So I Said Yes - Now What?
There's a question that came up very persistently during the first few days after I got proposed. "What now?" — a mix of not-yet-over excitement and lowkey anxiety in two simple words. After I got proposed, obviously I went completely drown-in-love mode; not being functional for quite sometime and naturally soaked myself within the pure joy of my relationship. Spending time together with G have been always a favorite thing to do during my daily basis, and it seems normal to really enjoy my every second of being engaged to the man I truly love. So I guess it's acceptable to be relaxed and not wanting to think about practical matters. *dreamy dreamy chant* But here's the thing that put me on a different perspective: G asked me if it's okay to get married this year — if possible, before the end of year. So that gives us less than 8 months to prepare the whole wedding. Since both of our father are Javanese, based on the cultural custom, we have to settle our engagement publicly by having an engagement ceremony with both families before we can head into the main wedding event. That means we might only have less months to do the actual wedding preparation. So I keep asking myself, "What do I do now? What's the first thing to do? How should I start?"
There are too much of emotions in my head and my heart that it took me longer than ever to finally understand what I have to do in this situation (context: I've never got engaged before, well, so I barely have any ideas). The key to avoid massive pressure on wedding preparation is to make an organized plan. Make sure that you take note of everything important — especially things that you're not sure about. Here's my chronologically-listed steps to do after I got proposed:
1. HAVE A DEEP CONVERSATION WITH YOUR PARTNER
A wedding is a joint event - you're not doing it alone. So the very first thing to do within your "smoochy-poochy in-love" period is to talk to your partner about his/her perspectives on what to do next. Some of my friends are flexible about their wedding, so they can take a more relaxed approach on deciding when will they get married. It could be the year after, after one of them finished the school, etc. While in my case, we both have wanted to get married since day one we became a couple (as Taureans we both can be such a hopeless-romantic), so an immediate wedding is in our plate. When I talked to Gempa, I can understand his expectation regarding the very basic details (such as: when and where will we get married, how much will we involve the family in the preparation) — even down to the smaller details as in what will be the main theme of our wedding and what kind of wedding ring we want to wear. That helped us to think about what we both have to do further. But you don't even have to go that far - just remember to get to the basic: when, where and what kind of wedding that you both have in mind. You can always start there. Having a deep, long conversation before everything else will be very fundamental for your next step because communication really matters in a relationship. In this preparing-a-wedding matter, communication is EVERYTHING. You'll start opening your perspective to his/hers, and both of you will be more aware of how to move forward as two different minds who want the same goal (which is to get married). There will be so many challenges that you'll face in preparing a wedding, but having good and effective communication with your partner is such a positive habit to have, and will likely help you to combat the possible obstacles ahead. Also, it's always feel good to be able to talk and share what's on your mind with the loved ones.
2. CREATE A WEDDING JOURNAL
I find that planning a wedding is pretty much like planning a life - there are sooooo many things you want to put inside your bucket of wishes. This, that, everything. It's essential to stay organized and always to compile a list of thing you have to pay attention to. If you're a forgetful person like I do, you might have to deal with an overwhelming task to remember. That is when a journal is needed. I created mine just a week after my engagement plan had started. I bought a white-and-gold covered binder that can be refilled with many inspiration-related pages, from photos I scrapped from wedding magazines or brochures collected for the reception. I suggest you get a binder too, to make saving papers and other sample-related materials easier. Having a journal will also remind you about keeping track to details and day-to-day experiences that guide you into the big day.
3. START WITH THE BASIC LIST
Alright, at this point an idea of designing a wedding might seem vague or scary for us. (We are all, to be honest, a little afraid inside, aren't we?) That usually because of the never-ending impression of how stressful planning a wedding could be. I won't say that the journey we take to prepare this special day is hassle-free. It could be quite challenging. But let's worry not! What we need is proper preparation and an early-planning of three necessary things: 1. The Date, 2. The Venue, 3. The Costume (By this I meant OUR WEDDING DRESS, ladies). Those three are the first primary thing to locate and research about because they will put your mind in a frame of a real plan. The date will lead to venue option, theme, outdoor/indoor consideration and an excellent base to set your countdown calendar. The venue will lead to venue-booking, budget, catering... etc. Then of course as a woman, I'd put the dress as the third primary point because IT MAKES ME EXCITED! There's no way I can lie to you about how pumped I am every time I think about my dream wedding gown. It's also important to note that those three things above are possibly the top source of expenses, too, and that addressing them early will help you to estimate better and also save better. The other details will naturally follow afterward. For other Indonesian brides, I might want to add one more: 4. The Make-Up Artist (God KNOWS how hard it can be to book your favorite make up artist, especially when your wedding date happens in "popular wedding months" timeline). So make sure you remember to check on that, too.