Although much of the unknown seems to now be in hand for those brides who were forced to postpone their weddings last year, couples who became engaged over this past holiday season (as most American couples), are now finding themselves forced to push their plans to say "I Do" all the way out to 2022, due to availability of venues and weekend availability.
But with such a long engagement ahead, what's a girl to do?
The excitement of diving into wedding planning can be quite tempting once that ring is on the finger and the announcements have been made.
So what can a 2022 bride do, to actively, yet sensibly, start planning her wedding more than a year in advance? Well sis, I'm so glad you asked...
Six Things 2022 Brides Can Do Now, To Start Planning Their Wedding
1) Girl, get that ring insured!
Although far less sexy (and fun) than the other tips that follow, getting your engagement ring insured is an incredibly smart and important first step for any couple who is newly engaged.
Your SO worked hard to earn the $ to buy that engagement ring. So Sister, you need to protect it. It's a super easy and inexpensive way to make sure that if the worst happens and you lose your ring or it gets stolen, that it can be replaced without going into debt.
Often brides can get the writer for less than $30 a month and the policy can easily be added to your current renters or homeowners insurance policy. Which will give you security and your SO peace of mind.
2) Start Working on Your "Big 3" : Venue, Photography & Dress
Although I do strongly recommend you wait to start actively hunting for your wedding dress until 18 months out or so, that doesn't mean you can't begin to nail down part of your "Big Three."
Start compiling a list of wedding venues that you want to tour & wedding photographers whose work you enjoy. Many venues are participating in personalized virtual tours and are happy to open their doors to brides who are looking to narrow down their top contenders for their deposit.
Wedding photographers are also highly coveted, booking nearly immediately after one's venue is selected. As you browse various portfolios, it’s not uncommon for the dreaming process to really take off; as many photographers also act as day-of-planners, staying with their couples all day and helping them keep to their timelines.
3) Build Your Guest List & Categorize Their Ranks
Look, at least for now, huge weddings are a thing of the past - but that may not always be the case. We recommend starting your guest list first in excel (or with another tool like The Knot).
As you begin building your list, be sure to not only list each guest’s name (as well as their family size) but also consider implementing a ranking system to help you determine cuts, should your state reduce your venue's capacity. Although a novel and sometimes-uncomfortable concept, many 2020 brides who went forward with their weddings were forced to make deep cuts to already invited guests. By having guest categorized beforehand (i.e. category 1, 2, 3 and so on) it will help remove any additional emotional strain as you move into your contingency planning.
Not to mention... this system can also help you stagger the sending of their invitations if space is an issue and your mom - or - mother-in-law is adamant their third grade teacher's best friend, twice removed is invited to the wedding.
4) Get your pin on girl!
Wedding trends are ever changing as newly engaged couples bring their tastes and personalities forward in new ways every year. However, that doesn't mean you can't start trying on different styles!
As anyone who has ever tried on a wedding dress knows, what you may THINK you want, may NOT be what you actually want as you try things on and start to learn your own wedding style.
So whimsy and romantic or modern and chic, start focusing on finding and pinning your favorite wedding styles, colors, cuts and vibes. Then as you get closer to the big day and you move into the next phase of planning, you'll have a clear idea of what you like, what you don't or areas you that could use more feeling out.
It costs NOTHING to pin. NOTHING to dream. NOTHING to create multiple boards showcasing different styles. So why on earth would you wait?
5) Start Pulling Your Favorite Photos from your childhood & love story.
You know that photo of you, naked in the tub or drawing all over your brother in a diaper with a sharpie? Mom always said she was going to show everyone at your wedding and let me let you in on a little secret... she's not kidding.
I have yet to work or attend a wedding where photos of the couple and their childhoods were not involved in some way. Sometimes they are simply shared during the rehearsal dinner. Other times they are on display during the reception. Or perhaps the most fun -- for the guests -- is they may also be shared as a surprise during a wedding toast (or two).
Either way, family photos come out at weddings, so why not embrace it. At least if you’re a part of mom's plans you can negotiate your way out of those shots you had hoped would never see the light of day again. That said, it also means you can start pulling your favorite images of you and your SO to be included as well, allowing you to not only share big moments of your lives together but also take some of the heat off of that embarrassing 4th grade swim team shot where you’re squinting with braces.
6) Start Working On Your Wedding Registry
Hello bar code scanner! (or wait, did I just date myself? whatever...) Similar to pinning ideas for your wedding day on Pinterest, why not start your register while you have the downtime?
Living in a more open state and need a reason to get out of the house? Why not mask up and go shopping? Or even build your list from home!
The options these days are endless when it comes to where you can register and what you can register for. Our favorites include Target, Crate & Barrel as well as Amazon.
Are you an adventure seeking couple? Register on Amazon for a tent and all the fixin's to set up camp. Really in love with the new dishes from Pottery Barn? Scan it!
Need a way to get the SO more involved in the planning process? Give them a store scanning gun and watch them light up like a kid in the candy sore! It fun to do, often ends as a hilarious date and creates a great way to bond & dream of your life together during the planning process. I mean, hello -- four slice kitchen aid toaster, anyone?
7) Create A Wedding Website & Play with Hashtags
Ready to dive in and really make the wedding planning feel like it's coming to life? Online wedding platforms like The Knot, Zola and others typically offer a way to build a free, custom wedding website. With the ability to share RSVP links, hotel information, timelines and more, wedding websites are a great way to save on postage, while still delivering information straight to your guests.
Not to mention it's also a great time to start thinking of a custom hashtag that your guests can use after the wedding to help share candid shots they may have taken from the engagement party, bridal shower or even the reception itself! There are even vendors on Etsy that you can HIRE to help create the perfect wedding hashtag for your big day. The sky is the limit. Have some fun with it!
Hey You... Let's Be Friends, K?!
Hey there - I'm Chelsea! A coffee worshiping Hoosier native, just trying to raise a kiddo and capture vivid memories in central IN for my families & brides. To see more of our work, make sure to FOLLOW us on Facebook and Instagram & sign up for our VIP club to get first dibs on open session date! Curious about me? Dive into my story of how I flushed my comfortable Fortune 500 Marketing Career to take on the life of a SMB owner at HashTag Memories Photography!
Or maybe the idea of photos is stress you out? Check out this blog post where I get REAL about how shooting a session of my own kiddo taught me how to help YOU mitigate Mommy Session Stress - or this one where we share basic planning tips & FAQs to help set you up for success on your next shoot.