It happened! You are engaged! This may be quite surreal or be something that you have been waiting for, for quite some time. However the question was popped, it finally happened and the moments, days and weeks following your proposal are guaranteed to be a bit of a whirlwind!
There’s lots to do, so many people to contact and so many things to get organised. However, there is no reason to get overwhelmed, give yourself some time to stop and think. You probably have no clue on how to start planning your wedding and you will be in the same boat as many other newly engaged couples. You will likely be wondering what the next stages are and in what order you should do them.
But before you start to get stressed, don’t worry! You are in the right place and I’m here to help.
From countless Pinterest boards, wedding magazines, dress shopping and venue searching…. planning a wedding is a timely process and one that’s usually hugely underestimated but you don’t need to start planning every decision the second you say “yes” to your significant other.
Every couple’s timeline is different, you don’t need to race up the aisle or rush any part of the planning process. When it comes to the timings of everything, yes it can be confusing – Who do you tell? How soon should you have an engagement party? What planning tasks do you need to tackle first? These are really common questions that many engaged couples have and luckily I have some of the answers for you.
Read on for what to do now that an all-important proposal has happened.
Break the news
One of the first steps after you’ve got engaged is to share your happy news. Take as much, or as little time as you like! Some couples want to tell everyone as soon as possible and have the Instagram announcement posted pronto while others may like to keep it a secret to be enjoyed only by a few close friends or family for a little longer.
When you are ready to tell the world do make sure you’ve told immediate family and friends before posting to social media. Once your immediate family and closest friends are in on the news – you can go public and get your relationship status changed on Facebook. You could even consider booking an engagement shoot with a view to using that same photographer for your wedding. This will give you some precious memories and some great images ahead of your wedding day – which you could use for your invitations.
Enjoy being engaged
Round up some of your best friends and family and go out for a celebratory drink or meal, or have a special night out with your partner if that’s more your style. You’re engaged, and it’s most definitely worth celebrating.
Once you have shared the news of your engagement you can either take as long as you’d like to just enjoy the experience with your partner or you may be considering having a shorter engagement and want to get straight into the planning so you won’t want to delay things for too long. But remember, do whatever feels right for the two of you.
It’s also worth mentioning that you may want to get your ring insured early on. It’s a pretty sentimental piece of jewellery after all. If you add it to your home insurance policy it’s usually pretty inexpensive.
When you are ready to get started on wedding planning, I would suggest buying yourself a planner to keep everything in one place. There will be a lot to coordinate over the next few months. Get into the habit of keeping important information in a specific place – there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to hunt out a contract or the RSVP’s when you really need them.
Start to have those discussions about what kind of wedding you both want to have. A formal gathering? A relaxed outdoor wedding? Do you want a church or would you prefer a location wedding? To help, you might want to book a Wedding Planner to help do most of the work, especially if you have a stressful job or busy lives already.
If you have no ideas where to start, think about what suits your individual personalities, do you enjoy a good party or are you happier at smaller, more intimate gatherings? Once you have an idea of your overall wedding vibe other things will fall into place.
The Internet is extremely helpful when it comes to all things weddings – it is what brought you here! Pinterest and Instagram are great places to start. Create your own mood board and pin things that appeal to you. It’ll be handy when showing your suppliers exact colours, the atmosphere and mood you want to recreate for your day and ensure an overall cohesive look between every element.
Next, it’s time to think about what’s important to you as a couple. You may have always wanted a hog roast or chocolate fountain at your wedding or to arrive by horse and carriage, if you have something that you have always had your heart on then you should have it – and if you have a budget, make savings elsewhere.
Set aside some time to plan
Popular wedding dates and venues get booked far in advance so if you are hoping to get married in the next year or two, it’s sensible to start thinking about dates early on. Find out what works for both of your families and whether there’s any dates to steer clear of.
Once you have chosen a wedding date, start a list of tasks that need planning. You can’t book a wedding without a venue so you’ll want to research venues and call or visit for information about available dates and pricing. You’ll want to have discussions about your wedding size and budget early on into your wedding planning. You can’t move forward with any area of your wedding plans until you’ve determined an overall budget and know who may also be contributing to parts of your wedding. Once you’ve had discussions about your budget and guest size you’ll be able to make decisions and book your wedding date and venue.
I would recommend setting aside some specific days or allotted time with your significant other to go through plans regularly between now and the wedding day. Planning is best done in stages so as not to get too overwhelming. But don’t let wedding planning take over your lives! It is important to set time away from planning as a couple. By allotting time specifically to tackle your wedding to-dos you’ll accomplish so much more than just getting round to bits ‘here and there’ at the end of a long day.
Make a list of what each of you is going to do and split the tasks so that you can both be involved. This will keep both of you involved, every step of the way. Keep communicating too so that you don’t end up contacting the caterer twice or booking two florists! Your partner may not want to be so involved in choosing the decorations for the tables and so that can go on your list and you may decide that you are happy for them to choose the evening entertainment and so that’ll go on theirs. Have some tasks that you’ll do together too and you’ll soon get into the swing of wedding planning.
Shortlist your suppliers
It is a good idea to start deciding on your favourite suppliers – and shortlisting them. I regularly hear from my couples that there are 3 specific things that they won’t compromise on when it comes to their wedding day; their venue, their food and their photographer. This is because the first two are memorable to all, and the third is how the rest will stick in their memories!
If you are not sure who else to approach for your wedding day in respect of things like flowers, entertainment and cars, then booking the initial suppliers will mean that they will be able to help you with recommendations. After all, who better to speak to than people who work in weddings on a regular basis?!
When the planning gets tough, take a break from it all. It will wait. Spend the time to reconnect as a couple and get excited about the day ahead.
There you have it! My top tips of what to do now you are engaged – and remember I’m here to answer any other questions you may have.