You just got engaged and you are overjoyed. You just want to run and tell everyone, celebrate that ring on your finger, and call your partner fiancé (because lets be real that is the most fun word for significant others!) - and then the inevitable questions start. What's your wedding venue? Have you picked a date? "What flowers are going to use?" and of course the unsolicited advice..."I did this and it was so nice" or I wish I did this, so you should" or "I went to this one wedding where xyz happened." "Don't even think about not having a cake", etc. etc. etc..... Feel like screaming yet?
I feel you, I sympathize with you, I am here for you! Everyone wants to be excited with you and help you as much as they can - but it can honestly just get overwhelming. If you have no idea where to start, I highly suggest hiring a 3rd non-biased party to really hone your ideas, and maybe buffer some of those overwhelming feelings you have right now - like a wedding planner! Even a day of coordinator is a good start to easing your stress!
Now - the big question - how long is my engagement and how do i save money? How much am i going to spend on the venue? How much does a wedding planner cost? Can i have beautiful décor or flowers on a budget?
Well - I am here to tell you that a longer engagement can really be a budget saver - but maybe not a insanity saver, if we're being honest. Determining what is important to you and maybe the dynamic of your families and friends, will help determine which is the best option for you.
Money Savers & Budget Hacks
Book your vendors as early as possible
...and spread your payments evenly over a few months. this way you don't have a large chunk of money coming out at once and you can budget appropriately! Ask your vendors if they have a payment schedule or if you can work together to create one. This not only helps your insanity but also your monthly budget!
You have all the time to DIY
...making beautiful pieces at half the cost. Start your DIY early and be realistic! Get as much DIY done as soon as possible and then if you discover there is something you thought you could accomplish but can't, you still have time to find the best price for it!
You can save tons of $$$ on sales!
...if you're patient. Make a list of your must-haves - everything from décor, vendors, add-ons, etc. and then do some research! Does the amazing vendor you love but is slightly out of budget have a summer discount sale every year that offers a 10% discount on the services you want if booked between two specific dates? Wait to book it! Does Hobby lobby have all the beautiful centerpiece accents you want but you can't fathom $21 per piece? Shop first on black Friday then wait or their seasonal sales to stock up at 50-75% off!
Sanity v. Insanity
Really focus on what is important
...to you and your fiancé, Because no one else matters on this day! With a long engagement you can really take it one step at a time. Sit down over a nice dinner and a glass of wine and really chat about what is important to you as a couple. Do you want a big party? Is the food the most important things? How do you want your guests to feel at the end of the night? Starting with these questions will help to start narrowing down what it is you want in your day and starting to mold it to be personalized to you as a couple.
Get it done
...and diminish the questions quicker. If you want to get married in 3 months, all the questions are really eliminated in the first 2 weeks - because you need to get those invites out in like 2 weeks. Everyone has the date, time, place and you get rid of those questions! - however this could also add more questions - "Why are you getting married so quickly?" "Are you pregnant?" "You know other people have plans already..." etc. etc. So really this one is a catch22.
All in all, there are stressors and questions and suggestions that come from no matter if you have long or short engagement so hire a wedding planner to get the best responses and advice on budgeting and sanity so you can ENJOY your planning process and your wedding day!