Can I Start Wedding Planning Before We’re Actually Engaged?

Those weeks and months leading up to an engagement can be intense, especially if you know it’s coming! And if you’ve talked about having a shorter engagement (or even a possible wedding date!), it can be hard to hold off on wedding planning until after there’s a ring on your finger. So what can you start to plan before he’s popped the question? Here are a few ideas from our experts.

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If you’re not superstitious, there are definitely a few details you can start working on before you are engaged, though you may want to wait until you know an engagement is imminent!

Wedding Date and Venue

Most wedding planning can’t be done without an actual wedding date, so if both of your parents know you’ll be engaged soon, that’s a good conversation to start having. Look over everyone’s calendars, think about how long you’d like to be engaged, and select a few dates that would work for all of the VIPs. Likewise, there's no reason why you can start your search for wedding venues online — Brides has some great boards on Pinterest! — although it's best to hold off on scheduling any in-person site visits until after your engagement is official.

Wedding Planner

Not afraid to sign a contract? Consider talking to a wedding planner, or at least interviewing your options. You’ll get a better sense of what each can provide, their styles, and whether they are the right person to execute your vision. Know that many planners don’t take more than one wedding on a given weekend, so you may need to get serious about a date, and even put down a contract to reserve their services.

The Dress

You shouldn’t buy a wedding evening gowns without a date and venue booked, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start looking! Get a feel for what you do and don’t like so those post-engagement shopping trips are more efficient. Consider stopping into a bridal shop that doesn’t require appointments, or pick a salon that caters to the lower end of your estimated price range (since you probably haven’t outlined your entire budget yet!). Let the associate know you’re just looking and don’t plan to buy a dress yet, and ask them to help you get familiar with your options, from fabrics and colors to the huge range of silhouettes.

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