You just got engaged. What next?
Happy New Year and congratulations on your engagement. Hooray!
Having been there, I know that once it starts to sink in, you may be like, "uh-oh! What do I do now?"
Don't panic, I got you. Here's what to do next :)
1.Call your parents - They are going to be so happy for you. Share the excitement with them
2.Call your siblings and other relatives - I love my siblings to death, but I come from a really large family. If you are like me, you may consider a group chat on Whatsapp or Skype to break the news to them. Otherwise, a 3-way call or one-on-one will suffice. People can get really sensitive about when they found out about your engagement. While this is a personal time for you, and you should enjoy the moment the best way you want, I advise my clients to try to keep to "engagement news sharing etiquette" as much as possible and share this news with their loved ones as soon as they can/feel comfortable doing so.
3.Rings - That sparkler is stunning. But does it fit perfectly? If not, get it fitted to your right size and please insure it :)
4.Set a date - I am one to talk though. Lol! It took us 6 months from our engagement to set our wedding date. In this time, we were inundated with questions about when our wedding would be. Gotta love your family, huh? Tbh, you do not need to set the date on Day 4 or even Day 20! It is just that from here on end, most of the planning depends on the date. Coming from a large family, our chosen wedding date was partly dependent on the time of the year we wanted to have our wedding, but also as important was the exact date/period that worked best for the majority of my siblings and other relatives.
However, knowing that we wanted to get married in December meant that we didn't give our family a wide range of date choices. So it sure helps if you start with a vague idea of when you want the wedding to be - summer, winter or more specifically, a particular month in the year. It could even be as vague as "in the second half of 2019". Trust me, this will make those date convos easier to bear! Eventually, things like church and/or venue availability may influence your wedding date. More on that to come later.
5.Daydream, fantasize and have fun doing this. You are free to daydream as much and as big as you want. Are you familiar with Etsy and Pinterest? Create private/public (up to you really) boards containing pins/listings of the ideas that come to mind when you dream about your wedding. These will come in handy later when it's time to firm up the finer details :)
6.Set a budget for your wedding - I know, I know. Budgets are there to be broken and surpassed, lol. But setting a budget does go a long way to keeping you in check throughout your wedding prep. It can be easy to get carried away by unplanned-for spending during this time. So, sit down with your family and figure out that magic number.
7.Create a Draft Guest List - I would personally advise that you start with the idea that you have for your wedding. Small and intimate? Large fun crowd? Be guided by this in determining firstly how many guests you want at the wedding, then in crafting that guest list. Again, if you come from a large family like mine, be sure to sound out your family on this and get their feedback/buy in. At the end of the day, it is your day and I am sure that everyone would want you to be happy. But it does help to manage expectations early on if you carry everyone along with your plans.
8.Wedding Planner or Nah? - This is a very important question. I generally say that if your budget can accommodate it, then you should consider hiring a wedding planner. If you want to be hands-on with wedding prep, rest assured that hiring a planner doesn't take away any of that from you. It just takes the stress of implementing your ideas off of you. With family and friends who are available to help, you could do it on your own though. But if everyone, including you and your spouse, is super busy, then a wedding planner or day-of coordinator may be ideal for you.
9.Decide on a Wedding Theme - This is not super important, but if you want to have a theme, now is the time to pick one.
10.Find a wedding venue and set the Date, this time for real - The wedding venue is a piece of a giant puzzle. Once this is firmed, everything else falls into place.
11.Hire Priority Vendors - Now, make a list of what's most important for you to have at your wedding. These are the services or activities that you must have or that you really want to have at your wedding. These are your Priority Services. Then include some "nice to haves" and put them at the bottom of the list. We will deal with these NTHs later. You have a date now, you will need to start developing your wedding budget - fleshing it out. Speak with the vendors that provide the priority services and get the following key details from them: - their availability - a price quote vis a vis your budget - willingness to accommodate your perks and weird requests
Based on this, decide which vendors you will be working with and firm up those appointments. Vendors fly off the rack sometimes, and you do not want to be left hanging because you delayed in hiring the vendors you really wanted.
12.Once you have firmed up the date, hired your priority vendors, it's time to send out "Save the Dates". These can be nicely crafted e-mails or physical cards. You may even consider giving our pre-wedding favors instead. Here are some nice and affordable favor options for you:
13.The Bridal Party - Are you having a bridal party? Big or small? Once you and your spouse decide on this, now is the time to notify those you have selected to be part of your party. You need them to block out those dates or that date on their calendars asap. There are several nice and unique ways to "propose" to your bridal party. Here are a few options:
14.The Dress - Remember those ideas you had pinned on Pinterest? Now's the time to re-open that "Dress" board. It helps in your dress search if you know the type of fabric, silhouette or train style that you want. You can then filter your options using these criteria and have less options to choose from.
We have a lovely selection of fabulous wedding dresses on Pinterest. You should check it out and save any dresses you love to your own board.
15. Keep an eye on that budget. How are you doing budget-wise? At this point, if you are within budget, consider revisiting those NTHs we talked about earlier. Take them in the order of priority and add them to your wedding plan.
Do not forget to hire the vendors for these services as you go along. Most of all, have fun planning the wedding of your dreams!
Congratulations once again on your engagement. Remember to eat well, stay hydrated and relax. The best part of your wedding is that you get married to your soul mate. Don't forget that!
Yours in Celebrations,