Honeypot co-founder Verity is newly engaged and ready to share her tips – but what needs to happen first?
So I got engaged just over two weeks ago (woohoo!) and there are already heaps of things to think about. My fiancé, Matt, was fairly surprised when I immediately kicked into wedding planning mode, which he should not have been given my penchant for organising everything well in advance.
I’m lucky in that I’ve had a couple of years in the wedding industry and so already had a good idea of what I wanted to do, but I know for a lot of people the thought of wedding planning is this horrendous mountain to climb. The number of people saying ‘good luck!’ when they find out you’re about to start planning a wedding isn’t super helpful either…
Luckily, that’s what we’re here for! To make your wedding planning journey as smooth as possible.
So you’ve just gotten engaged – what do you need to do first? Here are my top 3 things to help you get started with wedding planning:
- Get your ring insured
Whether your fiancé had already chosen the ring or you’ve gone out and picked one together, the last thing you want to think about is losing your gorgeous new engagement ring. Unfortunately, it can happen (believe me – my mum lost not only her original engagement ring AND her replacement one).
If you’ve already got existing contents insurance (which I’d recommend anyway) then it’s pretty easy – give your insurer a call and ask them to add a specified item. This is important as many contents policies only cover items up to $1000. You’ll need to know how much the ring is worth (either how much it cost or a valuation provided by a jeweller) as well as a basic description of the ring. I called up AMI to add my ring and it was actually really lovely – as soon as I said the specified item was a ring she asked if it was ‘a very special ring’ and immediately got super excited for me when I told her we’d just gotten engaged. Go Melissa at AMI; you did the impossible – made sorting insurance exciting for me!
If you don’t have contents insurance, there are also specified jewellery insurances out there. Just make sure you read the policy – some policies have rings covered only if you’re wearing it at the time (which is a bit shitty if you take it off to protect it while doing the dishes only to lose it!) The other important thing is to prove that you actually own it – luckily with the number of photos newly engaged people tend to take of the ring, you should be okay!
- Have a think about what’s important to you
Your wedding is about the two of you, and no-one else. As tempting as it may be to go the whole hog and do everything that wedding mags tell you is totally necessary, that’s not actually true. And with the cost of weddings being seriously insane (we’re aiming for well under $20k and that seems to be a cheap wedding by most accounts), it’s important that you’re not just spending money for the sake of spending money.
One of the best ways to avoid doing that is by considering what’s important to you – sit down with your fiancé and each write down the things that matter most, whether that’s getting time together alone, a gorgeous dress, amazing photography, having everyone you love there, delicious food, a kick-ass party, or keeping it small. Try and figure out what things are common across both of your lists, and decide 3 or 4 main things that you want to focus on so that you don’t get distracted by all the other ‘nice to haves’.
For us, our most important things were having time with each other, being surrounded by all our friends and family, having delicious food, and making sure that everyone’s having fun, so we’re focusing on those four things to design how we want our wedding to feel and look.
Make sure you do this before you start any planning – otherwise it’s really easy to get swept up in what your wedding ‘should’ be like.
- Make a rough guest list
Finally, start to have a think about numbers. I know this seems early, but it will affect so many things about your wedding planning – what kind of wedding you’ll have, what venues you’ll be able to use, and most particularly, how much your wedding is likely to cost. I have a big family and several groups of friends from different areas of my life, so it’s already been tricky figuring out who would be on the first draft.
Ask yourself – are we inviting the whole family? Are we okay with just immediate family, or just aunties and uncles and no cousins? Is this friend someone who we think we’ll be friends with in two years or are they someone who plays a big part in our life now? Do we know that friend’s partner well enough to invite them, or have they been together so long that they’re a package deal?
Make a first draft and then go back to it a day or two later – we discovered we’d missed a couple of important people but also realised that we could cut a few other people. Hopefully, you’ll start to get an idea of numbers, even if you change who’s on the list later.
We’ve managed to keep ours to just under 100 which I think is rather an achievement (I think Matt was worried I’d end up with 300 on my list) and are planning on getting married at a venue where only 100 will fit – so we’ll have to keep it under that!
Next week I’ll be talking all about starting a budget – what to include, what some average prices might be, and how to keep track of everything. Check back in then!