You're newly engaged - now what?
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You're newly engaged - now what?

by
Angela Cain-Weadick

I remember the night my other half proposed to me…let me tell you how… 

We had just ‘sale agreed’ on a house in an area that we had our eye on, and were in the process of the necessary paperwork. It was March 2009… my uncle hadn’t long left to live, the engine in the Porsche blew up, I was made redundant, other half got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and our house sale then fell through!  

What a horrible year, one I will never, ever forget. Other half came home from work one evening, I was sprawled on the sofa watching Corrie and he was at the other end of the sitting room, I wasn’t paying much attention to what he was saying, as things had become bleak with everything going on, I wasn’t myself. Then he said, “sorry I’m late home, I had to go into town and collect something…” Even then I didn’t twig…..he walked over to me, and proposed with a small black velvet box! Well, I was sooooo excited, I opened up the box, before I gave him my answer! (It was a YES by the way!! ) I was the happiest girl ever and Corrie soon got forgotten about let me tell ye! 

We both cried happy tears and it was the best feeling ever! Ever since I was a little girl I have been wedding mad and always known the type of dress I would wear.  I can talk weddings all day and never get bored. The ring he went for was just what I had always wanted - a classic round solitaire stone, on a white gold band – it was just perfect and so shiny! I’ll never forget how shiny it was! We were starving hungry at this point (I didn’t have the dinner ready), and we decided to pop out for a celebratory meal – it was gone 8pm and McDonalds seemed the handiest – how classy is that, you just get engaged and hot foot it to McDonalds! Well, we only bumped into the other half’s boss in the queue inside the restaurant and he told him of our news.  

The man nearly had a solitaire diamond burger for his dinner, as I shoved my hand out for display in his direction a bit too much – ah well, he was delighted for us and wished us well – we left him to eat his burger in peace after that. After we informed friends and family (and of course Facebook!) of our ‘status update’ we sat down some time later and thought about where we like to get married. 

This brings me onto my advice and tips for you newly engaged couples…so grab a cup of tea/coffee or a glass of something and read on… 

There are so many things to think about and decisions to make, it can become overwhelming. When you are ready to sit down and plan your wedding, first off think about the following: 

• Decide if you want a religious wedding or civil ceremony 

• Are you keen on a hotel venue, one you may have admired in the past? 

• Does a private country house float your boat? 

• Would you prefer an alternative venue? 

• Are you looking to get married abroad? 

Visit the HSE Getting Married section to make sure you aware of the legal bit (this applies to everyone, regardless of ceremony type) https://www.hse.ie/eng/births-deaths-and-marriages/how-to-get-married-in-ireland/ 

Do consider the months of the year and days of the week, for example, we got married on a Thursday in August.  Some venues will charge you a minimum number of guests in high season and this can swallow a lot of your allocated budget. Take time out to visit your venue short list, ask questions and be sure of your choices before you part with your hard earned cash. 

Join online forums/social media groups to look around for ideas/seek out recommendations. (I bought bridal magazines and still have them from 2009!) 

Put together your ideas on a Pinterest board or similar. 

Keep a wedding planning book with your notes, ideas and reminders. 

Consider the best reliable people for the job of bridesmaid/best man etc. These chosen people should be by your side on the day, and should help you out beforehand with the planning process. 

Guests remember two things about a wedding – the food and entertainment. I would recommend allocating a bit more budget to these areas – particularly arrival food and drinks (including non-alcoholic) and your chosen menus/evening food. 

Ensure ALL your chosen suppliers have contracts/T&C’s, this is incredibly important for you both – always read the contract carefully and understand it. 

Keep a budget on a spreadsheet and allocate more to those areas you feel are more important. 

I only work with hand-picked, professional, trusted wedding suppliers and I have negotiated discounts I pass onto my couples directly.  I do not get ‘kick backs’ from any suppliers, my fees come from the client only, and are agreed upfront before any assistance is given. All my initial consultations are complimentary with no obligation. In my next blog post, I will chat in more detail about suppliers and planning. If you need to contact me, please do so at any time. Thanks for reading – I do hope it helped you in some way. 

Bye for now - Angela x (aka The Wedding PA)

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