Five Things You Should Do After You Get Engaged

This list will guide you through the essential first steps of wedding planning.

Engagement photo via Shutterstock

Engagement photo via Shutterstock

You’re engaged! Congratulations! Now what?

Once the shock and bliss wears off, and the squeals from your excited girlfriends stop ringing in your ears, it’s time to get down to business. To tone down the planning madness, we’ve organized the first few things you should do during this crazy fun ride. Here are the top five things you should do after you get engaged.

1. Call—don’t tweet—friends and family. 

The first order of business is to call and personally tell best friends and family to tell them the big news. Although a status update, tweet, or Instagram of the shiny new bling is fun for the masses, take time to enjoy the personal reaction when you share the news with special loved ones.

2.  Set your date.

You haven’t even been engaged 29 minutes, and someone’s already asking you “When’s the big day?” Although plenty of factors—like your venue choice—might affect your scheduling, you’ll want to identify a target date. Start with the season, then narrow it down to the month, then eventually the day. Remember that holidays and prime dates like Saturday nights might mean higher costs.

3. Set your budget.

This is the engine that drives the party train. With all of Pinterest seemingly on an unlimited bankroll, it’s easy to get carried away planning for the celebration. So first, it’s time for the big reveal. Only 12 percent of couples pay for their entire wedding on their own. So start by finding out who is paying for the big day (and how much they’re contributing) and decide what you as a couple want to contribute. From there, you can start to figure out how to keep your wedding budget under control.

4. Make your guest list.

It’s time to open up your address book (or at least scroll through your iPhone contact list) and have a good idea of the must-invites and gotta-asks, along with the B and C lists. With most venues having limits and minimums for guest list sizes, you’ll have to nail down this magic number before finding a site. This will also help you with budgeting.

5. Find your venue.

Now that you’ve assembled those essential puzzle pieces, you can start scouting your wedding site. From flowers and food to music and photography, your venue will influence every decision you make. The key is finding one that blends with your vision. Do you want a formal fuss or a laid-back casual scene? Do you want ocean views or an urban backdrop? Make a list of what’s important to you both. Think beyond the norm and come up with something that really says “you” as a couple.

Checklists and to-dos aside, make sure you take some time—we’re talking at least a week—to let everything sink in before you dive headfirst into planning. Take a deep breath. You’re getting married. Congratulations.


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