YAY you’re ENGAGED! But now what?
Getting engaged is a huge milestone! You’ve officially decided to spend the rest of your life with your partner! But planning a wedding is A LOT so where do you start?
This was the first question that crossed my mind once my new exciting reality hit me. I was marrying my best friend but I knew nothing about planning a wedding. So where do you even start?
For me personally, another added bonus is that my sister got engaged a few months after me so I’m very excited to share this season of life with her.
Luckily for you, I’m starting to see wedding planning from a few different perspectives… as the bride and as a maid of honor!
Now, my sister is planning to be engaged for a year but I’m planning on being engaged for two years. So one will be relatively fast and one will be relatively slow. For example, I spent 2 and a half months just enjoying being engaged while my sister had to jump right into it.
It’s really up to preference and what works for you and your FIANCE! (4 months in and it still doesn’t get old).
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or lost on what the next steps are after saying yes, here are 13 things to think about and to do. (Like Taylor Swift, 13 is going to be lucky in this case)
1. Call or Meet-up with your family and friends
After you’ve taken a moment to enjoy this new relationship status with your partner, it’s time to share the exciting news! The last thing you want to do is have your mom find out on social media.
This will vary for every couple but definitely take all the time you want to enjoy the moment together. You only get engaged once after all!
But after that, make sure you call your parents and besties. Your parents most likely already know and are patiently waiting for the day that it’s official. After all, they’ve kept this secret for some time now!
I called my parents first and then send my friends a text. That’s what worked for me but if you want to jump on Facetime with everyone, go for it. Some even suggest taking a screenshot of your Facetimes so you have your loved one’s reactions forever.
One advantage I had was that I was seeing my family within the next 24 hours so it was easy to show off the ring in person.
My sister had to wait a little longer so she was on Facetime with my parents more than I was.
It comes down to preference but I wouldn’t put anything on social media until you’ve at least let your close family know and at minimum the friends you’re going to have in your bridal party since they’re you’re best friends.
Prepare to tell the engagement story over and over again. Everyone is going to want to hear it after all!
2. Get your nails done
If the engagement was a complete surprise, you are definitely going to want to find some time to either paint your nails yourself or go get a manicure.
While yes, the ring is definitely the center of attention, your nails are going to be more noticeable now than ever before. You don’t want your three-week-old manicure to take away any attention from your new bling.
And pick out a color you want! Don’t worry too much about being classic since believe me, any color looks good with your new engagement ring!
3. Take a Ring Selfie
Once your friends and family know and your hand is ready to impress, it’s time to take a ring selfie.
Believe me, people are going to ask you to send a picture of the ring. The first picture I sent around was me holding my left hand up all excited with my fiance in it. Which this did become my profile picture but a lot of my friends asked for a close-up of the ring.
I know, they’re nosey but it’s part of the territory.
So I would get multiple pictures. At least one of you and your fiance and one close-up of the ring. These pictures will come in handy too when you’re ready to share your news on social media.
4. Invest in Ring Insurance
This one isn’t as fun but it’s super important. We all know engagement rings are not cheap so you should get the ring insured.
Some jewelry stores have a lifetime guarantee on their diamonds if you take it back to get inspected and cleaned every so often but it doesn’t take into account if you lose the whole ring.
Just like any insurance, hopefully, you’ll never have to use it but it’s good to get. Adding your new ring to your renter and home insurance policy is surprisingly inexpensive.
5. Get your Ring Sized
Another not-so-fun but necessary step is to get your ring sized if needed. Especially if your ring is so loose, it looks like it’s going to fall off at any second, you need to go get it sized.
Trust me, you do not want it to accidentally slip off your finger while running errands or washing your hands.
Another option is if it isn’t so loose there’s a high chance you’ll lose it but you feel like you might want to get a smaller size, you could get a ring size adjuster.
I got one off Amazon and it’s a soft TPU material (it’s like a plastic/rubber combo) that you can’t see when the ring is on my finger since it’s placed on the inside of my finger.
The benefit of getting a ring size adjuster versus getting it sized right away is you can see how your finger swells in different temperatures. For me personally, it is kinda crazy how much of a difference my finger size was depending on the temperature or certain activities I was doing.
I wore a sizer all summer long and I’ve decided that I want to get my ring sized smaller but it was a good piece of mind that I wasn’t getting my ring too small.
On the flip side, if the ring is too small, you definitely want to get your ring sized so you can show it off and actually wear it!
6. Think about the Date
You might be thinking, “whoa, hold your horses,” but people are going to ask. The same day I got engaged people asked me when I’m planning on getting married.
And I was like, chill, I just got engaged (and the engagement was a surprise to me) but luckily my fiance and I talked about when we would want to get married on the car ride to see my family so at least I had a general answer.
You don’t have to have an actual date but just something to keep in mind since people will ask. And hey, if you say May and you end up getting married in October, that’s okay too. You’re allowed to change your mind on that.
On the flip side, my sister has been way more proactive in planning her wedding before she got engaged so she already had a season in mind.
7. Talk about a Budget
It’s tempting to just jump right into wedding planning but I think it’s important to talk about the budget before you set yourself up for disappointment.
Now, a wedding can be beautiful and amazing at any budget but the budget will dictate the venue, the guest list, pretty much everything.
It’s also important to know who is paying for the wedding. Are your parents going to help or is it all on you and your partner? When I first started requesting pricing for venues, I was shocked by how expensive it was.
I knew weddings were expensive but it was more than I expected to say the least.
8. Create an estimated Guest List
After the budget, the guest list will be the second biggest contributor to making decisions about your wedding. After all, you pay per guest for a lot of places even if you go the buffet route.
According to the Knot, you can invite roughly 10% more than the number of people you actually want at your wedding. Average acceptance rates are between 80-90% so keep that in mind.
Now there are many factors that go into attendance including how many people would have to travel vs being local and the time of the year.
You just got engaged so more on this later but you should at least get a rough estimate. It does start getting tough where you need to make the official cut. Where to draw the line was a hard decision for me since I didn’t want to make anyone feel left out however it’s your wedding. People understand. Especially if it’s a distant relative you barely see.
But for now, just focus on a general number so you can start diving into the venue hunt.
9. Research Venues
Ah the venue. The place that will forever be where you got married. It’s a big decision since everything will have to be at the venue.
Once you have an estimate of how many people you expect to have at your wedding, then you can start looking at venues. Some people have had a vision in their mind since they were little girls while others aren’t sure exactly what they want.
And that’s okay. You can look at as many venues as you want.
Depending on how long your engagement will be will decide how quickly you need to snag a venue. The venue is the first thing on the to-do list of actual wedding planning so if you want to get married next year, a lot of places could be filling up fast.
10. Get Inspired through Pinterest, Instagram, and even Tik Tok
There are so many resources out there nowadays. I’ve used Pinterest and Tik Tok the most so far but there is inspiration to be found in many places on the internet.
I would definitely get a Pinterest account if you don’t have one already so you can start pinning anything that catches your eye. This is just the brainstorming stage so have some fun!
You can even create a group board so your mom, sister, and future bridal party can join in on the pinning fun!
11. Plan an Engagement Party
This is another one you’ll get asked about a lot. People want to celebrate you and your partner so they’re going to ask if you’re going to have an engagement party.
While engagement parties are not necessary, they are a fun way to kick off the wedding planning and this chapter of your life. So talk to your partner and decide if you want to have one.
This can also be a good time for your parents to meet if they haven’t already before the craziness of wedding planning begins. This can also be a time to ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen.
12. Start looking for White Dresses (or whatever white clothing you’re going to want to wear)
And no, I’m not talking about that white dress.
There are a lot of upcoming events where you’re going to want to wear white! Depending on the time of the year you are getting married, finding white clothing may be challenging.
You know what they say, only wear white between Memorial Day and Labor Day so if you’re looking for a white dress in November, it may be hard.
The first event would be the engagement party. You’ll be surprised how many events you’re going to want to wear white to during this process. After all, you’re only a bride once so you should be a little over the top. I’m not saying in the bridezilla kinda way but you should get all the fiance and bride gear that you desire.
13. Enjoy it!
Last but certainly not least, enjoy this time! While planning a wedding is super exciting, it can be super stressful! There’s a lot that goes into planning a party especially if you’re having a large wedding.
There are so many little touches you’ll want to put on your special day that it can be a little overwhelming. However, you just got engaged!
Take some time to enjoy being engaged! While your family and friends are going to want to celebrate, also make sure you take some time to enjoy it as a couple as well.
Like I’ve said a few times in this post, you’re only going to get engaged once so soak it all in!
You’ll be a wife for the rest of your life so take this time to enjoy being a fiance!
Let me know in the comments below when you plan on getting married. Or better yet, tell me your engagement story, I’d love to hear it!
Congratulations and happy wedding planning!
Until next time,