So you’re engaged—congratulations! We hope you pop that champagne and savor every moment of this special milestone.
Even so, you may be wondering what the next steps are. The first few weeks of engagement tend to be a whirlwind of excitement and anxiety. Don’t worry! You’ve got time to plan your wedding (and the rest of your lives).
To help you organize these essential first tasks, we’ve put together a timeline of steps to take after getting engaged. Wedding planning can be overwhelming at first, but it’s also an unbelievable feeling to start this new chapter of your life.
Here’s how to focus on the joy, rather than the lists:
Getting engaged makes you want to shout it from the rooftops! Just make sure to tell your close circle personally before you do. Call your parents and siblings, as well as any close friends or relatives before announcing it to everybody on social media. That way they feel included and in the loop during this exciting time of your life.
Go ahead…Capture the moment with a ring selfie! (You know you want to!) You can share this photo on social media or text it to your best buds to cherish this special moment.
After getting engaged, you may want to celebrate this milestone with friends and family. This could be as simple as going out for low-key drinks, or you can throw a formal engagement party.
Engagement parties are typically 1-3 months after the fact—and don’t worry – you don’t have to plan it! Traditionally, it’s hosted by the bride’s family, but any willing friends or family members can throw it. You and your partner simply have to whip up a guest list and enjoy!
Whatever way you choose to celebrate, be sure to toast to your future!
It’s common for folks to start asking for details after you get engaged, especially when and where your wedding will take place. No need to commit to anything yet. You can respond as vaguely or specifically as you want. For example, you can mention the season (i.e. summer next year) instead of talking about specific dates.
Finally, try not to get caught up in wedding planning yet. There’s no rush. After all, you have plenty of time to define the details in the next 12-18 months. Take a step back and enjoy this moment!
First things first: your engagement ring. Get it sized so that you’re not worried about it slipping off your finger accidentally. You should also consider insuring it.
The first detail to think carefully about is your wedding date. Often this is tied up with the availability of your wedding venue. But, you can start by thinking which seasons you want to get married in, flagging a few potential weekends. You may want to check with important family members and members you want in your wedding party to make sure they are free.
Your guest list is also a big factor. You can start creating a basic guest list in a Google doc together with your partner. This will help you estimate your wedding size more easily. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to finalize your guest list later. For now, you just want a rough estimate of attendees.
Having a clear understanding of your budget from the beginning can keep you on track down the road. Analyze your financial situation and create a budget range, as well as a ceiling limit. Also, think about where you want to spend your money. It might be a live band, a beautiful venue, or on the food. Prioritizing what’s most important to you will help you if you have to scale back in some areas to stick to your budget.
Next, get inspired! Check out wedding websites and magazines to get ideas for your own. You can collect web pages or photos that you especially like in a shared folder. Lots of brides create Pinterest boards that they can share with friends or family.
Now it’s time to pin down your venue, which can be a big part of a wedding budget. Finding the right venue that fits your vision, timeline and budget can be tricky. Stay open at the start of your research, so you have a handful of options to view.
Your bridal party is essential to your wedding. Start inviting your bridesmaids/groomsmen so they can start supporting you during the planning phase.
Get a feel for potential wedding planners and vendors by reaching out to them. It’s a good rule of thumb to interview wedding planners before hiring to see if you’re a good fit. In addition, you should research key vendors such as caterers, decorators, and all-in-one service providers. However, if you are going with a full-service wedding planner, they can help you with vendor recommendations as well.
It’s common to get an influx of questions from friends and family during these months. Save yourself some time by building a wedding website that brings together all the details and FAQs. Most web builders these days are free and intuitive to use!
As you start hashing out the details, be sure that you and your partner agree on everything. Sometimes planning goes so fast that it’s easy to make decisions without consulting each other. Have a regular check-in about wedding planning so that you can discuss all of the details together.
In these next few months, it’s time to unleash full-scale planning. It can help to already know your wedding planner and vendors, so you can start getting into the details together around a full-service wedding.
First, you’ll want to create a timeline of to-dos based on your wedding date (your wedding planner can help you with this!). Basically, work backwards from your “I do” date to determine when you need to complete key tasks, including:
Planning a wedding on your own is tough. Be sure to ask for help from your loved ones, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed. While your wedding planner will handle all the big stuff, you could use a hand for little things.
For example, you may want a loved one to accompany you to a dress fitting, help prepare welcome baskets for out-of-town guests, create a home-made guestbook, or take care of your pet during your honeymoon. Your people are sure to want to pitch in, so don’t be afraid to ask!
Your engagement is just the beginning of something great. Before you jump into wedding planning, cherish this moment and understand the next steps using our guide above. This way, you’ll be prepared instead of stressed as you plan your wedding.
At Duvall Catering & Events, we’ve been welcoming the magic of celebration since 1978. Use our expertise in full-range wedding services, including catering, cake, bar service, decor, and florals.
Reach out to our team at 843-886-1626 to begin planning your wedding!