So he finally gets down on one knee with sweat dripping down his forehead ... he manages to get some of his words out but can't help his voice is shaking so bad. He then reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a small box displaying your DREAM RING and he asks "Will you spend the rest of your life with me?" and you say YES! Ahhhhhhh! Congratulations ... you are now engaged!!! [sigh] what a magical moment it was and I promise you will cherish it for years to come. Now you have this permanent smile on your face, you celebrate what just happened and then you go to bed. The next morning you wake up and all you can do is stare at your SHINY new diamond and then it finally hits you ... "Oh crap, this means I have a wedding to plan, where do I start?!" Well, no need to panic, I've got you covered. Here are the first 10 Things To Do After Getting Engaged.
So the moment you've been waiting for has finally happened and you're so excited, you feel like screaming from a mountain top. You've taken a PERFECT Instagram worthy photo of your ring and are ready to post it BUT ... hold your horses, before you jump on social media to show off your new bling, make sure to call your parents, immediate family and closest friends to share the exciting news. This is a BIG deal, so I'm sure they wouldn't be too happy to find out while casually scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Would you?
INSURE & SIZE THE RING
I'm sure your fiancé (yes FIANCÉ, get used to the beautiful sound of that lol) spent a pretty penny on this gorgeous diamond so make sure it's protected against the inevitable. You can go about this one of two ways: Either add it to your existing homeowners/renters insurance policy or purchase an extended warranty through your jeweler. Read the fine print as you compare the two options and make sure loss or theft is covered in that policy. If your ring is a bit loose, thats okay. Go ahead and take this time to get it resized to fit just right.
PINTEREST! PINTEREST! PINTEREST!
Sooo, I know you've already beat me to the punch and have a private board on there somewhere. Whether or not you do, now is the time to get those creative juices flowing! PIN! PIN! PIN! until your thumbs fall off ... Literally. Use this time to get inspired and start looking at what colors you'd like, is there a theme that you two enjoy, would you prefer an outdoor vs indoor ceremony, would you like a rustic styled wedding in a barn or a black tie affair in a grand ballroom? This will help guide your vision and give you something to show your wedding planner as they point you in the right direction.
DECIDE ON A BUDGET
I know this topic can get awkward and stressful pretty quickly but it's a conversation that needs to be had much sooner then later. Have a sit down with both families and establish who is paying for what. Will you be paying for your own wedding? Will your families help with any expenses? This will help you determine how long it'll take for you to save up and figure out where you'd like to splurge a bit and what items you may want to cut back on. I'll share some tips on "Creating A Wedding Budget" in a later post.
CREATE YOUR GUEST LIST
You'd be surprised at how many couples say "We just want to have a small wedding with our close friends and family" then end up with a list of 200+ guests and that's after you've made several cuts. No worries, this is part of the process. At this point, keep in mind that this is YOUR wedding and you should only invite those you hold near and dear to your heart, the people you just can't picture yourself getting married without. This doesn't need to be stressful .. in fact drafting a guest list early on will help you decide on your venue size, catering package, number of centerpieces, etc. We'll cover more on "Creating Your Guestlist" in a later post.
SET THE DATE
The first question that comes after "Congratulations!" is ... Yup, you guessed it, "When is the wedding?" and I know what you're thinking ... "Gee, I haven't had a chance to think that through as I've only been engaged for about 20 minutes!" lol but understand that your family and friends are just SUPER excited and simply want to have a date to put on their radar. You don't have to set an exact date, but think about a timeframe ... maybe you're looking into next fall or early 2019. However, if you already have a specific date in mind, take it and run with it. If it's during peak wedding season, you may want to go ahead and book your venue and must-have vendors ASAP to ensure they have your date available. Ultimately, this will help keep your guests in the loop and also give you and your fiancé some direction as you start planning your special day.
OPEN A SAVINGS ACCOUNT
Once you've figured out how much time you've got to save before your wedding, open up a joint savings account that's strictly for wedding funds. Create a realistic plan with how much you will put away each month, set up an automatic transfer and stick to it. It's always a great idea to keep these funds separate from your personal expenses and once the wedding is over, use this account for household emergencies or vacation funds.
CREATE A WEDDING EMAIL
You'll thank me later, I promise. The moment you get engaged, you'll start signing up for sites like The Knot, WeddingWire, registries and countless others. Also keep in mind that when you attend bridal expos, you'll be sharing this email with all of those vendors and what'll happen is that the very next day, they will start flooding your inbox with tons of information about their services, discounts, etc. Don't get me wrong, this is great and those discounts do come in handy but trust me, you rather keep them separate from your personal email or you'll probably rip your hair out. After the wedding, simply use it for household subscriptions and joint bills.
HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER
Planning a wedding is no joke and there are so many details that go into making this day unforgettable so think about what you'll need help with along the way. Do you already have a busy schedule and the thought of finding time to plan your wedding freaks you out? Will you need help with choosing your venue, vendors, managing your budget and choosing your invitations, flowers, dress, etc? Then you may want to look into hiring a full time wedding planner. Are you the super creative and organized bride who's already planned out most of her dream wedding on Pinterest ... but might need some help along the way with a few of your vendors and smaller details, then look at hiring a part-time planner. Even if you lucked out and inherited the "Planner Gene" and know you can handle pulling this thing together from start to finish, I'd still recommend hiring a month-of-coordinator to help take the weight off your shoulders and focus on executing a flawless event while you and your fiancé get to enjoy this once in a lifetime celebration with your guests.
ENJOY BEING ENGAGED
Just like any other stage in a relationship, being engaged is a time where you continue to build on your foundation and preparing for the next step ... Marriage! Take it slow, don't let anybody rush you and enjoy spending time with your fiancé. I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't let this wedding consume you to the point you are focused solely on the wedding day and not the actual marriage. Continue to go out on dates and get as much "alone time" as possible because until the wedding day is over and you set out for your honeymoon, there won't be much "just us time".
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