The Do’s & Donuts of Engagement

If you follow me on Instagram, (which you totally should be if not click here and follow me) then you know about how sweet my proposal was. Yes, Josh knows the way to my heart and that way is through donuts. Let me share my proposal story with you because I feel like it really was the sweetest. Josh and I had just moved into our first home in January. To me, this was the next step in our relationship. I knew in my soul that we would one day get married but I didn’t think a proposal would be so soon. It all went down on just a normal Monday night. I had came home from work and Josh was in the kitchen and he told me he had something to show me. If you know me, then the second I get home I like to get into my comfy clothes and then chill. So I went upstairs and changed and then came down to see what he just had to show me. I walk into the kitchen and there was a HUGE box sitting on the stove. He told me to open in and when I did I was like WHAT!?! Josh was holding a ring and I was crying and he was crying so I have no idea what he said but I said YES!! As any newly engaged girl in this day and age, I knew I had to take a picture to share. I first shared the photos with my family and 2 best friends and then we sent it out to the world. The next step was totally obvious then, eat those donuts!! Total side note…but if you live in Toledo and you are curious who made this magnificent creation it was none other than Chris at Holey Toledough!! Go check out his Instagram!!

Now that I have your sweet tooth’s attention, I wanted to let you know what I learned from my time being newly engaged. I have learned both what to do right away and what you can hold off on. Trust me, I know the feeling of being so excited that you just want to knock everything out in one night but I can promise you that some things take more thought and honestly something that you have been dead set on will change (trust the girl who bought a new dress 3 weeks before her wedding).  Change will happen so use this engagement time to gather your thoughts and then let the planning commence. 

Engagement Do’s:

  • Be Excited!! – Seriously, this is such an amazing time in your life because the person who you love so much is declaring to the world they want to spend the rest of their lives with you CELEBRATE IT! Whether that means keeping it to yourselves so you can bask in the moment together or blowing up your social media because you just want the world to know. What ever your preference…JUST DO IT!
  • Plan the Big 3 First – These three things are the most important part of your wedding besides you and your partner. Budget, Date/Venue, Guest Count. The first place to start is with picking a budget because everything else will revolve around it. The next thing that you want to plan out is an estimated guest count. My advice to couples is to make a rough draft because based on budget and venue this number could change. The last thing you will want to tackle is the date and venue. Some couples already have a special date in mind or they have a special venue in mind. If you are dead set on a date be prepared for some venues to possibly be booked or if you are set on a venue you might have to be flexible with a date. Personally, Josh and I picked the venue first and then we picked our date based off what was available.
  • Pinterest – I know that this is obvious and some if not most of you already have a Pinterest board or a few planned out for your big day. Something that I recommend for couples is to make one wedding board and then have sub category boards attached to it. That way when you are just wanting floral inspo all the florals are there and not jumbled up in a sea of decor and dress ideas.

Engagement Don’ts: 

  • Pick Everything Out Right Away – I know its so exciting when that ring is on your finger to want to plan a whole wedding in 2 hours but I urge you not to because things could get crazy and I promise you things and ideas will change and evolve. Don’t go try on dresses, pick your bridal party, or go by table numbers. Focus on the Big 3 that I talked about and then go from there. I promise you once you have those picked out everything will fall into place.
  • DIY – Now I am all for making your own decor and fun things for your wedding but this is not the DIY I am talking about. Wedding planning is not a Do It Yourself kind of adventure, after all there is another person involved in this wedding. Unless your partner wants nothing to do with the whole planning process you need to involve them because guess what…this is their day just as much as it is yours. Josh was very hands on with planning and he was involved with everything from the font on the invitations to the flowers to the decor. I do understand that some partners are not wanting to be as involved and that’s ok too! If this is the case, I would recommend finding a friend or a family member who you are close with and who’s opinion that you trust to help. If all else fails you can always find a wedding planner who can help guide you through the process and I know a pretty good one!
  • Stress – If there is one thing that I could go back in time and tell myself last year it would be don’t stress. Yes, this is one of the most pivotal days of your life but at the end of the day thats all it is…one day. The whole point of a wedding is to celebrate a marriage which will last a lifetime. I know there are so many factors that go into planning like what shade of purple is the best or what seasoning is on the chicken but thats all pretty much irrelevant to the feeling you have when you are locking eyes with that person who you are saying ” I Do” to. Another thing I know that I stressed about and I know others stress out about is having the day be absolutely perfect. I can promise you something will go wrong that day but guess what…no one will know but you. We had a few things that didn’t go as planned but none of my guests noticed and the day kept going on. If there is one thing that you remember or take away from this post please let this point be it. Just take a deep breath and know that the day will be perfect because you are marrying your perfect person.

xo ashley

To Plan or Not to Plan…

To say that I am excited for this series to start on the blog would be the understatement of the year. I have been working and brainstorming for the posts that will be unfolding shortly on my favorite little corner of the internet. To me, my wedding was absolutely epic! It was the social event of 2019 and that is saying a lot since it occurred the first weekend of February. I 1000% fully enjoyed every aspect of planning my wedding from the second Josh proposed to the second we got in the town car, shut the doors and drove to our hotel. I loved it so much that I am actually going to start my own event company focused on planning weddings. There is just something about the hustle and bustle that really just inspires me. Was it stressful?? Absolutely, but I am a perfectionist and it was the most rewarding feeling when I look back on the photos of that whole day. Every little thing just fell into place that day and the feeling was just perfection.

So what will you find with this series?? The answer is EVERYTHING! At first I thought this series would maybe be 4 or 5 post. With all of the brainstorming, topics, and content I keep creating I think this might turn into a a huge series…after all this is what I would really like to do. Wedding planning just gives me so much peace and excitement (if that is even possible). I can remember myself as a little girl watching movies like The Wedding Planner with the fabulous J.Lo thinking thats what I want to do when I grow up (yes even fall in love with Matthew McConaughey but unfortunately I settled for Josh). I am so excited to go along on this journey with all of my current readers and my future brides to be.

I want to start this series by talking about honestly the one thing that I get asked most which is how do you know if you need a wedding planner or wedding coordinator. The answer is different for everyone. I personally knew that when Josh proposed that I was finally on the journey for something that I have been dying to do my whole life so I dove in head first and planned my own wedding. I did honestly everything and that worked for me. The only time that I ever seriously considered needing help was with the day of activities. Who was going to keep everyone on schedule, keep the day moving, and run all of the behind the scenes? I am very fortunate because this is something that my venue did provide for me. This was ok for me because they were able to keep the flow going for the day. They came and asked me what I needed and wanted and you know I had a schedule already made up. My amazing helper really helped me ease my stress the day of. The only thing that the venue did not provide to me was someone to set up my decor or do the tear down after the event. This was something that I had to do all on my own plus my amazing maid of honor.

The point of that whole story is before I started planning my wedding I thought a wedding planner and wedding coordinator were the exact same thing and I was totally wrong. Wedding planners sit down with you months in advance, sometimes even right after you are engaged. They sit with you and will help with everything from finding a venue and vendors all the way to logistically creating the whole day and making decisions for you. Wedding coordinators are someone you are working with just the month before to a few weeks before the big day. This would be for someone who just wants someone there the day of to make sure things run smoothly so you can just sit back and enjoy the day. When is comes to picking between the two, do you want someone to take the stress off of you, someone who can give honest recommendations of vendors, or someone who just makes sure you are staying hydrated and keeps everyone on schedule is what you need to ask yourself. If you are curious about the services that I offer or if you have questions about whether or not you need a planner or coordinator ASK ME!! I would love to help you out with any question you have about the planning process. Send me an email or find me on Instagram and ask away!!

i hope this both helps those of you who are newly engaged and who are currently planning weddings. I’m also hoping this gets y’all excited for the future of the series and for the new journey that I am embarking on. Coming up next week for Wedding Wednesday will be everything you need to know and do right when you get engaged. Of course I will be sharing the sweetest proposal brought to you by my amazing husband as well as what I learned from the engagement process. Until next time…

xoxo ashley

Photo Credit: Morgan Marie Weddings