Updated: Dec 9, 2021
Congrats! You just got engaged! After the ring fit neatly on your finger, tears have been shed and your social media have been properly photo bombed, you'll feel a lot of different things. Excitement, panic, expectation, nerves... the list goes on. Let's just say; Let the fun begin! You might be asking, Now what?
Well, Muse Wedding is here to help you work through the roller coaster of emotions you're probably riding on and give you some sense of direction! Don't forget that at anytime through your planning process, you can schedule a 90 minute discovery call with me to work through anything that might have you walking in place!
Now that you're engaged, you can expect:
- Loved ones to start asking a lot of questions to things you haven't even considered yet.
- Lots of unsolicited "advice"
- To have lots of decision to make (duh! lol) Some will come easy, others will stress you out. (Does the table linen color really matter? Yes. Yes, it will.)
Step #1 - Take Time to Enjoy The Moment
Don't rush into anything! It's super important that you two take some time alone to celebrate the engagement and relish in the love you two share. Take a week or two to let the news really sink in and to just savor the moment. Trust us, you'll have enough stress over the next twelve (or so) months to last you a lifetime. Wedding planning can be a stressor - don't jump right into it to avoid any unnecessary stressful situations.
Discuss any boundaries that might need to be set and the expectations you both have; is your partner not going to be heavily involved in the planning? How do you plan to balance work/life/planning? How will you handle parents/extended family with too many opinions? What if you can't see eye to eye on a decision - what will be the tie breaker? Talk these things through and go into this together, as a team with a plan! The conversation should be fun! Make a date night out of it!
Step #2 - Share The News Personally
Unless you are keeping your engagement under wraps for a while... Now that you have a plan, you can go visit your parents and tell them in person, schedule lunch with your bestie to dish all the tea! ☕🐸
It's also totally fine if you don't make a big social media post. There really is no "right or wrong" way to announce your engagement.
Just do what works for the two of you as a couple and do what makes you comfortable.
Step #3 - Set A Range of Dates
Choosing the perfect wedding date is a crucial first step, but you’ll need to consider a few different variables to ensure your chosen date works for you, your budget and your vision.
You'll want to talk about how long you plan on being engaged, is there a special date or month you want to aim for, consider what else is going on in the lives of those most important to you. Having a range of dates will ensure that you're not limited when you start venue research.
If you only have one date in mind - you may miss out on your dream venue if they're already booked! If you're planning to wed within 12-24 months after getting engaged, this is a #1 priority. READ: How to pick your perfect wedding date!
Step #4 - Think About The FAQ's from Family
Anyone who has ever been engaged or was ever close to someone engaged knows that there are FAQ's you'll always get. Consider the answers to those and use this awesome blog post from Wedsites as a guide!
You don’t have to lock down any solid wedding plans until you’re good and ready, but it’s a great idea to start gathering inspiration.
"Sharing your engagement news is incredibly exciting – but it inevitably comes hand in hand with an avalanche of questions. While some queries (like, “have you set a date?”) are totally harmless, others (like, “am I invited?”) can be a little trickier to navigate!" - Wedsites
Step #5 - Insure Your Engagement Ring + Get it Sized. 💍
Don't be careless and assume nothing will ever happen to it. I am sure this is one of your most valuable possessions now. If your partner is a walking Nicholas Sparks novel character; chances are - this might already be taken care of. If so; WOW! You're blessed and you can move on to the next step!
If not; take it back to the jeweler and get it sized properly. You can oftentimes get your ring insured wherever it was purchased. If that's not an option - go get it appraised so it's covered for the correct amount and then either add it to you renters or homeowners insurance OR check out Jewelers Mutual.
Step #6- Discuss your Budget
This really should be in the top 5. As we all know, money talks - but no one likes talking about it. But, it's essential to getting your bearings before diving into planning. There's no need to create a rock solid plan just yet, But, you do need to discuss this before moving on to any of the bugger wedding day decisions! (picking venues, vendors or even looking at dresses)
Where is the money coming from, how much of it is there and what is most important for your day? (Will you spend more on photo/video over invitations? Do you care more about quality food/drink over the flowers?) Wedding Budget got you shaking in your boots?
Fret no longer: THE Master Wedding Budget Breakdown
Step #7 - Start Thinking of a Rough Guest List
The guest list is often a big stressor in the wedding planning realm. Whether you're going big or keeping it small, being on the same page about this one is so important. At the end of the day, remember that it is YOUR day! Invite who you want based solely on the relationships you share and not so much on expectations and familial obligations. But, check in with your family if that's something you want to do.
Knowing a rough estimate of how many people you're hoping to host will assist in: one, knowing how many people you can actually afford with your budget and two; finding venues that will hold the necessary amount of people. READ: Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Wedding Guest List
Step #8 - Pick Your Wedding Party
The selection of your bridal party has a big impact on your wedding day. I would recommend not reaching out to your bridal party immediately following your engagement. Take time to consider who will be up there with you.
Because let’s be honest, weddings are stressful and adding certain people into a stressful situation is like adding gasoline to a fire. We don’t need dumpster fires on your wedding day. In regards to your Maid of Honor, Matron of Honor, and Best Man make sure that you choose someone who is responsible. We don’t need anyone losing wedding rings.
Just a reminder, that more isn’t necessarily merrier. Can you afford 13 bouquets and 13 boutonnieres? Can you afford the stress of dealing with 24 people and all of their questions, comments, and personalities?
Step #9 - Research Venues
So, you’ve ticked off the who, what and when – now, it’s time to figure out the where! Your wedding venue is ground zero for a lot of your wedding decisions. Is it indoor or outdoor or both? How many people can it hold? Where is it located?
I would recommend starting a wedding venue spreadsheet that helps keep in mind all of the different options that venues can have.
Here are a number of things to consider when looking for a wedding venue, and certain things to add to that spreadsheet: Location, Capacity, Availability, Type, Layout, Rates, Restrictions, Parking/Transportation, Facility Extras, Catering, Bartending, and Rentals.
All of this talk feels very right brain. So, let’s touch on the left for a second. Does the venue fit your vibe? Do you have a gut feeling about it?
Site visits are a great way for you to see the possibilities for your décor. But, that's something you do with venues that are real contenders. Save that for your checklist!
Step #10 - Get Organized
Get a planner! No, seriously. If the idea of planning a wedding makes you pick up a brown paper bag, then hire at the least a wedding coordinator. Working with a wedding planner can keep things streamlined, stress-free, and even cost-effective. Having a wedding planner is no longer a luxury service reserved for those with over the top budgets!
Once all of the big decisions have been locked in, you may be feeling a little flustered by everything else that needs to get done before the day. Don’t stress – simply take some time to get organized so you can simplify the process moving forward. Create a separate email account dedicated to wedding planning and start a checklist - write out what you've already done, any decisions that are made and things you still need to do. READ: Why Hire A Wedding Planner?
Bonus Step #11 - Relax and soak it all in!
You may be tempted to dive straight into color schemes, centerpieces and dress shopping – but with the key details now sorted, it’s important to make time to relax and soak up your engagement before the craziness of wedding planning kicks in!
Organize a romantic date night, a low-key weekend away, or an engagement celebration with your friends and family to mark this special milestone. Remember, there’s plenty of time to get excited about the finer details, so don’t forget to enjoy your engagement along the way, too. Best wishes to you as you journey into this thing called marriage. It’s the craziest ride you will never want to get off! Remember; you don't have to do this alone! Muse Weddings is always here and happy to help! Contact us today!