After you get engaged your head is probably spinning! You’re excited because I mean duh you get to spend the rest of your life with your best friend but, you also have SOOOO much planning to do it’s crazy. And depending on how short or long your engagement is you could have some time or no time at all to get it all done.
But, don’t worry just take it all one step at a time. With a little help and a lot of patience, you got this. Here are are the first 9 things-to-do right after you get engaged.
1. Celebrate and Enjoy!
After you get engaged you just have to relax and soak it all in! This is the most important part! Everything else can wait. This is just a chapter in your relationship leading to the rest of your life. There’s going to be no other time like it. So first, just take a breather and enjoy this time with your partner, with your friends and families, and just celebrate. Rome wasn’t built in a day and there’s no reason to feel like you have to start planning right away. Take however long feels right to you and just enjoy it. Whether it be a week or a month. Celebrate YOU’RE ENGAGED!!!🎉🎉
2. Get Your Ring Insured
Please get your ring insured! Accidents happen, diamonds, fall out, things get misplaced. I literally lose my phone about once a day thank god I have an apple watch to ping it. Rings don’t really work that way though. So, be sure to call an insurance agent and get it added to your policy.
3. Make a Wedding Email
A wedding email is super helpful for a multitude of reasons. It helps keep all your emails from vendors in one place. You can give the password to you and your partner so you’re on the same page. And it goes beyond the wedding for any communication you both will need to know in the future it keeps it all in one place. Making a wedding email just makes planning your wedding and elopement a little easier by keeping you 10x more organized.
4. Create a Guest List
This is definitely one of the hardest parts; deciding who to invite who not to invite. Do you want children there or not? Are you eloping or staying more traditional? So many different things to consider. If you thinking you might want to elope do you just want it to be the two of you or maybe include your closest family members like parents, and siblings. Or maybe you do want a traditional wedding so how many people are we talking 50, 80, 100, or more.
You should start making your list of your must-have people and your partner should start making theirs. I would suggest making them on your own first and then combining them together. You could talk about each person or whatever works best for you. You should try to think of everyone you’re inviting in terms of costs. Typically venues will charge you a certain amount per head in addition to renting out the venue. The same thing goes for catering, chairs, napkins, plates, deserts, flatware, etc.
5. Setting Your Wedding Budget
Raise your hand if you like setting a budget! Oh good, I don’t really like them either. They can feel like confinement sometimes. And after you get engaged I’m sure this is the last thing you want to think about. But, they are necessary especially for a wedding. It’s so easy to get carried away with all types of things and little details that need money. But, you should set an ideal number that you think you could spend and save up for your wedding. I would suggest, pick the top 4 or 5 things that absolutely nonnegotiables for your budget and then guestimate with some research for the rest.
So for instance, that might be your photographer and or videographer you know you want the very best you can afford so you budget $8000 for them together. But, if you only want photography you budget $4500.
Check out this post about 5 places to NOT cut in your wedding budget.
6. Choose A Date
There are 365 days in a year and you have to pick just one to get married on. WHOA. First, you should take note of where you plan to get married. Whether it be locally where you live or somewhere else you probably want to get married in some nice weather. Whatever nice weather means to you sunny and warm or cool and overcast. You’re going to want to pick a date that works for you and your ideal weather, and even possibly works for everyone you care most about them being there.
7. Book a Venue or Decide on a Location
Almost all the vendors you choose will need an exact place or location in order for them to send you a contract. Even for an elopement, we need a general place or location in order to send you a contract. So, essentially, nothing else can be held firm until you decide on the place.
This is where you going to want to look into different venues, places, parks, permits, and know all of the nitty-gritty with insurance and working with vendors at this location because some venues do have a pre-approved list that they prefer you work with. Or the location might require the vendors to have certain insurance or something else. So make sure you ask ALL of the questions.
8. Start Looking At Vendors
This is the exciting part you get to see your vision starting to come to life. You want to start looking at all the vendors that mean the most to you, photographer, videographer, planner, stylist, florist, etc. Start by having an idea of what team of people you’re going to put together for your special day. You can look and inquire maybe get some insight into their pricing if you don’t see it on their website. Just put the feelers out so you have some ideas.
9. Start Looking at Wedding Dress or Wedding Attire
Buying a wedding dress is no small task. It can take time, patience, and being decisive. When you first get engaged this may not be top of mind as a lot of other big picture things like venue and vendors are more at the forefront of your mind. But, typical lead times for dresses is anywhere from 9-12 months!! That’s a LONG TIME! Of course there are sample sales and sites like Lulus or BHDLN that might have faster options if in a crunch or if it’s not worth the time for you.
When buying your dress within a specific budget don’t forget to include alterations in that budget. Which can range from $500-$1200. And trust me this is not something you’re going to want to cut corners on.
10. Booking Your Wedding Photographer
I may have a bias opinion but that doesn’t make it wrong. Photographers get booked and fast. They may only take a certain amount of wedding a year or a month or something else. They run their business a certain way and especially if you have a popular date like 7/7/7 way back when. There are so many other people getting married that day whether you realize it or not. Some photographers include engagement photos as a part of their packages too! Which can help take another thing off of your list of to-dos. Until your retainer is paid and the contract signed your date is not secure and you want to have a photographer that you vibe with, trust, and know is going to take care of YOU!
A few more helpful blogs about wedding photography:
Getting Started After You Get Engaged!
Planning a wedding can be hard but it doesn’t have to be. Do these 9 things shortly after you get engaged and you’ll be on the right track. Let me know if there are any other questions or anything I can help you with! Always here for you!
Want to know what it’s like working with me? Check out this page!
Hi I'm Torez, a die-hard romantic and San Francisco-based wedding photographer with years of experience capturing love stories against the backdrop of our charming city. From intimate City Hall ceremonies to epic coastal elopements, I've seen and photographed it all. I know the ins and outs of navigating wedding planning in San Francisco like the back of my hand - from selecting the perfect location that aligns with your love story, to creating the dreamiest wedding timeline that lets you enjoy your day to the fullest. And guess what? I'm sharing all of that expertise right here with you.