Here are a few things no one ever tells you about being engaged:
1. Being in love, and actually looking like you're in love while a stranger tells you to look like you're in love are not the same thing. Taking engagement pictures was one of the most awkward evenings of my adult life, besides a lot of the dates I went on while Matt was gone haha. I suggest meeting the photographer for lunch before you bare your photographic souls to her on camera. I did this with our wedding photographer, and it made all the difference on our wedding day. I also paid her then so I wouldn't have to remember to pay her at the reception.
2. Married housing in Provo is a sham. Landlords know they can get a lot of money out of young students without keeping up the property, so it took a long time, and a move, to find a place we loved. Don't move into a basement unless you absolutely have to. Find a place with a landlord that knows what they're doing, not a 20-something couple who owns the house with their dad and takes $150 out every year to "clean the carpets." Honey, we know you're using that money to support your hipster lifestyle. Even if you live in a hobo's nest, living together is so much better than having to say goodbye every night. So I guess you can just do what you want! At the end of the day, it's just nice to come home to your husband.
Matt eating brownies at the first house we looked at.
We thought this was the one, but after looking around a lot we realized it wasn't. Don't sign at the first place you like.
3. Don't break the bank. I splurged on a few things, but we kept our budget pretty low. I'm happy we didn't spend more than we did, because the most important thing is that you're married to the right man in the right place, and your family is there to see it. Everything else is extra. It's nice to have a pretty wedding, but it's also nice to pay rent haha. So buy that rockin wedding dress if you want to, but go cheap in other areas to make up for the splurge.
Hint: If you try to make a 4-figure budget look like a 5-figure wedding, it'll end up looking tacky. We went rustic-elegant, and I loved the laid-back feel.
The right place.
The right man :)
4. If you're having a wedding outside your home state like me (my family lives in California but we live in Utah), and you're worried no one is going to show up (my biggest wedding fear!), here's a tip...
Choose a small venue. If you use a large venue and only 40 people show up, it will feel like a ghost town. If your venue is small and 40 people show up, it's a party!
Us watching our best man give his speech.
4. Planning a large, public, romantic event is stressful. But eventually, you will be married, and that's all that matters. Don't worry too much about what other people think and do what you want! It's the only time you'll be entirely justified in doing so...so live it up! Just don't be so picky your friends and family want you to go on the show Bridezilla. Do what you want, but find ways to let others be a part of your big day. If someone offers to help you, let them. Make sure everyone that wants to has something special to do.
5. I don't know everything, so take what I say with a grain of salt.