Marriage is an institution that has lasted millennia, so as much as people speak of “traditional marriage,” it is important to keep in mind that said tradition is constantly evolving. Though engagement rings didn’t used to be the standard, they certainly are now. When someone thinks about getting married, they assume someone buys a diamond ring for their significant other, gets on one knee, says “will you marry me?” and then the engaged couple starts planning a wedding together. However, you may be surprised to hear that many people now start planning their wedding before an official engagement occurs. We don’t mean simply making a Pinterest board and getting ideas on style – even single folk are guilty of that! No, some future brides and grooms will go as far as meeting with a planner or booking a venue.
Nowadays, both couples are involved in the decision to become engaged, with complete surprise proposals losing ground to measured discussions over a period of months. A bride now very often has input on the design of the ring she will wear forever, perhaps even being aware of when it is made, purchased, and delivered. In these cases, a pair of sweethearts have agreed to be married, so they are technically engaged even if there isn’t any bling to show off quite yet. The proposal in this case is essentially a formality to make sure there’s a moment that they become engaged instead of a discussion that’s gone on for months.
If you want to get married during a certain time of year, or on a specific date such as an anniversary, it may make sense to jump the gun a bit. Not to mention that some venues book up years in advance, so reserving your spot ahead of time prevents you having to wait as long for the big day. Another reason to plan your wedding ahead of time would be if a trunk show of your favorite designer is in town. You don’t want to miss a chance to get your dream dress at a great price! (Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get alerts for upcoming trunk shows!)
When planning before a proposal, it’s extremely important to make sure both partners are on the same page. The person planning to pop the question might end up feeling like their efforts are meaningless if the wedding is organized before they get on bended knee – others may appreciate the shorter engagement period. If signing contracts before you wear a ring feels like overstepping, you can always do some research beforehand. Even eliminating certain options can give you a jumpstart on planning once you’re officially engaged.
Opening photo by Vue Photography