Yay, you are finally engaged! Soooo....what now? ;)
There are so many articles on the internet about the top 5, 8, 10, or even 20 things to do right after you get engaged. How do you know what is actually the most important when each list is slightly different?
Take it from a wedding planner who knows the entire planning journey, from proposal to wedding day, like the back of her hand! We skipped the obvious ones like tell your family and choose your bridal party, in favor of things that you might not think of but are still very important to do early on.
Here is our top 10 list of things to do after you get engaged!
1. Relax and enjoy!
You may feel really excited to jump in and start planning. Or…you may feel stressed about it and want to get it over with! Regardless, make sure to take some time with your fiancé and bask in the newness of being engaged! This is only a short season of your life, don’t rush it! Savor every moment together and make your engagement a whole lot of fun in addition to planning a magnificent wedding.
2. Insure your ring.
Regardless of the cost of your engagement ring, the sentimental value is priceless. Don't forget to protect it and your investment with an insurance policy. Have the ring appraised BEFORE you take out the insurance policy to ensure you are getting the right value insured. Hint: The price your fiance paid for the ring is likely not the same value you will get from an appraisal! Check out Jeweler's Mutual for a quote.
3. Discuss which season you want to get married in.
Many magazines and websites will tell you to pick your wedding date as soon as you get engaged, but our advice is to pick a season first. Have you always dreamed of a summer wedding? Love the changing colors of fall? Think about when you've always envisioned getting married. Being in love with a certain date may mean you have to spend a lot of extra time searching for a venue that has your exact date available and you might have to settle for your second, third or even fourth venue choice!
4. Think about if you want/need a wedding planner or would rather "go it alone."
Ok I could write a whole separate blog post dedicated to this one (maybe I will!), but spend some time researching why you might want to consider hiring a wedding planner vs. planning it all yourself. It takes many many hours to plan a wedding! Think about how busy and demanding your life and career are. Are you willing to change your lifestyle to make room for wedding planning? There are many benefits to having a wedding planner like making quality vendor recommendations, helping you stay organized throughout your engagement, and being there to direct everything on the wedding day so it runs smoothly…to name just a few!
5. Envision what kind of wedding you want.
Are you an urban chic kind of girl? Always thought you’d get married in a grand hotel ballroom? The style of wedding you want should drive the kind of venue you look for. You’re not going to get industrial urban vibes from a rustic barn venue! After you get engaged start thinking about your wedding look and feel at a high level. That will help you narrow down the types of wedding venues to look for and make the search much less overwhelming!
6. Research the average cost of a wedding in your area.
One mistake I often see couples make is setting a budget before looking up the average cost of a wedding in their area. I’m definitely NOT saying you can’t have a nice wedding without spending the average amount! You can absolutely have a lovely wedding, but you may need to make sacrifices in some areas (smaller guest list, skipping the elegant plated dinner in favor of a more cost effective buffet, etc.), have more friends and family pitch in to help instead of wedding professionals, and possibly deal with a bit more stress than is preferable during your engagement. If you know the average cost of a wedding from the beginning, you will be more informed when creating your wedding budget and have a more realistic idea of what the planning process and wedding day might look like!
P.S. The average cost of a wedding in the Seattle area is about $33,000.
7. Put together a rough guest list.
Your guest list is a main factor that must be considered in some of your first wedding planning decisions like where to have your wedding and the budget. After you get engaged, start making a list of everyone you want to invite to your wedding (don’t forget to include your fiance’s list, and lists from both sets of parents). To help prioritize your preliminary guest list, split it up into an A, B and C lists in order of how important it is that you invite certain guests or that they attend. This makes guest list cuts easier down the road if it’s necessary!
8. Create a NEW secret Pinterest board for your wedding.
If you’re like most brides, you’ve had a wedding Pinterest board for a few years know that probably has over 100 wedding-related pins on it! I highly suggest creating a new Pinterest board that is SECRET so that you don’t give away all the great design ideas you want to incorporate into your wedding! You want your guests to be wowed when they attend your wedding, and that won’t happen if they’ve already seen the inspiration photos on Pinterest.
Another reason a new board is a good idea is that your tastes have likely changed over time. The first things you pinned on your board are probably not anywhere close to what you are envisioning for your wedding now that you are engaged. Creating a new board allows you to start fresh and only save the ideas you are really serious about. This also reduces confusion among those helping you with the wedding. If you send out the board to any wedding vendors like your florist or planner, a new secret board with carefully selected images will be MUCH more helpful than 1 gigantic board with 500 pins of varying designs and décor styles. :)
9. Decide on your top priorities.
Take a date night with your fiancé to discuss the most important elements of your wedding and/or planning process. Do you absolutely need amazing photos to remember your day? Is the flowers and design what you are most passionate about? Are you die-hard foodies who need an amazing spread?
Your top priorities will determine where you devote more of your budget as well as what professionals to book first to make sure you get your first choices.
10. Makeout fest. Every day.
I’ll just leave this here... :)
I hope our list of the top 10 things to do after you get engaged made you a little less overwhelmed as you begin this exciting and fun journey towards your wedding day.
For pinning to Pinterest!
Photos :: Kerry Jeanne Photography