You are getting married, congratulations! When you settle down following the rush of this exhilarating decision, you’ll probably start wondering: “now what?”
Before you start shopping for venues or get too overwhelmed (a common occurrence at this stage!), take a deep breath. And another. There’s no need to rush into planning just yet. The average length of an engagement is between 12 and 18 months, so you’ve got some time. There are, however, some important things to attend to in the first few hours, days, and weeks after getting engaged.
The next 10 steps: What to do after getting engaged
We’ve gathered the essential first steps to take after getting engaged, as well as some common mistakes to avoid in all the excitement. Keep this list bookmarked so you know you’ve covered all the important bases without over-stressing or second-guessing yourself. Read on!
1. Show it off!!
You just got engaged, the people who are closest to you should be the first to know. If you can do this in person, that’s fantastic. If not, it’s time to share your happy news during phone or video calls. These family members and friends were with you every step of the way as your relationship blossomed. They’ll be so excited for you and appreciate that you made an effort to include them in the celebration.
2. Save the date
There’s no need to pinpoint an exact date just yet. Start with the season. Do you want a tropical summer soiree or a cold winter wonderland wedding? Maybe they both sound magical to you. Choose tentative dates that you can narrow down when you begin the process of choosing your wedding venue. The more flexible you are with your date, the more relaxed you’ll be as you plan.
3. Engagement party
This can be a small cocktail party in your apartment or an extravagant sit-down dinner at an elegant restaurant. Don’t fret too much about this event and let others help you if they offer. This is a good time to set the tone for your wedding planning.
4. Create a guest list
Will you invite only close friends and family for an intimate affair, or will you expand the guest list to include your third cousins, twice removed? This is up to you to hammer out and impacts the ‘feel’ of the wedding. Large weddings with your parents’ work friends on the guest list can be raucous, joyful celebrations, but they don’t boast the intimate vibe of smaller weddings. Each of you should contribute names to the list so you get a basic idea of the wedding size. This will help you understand how much money you’ll need in your wedding budget or illustrate if you need to pare down the list.
5. Set a budget
You don’t need to choose between broiled lobster or a pasta bar just yet, but it’s helpful to estimate your wedding budget before you dive into daydreaming about your big day. Every single step in your wedding planning will rely on your budget. Think of the difference in scope of two weddings for 75 guests: one that costs $15,000 and another that costs $150,000.
The average length of an engagement is between 13 and 18 months, so you’ve got some time. There are, however, some important things to attend to in the first few hours, days, and weeks after getting engaged.
6. Vision board
Start exploring wedding options together, especially if you’re both unsure about the type of wedding you want. Search for wedding inspiration online and look up ‘weddings’ on Pinterest. You’ll find an endless treasure trove of wedding images and discover possibilities that never crossed your mind before. (Hello, vineyard wedding!) As you discover new ideas, the places where your wedding styles overlap will become clear.
7. Wedding venues
You may be ready to get married ASAP, or you may have a long engagement planned. Regardless of the wedding-day countdown, now is the time to start looking at possible places to hold your event. Like exploring Pinterest, venue research can help clarify where you both ‘see’ yourselves celebrating your big day. You may see a barn wedding venue and think it looks beautiful, but it’s just not your style. You may also spot a historic home and know it’s the one.
8. Wedding Vendors
Once you lock in your date and secure your wedding venue, now is the time to start your search for other vendors. Your “dream team” books far out in advance so you will want to book your favorite vendors first.
9. Charge It
Now that your venue is booked, your photographer is secure, and you’ve met with your florist to discuss the design and details of your day; you should have better comprehension of the style you want to elude. This means you can finally start purchasing items for your wedding. All of those fun details!!!
10. Enjoy the engagement
You’d think this is a no-brainer, but unfortunately it isn’t. Stress has a sneaky way of getting the better of people who are in the process of life-changing events. When you look back at this during this time, you want to have fond memories, not dreadful ones. Focus on the good, and don’t sweat the small stuff.