You’re Engaged, Now What?

He popped the question. You said yes. It was perfect. Congrats, you’re engaged! Now what? While getting engaged can be one of the most exciting times of your life, it can also leave you feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. To help ease some of your stress, we’ve created a list of the top 12 things you should take care of first!

Announce your engagement.

Share the big news with family and friends. Hold off on posting anything on social media until you make important phone calls and announcements to those who are closest to you. They’ll be genuinely excited you thought to tell them first before your engagement is shared with the rest of the world via social media.

Celebrate!

Take some time celebrate and enjoy the moment. This is one of the most exiting times of your life! Whether your parents are hosting an engagement party or you’re planning a night out on the town with your fiancé, make sure to take some time enjoying your newly engaged bliss.

Get a manicure!

Family and friends will be dying to see your new sparkler. So grab your best friend and hit the spa for a manicure! Your ring finger will soon be the subject of many photos and attention.

Insure your ring.

Your engagement ring is now one of your most prized possessions and holds a lot of sentimental (and monetary!) value for you as a couple. To make sure that value lasts forever, you should insure your ring as soon as possible. Most jewelers where your engagement ring is purchased will recommend and refer a few different certified insurers.

Relax and breathe.

While jumping straight into wedding planning might be your first instinct, instead, sit back and enjoy the journey you’re about to be on. Before you make any rash decisions that you can’t reverse, make sure to thoughtfully consider all of your options before you begin booking and making important wedding decisions.

Discuss a budget.

According to The Knot, the average cost of a U.S. wedding in 2013 was $28,427. You’ll definitely want to determine your priorities when it comes to planning your wedding to help keep your budget on track. Have a dinner or lunch date with your parents (and whoever will be helping pitch in!) to discuss a budget and determine early on who will be paying for what. Consider opening a wedding savings account. You’ll find that the costs of planning your wedding and honeymoon will add up quickly! Save yourself from having bank account after-shock and set some money aside for expenses you’ll inevitably incur.

Create a guest list.

From your venue size to the number of invitations, your guest list will go hand-in-hand with your wedding planning and budget. It may seem like one of the hardest parts of the planning process, but the sooner you finish this task, the easier other aspects of your planning will be. Compile a preliminary guest list before setting your budget to help you determine important details throughout your planning.

Hire your wedding planner.

A wedding planner is a professional consultant who will help you through the entire wedding planning process and make things run a lot smoother. Hire your wedding planner before you book a location or do any planning yourself. They will save you a lot of time and stress by taking on many of your planning responsibilities and research for you.

Book your venue.

Before you do any planning, you should first select a date and book your venue. Take into consideration location, important dates, seasons and how long you expect to plan for. After you’ve picked out a few dates, you’ll need to finalize an available option with your venue of choice. After you’ve settled on the perfect location, book your venue and place a deposit. Venues will usually book up far in advance. Once you have your date and venue set, everything will start to fall into place.

Get organized.

Start making a spreadsheet on Google Docs where you can gather important dates and times, guest lists and vendor contact info. Consider creating a binder with monthly to-dos, checklists and budgets. For an online budget tracker, we like this one (sign up here!)

Reserve must-have vendors.

Reach out to the vendors you love to get estimates and make sure that they’re available. Ask vendors to mark your date on their calendar and notify you if they receive any other inquiries. After you’ve gathered information from important  vendors, you can start formulating a plan to match your budget. You may have to choose between that expensive photographer you love or that must-have makeup artist to keep your budget on track.

Get inspired.

You now have permission to start that “Wedding Planning” Pinterest board you’ve been dying to create! Start gathering inspiration of your favorite colors, decor and accessories. Spend some time looking through bridal magazines to gather information and inspiration of your favorite things. Attending a few bridal fairs is also a great way to help inspire and expose you to all of your options before anything is set in stone.

12 Things To Do After You Get Engaged

• Announce your engagement to family and friends.
Celebrate! Pop the champagne and enjoy all of the excitement surrounding you.
• Get a manicure. You’ll be showing off your ring finger for weeks to come!
• Insure your ring. Take the important steps to protect one of your most valued and prized possessions as soon as possible.
• Relax! Take this time to prepare yourself for the journey ahead.
• Compile a preliminary guest list. It will help you narrow down venue and vendor choices.
• Talk budget. Discussing your budget and priorities early on will help you make important planning decisions. 
• Hire your wedding planner before you take on any planning yourself.
• Book your date and venue. Everything else will follow!
• Get organized! Maintaining organization throughout your wedding planning will help all things run smoothly and ensure you don’t forget any important information.
• Reserve your must-have vendors. 
• Get inspired. Pinterest boards, magazines and bridal fairs… you name it!

Photography by: Iwen Exposures

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