Do we need to get going on our wedding planning?

My partner and I got engaged, officially, two weeks ago. We had started discussing our engagement and future marriage roughly six months ago. We are both big planners and appreciate joint efforts to make decisions together. We have a wonderful relationship and both work very hard for each other.

Initially, we planned on getting engaged when we paid off the engagement ring, which would have been in late December of this year. However, I recently came into a sum of money due to a loved one passing away, so I decided to pay the ring in full. We were both excited about it, and it was very sweet. However, this changes our timeline a little bit due to being engaged half a year sooner than expected. We have agreed our engagement should be about two years long before our wedding and marriage.

My question is pretty simple, but I am at a loss. At what point in the engagement does a couple begin discussing wedding details? Pre-engagement, we lightly discussed that it will be a maximum of 50 guests and in a historical venue of some sort. How long are people usually engaged before they crack down on wedding planning? Is it immediate and are we behind? Is it different for everyone? How much time is required to successfully plan a wedding? I would appreciate any insight you may have as I don’t have anyone with experience in planning their own wedding that I feel comfortable asking.

– Organized Fiancé

You can start planning whenever you want, as early as you want. Depending on the size, availability, and exclusivity of the venues on your list, you can start asking about dates now. At the very least, take some tours and see what’s out there. I don’t think there’s a “too early” in this kind of industry.

Readers who’ve done this recently, please share your timelines in the comments section. Also, wedding industry people, feel free to get in on this, too.

Now for my part. You’re asking for practical information you can get during an initial phone call with a wedding planner. But you’ve written into Love Letters, so let me say this: I know you’re both organized people and want this done right (whatever that means), but please take a deep breath and remember that no matter what, every wedding is unique and it’s going to be OK.

You can change your mind 1,000 times if you want, as long as you’re doing it together. Maybe you’ll find the perfect venue but decide to do the party in 2023 as opposed to ’24. Maybe you’ll drop the guest list to 20 because of that venue, or decide to do the event on a random weekday. I have no idea. The thing is, it’s a big deal – it’s your wedding – but it shouldn’t feel like a pass-fail situation. It’s supposed to be fun, collaborative, and maybe a little romantic.

This is a great time to enjoy the engagement without so much pressure. Visit some venues, get on some websites where people talk about what worked for them, and remember that the timeline is arbitrary – you’ve already changed it once.

Over the past two years, people learned that flexibility can make special occasions a lot easier. Decide – together – that this will be fun. If it feels like something you’re messing up from the start, you need to be easier on yourselves.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you keep this fun and not stressful? Should the letter writer rethink asking friends/family about how they did this? Why might that be off-limits?

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