Holy smokes, The Boy and I are getting married! It still feels unreal to say aloud and type. Things really started to set in after I shared our love story and how he asked on Tuesday. So far everyone has been asking when we’ll get married and where it will be, but I’m still enjoying the moment of being newly engaged. We have very briefly discussed a date far enough down the road to be able to actually afford a wedding. As of now, I have PLENTY of time to plan, but I randomly dawned on me that I have no clue where to start. Lucky for me, I know many of my readers are married and/or engaged and thus have experience planning weddings so I thought I’d seek advice your these women. I have so many questions, but I weeded them down to what I think are the most important three right now and I’m hoping that anyone with experience can help this newly engaged bride-to-be out!

Are you a newly engaged bride-to-be and have no clue where to start when it comes to wedding plan? Welcome to the club!

3 Questions From a Newly Engaged Bride-to-Be

  1. When should I start planning? Should I start planning 12 months out? 18 months out? 2 years out? When do vendors even have their 2019 rates/dates available to book?? Do I need a wedding planner? What should I do first?
  2. How in the world do I make a budget for this? According to google, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is somewhere around $30,000. To a royal living on a peasant’s budget, that seems like an awful lot of money and I can’t even begin to imagine spending that much on a wedding. Although I can’t fathom spending that much, I want our wedding to be nice and something we will always remember. I just have no clue where to start when it comes to making an a budget. How does one know how much they should spend on a venue vs. how much on flowers??
  3. How do we pick our bridal party? James and I are abundantly blessed to have so many people we consider friends. I consider being asked to be in a wedding a pretty big deal and honor. Unfortunately, we can’t possibly have each of them beside us on our wedding day. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or cause any drama, but I know I’ll have to eventually decide who will stand beside me on my wedding day. I love all of my friends very much and I can’t wait to celebrate my nuptials with them.

Don’t worry guys, Royalty in Reality isn’t about to become a wedding blog. I will be sharing things as they happen on my journey to the alter, but for now there won’t be weekly updates. I’ll probably be more inclined to share things literally as their happening on Snapchat or Instagram, so make sure you’re following me!

Can any wives/brides out there answer my questions? What advice do you have for a newly engaged bride-to-be?

It’s time for another Thursday Three Link Up. Who doesn’t love sharing lists on their blogs?? I co-host this link up with two other awesome bloggers. Whether it’s 3 reasons you love your husband, 3 things you hate about graduate school, or 3 awesome birthday gift ideas, the Thursday Three Link Up is a place where you can share your posts and interact with other bloggers. Create an amazing post listing three things of your choosing and link up on Royalty in Reality or LiveLifeWell each and every Thursday!


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19 comments on “3 Questions From a Newly Engaged Bride-to-Be”

  1. Congrats on your upcoming wedding!!! How exciting!!! You definitely have to do what’s right for you–but I can give you just a little bit of advice from my own experience.
    1) 12 months I would say would be a very comfortable amount of time–as long as you line up the big things that require a lot of lead time (i.e. dress and venue) early on. The rest of the details can be filled in later. And don’t stress overly much about it. I’ve never met a wife who wishes she stressed out more about her wedding, you know? 🙂 I actually planned my wedding in just two months but I wouldn’t recommend that strategy, people will think you’re crazy. 🙂
    2) Budget can vary so much. What was most important to me was a pretty dress, a photographer, and yummy food (but not necessarily fancy food). Our wedding cost under $3,000 with 100 guests, and nearly all of that was on the food and photographer. Decorations were borrowed, I stumbled across my dream dress for $100, my MIL is a hairstylist and did my hair, and the venue was free because my grandparents attend a very large, gorgeous, classic church, and our family catered the food ourselves since we have a lot of experience with preparing food for events–I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect venue. And…I got married 6 years ago so photography was cheaper back then.
    My sister is getting married in June and her budget is more around $5000–she has different things that are more important to her, and I think she’s not hiring a photographer at all because that’s not one of her priorities. So what you want to spend is really up to you and the aspects of the wedding that are most important to you.
    3) The strategy both of us adopted is having only family in the bridal party. We have very large, very close families (I have 5 sisters, 19 cousins). For us, we just adopted having only family in the bridal parties. We have a lot of close friends too–but not every single person can be up there, and it was easiest to ‘draw the line’ without hurting feelings if people knew that we were only having members of our family play a role in the bridal party.

  2. I think each question can be answered in many different ways, there are no wrong answers here! I personally was engaged for a year and a half, and used that entire time to plan. Whereas my best friend who married about a year after me planned hers in like 4 months, and it was beautiful! Just pick a date and start planning!

    Decide what kind of wedding you want, start looking into the things you want to have or the things you can live without, and you’ll have a better understanding of what you can and can’t afford. My wedding was NOT $30,000 but I had around 150 guests and everything I wanted! It’s totally possible to do it on a budget!

    This was hard for us as well. We have a lot of family and friends and wanted everyone involved. We personally went with family first, which was bulk of our bridal party and then we went made a list of everyone we would want up there, and from there we had to narrow it down! No one was hurt, true friends are just happy to share that day with you in any way they can! =]

    Hope that helps!

  3. Congratulations! Married three years and we’ve added 1 little human over here. We had an amazing city wedding in downtown Boston. It certainly wasn’t cheap, but not every wedding has to cost $$$.
    Planning – Just start making appointments to tour venues. Then you can get a sense of what you like and how much that might cost. From there you can decide what time of year you want to get married, along with how long you might need to save up for that. Use that timing to pick your date. Also, you seem like a pretty organized person so I’d forgo the wedding planner expense. Most venues have an event coordinator and The Knot has really great checklists and tools for self-planning brides.
    Cost – It all depends on what you want and where you live. We saved some money by shopping around for vendors. For example, I used a smaller florist from a small suburb town and my flowers were beautiful and much less expensive than a Boston-based florist. For our photographer, we hired a former employee of mine that had just started doing photography so his prices were much cheaper since he was just starting out with a small portfolio. Finally, more people = more money. Start working on that guest list now!
    Bridal party – That’s a tricky one. You and your fiancé should talk about it. For us it was important to have my husband’s sister’s in the wedding party, though we weren’t particularly close at the time. I ended up with two maids of honor, which is untraditional but worked out. Once you pick the venue and start to settle into planning it will all come together.

    Advice – be firm in your decision, but don’t be inflexible – sometimes shit happens!

  4. I spent about $5,000 cold hard cash and had a nice wedding. That $5,000 included a honeymoon cruise to Mexico in a suite with a balcony. The wedding was outdoors and the reception inside. I wore a very modest dress which cut the cost tremendously and didn’t hire a photographer. I’d definitely should have splurged for one.

  5. Here’s my advice: get married in a courthouse. 😉 Less money and time! But that’s just me. The thought of planning a wedding made me want to pull out my hair. I’m all about simple. And cheap. I’d rather spend the money towards a house.

  6. Do it.. Do it all and take pictures and share. Enjoy every- single moment of it. Yes, you will have stressful moments, you will cry and pull your hair outs BUT, you will also have happy moments and bliss and laughter. Do it all and enjoy every- single moment!
    Best Wishes,

  7. First of all, congrats on your engagement! How exciting! I have yet to go through this experience but a couple of my friends have and they all say if you can afford a wedding coordinator/planner you should! Also, a few of my friends got married in court to save money and then spent the money on like a small reception. I thought this was smart cause you can still invite your friends and celebrate but save money on the actual ceremony portion of it. Just a thought! Good luck with the planning!


  8. Great tips, my complete wedding cost me 5,000 dollars this was back in 2003, tho! I had a beautiful wedding full reception and a honeymoon as well. It was amazing how far 5,000 dollars can go when you plan correctly. You have to make the most of the money you have.

  9. There’s a really good video on FemmeHead’s YouTube channel where she gives tips for keeping weddings inexpensive – you should check it out! She mentioned something about checking out local farmers markets for flowers, and other things like that 🙂

  10. Congratulations .It’s the best thing in the world getting married. Every thing depends on what you want .It’s better to start of married life with as little stress as possible.Budgeting can help We got married 4 months after our engagement on a budget with a little debt.Nothing over the top so that I had little stress .It’s about you enjoy it.

  11. My advice is to do what makes you happy. Don’t stress over it either. A lot of people are going to want to tell you how you should do everything but take their advice with a grain of salt. As for the cost, my wedding cost about $30,000 but I live in NY where things are more expensive, I didn’t DIY anything and I added extras that probably weren’t necessary but they made me happy. At the end of the day it’s your wedding! Enjoy it 🙂

  12. We got married 6 months after we were engaged, we didn’t spend alot and managed a honeymoon too, i had a biggish wedding party and really apart from my family i dont see any of the others except one so if i was to do it again it would just be family in the wedding party.

  13. I got married 9 months after my engagement. I felt everything was within reason. We did really well with budgeting the things that were priorities and then making tough decisions about others. It’s definitely do able to have a beautiful inexpensive wedding.

  14. I guess you need first to talk to your husband to be. Discuss about your plans and the from there you decide based on your ideas. Budget is important too of course.

  15. Number 2 is definitely a struggle! It’s so hard to make a realistic budget and actually stick to it. I think a wedding can be beautiful and perfect for the bride and groom for far less than the national average. It’s just all about prioritizing and remembering that it’s YOUR day.


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