Laughing All The Way To The Altar: Do you know what season it is?
Laughing All The Way To The Altar
Let’s chat about the seasons. I’m not talking about the changing seasons of fall, winter, spring and summer. Yes, we’re in the holiday season and it’s also football season. Of course we’re still in the ski season, but one of the best, happiest and exciting seasons of the year is engagement season. With an estimated 2.2 million couples to become engaged within the next year, 45 percent are expected to become engaged between now and Valentine’s Day, thus engagement season. And, equally as exciting is that one in every four weddings to take place within the next year will be a destination wedding. So, look out resort mountain towns, here they come.
Now that you know the season we’re in, let’s discuss some of the events for this season. Let’s start with the proposal. You think it’s all that easy? Well, let’s put aside the asking the parents for permission to marry their child and the purchase of the ring. There’s so much more than dropping the knee, producing the ring and asking the question, “Will you marry me?” Even the proposal is now a big deal with detailed planning for not just the right moment to ask, but an over-the-top experience with a surprise just to ask that question. From a room full of flowers and the family hiding in the back room to jump out after that special moment is over, to a unique and remote location the couple might hike up to, with a photographer capturing the moment from a distance. Even on a mountain ski slope, couples have proposed and then a special dinner to follow with family and friends. Yes, the proposal is now unique, well-thought out and always a surprise.
Then, after the answer to the question is made clear, might I suggest, before the couple jumps into the planning process, they both take a little time to enjoy the engagement. Breaking the exciting news to friends, enjoy the weeks and months of the engagement as it will go by quickly and it is a very special time in their lives.
Before long, the focus will shift to the wedding planning. First thing: the budget discussion. We all realize a wedding in a couple’s hometown will probably be larger than they were hoping, as the number of family and friends who will expect to be invited will continue to grow. A destination wedding with fewer guests may cost a bit more with travel and hotels and will usually include a smaller more intimate group of guests. A destination wedding provides the couple and their guests to have adventures in an exciting and romantic location, from a beach resort to majestic mountain locations.
After the couple has an idea of where they’d like their nuptials to take place, they’ll need some help. Start with hiring a professional wedding planner. Not the best-friend’s sister, who planned her own wedding, but a real pro who knows the best of the best and has the couple’s back to protect them from getting in over their heads and becoming overwhelmed with all the details and time it takes to plan a wedding. This should be a time to enjoy each other and plan for their forever together. Not a time of constant arguments over the little things. Planning a wedding while working a full-time job or going to school and keeping the relationship intact might be too much for some couples. Reaching out and speaking with someone who knows how to assist them and will keep them on track, even with their very busy schedules. It’s money well spent.
If the plan is to wed this summer, they might not get the exact date and location they were hoping for. As the couples who became engaged last year around this time, planned for a year engagement and might have already booked the first choice of venues. By allowing a full year to plan, this will provide the couple with more options for venues. Don’t be discouraged, as there are still many amazing and wonderful venues still available for this coming year. Be flexible with the date for the wedding. Week day weddings allow the guests to enjoy the weekend with adventures and outings, which they otherwise might not have had time to enjoy if there were only in town for a weekend wedding.
Once the date and venue for the couples’ wedding celebration is decided and under contract, the next step is to hire wedding vendors. From photographers, floral designers, musicians, a band or a DJ, a rehearsal dinner venue and ceremony location … well, you get the picture. Don’t panic. Like a puzzle, it will all come together with patience and time.
So, if you are going to celebrate more than the holidays this engagement season, congratulations and best wishes for an amazing time planning and the adventures that are in your future.
JoAnn Moore MWP, CWC, CGWP, CSS is a professional wedding planner with JoAnn Moore Weddings, specializing in weddings based in Vail and Lake Tahoe, California. She can be reached at http://www.joannmooreweddings.com, and more information can be found at joann@joannmoore weddings.com.