I’ll start off by saying that one of those unexpected things is to DEFINITELY first and foremost take a hot minute to just enjoy the occasion and be excited with your significant other before getting into any of the below. Since Ryan proposed while we were out of town, we got a few days to just be in our blissful bubble and spend quality time together before coming home to reality. You’ll be shocked at how quickly people are all up in your biz and asking 100 questions, and although they likely mean well, you’ll be glad you celebrated just the two of you first.
Now that we have been home for over a month though, I’ve started to feel the need to think about unexpected things that I didn’t anticipate and no one really warned me about – namely, how do I be the MOST careful with this new sparkly piece of jewelry that a lot of time, effort and money was put into, where do I store it when I get back to daily activities like working out (which I badly needed after eating all of the things in NOLA), and what should I do first to get all my ducks in a row for when the real planning begins?! Cue the world’s tiniest violin I know, but these are all legit considerations that I really hadn’t considered.
As far as the ring, I definitely wanted to protect it (literally and figuratively) because a. I love it, and b. I’ve known friends first hand who have lost their engagement rings. So, the easy solution is to get your ring insured. It’s an easy add-on to your existing home/content insurance (I think I’m paying something like an extra $20/month) and offers MAJOR peace of mind. Note, you will need to know your rings appraisal value when you contact your insurance provider, and your rate will depend on your ring’s value.
Beyond the insurance, you’ll want to have a safe spot to put your ring for the odd times you do take it off. I’ve been wearing mine to sleep, shower, etc. but when I’m cooking, cleaning, or boxing I take it off. Chemicals can make your ring look dingy and of course you don’t want to be knocking it around against a punching bag or anything else. At home, I store it safely in the cutest little velvet monogrammed jewelry box! I got mine from The Mrs. Box and have been obsessed with their line before I even got engaged. There are tons of colours, sizes and personalization options and they’re also such a great & useful gift for the bride-to-be in your life! If I’m working out straight after work and can’t stop home to take my ring off, I either wear it (for low impact activities like pilates, yoga, etc.) OR have found the best option is to put in in one of those zippy arm bands so it’s still on my person but not being touched (I’m paranoid about locker room robbery, ok?! Lol!).
Back to those dingy chemicals I mentioned, that and other everyday items like hand soap and lotion can gunk up your ring so you’ll want to be cleaning it regularly. I asked around + turned to trusty google and apparently bi-annual thorough cleans from your jeweler are recommended, and you can supplement with monthly at home scrubs with an extra soft toothbrush after soaking in some warm water and dish soap for a few minutes.
Another one of those pesky unexpected things that is very important to me and I hadn’t thought about as much as I should have in hindsight are the ‘will you be my bridesmaids’ gifts… I’m very lucky that the friends I will have in my bridal party already know who they are and I don’t feel I have to ‘ask’ them per se (those bitches don’t have a choice lol), but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a nice little prezzie for all the love & support I know they will be giving me over the next year or so. I also felt some pressure to get these together fairly quickly since I was seeing all these people and didn’t want them to think I wasn’t wanting to have them involved. I will be doing a follow up post on what I’ve decided on for their gifts (can’t say right here in case they’re reading!), but if you have a feeling an engagement is on the horizon put some thought into what your budget will be for this, how many of each item(s) you go with you’ll need based on the size of your party, and what vibe you’re going for. For me, I really wanted something that would be useful but still pretty and laid back which is my overall mantra for the whole wedding. Stay tuned, I love what I landed on!
Lastly, one of those unexpected things that wasn’t really unexpected but I didn’t realize we’d have to dive into SO quickly is starting venue visits. In my mind, we’re looking at a slightly over-a-year engagement and a wedding in the off season (spoiler alert lol!), so we have lots of time. Well friends, I would be wrong. Apparently, there really is no such thing as ‘low season’ and dates fill up insanely fast. Especially if you’re looking for a Saturday, there are limited amounts so you’re going to want to get on it. We had a few considerations to work within (Ryan’s groomsmen & friends being in offseason for football, other friends’ weddings that are already booked for next year, not wanting to do a Friday or Sunday event where people can’t party as hard as they want or have to take off work lol), so I’m glad we’re well underway with venue visits. Again, know the vibe you’re going with so you’re not wasting time going to places that aren’t going to be a fit or don’t have your dates available. Also, ask for itemized estimate quotes via email and what they include to get a comprehensive sense of cost and then compare to see which are your top spots to see in person and within your budget.
On that note, determine a budget (at least a rough one). To be honest, we didn’t have a hard number in mind (woops), but once we got a few quotes we were able to gauge what the ‘going rates’ are and areas we were willing to spend more or not. It’s important to keep in mind the stuff outside what a venue offers that you’ll still have to pay for (namely, flowers, photographer and a dj can easily add another 10K+).
Luckily, once we nail down the venue, we’ll be able to take our time with the other aspects 🙂