I received an email recently with this as the subject title...I'm engaged...now what? It struck me as clever and attention catching, but in all actuality this is a very common question. What are the first steps once you are engaged?
Call Your Loved Ones First thing, share your exciting news with your friends and family. Be sure to pick up the phone and call. No one wants to be the last to know via mass email, Twitter or Facebook.
Insure Your Ring Of course, nothing can replace the sentimental value of your ring, but if anything should happen, at least you can get your money back. Contact your homeowner's or renter's insurance for information about adding your ring to your policy, and whether you need an official appraisal. Also, to avoid accidental loss be sure to have your ring fitted properly as soon as possible.
Set a Date The first question you may get as a newly engaged couple is "When's the wedding?" If you're not sure yet, come up with a general answer, like "we're shooting for early 2018" or "We like the idea of next spring." Friends and family will feel like they're "in the know" and you can have some direction as you begin planning.
Create a Wedding Website Now that you've spread the word about your upcoming wedding, this is a great way to keep everyone informed of your nuptial news. Post general information (photos, "how we met"...) knowing you can fill in as details fall into place, such as venue, hotel advice, maps, daily thoughts, etc. Here's a "fool-proof way to create the ultimate wedding website".
Collect Ideas If you haven't been planning your wedding since you were 5...its ok. Page through wedding magazines, watch wedding movies, look at honeymoon destinations, search out wedding blogs (my faves: Ruffled, Green Wedding Shoes, Style Me Pretty, The Perfect Palette); basically daydream about your perfect wedding. This is a good time to determine your likes and dislikes that you can share with your wedding professionals.
Hire a Wedding Planner Yes, this could be a real live wedding planner...but at least get an app, a datebook, a calendar or some sort of organizing device to get you started. As much as digital tools are great, pick up a wedding-planning binder as well. This is where you can store all of your creative ideas.
Consider a Professional Wedding Planner or Coordinator There are many levels of services provided by planners. Your best bet is to speak with several planners, get a feel for their style and whether it matches yours...very important. Most planners will customize a package to fit your particular needs and budget, so be sure to have this conversation with them. A planner or coordinator can be a life saver for the most important day of your life.
Establish a Budget This is one of the most difficult tasks in planning a wedding. You must have an open conversation with any parties willing to contribute to your wedding fund, and find out how much they can contribute. Based on this and what savings you may have in place, decide on a budget...and stick to it! There are many budget tools out there to help you through this process. Professional wedding planners offer budget guidance and management as well.
Enjoy Your Engagement Take time to relax and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience of being engaged...romantic dinners, couples massages, weekend getaways.