My fiance and I just got engaged and we are sitting here at the park wondering, now what do we do? I hear this question a lot and the simple answer is, that there really isn't a right or wrong answer. It all boils down to what you like and dislike. Now let's take a look at 21 things you should do now that you are engaged.
If you haven't done so already, take it all in and enjoy the moment with your partner. Chances are they spent a considerable amount of time planning out the proposal. You don't want to ruin it with wedding planning talk. Instead, talk about how the two of you met and just enjoy the love that you have for each other. You can also talk about your engagement photographs which will showcase the love that the two of you have for each other.
I didn't even want to put this one in here but the more I thought about it, it's true, and being a wedding photographer, I should know better. Even if you aren't the type to get a pedicure, you should seriously consider one because everyone is going to be admiring your engagement ring. Also, you will be having your engagement photos shot at some point in the near future. So, if you have a pedicure done right away, you should probably consider having a second one just before your engagement photos. When I shoot engagement photos in downtown Pittsburgh, I always make sure to capture the ring.
The last thing you want is for your ring to get lost or stolen and it not be insured. And you also don't want to be wearing an engagement ring that doesn't fit. That can be very uncomfortable and if it's too big, that's a good way to lose it.
Let your family and the people you are closest to know about your engagement before you announce it on social media because they deserve to hear it from you and not just see it online. Make a list of family and close friends that you should tell so you don't forget anyone. Some people get offended easily and if you forget to tell someone important, it might cause problems down the road, like at your wedding.
Now that your family and close friends know. It's time to announce it on social media if you want to. The easiest way to do this on Facebook is to change your Facebook status to engaged. It might not be your style to change your status and announce it on there, however, changing your relationship status from in a relationship to engaged, can allow people to target you in ads that better suit you. For example, when I run my free engagement session giveaways on Facebook through a Facebook ads campaign, the one targeting metric I use is for people who have engaged as their relationship status.
Do fun things with your partner and enjoy your engagement. Whatever the two of you are into. Plan a day and go to an amusement park like Kennywood if you are from Pittsburgh or you can simply have a picnic in a local park. You could even take a vacation together. There are so many fun things that you could do together. As long as the two of you are together and you get to celebrate your engagement is all that should matter.
One of the best ways to get inspired for your wedding is through a Facebook group and I have one that brides to be just love. Not only does the group have like-minded brides-to-be like you, but it also has a nice mix of brides that have gotten married but were in your same shoes at one time. It's a small group but it's packed full of useful info and inspiration. Just click the link and it will take you to the group -> Steve Skarupa Photography's VIP Bridal Entourage
Relax and take it all in! Sound familiar? Well, it's true. It's easy to get stressed out during this time and it can be easy to take it out on your partner or even worse. Relax. This is a very happy time for you, your partner, and the love that the two of you have for each other.
With your partner, discuss who will be paying for the wedding. Are the two of you paying for the wedding or will you have help from family members and if they are helping, how much are they going to contribute. Once you figure out those two things, you can then do a little bit of research on how much your vendors will cost. Once you determine those three things, you can not only set a wedding budget but a realistic one also. A lot of couples won't do their homework before setting a budget and end up over-budget. You might not have to set a budget at all and could skip this step completely.
By now, you might already know what type of wedding you want to have but if you don't, now is a good time to start the discussion with your partner. Are you going to have a traditional black-tie style wedding where the bride wears a traditional white dress and the groom wears a tux? Or are you going to have a boho-style wedding? There are so many different types of weddings and styles to choose from. No matter which one you are thinking about having, make sure you include your partner in the discussion.
By now you have probably been looking at engagement photographs on Pinterest and saving your favorites. Hiring your engagement photographer is one of the first things you should consider because you will use the photos for your save the dates, wedding invitations, etc. Most wedding and engagement photographers have up to a six-week turnaround time especially if it's during peak wedding season. A lot of wedding photographers will include the engagement photos with your wedding package and that's something you should highly consider. By having your engagement photos shot by the same person that is going to photograph your wedding, you will get to know them and see how they work. I include the engagement photos with almost all of my wedding packages.
While it might be a little early to set up your wedding registry, what you can do is set up a wedding website. Most wedding websites are free and will help you stay organized throughout the entire planning process. Places like Wedding Wire, The Knot, and Zola, all have free wedding websites. My personal favorite is Zola, but you can check out all three and see which one you like the best. I also highly suggest getting a binder with a paper notebook that you can also use for staying organized.
There are a lot of free resources out there and a checklist will help you stay organized and on task. This way you will know exactly what you should be doing from the day you start wedding planning, all the way up to your big day. The best wedding planning checklist I have found and the one that I have my couples download is from 412brides. You can google search "412brides wedding planning checklist"
This falls right in line with your guest list. How big of a bridal party do you plan on having? Start with the maid of honor and the best man. Some couples only have a best man and maid of honor in the bridal party. I've photographed weddings where the bridal party was small and the biggest one I've shot to date had 21 people in the bridal party. No matter how big or small yours will be, just remember to count them in the total number of guests.
Start your guest list early. Get a rough estimate of how many total guests you are going to have so that when you start considering wedding venues, you will have a good idea of how big or small of a venue you will need. You will refine your guest list several times, so it's important to start it early. Remember, your bridal party and vendors also count as wedding guests. Some venues won't charge you for your vendors but you certainly want to plan on feeding them at your wedding. Just remember, when it comes to family and friends, you don't have to invite everyone!
It's hard to nail down an exact date without a wedding venue and more on that in a minute. You probably already have a wedding date in mind but if not, first think about what season you want to get married in. You can then select your main date and also two backup dates just in case. Once your venue is secured, you can finalize your date.
Now that you have a tentative date in mind, you should start looking at wedding venues. You should start your venue search and tours early because they book up quickly. You can even start this process right after you get engaged especially if you plan on going on a lot of tours. Whatever the case may be, I highly encourage you not to wait and put the deposit down on your dream wedding venue ASAP. If you are from Pittsburgh and you like uniqueness, Pittsburgh has some of the most unique wedding venues in the country.
If you set up a wedding website, have your binder, and can relatively stay organized, you don't need a wedding planner for your entire wedding unless you want one. Wedding planners can be very expensive and can consume your wedding budget. You could even ask a family member like mom or dad to help you stay organized while planning your big day. Another option would be to hire a day-of coordinator instead of a full wedding planner.
By now, you should have your venue secured with your date, your guest list finalized, and the photos back from your photographer. It's now time to design and send out your save the dates. There are many companies out there that will let you design them like Vista Print or Zola. Your photographer is also a good option for your save the dates. Once you get them back, send them out ASAP.
Read my blog for inspiration as you are just getting the planning process underway. Wedding planning can seem daunting but remember that part about no stress? When you have wedding blogs like mine that are committed to providing valuable content, there's no need to let the planning process get you down. Another good blog to read is from 412brides. You can google search for 412brides blog
Remember at the beginning how it said, do fun things while you are engaged? When you do something fun with your partner after you get engaged, it will help take the stress out of planning. You should plan a date night with your partner once a week or at least every other week. Sit down together and make a list of fun things that you can do together and then start checking them off one by one.
There you have it, folks. 21 things you could or should do now that you are engaged. You certainly don't have to do these things if you don't want to. But if you are wondering what to do, this is a good starting point.