Congratulations, you said YES and are engaged!! Let the engagement parties begin and then celebrate with cake! (Of course, it will be followed by months of dieting!)

So what’s next? Here are 12 things you can do:

Tell Your Friends & Families About Your Engagement

It’s important that you tell friends & family before you post your engagement on social media. But once they know, find a fun and creative way to share the news that you are engaged. Use a photo app to create a movie poster or magazine cover, or a funny meme. Or you could hold signs in photos and share the news that way!

After you’ve told your closest relatives and friends, it’s a good idea to go ahead and determine who you want in your wedding party. There are many fun ways to ask them to be your honor attendants – one way would be to have a party at your home and have a scavenger hunt. The items your guest find could be special notes to each one asking them to be in your wedding party!

Photo Credit: Pexels

Insure Your Ring

It’s more than just sentimental value…it’s an investment. If you have home or renter’s insurance, you can add a rider on the policy covering your engagement ring. Be sure to keep your receipt for as long as you own the engagement ring. Ask questions about the coverage – What if the ring is lost, stolen, damaged, or the stone falls out? What is the deductible?

And don’t forget to add both wedding bands when you buy those, too!

Create a Wedding Email Address

Now that you are engaged, you will begin visiting numerous vendor websites, complete contact forms, attend wedding shows, and read blogs throughout your wedding planning journey. Many of these may request your email address. And, once you start interviewing vendors, they will ask for it also.

So why not create one just for your wedding? This way, all your wedding information is in one place, not mixed in with your personal or business emails. Here’s the best part – once the wedding is over, you can easily delete the email account and you will no longer get bombed with unwanted wedding emails.

Call (and Hire!) a Professional Wedding Planner

OK, so you might have DIY in your DNA! I do, too. But I have to admit, the first time I try something, it isn’t always my best work or it doesn’t come together as easily as I expected. That’s fine; if it’s a flop, I can always make another one or decide it’s not for me. But, when it comes to your Wedding Day, there are NO “Do-Overs.”

Weddings planners have experience in all aspects of weddings, and have many tips that can actually save engaged couples a lot of headache and money. Even better – having a wedding planner can save you hours and hours of precious time and relieve you of the stress that comes along with planning a wedding!

Time Is Precious For Engaged Couples!

Did you know that it takes between 200 and 400 hours for the average engaged person to plan their wedding? On top of that, most of the weddings I’ve planned included 10 to 12 hours on the wedding day setting everything up, greeting vendors, assisting guests, and cleaning up after the couple made their exit.

Your time is valuable and life gets in the way, sometimes. Planning should be fun and not stressful – and I can ensure that it IS fun for you!  Click here to learn more about what a wedding planner can do for you!

Book Your Engagement Photo Shoot

If it’s within your budget, splurge a bit and have professional engagement photos taken. You can use these to send out engagement announcements, save the date cards, or even for your invitations. If a professional shoot isn’t within reach, try finding a friend who has a good camera; someone who has a great understanding of lighting and color and a bit creative, too.

Dress up, change into a few different outfits, and select clothing that coordinates in colors. Then, find a pretty outdoor spot to take the photos. It might be fishing at the lake, playing in the leaves, or making a snowman. Don’t like the outdoors? Find a mansion or some interesting building you love. Just focus on the love and you will shine wherever you are.

Create Your Wedding Guest List

This will help you select your venue size and determine your budget. The biggest expense for a wedding is usually feeding your guests. If you’re serving cake and punch, you might be able to invite the whole town. But, if you’re serving a 7-course meal, you might need to streamline your guest list.

Write down all the people you know. Okay, maybe NOT your fifth cousin’s ex-girlfriend or children you knew from a past relationship! (Isn’t it amazing how once you say FREE FOOD & DRINKS, the people come crawling out of the woodwork?!)

“A” List & “B” List

Creating a Priority “A” & “B” list is the best solution for engaged couples. The first priority “A” List is everyone who you are closest to and those who MUST be at your wedding! This list includes everyone involved in the wedding party – grandparents, parents, bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Then, the second priority “B” list is those that you might like to invite, but could really leave out if your budget can’t afford over the number of guests from you’re a list. This list would be your boss or co-workers, children, your parents’ friends who you’ve never met, or even friends or family you haven’t seen in over 10 years.

Then when you are looking at venues and caterers, you’ll have a few options. For example, you can tell vendors you are looking at a guest list between 125 and 200, and compare prices. So, if you fall in love with a venue that only seats 150, you have some wiggle room. Or, if you want the steak and shrimp rather than the pasta and salad, you can have it with a lower guest count.

And don’t forget – if you will be serving alcohol, this can be just as costly as the food itself – maybe even higher!

Choose Your Wedding Date

Select the season and year, but hold off on an exact date if you can. It’s easier to find a venue you love and then choose a date based on the availability. Some venues book out a year or two ahead of time, so shop early if you must have a certain date.

You might have to decide between a favorite venue and the perfect date. Ask yourself what will matter most to you years from now… the memories of a special location or the importance of that special date.

Commit to a Wedding Budget

Years ago, there were rules for newly engaged couples. The bride’s parents paid for the wedding. The groom’s parents paid for the rehearsal dinner. Well, you can forgot about the “Good Old Days.“ The reality is…most of you will be paying for your own wedding. A small percentage might come from family members, if they want to pitch in and have the funds.

Asking family for money is a hard thing to do. But, the truth of the matter is, they might actually want to help. One way is to explain to them the vision for your ideal wedding and how much it will cost. Then tell them what you can afford and if they would be interested in chipping is as your wedding gift. Let them know that you understand if they simply can’t afford it.

Tell them you have a dream wedding in mind, but you also want to be a realist. You might be surprised. There’s something about depriving your kids of their dreams that makes parents open their wallets a bit more.

You might also want to ask grandparents. Perhaps they planned on gifting you money at the wedding. If family doesn’t want to hand you cash for fear it might not be used for the wedding, tell them you can designate certain items to be paid by them. Grandmothers sometimes love to buy the dress!

Select Your Wedding Venue(s)

Most engaged couples opt for separate ceremony and reception sites. But, new venues are popping up all the time that offer both the ceremony and reception all at one location. They can be more pricy but there are hidden savings – no transportation is needed between sites. You don’t need extra staff to take down the décor and move it to the next location or extra rentals for separate locations.

Narrow your venue choices down to a couple of options. Then schedule a tour to see them in person. Be sure to find out in advance how many times you can tour the venue. Some privately owned properties do not allow you to do visits after you’ve signed the contract. If possible, be sure to take all your planning people with you before you sign the contract – parents, your wedding planner, and anyone who is assisting with the décor (if possible).

Keep in mind, most couples book their venue at least a year in advance. So shop early! Once you decide, put down the deposit and sign the contract.

Don’t wait…you could lose to another booking! But, be prepared to pay as much as 50% for the deposit, so make sure you have the funds available before you start looking at venues. You don’t want to fall in love with the perfect location and not be able to book it.

Start Your Pinterest Board

If you aren’t on Pinterest yet, sign up, it’s free. This is an amazing place for engaged couples to get ideas and store pictures all in one spot. You can pull them up at vendor meetings, or with your Wedding Planner anytime.

There are DYI ideas, etiquette tips, décor galore, wedding dresses, color palettes, food presentations…and that’s just the beginning. Create separate boards for your ideas, such as Dresses, Color Palettes, Lists & Tips, Food, Drinks, Invitations, Flowers, and more. It will help you browse your ideas much easier.

Keep in mind that there are no prices on Pinterest. What you may love, might be a very expensive design, created to sell a product or brand. The cost to create one centerpiece might be your entire decorating budget. Lastly, be warned… it’s addicting and overwhelming. It can give you too many ideas.

But, if you use Pinterest for ideas and inspiration, it can be fun and very helpful for your décor design team.

Brides:  Go Wedding Dress Shopping!

Being engaged should always be fun – and dress shopping is definitely a part of that! You can shop online and in bridal magazines. But, the real fun is putting on those gorgeous wedding gowns. This is the best part of planning a wedding, so enjoy yourself!

Be Sure To Take Time For Yourselves

After becoming engaged, it will take months, maybe even years to plan your wedding. So be sure to allow plenty of date nights and fun time with each other. Don’t talk about the wedding 24/7.

Make sure you take time to pamper yourself with a mani/pedi, massages or facials. Create beauty regiments. Remember to eat well and take care of your health. Exercise and get plenty of rest.

Have Fun!

Simply said, make sure you take time to ENJOY YOUR ENGAGEMENT AND HAVE FUN!

TLC Events & Weddings can help you have fun, relieve you of undue stress, and will always plan your wedding ….

With Tender Loving Care,

Lori

Let's Start Planning Together!