What to do after you’re engaged
Congrats, you! You’ve just gotten engaged to the love of your life—your heart is soaring, excitement fills every part of you, and you can’t wait to start your married life together. But what to do after you’re engaged?
Now that you’re engaged, it’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed with all that needs to be done, but this is a really exciting time and I’m here to help make the most of your engagement. Below, you’ll find ten things to do after saying “yes” from sharing your amazing news to finding your dream team of wedding vendors.
1. Take time to soak up and celebrate being engaged
First things first, celebrate this exciting milestone! Go out to dinner, pop some bubbly, and do whatever feels right to commemorate this special moment for yourselves. Before even announcing your engagement online or to others, I recommend taking time to savor this moment and revel in your just-engaged bliss.
2. Share the good news—Announce your engagement
Tell your nearest and dearest, or shout it from the rooftops online! You could start with your parents, siblings, and close friends. Consider setting up a special dinner or gathering to surprise them with the news. Or, proudly display the news on all your platforms!
You can also take this time after your engagement for an engagement party. This can be an intimate hang out or a big party—whatever feels the most “you!”
3. Start Dreaming
Communicate and get on the same page.
Sit down and have a conversation with your partner about what you imagine your dream wedding day to be like. This could be anything from the size and location of your wedding—if you want to elope, or have a wedding with guests— to the activities you’d like to do on your big day. Make sure to prioritize your wishes and align them with your partner’s vision for the wedding. It’s important to communicate early on, so you’re both on the same page and can work together towards making your unique day special.
4. Decide on Your Wedding Style
Do you imagine a rustic forest elopement? Or a seaside adventurous getaway? Or maybe a city hall ceremony with a day out exploring the town? Before you start planning, you should decide on your wedding style. This will help you narrow down your options and make planning a lot more manageable.
One way to get started here is to create a mood board of ideas you both love. Then, take a step back and look at the whole board—what are the commonalities? Did you pin many photos of one certain type of flower? Are most of your pinned photos city hall elopements? This will really give you a big-picture idea of what you want the day to feel like—you can drill into small details as you go along.
5. Set Your Budget
This may not sound like a ton of fun, but the earlier in the process you can establish a budget, the better. Knowing how much you’re willing to spend is crucial. Sit down and discuss the amount you can allocate towards your big day and how you want to allocate this budget. This would include costs like the ceremony, the wedding attire, travel expenses, and accommodation. It’s also important to keep a little extra money aside for unexpected expenses.
6. Create a Guest List
After setting a budget, it’s time to sit down and create your guest list. You’ll want to have this number before meeting with certain vendors, as the number can determine what you’ll be able to afford and what type of venue will work best. If you’re planning an intimate wedding or elopement, now is the time to decide who, if anyone, you’ll have in attendance for your day. If you’re feeling stuck on how to trim your guest list, check out this helpful article as a start. Remember, this is your wedding day, and who you choose to be part of your celebration is your choice.
7. Choose Your Location/Venue and Set Your Date
Once you’ve decided how many guests you’ll have, if any, it’s time to start looking for a venue. If you’re having an intimate wedding or elopement, this may be as simple as finding a beautiful spot in nature and booking it. If you’re planning on having more than 50 guests, however, you’ll want to consider some other factors when choosing your location.
When considering a destination wedding or elopement, you’ll want to book a space as soon as possible in order for your guests or yourselves to secure travel arrangements. I’ve written about my favorite locations here in OKC and abroad, check out those helpful posts below:
8. Assemble your Vendor Dream Team
With your budget in place, start researching and booking vendors that align with your wedding style. I always recommend booking the “big” vendors first:
Planner, Venue, Photographer. These vendors in particular can book out up to 12 months in advance, and so I recommend securing these first. These vendors in particular also often have lists of recommended vendors that they work well with, or have a similar style to.
Reach out to your vendors as soon as you can to ensure they are available and within your budget. If you need some tips on what to look for when hiring these vendors, read my top tips for hiring a wedding photographer, here!
Some vendors you also might want to consider include: videographers, caterers, chefs, florists, hairstylists, makeup artists, celebrants, activities for your day like jeep rentals, boats, etc, and reception venues.
9. Plan the Logistics
Once you’ve established and scheduled your vendors, it’s time to plan out the day’s logistics. Figure out transportation, meal plans, and activities you might want to include on your big day. One thing to keep in mind is if you hire a wedding planner, they will help out a lot during this stage in particular. Make sure you and your planner are on the same page, and let them help schedule out a day for you two based on what you want.
Some photographers (myself included) can also help you out when it comes to planning the day’s logistics—especially during an elopement. My blog post on elopement timelines is a great example of the kinds of resources I offer when it comes to planning out the logistics of your day.
It helps if you write out your itinerary from start to finish, so you’ll both know what’s happening when and where, and to make things easy, keep a printout of your schedule readily available.
10. Take a deep breath and enjoy the ride!
Wedding planning can be overwhelming at times, and what to do after you’re engaged can feel like a lot, but remember to take a step back and enjoy the process. This is your day to celebrate, so savor the moment and don’t sweat the small stuff. When you take the time to create a vision for your day with your partner, and have a general plan in place, trust that everything will fall into place and enjoy the unique ride of planning a wedding with your fiance.
Keep This In Mind
Remember, at the end of the day, what matters most is that you’re marrying someone who makes your heart sing. So embrace this journey together, be intentional about what experiences you want out of your wedding day, and everything else will fall into place. Cheers to your love—and a happy engagement!
If you are searching for your dream photographer to help empower you through your wedding planning process and to capture your day with love, art, and timelessness in mind, click here to reach out NOW to start chatting about your 2024 wedding or elopement!