones. So whether you are looking for a new or used bike, winter is the best time to find a good deal. Bicycles are also on sale due to the lack of demand during the winter months, plus retailers are looking to clear their inventories after the holiday season for the newest models due out soon. Finally, boats are also a good buy in the wintertime; most dealers offer their best sales during the slow winter months, especially at winter boat shows.

Overall, when planning your annual purchases, a good bet for finding discounts is to buy at a time that seems to make the least bit of sense. Take a look at your fellow consumers’ behaviors…and do the opposite!



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