• Abby Toledo

I'm engaged! Now what?

First of all - let me apologize for the lack of blog posts! Last year was an amazing year for Urbana Collective, and one I'm so grateful for. I do, however, commit to trying to blog at least once a month because...


Yes. This is us.

It happened a couple of months ago. Neil, who is my (now) fiancé, isn't very romantic or emotional; in fact, I believe his actual proposal was "We agreed to be married", then handed me the ring.

YES. All those sneak peeks at bridal magazines are now justified! BUT NOW WHAT DO YOU DO?

If you're overwhelmed and confused and have growing anxiety around planning a wedding, don't fret! Before you start looking at venues, photographers and tasting cakes, consider these three things first.

1. Decide (with your fiancé) what kind of wedding you want. My ideal wedding is a courthouse wedding with maybe dinner with friends. (Yes, it sounds weird coming from someone in the wedding industry, but frankly, making my own decisions are hard. I'd much rather execute while another bride makes all the decisions for me). So imagine my surprise when Neil mentioned to me offhand that he would like a fairly good-sized wedding. After many structured debates (reference goes to Brooklyn 99 for that), some major eye-rolling and various compromises later, Neil looked at me in the eyeballs and said "we will (hopefully) only get married once. I want to share this moment with important people in my life." And guys, that's the story of how I'm now planning my own wedding. Here are some aspects to decide on:

  • Size: Do you want 50 people or 200 people to attend? Are you inviting all of your extended family or just close-knit friends? Even if you settle on a ballpark number with the ability to go up or down 10-20 guests, this should put you on the right track!

  • Location: Are you planning on doing a destination wedding or something local? Would you like a church wedding, or something non-traditional?

Neil had very specific wants - he did not want to do a destination and wanted closer to 100 people at our wedding. He's not someone who normally likes parties, and I never would have guessed!

2. Set (some sort) of a budget. While my ideal budget is very low, we have enough cushion to be able to get what we (Neil) feels is important.

  • Understand what your non-negotiables are. Mine was to not walk in the grass, have a family-style meal, and to have a Filipino wedding ceremony. Neil's were to have it in a location that showcased our city, have a sit-down dinner, and to have an open bar.

  • Make it attainable. Do you have savings? Will there be family helping with the wedding? Finances are one of the main stressors of weddings, so try to be realistic with the budget you set.

3. Lastly, enjoy your engagement! My favorite parts of the engagement so far are moments with my family - telling our parents over dinner, planning with my mom, trying on wedding dresses with my bridesmaids, etc. I never thought that being engaged would give me the fuzzy feels, but I have been enjoying it so much!

From there, you'll have a better idea of what vendors you want to contact for your various vendors! Keep in mind, your main vendors (venue, caterer, photographer, DJ/music) will need to be booked at least a year in advance, otherwise, your dates and vendors will be limited.

Did I miss anything? Reply in the comments about what you did when you got engaged!