Congratulations on your engagement! You might be thinking to yourself, what now? Don’t worry girl, we got you. Here are 11 things to do right after your engagement in order to kickstart your wedding planning process (from taking a ring selfie to setting a wedding budget, we got it all covered!)
1. Capture the Moment
Take this time to fully absorb the moment! Whether that’s with a slew of selfies, or a private moment with your sweetie. Do what you need to do to make this day unforgettable.
WWJ TIP: We suggest planning an intimate engagement party dinner with your closest friends and family to fully memorialize the moment.
2. Tell Your Loved Ones
This exciting news is best told in person, so jump into your car and share the update if you have family or best friends living nearby. If not, give them a ring (or better yet face time!) to let them know. Can’t decide on who to tell?
WWJ TIP: We suggest beginning with your parents, siblings, and grandparents. Next up are those best friends who’d be dying to know the news. Once you’ve filled them all in, it’s time for your social media post!
3. Share on Social Media
Yup, that right. It’s ring selfie time! Go ahead and share your news with joyful abandon. Then sit back and bask in the excited comments of your extended friends and family.
WWJ TIP: We recommend sharing two to three pictures of the happy day on your Instagram and Snapchat (and Facebook for those extended family members).
4. Get Your Ring Ensured and Resized
To some, getting a ring ensured might seem unnecessary, but trust us - it isn’t! Think of the peace of mind you’ll have in knowing you’ll receive some compensation in case your ring is lost or stolen. Yeah, we don’t want to imagine that either. Also, just in case your honey didn’t get your ring size quite right - this would be the perfect moment to get it just right.
5. Pick Your Wedding Date Range
Before you go ahead and pick a a hyper specific date, pause and consider the time and work that goes into planning a wedding. There are other major decisions that need to be made that could have an impact on your date, such as booking your venue. Give yourself ample time - we recommend anywhere between 12 to 15 months. Next think about what season you’d prefer, and avoid any conflicting family events and major holidays.
6. Hire a Wedding Planner
Planning a wedding can quickly become overwhelming for two folks who’ve never planned a big event before. Hiring a professional wedding planner will help with relieving the pressure and stress! A full-time wedding planner will be there for you and can plan everything for you from the engagement party to the honeymoon. If a full-time wedding planner isn’t someone you can budget for, don’t worry! There are also part-time consultants or coordinators who can help you draw out a plan of actions - such as, the budget, schedule, and recommendations for vendors.
7. Pick Your Bridal Party
Will you be one of those brides who invites her entire sorority to join her bridal party, or would you be happy with your sisters are your only bridesmaids? It’s time to decide and make those calls! You and your honey need to decide how many groomsmen and bridesmaids you’ll each have. Who will you ask to be your maid-of-honor and best man? The clock is ticking!
8. Decide Your Budget
Here’s the part no one likes to talk about: Numbers. Before you call any vendors, pick a venue, or purchase a wedding dress - you need to have a budget (for pretty much everything in your wedding). Talk to your honey about how much you can comfortably budget, and then turn your parents about how much they feel comfortable contributing. Begin setting aside savings in a separate account for your wedding related costs.
WWJ Tip: Before you pick your venue you need to decide how many people you plan to invite to your wedding. Less than 50? Between 200 - 300 people, or more? This number will have an effect on other wedding related costs - such as the catering, the venue, and rentals.
9. Pick Your Venue
Picking your venue is arguably one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your wedding. This will influence everything! But especially your budget, and guest list. Venues is pricey, and can go up or down in cost depending on the guest count. Important questions to consider are: Would you like a venue with in-house catering? A venue that provides rentals such as chairs and tables? Does your wedding venue need to have guest rooms on the property? Choose wisely! Once you’ve decided on a venue and book a date within your preferred date range you’re all set!
10. Schedule Vendor Consultation Appointments
You’re probably already following them on Instagram. That’s right, were talking about those can’t-live-without vendors that will take your wedding from bland to extraordinary. If there’s a local photographer, band, videographer, or florists that just need to have, now is the time to schedule a consultation. These folks are in demand, and are often booked a year in advanced! So prioritize who your can’t-live-without vendors are and get them on your calendar.
11. Schedule a Bridal Appointment
This is the fun part! And out personal favorite of course. Shopping for your wedding dress is one the most memorable experiences you’ll have during the lead up to your wedding. Prepare for your appointments by creating a Pinterest board and adding pictures of dresses that stand out to you. That’ll help out the bridal consultant in picking out options for you to try on!
WWJ Tip: Before scheduling a bridal appointments you need to know your budget for the dress, and your wedding date. Typical turn around time for a made-to-order dress could be anywhere from 4 to 5 months, so plan ahead!
P.S. Despite popular advice, it’s okay to purchase a wedding dress at the first boutique you visit! There’s really no need for back to back bridal appointments, except to stress you out even more than you already are.