First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on getting engaged! If you’ve stumbled over to my corner of the internet, you have likely just slide that pretty ring on your finger, and I can’t wait to support you throughout your journey of wedding planning! What an exciting season you are in!
One of the MOST frequently asked questions that I receive on a daily basis is, “I’m engaged! Now what?!” That immediate excitement is so consuming that you don’t really think about the rest for a while, but when you do, that stress and overwhelm is likely creeping in of “OMG I have never planned something this monumental before. How the heck am I supposed to do this?!” Well, never fear because here is my list of the first 10 things you MUST do right after getting engaged!
1. Choose How to Announce your Engagement
First things first. You have two options. You can either, shout it from the rooftops, call everyone you know, and post that perfect “im engaged” picture on instagram. OR you can keep it to yourself for a bit! This is best for couples who are more lowkey or maybe don’t know how or aren’t ready to dive headfirst into planning. There is no right or wrong answer here. What’s important is making sure you are comfortable with the choice you make! One thing I can promise though, is once you announce you’re engaged be prepared for an outpouring of love and joy from friends and family as well as lots of questions about your upcoming wedding!
2. Decide on a Budget
The next thing you must do after getting engaged is decide on a budget!! This is imperative. Ok, I’ll repeat it again. The second thing you MUST do after announcing your engagement is decide on a budget for your wedding. This can include sitting down and having a real and raw conversation with both of your families to decide who will be contributing what and how much to your wedding. It can be dangerous for you to start daydreaming about everything you want before actually knowing how much you have to spend. There is nothing more heartbreaking than realizing you have champagne taste on a beer budget. Don’t let it happen to you. Ok? Ok. Decide on a budget and stick to it.
3. Draft a Guest List
The third thing you must do after getting engaged is draft your first guest list! This may seem crazy or even a little early. Cheyenne, you want me to draft a guest list before I even know anything else about my wedding? YES. Start with the budget, then the guest list. These are the two BIGGEST factors in your wedding. Literally every vendor (including your wedding planner) is going to ask what your estimated guest count is. This is your starting point. You can’t be looking at and falling in love with intimate lakeside venues that hold 50 people max when you have a huge family and a guest count of 250. Neglecting this step can only lead to heartbreak. I get it, this part ain’t fun. You want to pin your heart away on Pinterest right now! Hold off, draft your guest list first. We will get there. Promise.
4. Hire a Wedding Planner
Shameless plug. But seriously, hiring a wedding planner is the number one way to ensure your wedding day is successful. You really don’t want to have to worry about anything on your wedding day or during the planning process except for marrying your favorite person in the whole world. Let your planner handle all the logistics of contracts, vendor communication and blah blah blah while you focus on how pretty that ring is on your finger and that handsome man that gave it to you.
5. Decide on a Season
Specifically, don’t get bogged down by a specific date unless that date has super special meaning, and you can’t envision getting married on any other day. Then, that’s your date, but just realize that your venue hunt will likely be more difficult simply due to the fact that venues get booked up quickly. Deciding on a season however, gives you the flexibility of having months within the same season to choose a date. For example, if you want to get married in fall – that doesn’t automatically equal October. October is a beautiful fall month, but you also could have an equally as beautiful fall wedding in September. Anyways, for this step try to think of your wedding vision. If you see yourself getting married outside maybe a spring or summer wedding is best. If you want to wear a fun bridal shaw maybe a winter wedding is best. There is no right or wrong answer here. It really just depends on what style you would like for your wedding.
6. Create your Pinterest Board
We have made it! The moment you have all been waiting for. I give you full permission to go pin your heart out on Pinterest. Do it up good girl. Number 6 is all about determining your wedding style. Do you want to have a barn wedding? Do you hate white flowers? Do you want to wear a ball gown? Do you have a specific cake in mind? Whatever the case may be, now is the time to make that must have list! If you aren’t exactly sure what your wedding style is, go ahead and pin anyway! The trick to this process is to not take it too seriously. Just find what you like and a style will emerge. It may even be different than what you originally thought, and that is totally ok! Have fun with it.
7. Tour Venues
Your venue choice is arguably the second most important vendor next to your wedding planner. These two vendors will work closely together throughout the entire process to bring everything into fruition. Also, your venue choice also secures your wedding date which will narrow down all of your other vendor choices purely based on availability. You should book your venue sooner rather than later because popular venues can be booked as far as 12 or 18 months in advance. I would recommend doing this step no later than 9 months before your ideal wedding date.
8. Plan your Engagement Party
This is a fun one! There’s a chance that some of your friends or family members will take on this task for you early on in your engagement, but if not, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one! This day and age it is super common to see couples host their own engagement parties. Heck, have more than one if you want! You could have one for your friends and one for your families or whatever you like! Getting engaged is such a huge milestone in your relationship and it should be celebrated BIG TIME. Your wedding planner may offer an a la carte addition to your wedding planning package if you don’t want to tackle this task alone, just shoot them an email to ask.
9. Choose your Bridal Party
For this one, you can choose to put together some cute proposal boxes, maybe add a card or send some cookies. However you decide to ask your besties to be a bridesmaid, it needs to be done early on in your engagement, so your girls can plan your bachelorette party and bridal shower. AND so they can start saving because being a bridesmaid ain’t cheap! Also, side note here: Make sure your fiance chooses his groomsmen as well or he will most likely forget. If he’s anything like mine.
10. Don’t Forget to Date Each Other
This is probably the most important tip that I have for you today. It is SO easy to get caught up in all the excitement that getting engaged and planning a wedding can bring. But, I encourage you to remember WHY you are planning this wedding and WHY you are SO. excited. It’s because you have found the one person on this entire planet that you want to spend forever with. And he wants to spend forever with you too. And that is a beautiful thing. So get excited, freak out! Enjoy this process because it is something special and deserves the biggest of celebrations. But, when something doesn’t go as planned or you can’t afford a huge flower arch, remember that at the end of the day, your wedding day is about celebrating your love for each other and committing your life to each other for the rest of your lives. That’s where you’ll find the magic.
That’s all for today guys! 10 things you must do right after you get engaged. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by this whole process and wanting some extra help, feel free to send me an email HERE or schedule a call HERE. I would LOVE to help you! I’ll see you again here in a few days with more tips and tricks for planning your ideal event.
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