10 Things To Do Now That You’re Engaged

Congratulations!  You’re engaged!!

He popped the question and you said yes!  You’ve made all the phone calls, done all the celebrations and you still can’t stop looking at that gorgeous sparkling ring.  Yes, you are engaged!

And yes- that does mean you now have a wedding to plan! 🙂

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But WHERE to start??

Below are 10 key steps to take when you first get engaged!

  1.  Hire A Wedding Planner or Consultant:

    There are a few different ways a wedding planner can help you.  You may just need to hire someone for a few hours who can connect you with recommended vendors and help to make sure you are on the right way.  This would be hiring for Consultation Services.  Or perhaps you have family and friends who can help you determine all the details but you don’t want to burden any of them with the day-of logistics.  This service is for Month-of/Day-of

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    Coordination. Or perhaps it would be better to hire a professional who can literally do all the ground work for you and collaborate with you all along the way. This service would be considered Full Planning.  At the very least, I recommend hiring a Day-of Coordinator who can handle all set-up and logistical concerns for you.  This will guarantee a relaxing and enjoying day for you and your loved ones to fully engage in all the wonderful day’s activities. Believe me hiring the right wedding planner is well worth it!

  2. Determine your budget.

    According to costofwedding.com, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is $26,645.00.  But the good news is this varies depending on where you live and hiring a wedding coordinator can actually help you to save costs in the long run

  3. Determine Your Preferred Date/Months:

    If you’re planning on an 18+ month engagement, odds are you’ll be able to get the date of your choosing.  If your engagement is 18 months or shorter, you may have to open your preferences to a particular month or months.  When determining your preferred date or dates, I recommend considering a few things:

    1. The Important People:  Who are the important people in your lives you are willing
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      to work your date around?  This could be your fiance’s grandparent’s in another state who would have a hard time traveling during the winter months OR perhaps you have siblings with only certain weeks during the school year they could attend your wedding.

    2. Annual Holidays/ Cultural Events: Are their annual holidays or cultural festivities that could make it hard for guests to attend?  For example, the first two weeks of June are the popular graduation celebrations.  December is plush with annual festive holidays. Do you mind having your wedding on one or near one of those celebrations?
  4. Book Your Venue:

    On average, most couples book their venue 18 months to one year out. (Check out this article from Huffington Post)  Crazy, I know.  I spent nearly two years as the wedding coordinator for a local wedding venue and I found those stats to be true.  With that knowledge I definitely recommend getting on top of the venue search fast!  Check out websites like theknot.com, weddingwire.com or wedding.com to help you find venues that fit your budget and your style.

  5. Choose Your Bridal & Groomal Party:

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    Who are the people in your life who have genuinely been there for you?   Who has supported your relationship together?  Which of your friends can you envision being a #lifer?  Larger wedding parties of 6+ are quite popular nowadays but it is just as fine to have only a best man and maid of honor.  The important decision factors here are choosing those people who genuinely love you and have been and are willing to support you two day of and the rest of your lives.

  6. Create Your Guest List:

    A lot of this determines on your pre-determined budget.  What’s your food & beverage budget goal?  Most likely, you will have people from different seasons of life being invited.  Both sets of parents will have guests they’d like to invite and it is very likely that you may have friends from your life and your fiance may have friends from theirs.  Then you will also have friends you know collectively you’ll want to invite.  Many couples consider this one of the hardest parts.  If possible, get together with whomever is financially contributing to the wedding and determine your guest list there.  Also, don’t forget to write your A-List and B-List. 🙂

  7. Book Your Vendors!  

    Yep- you guessed it.  Just as your preferred venue and date of choice can book up fast, so can your vendors.  So it’s important to book those shortly after engagement, too.  But who do you need and how do you find them?  You can also visit websites like weddingwire.com, the knot.com, or wedding.com if you’ve got the time and ready to take that task on BUT a good wedding planner will have a whole slew of wedding professionals in her network she can recommend to you.  I love being able to connect some of my favorite industry professionals with my couples. Vendor Must Haves are: Caterer (if not included with the venue), Photographer, Florist, Dessert/Baker, DJ/Emcee, Officiant.  Some other vendors that would come in handy:  Calligraphist/Typographer, Wedding Design, Decor/Rentals, Videographer, Food Truck, Photobooth.

  8. Create Your Design:

    Hop on Pinterest!  Your design and theme may change a little

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    from your initial pins but it is SO helpful to create a board labelled Our Wedding, The Best Day Ever, or Wedding Inspiration to help you two start to solidify the color palette and type of decor/feel you both want.  It’s a fun way to build the day that is strictly about you and your love.  Perhaps you have a hobby that you both really enjoy or there’s a certain era you both wish you grew up in, maybe you both love Telenovelas…  Whatever it is that speaks to you both, start pinning those things and you’ll start to see a clear vision of how you want your special day to aesthetically look. Note:  Having a Pinterest board is also super helpful to share with your wedding planner, florist, and any other vendor who is helping with the aesthetic design.

  9. Select Your Gowns:

    Brides, the process of getting your gown may take quite a while.  So gather your gals, a bottle of champagne, book some appointments and start trying on bridal gowns!  It’s also a good idea to determine the bridesmaids attire now, too.  It can take a few months for the gowns to be delivered and then alterations. So you want to allow plenty of time to have those ordered.  If you’re lucky-the dress will be the perfect fit.  Don’t forget to order your veil and belt if wearing those, too!

  10. Make Honeymoon Plans:

    Traditionally, this is the groom’s responsibility to make sure all the travel arrangements have been met.  Whether you are deciding on the plans together or not, it’s a good idea to make sure your travel documents (like your passport, visa, birth certificate) are up-to-date and ready to go.

There are many more details that go with each one of the items mentioned above and no doubt weddings take a lot of work  but they are also a LOT of fun!  So don’t forget to be present, relish the process, and take time to enjoy the season of being engaged!

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