You're Engaged: Now What?

You just got engaged to the person of your dreams! CONGRATULATIONS!! There’s a million and one details to plan, but where do you start? I drafted up a short list to help you get started without getting overwhelmed. It’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement but remember: enjoy this beautiful time now.

Photography by Kristin Vermilya

Photography by Kristin Vermilya

Let All Your Inner Circle Know

This is such an exciting time for the two of you! Before posting the big news on social media, make sure to take some time and share it with the people that mean the most to you. Though it would be great to tell them in person, over the phone works too. After you’ve let your besties, parents, siblings, and all the other people in your inner circle know, go share it with your 500+ facebook friends and Insta followers so you can celebrate with them too.

Pick A Season

Picking a season is your first step in locking down a date! Do your wedding dreams include kissing under a snowfall? Or does it include beautiful red hues of the fall trees? Chat about it with your partner to see what suits you two best!

Hire A Planner

Though you can hire a wedding planner at any point during your planning process, hiring one sooner is always better! They’ve got tips and tricks up their sleeve that can make the whole process less stressful, so why not use their expertise?

Draft Your Wedding Party

Photography by Kristin Vermilya

Photography by Kristin Vermilya

Pick the people you want to celebrate every step of the wedding with. You do not have to choose right away — in fact, do not choose right away. Take some time to think about who the most important people are and who would enjoy being there with you. If you have a friend who hates weddings, hates making plans, and hates group activities, maybe think about not having them stand by your side. Some of the people who love you aren’t into the responsibilities that come with being in a wedding party — and that’s OK. Involve them as much as they want to be involved in an unofficial capacity. That way, everybody wins.

Enjoy the Time

So many couples get bogged down with wedding planning the minute they get engaged.That’s rough — particularly if your partner isn’t as pumped about vision boards and color stories as you are. You got months to decide what shade of white you want for your wedding flowers. Enjoy the time you have together, and if need be, limit talk of the wedding during date night. Instead, just pop a bottle of champagne and relax with your new fiancé!

How to Stay Sane As A DIY Bride


This one is for you.

According to Martha Stewart Weddings, couples working without a wedding planner will spend 200-300 hours on their wedding. During a 9-month engagement, that could be 30 hours a month! Hello, new part-time job!

As a DIY Bride, I wanted to make sure that I had enough time to do all my crafts without the stress of getting them done last minute, while juggling my full time job.

The Happy 2019 12 Month Mini Planner Adventures Jan 2019 - Dec 2019

The Happy 2019 12 Month Mini Planner Adventures Jan 2019 - Dec 2019

While I was planning my wedding, my planner was my most prized possession. I took it everywhere with me -- to work, restaurants, coffee shops, bars… seriously, I just put it in my backpack, and it kept me SANE.

This is the planner that I used, but I’m sure that all others will do the trick just fine.

Once you have your planner,  it’s time to create a timeline. This will probably seem intimidating at first because there are so many decisions to make ahead of your big day (not to mention booking things far enough in advance, keeping up with vendor communications, gathering the supplies for all the things you have to DIY — ugh. Exhausting.)

But I wouldn’t leave you hanging! Here’s a month-by-month breakdown that I recommend for the 10 months before your wedding.

As with accomplishing any big goal, breaking things up is key. Create weekly and even daily goals with your big goals in mind. This will help ensure you’re spreading out the work and can enjoy the last weeks before your wedding without much stress.

Side note: The venue was booked through a catering company, so I did not have to look for a caterer. My partners family did all the prep and planning for the rehearsal dinner, so there is very little dinner planning on my timeline.

Side note: The venue was booked through a catering company, so I did not have to look for a caterer. My partners family did all the prep and planning for the rehearsal dinner, so there is very little dinner planning on my timeline.

Keep in mind that this schedule is just a starting point! If you’re not planning on making your own invitations, floral arrangements, favors, etc., then feel free to omit. Plus, there’s no shame in hiring professionals to help your wedding vision come to life. Check out some of the services I offer that won’t break the bank.

Five Ways to Get Guests Excited About Wedding Favors

The rush of excitement is real when you’re a guest at a wedding and see a little wedding favor, wrapped up like a little gift and placed at your table setting during the reception. You open up the little treat, and it’s a pack of mints. NEAT.

If your guests aren’t excited about your wedding favors, you’ll have spent precious time and money on them… only for them to likely be left behind when the celebration is over. Then you’ll be left trying to pawn them off on unsuspecting relatives and random strangers.

But with careful planning and a little imagination, your wedding favors can be more than an afterthought! Here are five ways you can get your guests excited about your wedding favors.

Give Them Something They Can Actually Use

Not that I have anything against little mints or a little bag of Jordan Almonds (I don’t, I love them both. One gives me breath of an angel, and the other is a tasty treat I can leave in my car for a long commute), but what if you gave them something they could actually use?

I gave each of my guests a canvas grocery bag that had “totes got married” printed on them. You can find similar favors online, but DIY-ing 150 bags cost only 50 cent apiece and about two months of very leisurely crafting. Not everyone took one, but a majority of guests did because saving the planet is cool. Plus, I can still use them. I will never have to buy another reusable grocery bag again, and that is pretty neat


Think About Placement

Just because it’s tradition doesn’t mean that you have to put a favor at each place setting. Think about other ways to distribute your favors.. Doing this means guests can take it if they want, but no pressure if they don’t.

It’s becoming more common for brides to set up a cute table near the reception exit to showcase all the goodies. One of the benefits of this is that you don’t need to buy one a favor for each person!

I was at a wedding where the bride decided to put her favors by the front door so guests could take them on the way out. They had treats for humans and treats for pups. As I do not have a dog, I just took the human treat!


Have An Activity to Go Along With It

I went to a wedding that had cool sunglasses with the couples’ names on it. BUT, the only way you could get them was if you took a picture in the photo booth and signed their wedding book. Let me tell you, those glasses were a hot commodity and there were none left by the end of the wedding. I still have my pair of Curt+Erica glasses in my closet, just in case I need to root them on.


Make A Donation In Their Name

Are you and your spouse-to-be super into a charity or cause? Instead of buying favors for each guest, think about donating that money to a charity that means something to you instead! This is great because guests will feel good knowing that the money you would’ve used went to a good cause.

To let guests know you’d made a donation in their honor, place a small card at each table setting that says what charity the money went to, or have it printed on the bottom of the menu if you are having a seated meal.


Forgo the Gift All Together

Honestly, you already paid anywhere from $50-$100 to have each guest there. Even though you may think a favor is totally necessary, let me just say: as a guest, a bride and a coordinator, I do not think they are a must! I have never been to a wedding and thought, “Dang, where are my jordan almonds?!” As a guest, we are just excited to be invited to your event and love seeing the love between the newlyweds.

Forgo the wedding favor. I have given you my permission.