engagement_ringThe day after we got engaged, Jacob told me that he Googled “creative ways to propose to your girlfriend” and stumbled across a quiz on theknot.com. “Did you know there is an entire website about planning a wedding?” he asked in disbelief. Um… yeah, honey, I knew that. I didn’t want to tell him that there is WAY more than one website about wedding planning. But his question did make me think, Hey, I should sign up on theknot.com!

      We grabbed the laptop, went to the site, and clicked “Join.” We breezed through the first few questions on the registration form, but stopped short when we got to the “Wedding Date” field. At this point we had been engaged for maybe 18 hours – we did not have a wedding date yet. We tried leaving the field blank. No dice. After some debate, we arbitrarily entered exactly one year after we got engaged. We finished the registration and started to browse around the site, quickly finding the “My Checklist” tool. Great! Now we’ll know what we’re supposed to do first, we thought. Click. Here’s what we saw:

      16 Overdue Tasks

      What?! How could we be behind already? We JUST got engaged. And that’s when the panic set it.*

      So instead of setting up an account on theknot.com right after you get engaged, here’s what I suggest you do:

      1. Set up a wedding email account. Somewhere in my secret pre-engagement wedding research (I know I’m not the only one who’s looked at wedding magazines or websites without a ring on my finger!), I saw the tip to set up a wedding email address to use for all wedding-related email. I loved having all of our wedding email go to a separate account. And come on, mynamehisnamewedding@gmail.com is stinkin’ cute!
      2. Determine your budget. Setting a budget is never fun, but definitely something that you’ll need to do early into planning. You’ll start seeing prices for venues, catering, and dresses as soon as you begin researching, and you’ll need to know what fits into your budget. Early on is the time to talk to your fiancé and any other people who will be contributing to your wedding budget. You can also find many helpful tools online to help you figure out how your budget should breakdown. Pink Diamond Events can help with this as well!
      3. Join Pinterest. Or if you already have an account, take another look at your “My Future Wedding” board and keep pinning away. Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board where you can pin pictures of items you find on the web. It is a great way to gather inspiration for your wedding.  You can browse through the “Wedding” category or search for a specific item like “wedding cake” or a theme like “garden wedding” and you’ll find tons of beautiful pictures to inspire your planning.
      4. Take some time and enjoy your engagement. This is the advice everyone will give you when you first get engaged. Then they will start in with these questions: Have you set the date? What are you colors? Where are you going on your honeymoon?  Really enjoy the beginning when you can’t stop smiling and you don’t yet have to worry about invitation design and which vegetarian entrée will taste better. Default answer for the relentless question askers: “We’re so excited to be engaged, and we’re going to start planning everything soon.”

      *More on theknot.com’s “My Checklist” tool: My Checklist is a handy tool, but don’t let the sheer number of items on it and the due dates overwhelm you like it did me at first.  There are also tons of other great wedding checklists that you can find on the web, in wedding planning books, or through Pink Diamond Events if you book with them. Each one is a little different so if theknot.com’s checklist isn’t working for you, just find another one.

      Megan McDaniel is a recent Pink Diamond bride. Each month in her guest posts, she shares a few tips that she picked up while planning her wedding.