From Thanksgiving in late November up through Valentines Day in February, a rush of couples pop the question, and ask their partners to spend forever with them. This time of year is known as ‘engagement season’. For some, the holiday cheer and merry celebrations set the scene for a perfect engagement. A winter engagement is perfect for those wanting to plan a wedding for the following fall. If you think your sweetheart may put a ring on it this engagement season, you’ll want to be prepared.
Many people assume that getting engaged is simple, but there are many things to think about. Once you get engaged, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of all the excitement. Telling your proposal story a million times, and fielding questions about the big day will become your life! That’s why we recommend going over these essentials with your partner before the celebrations begin. Engaged? Here are 5 Important Tasks you Need to Prioritize.
Additionally, with COVID still present in our lives, engagement season may look and feel a bit different. Engagement celebrations and pre-wedding festivities may be smaller, but this milestone in your life is no less important.
Here are seven things to know and discuss so you can get through engagement season in one piece!
One of the most important (and fun!) parts of an engagement is picking out the right ring! From the size to the style, there are numerous details a couple needs to discuss before investing in a ring. Not everything around a proposal needs to be shrouded in mystery. Plus, ring shopping with your future spouse is a great way to ensure you are on the same page.
Let’s discuss what you should consider when searching for the perfect ring options for you and your partner. Engagement rings aren’t just about looks. They are also about what this permanent symbol can mean to you and your partner. While a diamond ring is still a classic choice, there’s no shortage of non-diamond engagement ring options. Of course, a plus of choosing an alternative ring is that gemstones are often less expensive than diamonds. If you are planning on utilizing an heirloom, consider sizing, the integrity of the ring, or repurposing the stones.
Additionally, understand that your ring might not fit correctly right away. In cold weather, your fingers contract, so it’s possible that your ring will feel looser than usual. Consequently, your fingers swell in the heat and throughout the day, so don’t rush to resize unless you are sure.
Suppose you’d rather enjoy your engagement. But, you’ve always imagined marrying during cherry blossom season. Rather than settle for stress, set a date for the following year’s spring and enjoy a longer engagement.
If you want a shorter engagement, you’ll have to start planning almost immediately. Short engagements are all about planning. If you’re putting together a short engagement, it’s essential to start planning for the big day as soon as possible. You’ll want to make sure that everything essential is in motion by the time the proposal happens.
The most important thing about engagement length is ensuring that you and your fiancé-to-be get married when you really want to get married — not when society says you should get married. Be honest about when you and your fiancé want your special day to be!
Many couples freeze up when they get down to the nitty-gritty of planning their proposal. If this is you, don’t be afraid to ask your partner or friends for some advice. Ask what you should ask and where to look for good ideas and examples. Be open to ideas and suggestions — just remember that no two proposals will ever be exactly alike. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box! You can never go wrong with an old-fashioned surprise, but surprises aren’t the only thing on the list of excellent proposals.
When planning your proposal, avoid going beyond what’s comfortable for both of you. For example, if your partner wants to propose at sunset on a beach in Hawaii, but you’d prefer something more low-key or spontaneous, it’s best to stick with that comfort zone.
Consider keeping up your nails so you can get that perfect ring shot when the time comes. And for those who plan to do the proposing, there’s no harm in making sure your partner is dressed nicely and looking their best before a proposal, especially if you plan to get pictures!
While some couples might prefer a private proposal, others may want an engagement photographer nearby to take photos of the entire ordeal. If you want to have pictures of the big moment, hiring a surprise proposal photographer might be the right choice.
Not only can you save time and money by hiring a professional, but it can also help things run smoother so you can truly enjoy the moment! You can hire professionals to help you plan your proposal, take pictures, as well as make sure you’re prepared on the big day. Plan ahead by picking out the location to ensure you aren’t overlooking anything. For example, take note of potential events, lighting, and permits. You can also meet with your photographer at the location to scope out the perfect proposal spot. This will ensure your photographer captures the big moment.
If you want your friends and family to participate in the proposal, invite them early. Don’t forget to keep track of their responses. Ask them to RSVP by calling or emailing if they’re coming — no need for a formal response card. If you go with this option, you can always combine the proposal with an engagement celebration afterward!
If you really want to make the moment special, plan a surprise getaway to pop the question. At Esprit Errant we are experts in planning romantic adventures. Let us help you plan a proposal that your partner will never forget.
The holidays may be even crazier when engaged. If you haven’t already strategized to celebrate the holidays with both of your families, there’s a chance you’ll need to make a change of plans. Get ready for extra travel!
It’s easy to forget that the process of planning an engagement party is not one size fits all. For example, the number of people invited to an engagement party can vary. Also the venue can vary widely and you might have different types of food or drinks planned. Remember, your engagement party should be fun for everyone involved. Tailor it to you and your future spouse!
First, decide how big of an event the engagement party will be. A simple, small affair can be an excellent way to celebrate. If the event is large and extravagant, a bridal shower might be more appropriate. If you’re doing things up for a large group, don’t forget that most restaurants have off days during weekdays or weekends when they can provide outstanding service without being too busy. With holiday celebrations going on, you’ll want to be mindful of any other events plan accordingly.
If you don’t want to or can’t fit in an engagement party, there are other options. You can always send out cards, make calls, or post an informal social media announcement. These options are a great way to let everyone know the big news without squeezing in another event around the holidays. There will be plenty more opportunities for celebration in the coming months.
This engagement season may be more chaotic than usual. There is a current battle to find and book available (and reliable) wedding vendors. Couples who couldn’t get married in 2020 are tying the knot this year, couples who already planned a 2021 wedding are getting married, and newly engaged couples are booking vendors – all at the same time. Multiple wedding seasons combined into one, which has resulted in a wedding vendor booking frenzy.
Understand that vendor prices are likely higher due to supply shortages, shipping delays, high demand, and money lost in 2020 due to COVID-19.
We recommend hiring a professional wedding planner and booking your high-priority vendors ASAP to navigate these treacherous wedding planning waters. We also advise carefully reading your vendor contracts to understand the policies regarding cancellations and COVID conflicts. Additionally, consider electronic communication with your guests to keep them up to date on current rules and restrictions!
Overall, be flexible, intentional, and realistic when it comes to wedding planning during this engagement season.
While engagement photos have become a standard part of the engagement process, taking pictures are entirely optional. Many wedding photographers offer engagement photos included in the wedding package. So, we recommend taking advantage of them! Not only can you get some stunning professional pictures with your sweetheart, but you can also get a feel for your photographer and ensure their style is what you want for your wedding.
There are no uniform rules for engagement photos. Candid photos on a beach or in the woods are popular but aren’t the only option. Consider using Pinterest for engagement shoot inspiration or even to help find recommendations for photographers. You can also ask friends and family what they liked about their engagement photos. If you need guidance on what to wear, check out our blog post on engagement photo outfits.
At the end of the day, the most important part of the engagement process is to have fun! Whether you’re proposing at home, or outside in front of everyone’s favorite restaurant, take some time out from the wedding plans to just enjoy yourselves.
Happy Engagement Season Everyone!
At Esprit Errant we are Destination Wedding Experts. If you are thinking about a Destination Wedding for 2022 and beyond, we would love to speak with you. Click here to schedule a time to chat with us!
Engaged and confused? Check out the following posts!
Engaged? Here are 5 Important Tasks you Need to Prioritize | Engagement Photo Outfits: How To Look & Feel Your Best | How to Start Planning Your Destination Wedding | The Ultimate Guide to Having a Destination Wedding in Mexico
*psst* Have a super cute engagement story? Submit it to Just Said Yes by Wedding Wire to have it featured!
This post was updated February 19th, 2022