Your partner popped the question, you said yes, and now you’re engaged! Congratulations! It’s a big moment, and you’re kicking off a totally special time in your lives. But what should you do after you get engaged? The first steps you take after your engagement will really set you up for a successful wedding planning process. From the fun and exciting to the nitty-gritty, we have a few tasks to get you on your way.
Spread the News
Of course the first thing you’ll want to do after your engagement is tell people about it! Start with your VIPs (think parents, siblings, and grandparents), either sharing the news in person or getting on the phone to tell them what’s just happened. Then, once your inner circle is up to date, you can head to social media with the perfect engagement post.
Romantic? No. Totally necessary? Yes. Whether a stone gets loose or your ring falls down the garbage disposal, having it properly protected is key. Your partner may have already looked into ring insurance with the jeweler, but if he or she hasn’t yet purchased a policy, you’ll want to do that right away.
Get a Manicure
Now that you’re engaged, all eyes will be on your left hand, so pamper your fingers with a professional mani. Clean cuticles and soft skin will make your newest accessory really pop!
Enjoy the Moment
It’s hard to resist the urge to start planning, but try to take a few days—or a few weeks—to simply be engaged. Embrace the romance with regular date nights, an engagement trip, or even an engagement party. Practice introducing your partner as your fiancé, and enjoy all of the congratulations you’ll get!
Before you get into the details, give yourselves time to dream. Write down what you’d love to have at your wedding, whether it’s a barefoot ceremony in the sand or a bourbon bar at the reception, and start putting together a Pinterest board with your vision. Keep an eye out for common themes, which will help you narrow things down later, and start to define your biggest priorities for the event.
Don’t book a single thing before you know how much you’ll have to spend on your wedding. Talk to your parents about what they might be comfortable contributing, and start setting aside savings if you’ll be paying for the event yourselves. Another number to consider? Your guest list! Create a draft guest list to get an idea of how many guests you’ll have, which will play a major role in how far your budget can go and which venues you can look at.
Hire A Pro
If you’re going to work with a wedding planner, hire him or her before you book your venue. Go to your planner with the range of dates you’ve specified, then bring him or her along while you’re doing your venue tours. A planner will be able to give you invaluable insight into spaces, and might be able to recommend something you’d never considered before.
Narrow Down the Date
Before you tour venues or interview majors vendors (like your planner or photographer), you’ll want to have a range of dates in mind. Think about what you’re envisioning for your celebration, from a garden wedding in the spring to a snowy mountaintop fête, then look to your calendars to see when you’re both free. Don’t forget to check in with your VIPs to make sure they’re available, too!
Book Your Venue
With your planner secured, it’s time to sign that venue contract! The space you choose will influence everything from your final guest count to the color palette to the design of your dress, so get this locked in early.
Book Other Major Players
After your planner and venue, your next big bookings should be the photographer, alistbeauty and band or DJ—those professionals who can only take on one event per date. The best might get scooped up quickly, so send out inquiries early! This will give you time to browse portfolios and conduct interviews to help you find exactly what you’re looking for—and your planner will be able to help narrow it down and offer invaluable guidance!
Whether it’s an online planning tool, a printed wedding planning binder, documents from your wedding planner, or templates from Google Drive, keeping on top of the details is key. Create a comprehensive timeline, track your budget, and scan contracts and receipts to keep all of the details in one place.