You said yes!...Now what?
Updated: Mar 29, 2019
The love of your life has just asked you to be his wife (see what I did there with the rhymes? lol) You're ecstatic, you can't stop smiling and staring at your ring, it feels surreal, you want to tell EVERYONE. While making your excited phone calls announcing your newly engaged status, you keep getting hit with the same question. "So when are you getting married?"...and you suddenly realize you have to plan a wedding, and you have no idea where to begin! Don't freak out, we've got you covered, here are your next steps after saying yes!
First things first, take a moment with your newly minted fiance! Head to your favorite spot and
spend some time being silly and giggly. You'll be caught up in wedding planning soon
enough, savor these first moments of engaged life.
Insure Your Ring
Have your new bauble appraised by a certified gemologist (most jewelers will provide this service upon purchase); and make sure to talk to the jeweler and/or your insurance agent about coverage in case your ring is ever lost, stolen, or damaged. You're wearing an investment on your finger now!
Set a Budget
Prior to making any wedding plans or decisions, you need to figure out what you can spend; and speak with your respective families to see if they will be contributing. Hammering out this detail first is crucial, otherwise you could fall in love with a dress, venue, or florals that you can't afford!
Think about the Guest List
Once the overall budget is set, figure out who, and how many guests you're going to invite. Keep in mind that the more guests you invite, the more cost you incur. If deciding who's coming (and who isn't) threatens to either bankrupt you, or start a civil war within your families, scale the list back. A good rule of thumb when you're on the fence about inviting someone, is to consider if you speak to them regularly and if you'd ask them to your house for dinner. If you don't and you wouldn't, don't invite him or her.
Envision the Big Picture
Talk to your intended about the kind of wedding you both want, take your budget and guest list into consideration. Look for inspiration photos and decide whether you want something small and intimate, grand and over the top, or somewhere in between. What colors do you want to incorporate, and what time of year do you want to wed? These are important things to think about before making any plans.
Select a Venue
Now that you have the budget, guest list and general vision of your wedding settled; it's time to look for a venue next. Where you tie the knot can dictate a lot about the wedding from the dress code to the wedding date. Don't trust photos, be sure to schedule tours in person and take travel and distance into consideration. Be sure to ask what's included in your potential booking and if you can get a discounted rate by having your wedding on a weekday; say a Friday night, as opposed to a Saturday evening, this could help you save big!
Set a Date
Now that you've fallen in love with a venue, ask what their availability is for the time frame you want to wed. As we suggested earlier you should have a general idea of the time of year or season you want to marry, rather than a rigid date. Keep in mind that certain times of the year (March through June, and holidays) are often more expensive, as its a popular season to tie the knot. If you're flexible you can snap up a great venue in the "off season" and select the most perfect place to become husband and wife.
Hire a Professional
You've gotten off to a great start, and now it's time to call in the big guns. Now that you know your budget, guest list, venue, date and general vision for you wedding it's the perfect time to let an event firm start arranging the small, intricate details. While an added expense, a great event planner can slash stress and make your engagement and wedding prep much more enjoyable. It's definitely worth it to work a wedding professional into your budget.
Take Engagement Photos
Look at you go! You've crossed off some major decisions from your to-do list and it's time to commemorate your love with engagement pictures. You may be able to take pictures in or around your venue at no extra cost, and you can use these photos for save the dates and invitations if you choose. Again, take a little time to get inspired by looking at poses and photographers' portfolios online. Often, you can get a discount on your bridal sitting and wedding photography if you hire the same vendor you used for your engagement portraits, make sure to ask about this, and book your wedding date with the photographer well in advance. You'll have these pictures as a keepsake forever!
Enjoy the Process
There you have it future brides; these are the first steps to take after you get engaged. Remember the very first step is celebration! Your engagement shouldn't feel like a stress-filled mad dash to the altar, take the time to enjoy calling each other fiance!