My partner and I have been talking seriously about getting married next year, and have found our dream venue, which is only open for weddings in August. They have one available date next year and I am so tempted to book it but the problem is, we're not engaged yet!
I don't really want to commit before speaking to friends and family and checking they're free (we are going through a phase with tons of weddings so there's a risk that our friends may have another wedding that date). However, it feels weird to ask people to save the date when we aren't even engaged!
My partner has planned a proposal but it isn't immediate (e.g. within the next month) and I'm feeling really anxious about how to best handle this. He says that I have to accept that something has to give - i.e. he proposes sooner and it isn't the surprise he's planned, we risk our friends not being able to make it, we tell them and risk looking a bit odd or we risk losing the venue by waiting.
All of these options feel so unappealing and I feel really stuck. Does anybody have any advice? The option I'm leaning towards is speaking to friends and family but the main issue I have with this is that I think some may think my partner has failed in some way by not proposing yet. I thought maybe I could tell them that he has offered to take me to choose a ring or something so it is clear that a proposal is on the cards but they don't feel like I have been shortchanged by the lack of surprise/romance. However, I'm not sure if my parents (for example) would like the idea that I didn't get a traditional surprise proposal.
I am totally overthinking this and would appreciate any thoughts and solutions!