5 Things I’ve learned in the four days I’ve been engaged

  1. My fingers are freakishly small. Confession: Andy and I looked at rings in November, and had my finger measured. (But I still didn’t know he had bought a ring, or when/how he was going to propose.) We thought I was a 4.75, so that’s what he bought. It turns out, that’s still too big. All weekend I was scared to wash my hands/do the dishes/shower etc. while wearing it. So I went to a jeweler last night to get a ring guard (a little strip of metal that wraps around the inside of the ring to make it fit my finger snugly). I’ll probably get it actually resized, but I want to see how my finger size fluctuates first.
  2. Not writing a blog post for a few months + a huge, exciting announcement = blog traffic success. Whoa.
  3. Brides are scary. Especially on The Knot’s message boards. Someone please smack me in the face if I ever act like them. I signed up for it to read the articles and access the wedding planning resources (because they force you to sign up to view those things…). I was browsing their message boards, and all of the people on them seemed really mean and quick to attack other brides who had stupid questions.Β  It seemed like half the people on there were 19-year-olds with stupid questions, and the rest were people who got married a long time ago, but are still obsessed with wedding planning a belittling the 19-year-olds. It’s entertaining to read, but not exactly as helpful as it could be for a wedding planning resource.
  4. Weddings are expensive and overwhelming. Like, the average cost of a wedding in the US is comparable to the average entry-level salary. (Don’t quote me on that – but I believe they’re both around $27k). I’ve only scratched the surface in this whole planning thing, and it is overwhelming. I’ve bought a wedding magazine that weighs more than my dog, and watched plenty of “Say Yes to the Dress,” but anything beyond that makes me a little panicky.
  5. People have very different ideas about when planning should start. A lot of people have been telling me to wait a while before I start planning and to just enjoy being engaged. And I am enjoying it. But a lot of other people have already been asking if we’ve set a date yet. (Which, you know, requires SOME wedding planning). And the timelines I’ve looked at online say things like “Buy your dress at least 6 months – 1 year before the big day” and “Send Save the Dates a year in advance if people will have to travel.”Β  I don’t want a really long engagement, which makes me feel like I need to get cracking!
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11 Responses to 5 Things I’ve learned in the four days I’ve been engaged

  1. Laura says:

    Let me help you!

    • Kristin says:

      Oh, we will definitely need your help! Once we figure out the “when” and “where,” I’m pretty sure you and I will spend a lot of time on the phone…

  2. Estelle says:

    Hiya! This post made me laugh. I got a lot of the same comments when we got engaged and at one point, a few months after it happened, I said WHY is everyone so obsessed with a venue!? It was driving me nuts. Please don’t use the Knot. Do not. Do not. Do not. If you need some recommendations of people in NYC to use for anything, please let me know! Our photographer and our officiant and our DJ were from around here, and we got married “off season” so the prices were pretty right. (March) We were on a tight budget and it is super expensive to get married around here. Unless you are going home to get married? Anyway, I liked checking out A Practical Wedding, Wedding Bee (although that got repetitive), The Knotty Bride, and The Brooklyn Bride? Oh also – The Broke Ass Bride is a great resource too. There are a bunch of others but you will feel yourself around. (Oh also just saw this one recently: http://lover.ly/) Um, yes I guess that’s all I can suggest for now. haha. Wedding planning is fun but it’s also a pain to coordinate with all the different dynamics and people having such crazy expectations when it should only focus on the both of you and throwing an awesome party for the people you love. Please let me know if you have any questions or anything. I’m always up for talking weddings! πŸ™‚ Congrats again to you & Andy! I practically squealed when I read your post and my husband was wondering outloud what was wrong with me! πŸ˜€

    • Kristin says:

      Aw, thanks! I’m sure once I get into it I will definitely be asking you for vendor recommendations if we have the wedding in NYC (that’s still to be determined).

      Thanks for the other website suggestions! I want to read wedding blogs and websites, but I just don’t want to interact with crazy people. πŸ™‚

      • Kristin says:

        Also, I just spent the last hour reading “A Practical Bride,” and I just ordered the book. I think that’s going to have be my go-to source. THANKS!

  3. Josh S says:

    Hey. I don’t really know you–I ran into your blog a while ago from somewhere else that it was linked, I dunno. And I’m a guy, and we obviously have different standards for weddings, so feel free to totally discount what I’m about to say, I won’t be offended in the slightest. /disclaimer

    1) You can completely legitimately elope or have a very small wedding (like, just your siblings & folks). Save the $27k and put a down payment on a condo, and save yourself the headache of planning. Seriously. As fun as it is to be engaged, planning a wedding is stressful, and it’s not always something that is healthy for a soon-to-be-married couple. (In contrast, it can give you insight into how to deal with stress & conflict as a couple. Which can maybe be a good thing, right?) If you elope, you can have a totally casual party later on, and just celebrate without all the pressure or money (somehow, events tend to be half as expensive if they’re just a family party and not a ‘wedding reception’–the marketers know that brides-to-be have someone else’s money to throw around…)
    2) If you do plan a wedding, remember that it’s essentially just a party you’re throwing. Don’t let anyone tell you how it *has* to be. It’s your (you + fiancee = your) party, and it can be beer & bbq in the backyard to a full-blown Kardashian money-fest. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. There’s plenty of resources to throw a wedding on the cheap. I’m in Chicago (in the city) and my wife & I did a full, formal wedding for under $15k. And our only real concession was bottles of wine at the table rather than an open bar.
    3) When the wedding happens, remember that there are only like 2 people who know how everything is *supposed* to happen. Something will go wrong. Shrug it off–only 2 people will know it went wrong, and they’ll probably both think it’s cute or funny. Everyone else will be oblivious. The need to become Bridezilla over a slightly-wrong shade of ecru on the table runners is absolutely nuts.

    As for timing, I’ve known people who started planning years in advance because they wanted a specific weekend for a specific venue that books up way early. My cousin also planned a wedding in 2 months, start to finish (engaged on 4th of July, married over Labor Day). The wifey & me did it in 6 months, which felt perfectly comfortable (though we’ve been told that’s crazy).

    Realize that things will come in spurts–the venues and maybe caterers will get booked, then you’ll do nothing for a while. Then the invites go out, the flowers/decorations get picked, the bridal party gets told and formal wear rented, etc, then you’ll do nothing for a while. Then you’ll have another spurt of activity, then you’ll do nothing for a while. Don’t be tempted to fill the ‘nothing’ times with activity–that’s where the bill can really skyrocket (maybe we *do* really want them to release live doves behind us as we walk to the limo…$$$$$)

    Good luck to you, and congratulations!

    • Josh S says:

      Ah, it was through AskAManager, back when you were doing your job search. Funny that this has lingered in my RSS feeds…

      • Kristin says:

        Thanks for the guy’s perspective on this! I don’t see myself getting TOO obsessed with most aspects of planning, because I really can’t fathom caring about table runners and napkins and the like. I think for stuff like that, a planner might be worth it.

        We’re going to try to keep it all as low-key as possible. I like the idea of planning stages happening in spurts – that sounds much more manageable (both in terms of money and stress). At the end of the day, I just want to be Andy’s wife. However we make that happen.

  4. Birdie says:

    I was only engaged for 5 weeks! Do what you need to do and don’t listen to the dumb timelines. Congrats again!

  5. Seashell says:

    Write down all the pros and cons of having a big wedding. Then write down all the pros and cons of not having a big wedding. I think this will help you decide on the cost level. Other than that, just please yourself and Andy. It’s all about the two of you. If others don’t like it, tell them to plan it and pay for it! πŸ™‚

  6. Kate says:

    I think I found your blog via Ask A Manager, but I love reading your posts.

    My advice on weddings is this:

    If you want a big wedding, have one and don’t fuss over people saying you’re being extravagant.
    If you want a small wedding, have one and don’t fuss over people saying you’re cheap.
    It’s nice to buy things to use again: I got my (very simple) dress at a sample sale, had the train cut off, and I can still wear it to the Ballet with a colored wrap. My husband bought a nice suit at Brooks Brothers and he wears it to work. It’s fun to wear things that remind you of the happy day.
    Something will inevitably throw a wedding off track, but just smile. My in-laws thought the wedding started at 5 instead of 4, so while we waited, we served a little champagne and had an impromptu cocktail hour, that was fun!

    Congratulations!

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