You are now officially a fiancé. All the hard work is over, right? Wrong.
You proposed, the answer was “yes.” You are now “the fiancé” instead of “the boyfriend.” Gentlemen, start your engines. Because popular culture tells us that wedding planning is what all little girls have dreamed of, you may think you’re off the hook.
Sure, she’ll likely take the reins on most of the larger details, but be available to help out where you can (and where she lets you!) A wedding can be hard enough to plan as it is — but it becomes even harder planning alone.
Immediately: Broad strokes
When you two come down from the excitement of the proposal, the planning begins. You both need to plot this out; there are a lot of things that will need to be done and questions to be answered:
- Set a date. This may be one of the most important aspects to nail down first as everything that follows will most likely be affected by your choice.
- Figure out where. The place is probably just a general geographic area right now; you’ll narrow down the details later. If you’re in a heavily populated metro area, to get your choice of weekend at churches, reception venues, caterers and a whole lot of other stuff, even a year may not be enough. Be sure to get a jump start on this detail. Do you both live in your hometown or have one or both of you moved? Where will your wedding be then? There’s also the option of the destination wedding.
- Will it be formal? Informal? This decision will affect how some things figure in down the line.
- How big or small? Small is generally considered under 100, medium 100-250 and large anything over 250 guests.
- Who’s paying for it? The tradition of the bride’s parents paying for the wedding and the groom’s parents the reception is still done, though more and more the costs are shared with the couple and the parents.
You’ve set a real date, now you’re both checking out places and tasting caterer and cake samples. As the date gets closer, there are a few things you, and only you, need to do:
- Pick your best man — and groomsmen if it’s a bigger wedding.
- Get your guest list together, and ask your parents for their list or lists.
- Take on the booking of the band or DJ, it’s one less thing for your fiancée to do.
- Work on booking the honeymoon.
- Set aside time with your fiancée to pick out your wedding bands.
- Buy or rent your tux and work with your best man and groomsmen to do the same.
About a month (or more) before your date, the final details must be taken care of. These include :
- Purchasing a wedding gift for your partner. Fine jewelry is appropriate, just be wary that she may already have her wedding day jewelry picked out. Give her a special piece she can wear for years to come or a nice designer watch.
- Coordinating with your best man and groomsmen on attire, accessories, bachelor party, rehearsal dinner and wedding day logistics.
- Buying gifts for your members of the wedding party.
- Getting a gift for your parents.
- Obtaining the marriage license.
- Paying the celebrant.
- Scheduling (or just showing up for) a haircut about a week before the ceremony.
- Confirming all reservations for the honeymoon.
- Picking up wedding bands from your jeweler.
You may find you want to do other things as well, but these are the basics. Don’t stress too much, enjoy the process and you’ll be fine. Good luck!