As I write this it’s been just over two weeks since Alex got down on one knee in the middle of a very Christmassy weekend in London…that’s right I’M ENGAGED! I think those words have just about sunk in now, but it’s taken a little while, (and a lot of staring at the beautiful sparkle that’s now emanating from my hand) for me to believe it.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m Emily Charlotte, owner of luxury wedding planning service, Weddings by Emily Charlotte. All day every day I plan, talk about and research weddings and on top of all that, I used to work in a bridal shop, so I’m very familiar (or so I thought!) with everything that happens when the girlfriend becomes the fiancée.
I knew from very early on that Alex and I would get married, so the proposal really shouldn’t have come as such as surprise to me, oh but believe me it did! This year has been our biggest yet, we got our miniature dachshund Ned in April, and then purchased our first home in June, so it’s been an expensive one, to say the least. I did not expect to be presented with the most perfect ring quite so soon. So much was my surprise (combined with one too many Christmas tipples) that I actually proceeded to throw up about ten minutes later (romantic I know) but that’s a whole other story!
For the last two weeks, I guess like all newly engaged couples, we really have walked around in our own little love bubble; so unbelievably happy and genuinely overwhelmed by how much love we’ve received from our friends and family.
However, I did not prepare myself for the instant barrage of questions that we received almost immediately as we returned from London, ‘Have you set a date yet?’, When's the wedding?’, ‘Where are you going to get married?’
Whilst we did have a rough idea of all of the above fairly instantly, I still found myself thinking ‘Give us a break people …we have JUST got engaged’. It was then that I realised I have been guilty of asking all of these questions myself when friends have been proposed to in the past. I know it comes from a place of love and excitement but I found the whole thing more intense than I expected.
I have always been super content in our relationship, and having only been together two years engagement wasn’t something that I was worried about just yet. I just knew that one day it would be us.
Alex is a terrible liar and I really thought that when the time came I would have him sussed…I’d know a proposal was coming but of course, I’d pretend that I didn’t so not to ruin the surprise. But that couldn’t be further from the truth, he totally caught me off guard.
Perhaps that’s why I found myself so shocked when the time came. Friends had told me in the past about needing a few hours to just sit and take it in. At the time I thought that sounded strange, but now I totally get it. I also needed a little moment to just let it make sense, he really had just proposed, I wasn’t dreaming. This was very shortly followed with extreme excitement, a complete inability to sleep (he asked me just after midnight) and the need to scream down FaceTime to my best friend who is currently living in Oz.
I didn’t expect to feel all that different as an engaged lady, especially as I’m so surrounded by all things weddings, but the few days after the proposal, telling friends and family, really were a lot to take in, I found it quite mentally exhausting but in a totally positive way…I’m not sure if that even makes sense but it’s the best way I can describe it.
Despite a little pact to enjoy our engagement and not start planning until Spring, I couldn’t help myself (I am a wedding planner after all!) and we soon starting chatting over our preferences. Fortunately, we’re very much on the same wavelength, and both love the idea of an intimate, relaxed & beautiful couple of days in Northern Ibiza in 2020. Ibiza has a special place in Alex’s heart, and it just feels right for us.
With this initial vision in mind, we started writing a provisional guest list. Here came the first wedding planning challenges.
My brides often come to me with worries about their decision to have a destination wedding. I always reassure them that it’s their wedding day, and it has to be about them and what they want. Their friends and family will understand both the decision to go abroad and the preference to keep the guest list small. Of course, I still believe this to be true, but I have really found myself struggling to follow my own advice.
At this point it became clear that the wedding planning journey isn’t going to be quite as simple as I initially thought, so I made the decision to document the process. I’m SO excited for us to start planning our day, but also a little daunted by the pressure of being a wedding planner. Already I’ve had so many comments along the lines of ‘I can’t wait to see what you do for your day’, ‘your wedding is going to be amazing’, ‘it’s all going to be so perfectly planned’. This is actually very flattering, but it’s also adding another dimension for me.
I guess what I’m trying to say in all this, is I’m happier than ever, so excited and in love, (just like every bride-to-be), but also intrigued to see how our plans develop and whether experience and knowledge of the wedding industry turns out to be a help or a hindrance when the wedding planner becomes the bride.
I'll be sharing my wedding planning confessions here on Bridal Musings as the big day approaches, but for now, you can read my advice on whether you should plan a destination wedding & find fun events to hold the week of your wedding.