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I know a big portion of the viewership here are still figuring out what they want to do for their career, figuring out casual dating, or just trying to keep a plant alive longer than three weeks. But for some, marriage is just on the horizon. With families coming together for the holiday season, there’s bound to be a few proposals popping up between now and January 2nd. Before you ride off into the sunset and hope to beat that 53% marriage failure percentage, let’s talk about the engagement. So many people overlook the engagement period, but it’s honestly one of the best times. You get presents, you get attention, you get parties… It’s a lot like your 9th birthday party, except Joey down the street won’t be there to wipe boogers on the food this time. Advice always comes unsolicited, so here’s my engagement advice.
Do not do a short engagement.
This is purely my opinion, but make your engagement a memorable one. After college, there will not be a plethora of moments where people give you all the attention in the world. Enjoy the spotlight. Unlike networking where people ask you questions about things they really don’t care about, people want to know what you are up to. In fact, if you say your wedding is coming up, complete strangers will talk to you like you’ve known each other since the diaper days.
Your budget will be destroyed, and that’s okay. Kind of.
Budgeting a wedding is hard. The average wedding cost is between $18,900 and $31,500 nowadays, and you just want to get through it and have a dollar to your name. You might set the budget low in optimism that nothing will come up and the estimates you have stay true. The fact of the matter is that they won’t. There’s a 99% chance your budget will be blown up faster than your fantasy football championship odds. And in the grand scheme of things, that is okay… as long as you can manage the debt. Just keep it reasonable. There’s a difference between feeling a little uncomfortable with the growing price tag, and stocking up on large, livable cardboard boxes because “just in case.”
Also, do NOT panhandle for money. Your aunt doesn’t want you to call for the first time in 8 years just to see how’s she’s doing (and if she’ll pony up a check for $1,100 for the cake fund) and your Facebook friends do not want to see your Honeymoon Go Fund Me status every week.
Face it. You’re going to chase the RSVPs.
RSVPs are probably the most important part of the wedding. You can’t do anything without a guestimation of how many people are showing up. You can’t pay the food vendor without them knowing how much food to bring, a growing amount of venues have tiered pricing based on guest size, and you don’t want a towering 6-tier cake when only 150 people are invited. The problem is that none of your friends know how significant an accurate head count is.
Don’t be offended by the declines.
After you send a wave of invites, expect a wave of declines. It’s nothing personal. Weddings aren’t cheap for guests between traveling, gifts, attire, hotels and food. For a lot of people, those expenses are too much.
For the love of God, don’t procrastinate.
Remember college? Remember how shitty it was when you procrastinated? Yeah? It doesn’t change in the real world. Procrastination will screw you over faster than betting on the Bengals. If you’re looking for personalized groomsmen or bridesmaid gifts the week of the wedding, you’re not doing it right.
Enjoy it, dammit.
Everyone enjoys a good wedding. Everyone, except the newlyweds. They’re stressing about the DJ playing young Justin Bieber tracks, the Best Man taking shots of tequila behind the venue right before the speech, and who let your racist uncle sit next to the bride’s aunt. But honestly, it’s too late to stress. If you planned the wedding throughout the engagement, it should still be a solid wedding. Let it all happen, live in the moment and you’ll laugh about it down the road… Hopefully..