You've picked out the place, the flowers, the cake. There's just one problem. He hasn't proposed. Is there even a he?
There are brides-to-be who put their wedding plans into motion - before their partner has even popped the question.
“I had one woman who came to me six months before she got the ring,” shares wedding planner and expert Sandy Malone, author of How To Plan Your Own Destination Wedding. “Her groom-to-be was from a rich family and was waiting for the family ring to get engaged. But she had all her wedding plans lined up.”
Things got a little iffy as the bride and the groom’s family argued over whether she would even get her proposal.
“The battle went on for months. She was upset that the ring belonged to his family trust and she wouldn’t be able to keep it forever if they ever got divorced,” Sandy recalls. Fortunately, this couple worked it out. But in most cases, Sandy won’t even “sign a contract with you if you’re not engaged yet. It can end up in heartbreak, and loss of your deposit.”
Sandy explains that planning the wedding before having an official engagement – or even a groom in mind – has a lot to do with TV.
“When I was a kid, wedding TV didn’t exist,” she declares. “We have a whole different generation of girls who have been exposed to wedding TV since they were tiny. I have interns who come to work for me who are 19 or 20, and they have Pinterest boards that are inspirations for their weddings. Most don’t even have boyfriends yet.”
This is leading some young women to wed before they should, just for the sake of getting married. “They are in love with these wonderful ideas for their ceremony, years before they meet someone,” Sandy says, adding, “The fastest way to scare off a groom who is trying to get up the nerve to propose to you is to let him find out you’ve already planned the wedding.”
For enthusiastic brides-to-be, Sandy suggests easing up on planning the perfect wedding before an engagement, or even a viable groom, is in the picture.
“Your wedding is supposed to reflect the style and taste of the two of you,” she says. “You can’t plan that five years before you’ve met the guy.”
For brides who have planned out the perfect wedding, but don’t have the funds to pull it off, “you’re handicapping yourself just because you’re not a point in your life where you can have the wedding you created in your head,” Sandy points out. That can lead to an unnecessarily long engagement as you try to save funds.
“The whole purpose of a marriage is to spend your life with someone you’ve fallen in love with and you don’t want to be without them,” Sandy says. “Set aside the details of the wedding and worry about the details of your relationship. Remember, the most beautiful wedding in the world does not guarantee the marriage of a lifetime.”
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