appy engagement! This is an exciting time in your relationship, but it can be a stressful one too. Use these guidelines to help you know what to do now that you’re engaged. We’ll cover:

  • Sharing the news of your engagement
  • Enjoying your engagement
  • Researching for your wedding
  • Planning your wedding 
An engaged couple raises engagement wine glasses in celebration.
Congratulations, you’re engaged! Time to share the news and start moving towards your wedding day. 

Share the Good News

Don’t Post That Ring Selfie Yet

One of the most fun things you need to do when you get engaged is tell people your good news. You might be itching to post a ring selfie on Instagram and get lots of love from all your friends and followers, but there are some steps you should take first. 

Before you and your fiance share your engagement on social media you should probably tell your close family and friends. Your parents, grand parents, favorite cousins, and lifelong best friends have been with you throughout your relationship and will likely appreciate a personal message rather than finding out on Facebook with everyone else. 

Who Should You Tell You’re Engaged?

This is easy. Who do you want to tell? Once you think about it it’ll be easy to figure out who you want to tell over FaceTime or in person and who you’ll tell with a social media post. 

Remember that you don’t have your guest list yet. Personally telling your work friend from three jobs ago about your engagement could lead to the understanding that they’re invited, which might not be true later. 

People who are going to be intimately involved in the wedding and the wedding planning can know all the details right away. Others will be just fine with liking your Instagram post and getting more details later if it comes to that.

An engaged couple walks holding hands in a field.
One of the most important things to do during your engagement is enjoy it!

Enjoy Your Engagement

Take Time to Celebrate

With all the things you need to do when you first get engaged you might forget to take time to celebrate and enjoy your engagement. Don’t jump into planning right away--there’s plenty of time to get everything done. Stress later, celebrate now. 

Do You Want an Engagement Party?

An engagement party isn’t a necessity, but it is a great way to get everyone together to celebrate your engagement. You and your fiance want to celebrate and your friends and family want to celebrate you, so why not make a party out of it.

You can plan your own engagement party or you can enlist the help of your wedding party to throw an engagement party for you. The catch? You have to choose your wedding party in order to ask them for help. 

You and your fiance might already have a pretty good idea of who you want in your wedding party. If not, consider these tips for choosing bridesmaids, groomsmen, and wedding party:

  • Think about how large your wedding will be to decide how many people should be in the wedding party.
  • Don’t ask too soon--make sure you’re sure of your choices so you don’t change your mind with no going back.
  • Pick people you trust with the responsibilities you’re going to give them.
  • Remember your siblings.
  • You don’t have to put someone in your wedding party just because they put you in theirs.
  • There aren’t set rules to follow--you can have a bridesman instead of a bridesmaid or maybe three best men and three best women. Your wedding party should be whatever you want it to be. 

Celebrate Your Engagement the Way You Want

Just like there aren’t rules for your wedding party, there aren’t rules for how you should celebrate your engagement. Go on a trip, have a nice date night, order pizza, go out with friends, have a family picnic, set up an engagement photo shoot, or throw a huge party. Or do all of those things over the next few weeks. Do what makes you and your fiance happy in this exciting time. 

A clipboard sits with a wedding list on it.
A wedding involves a lot of planning, but don’t worry. You have plenty of time to plan a perfect wedding during your engagement. 

Do Some Wedding Research 

Research Before You Plan

You can’t book a venue before you have a wedding date, and you can’t pick a wedding date without knowing your venue will be available, so there are some steps you need to take before you can do any real wedding planning. You can use a wedding planning checklist and timeline to help you figure out what to do next.  

Choose Some Possible Dates

Talk to your families, close friends, and employers to figure out which dates can be taken out of the running due to major conflicts. You might already know what season or even what month you want your wedding in, which narrows down your options and gives you a window to tell your friends and family. 

If you have no idea when you want your wedding, ask yourself these questions:

  • Would you rather an indoor or outdoor wedding?
  • Are you getting married where you live or somewhere else?
  • Do you and your fiance have a favorite time of year? Or one that is significant in your relationship?
  • Does it matter to you if your wedding happens during a heat wave? What about a blizzard?
  • Do you already have wedding flowers and/or colors in mind that might determine a season?
  • If you have a dream venue, when is it available and how far in advance do you need to book it?

Essential Research During Your Engagement

Whether you have a big or small wedding there is a great deal that goes into making the wedding happen. You know you need a venue, food, drinks, music, and a dress, but there are so many other things you can’t forget. 

Is the venue supplying chairs and tables or are you renting them from somewhere else? What about table linens? Are the caterers responsible for the cake or are you ordering that from a different place? What are your table centerpieces? Will you have name cards for seating? Will you have one room for dining and dancing during the reception?

Clearly you need to do a lot of thinking in order to plan your wedding. You’ll have to decide if you want to handle all of this yourself or if you need a wedding planner. Before you get too stressed planning, research some of these things:

  • Venues - What looks good? Which ones are affordable and available? Maybe you have a venue you’ve wanted to use for a long time or maybe you plan on using your cousin’s farm. Start shopping around early so you know your options and can find out what you really want before it’s time to put down a deposit. 
  • Dresses - If you pay attention you might be able to get a designer dress on sale. You can also head to Pinterest to explore different dress styles to decide what your ideal dress will look like.
  • Catering - It’s time to start checking out your food and drink options for your wedding. You can go with a catering company, a restaurant that offers catering, or come up with your own solution. You’ll likely be feeding a lot of people, so you want to make sure you have this sorted out so you don’t end up with a bunch of hungry (hangry) wedding guests. 
  • Cake - In case you forgot, part of planning a wedding involves tasting cakes! You get to choose what kind of cake you’ll have and what it will look like. And you need a piece for all of your guests, so you have some serious cake research ahead of you. 
  • Music - The eternal wedding question: band or DJ? Discuss your preferences with your fiance and then get on the lookout for your options. Whether you go with a band or a DJ, you’ll need to decide how long you want them there and where they’ll have room for their equipment. Some weddings choose to have separate music for the ceremony, reception, and post-dinner dancing. 
A chef plates a dinner for a wedding reception.
You’ll spend some of your engagement making decisions about your wedding, such as whether your dinner will be served or buffet style.

Start Wedding Planning

Don’t Let Wedding Planning Ruin Your Engagement

Wedding planning can be very stressful--try not to let it ruin this fun and exciting time. Make sure you take time throughout your engagement to remember why you and your fiance got engaged in the first place.

Enjoy each other’s company, take breaks from planning to have fun together, and try not to let other people’s demands and expectations get to you. 

Also remember that essentially you’re planning a party to celebrate you and your fiance’s commitment and relationship. That’s awesome! Work together on problem solving and collaborate to make your wedding amazing. 

Set a Wedding Budget

You can’t start planning until you know what you have to spend. You don’t want to book an expensive venue and then realize you’ll have to find the cheapest dinner possible. 

You can’t pull a number out of thin air and make that your budget, which is where all that wedding research comes in. You can have ballpark numbers for how much you’ll need to spend on venues, caterers, bands, and cakes you like. You should also have an idea of the size of your guest list because that will affect the overall cost.  

If you’re struggling to figure out wedding expenses and budgeting, there are wedding budget calculators you can use for help. 

On Your Mark, Get Set, Plan!

Once you’ve done your research, set a date, and figured out your budget, you’re ready to start full on planning. Don’t panic! You spend the time leading up to planning gathering your information and preparing for this process. 

This is a great time to ask for help from your wedding party, family members, and close friends. These people are most likely thoroughly invested in your wedding and will be happy to help do what they can to make it go smoothly. 

Bring friends and family dress shopping, ask around about the best venues and caterers, and ask that one cousin who knows all the family drama to help you figure out seating. 

Don’t Forget to Plan Your Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a huge vacation starting the second you walk out of your wedding, but you should plan something to allow you and your new spouse to continue the celebration. 

Wedding days are fantastic, but also so crazy and packed that you might not spend that much time focusing on your new spouse. Besides that, it can be hard to step out of the wedding bubble and go right back to real life and work. 

Even if all you plan is a quiet movie night with your favorite take out, it’s a good idea to purposefully plan for some quality time with your brand new spouse. 

A wedding party jumps for joy for a picture.
Enjoy your engagement and remember that at the end of it you get to have your amazing wedding. 

Now you know what you need to do to prepare for your wedding and have a great engagement. Enjoy this wonderful time with your new fiance and plan the wedding of your dreams. 

Oct 30, 2020