16 Tips on Pre-Wedding & Engagement

1.      Consider your engagement as the beginning of your lifelong commitment! It’s the perfect time to create a healthy foundation for your marriage so let the lines of communication be open.  As you plan your wedding, focus on your financial future by sharing dreams, savings, and debt issues, and start making a joint plan. Make sure you start off on a great foundation and everyone is on the same page.  Check out our financial planners that have a booth at our Premier Bride Expo!

2.      If you are planning on having a wedding that falls on around a holiday such as New Year’s Eve, Labor Day Memorial Day, Florida Georgia Weekend or TPC, make sure to reinforce the date, create personalized, magnetic save-this-date cards, and send them out at least six month’s in advance. 

3.      If you’re a disorganized bride, the stress will show at every turn.  Use the pre-wedding time to organize and weed-out conflicts, clutter, and emotions.  Enlist expert help to support you by hiring a financial advisor, wedding planner, organizational consultant and personal trainer.  The extra time and money invested will result in a successful wedding and good-to-go marriage.  All of these services can be found at the Premier Bride Expo in Jacksonville and St. Augustine!

4.      Once the engagement is announced, choose the bridal party carefully.  This can be an emotional time, but use logic when you make important decisions.  Please consider; emotions, personalities, dependability, affordability, and your relationship with him or her. Once you make the offer, you can’t take it back, so use your best judgment.

5.      A good test for a photographer is the engagement photo.  Pay attention to the way the photographer communicates and whether or not you are handled in a relaxed but professional manner.  Is this person willing to work with you?  Do you love the results?  Is the customer service excellent?  There are great photographers at the Premier Bride Expo, so you will  have a lot to choose from and talk to.  Set up a consultation after the show if you need more time.

6.      If possible, use your engagement party as a test for catering.  Have it at a restaurant that caters to celebrations and ask whether they might give you a discount on catering, etc., if you also book your shower or rehearsal dinner with them at the same time.  If it is at someone’s house, bring in a catering services that you might want to use for the reception or rehearsal dinner!  There are a lot great caterers in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas and a lot of restaurant options too.  And don’t forget about the food trucks!

7.      Don’t put off discussing premarital agreements – get it out of the way, right away.  Yes, it’s awkward, but it’s part of our culture.  If you try to slide the issue on the table a month before the wedding, you’re not only asking for disaster, but it might not hold up in a court of law because it can be considered an agreement made under pressure.

8.      WEL-COME – “Wedding Essentials List:  Communicate/Compromise, Organize, Manage and Exercise.”  During the engagement period, work on these everyday.  You’ll reduce your stress during the hectic and emotional months ahead.

9.      Use the engagement time wisely.  Pre-marriage counseling is meant to weed out potential problems and strengthen your communications.  At the Premier Bride Expo, we have pre-marital councilors, it is a great place to meet them.

10.  Right after the engagement is announced, grab a copy of Premier Bride Magazine and use the check list in the back to start planning.  Download and app, create a binder, make a Pinterest Board…get ready to start planning!

11.  The pre-wedding phase is crucial planning time.  Make a list of things you want to delegate and create a support system from the start.

12.  What’s your wedding style?  After you’re engaged and before you’re knee-deep in wedding planning, take some time with your sweetie and discuss your unique wedding vision. Will you have a theme?  What time of year?  What are your colors?  What wedding traditions will you have? Either way, it should ultimately reflect the two of you.

13.  The most critical part of the wedding: the marriage license. Without it, you can’t get married. Call the office in your county that handles marriage licenses, and get all of the important details, such as when you need to apply, how much it costs, and what types of payment are accepted. Do this far in advance of the wedding!  Premier Bride Magazine has a list of addresses for the court houses in Jacksonville, St. Johns, Nassau, and Clay country.

14.  Be a happy bachelorette. Be clear and articulate with your bridesmaids about the type of bachelorette party you would like to have. You don’t have to dictate the details, but if you want an ‘intimate gathering of friends to talk’ and they’re planning a ‘wild night at strip clubs’ you may feel a wee bit disappointed, not to mention uncomfortable.

15.  Attend a Premier Bride Expo.  It’s a great way to start or finish the wedding planning process.

16.  Enjoy it and try not to stress….getting married is exciting and should be fun!

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