Just got engaged? Here’s a checklist of what to do first!

March 18th, 2018

So you just got engaged – congratulations! You’re excited, still riding the emotional wave of bliss post-proposal. You’ve probably started to think about your venue, date, colors, bridal party, and a million other things by now. With so much to plan and keep track of, it’s easy to start feeling a little overwhelmed. Here, I’ll give you the first things to focus on to begin planning the wedding of your dreams.

1. Enjoy the moment.

In today’s day and age, it’s understandable that you’d want to immediately take out your phones to post on Instagram, call everyone you know, and add a Snap story to tell them you just got engaged. Just remember: that moment when the love of your life gets down on one knee and asks you the question of a lifetime and you respond with a happily tear-soaked “Yes!” can never be reproduced. All the better to document it, then Erin! Yes, I know – as a photographer, I get it! 

Before you worry about what to do next, just soak in the sheer love-drunk bliss of being engaged. Close your little bubble of the world for a moment, pop the Prosecco – or beers, if that’s your thing – and revel in the beauty of this moment. Even if just for a few hours – you’ll be glad that you did.


2. Protect your ring.

Probably not what you were expecting on a list of things to do when you just got engaged, but it’s important! Unless your partner did their homework and knew your exact ring size, there’s a high likelihood that it’s a little big. Head right on over to the jeweler where it was purchased and have that baby sized! It’s typically free since they just bought the ring there. You’ll have to be without it for a little bit – tear! – but you’ll have it back before you know it with the peace of mind that it won’t accidentally fall off to be gone forever.

In the absolute worst case scenario that you do end up without it someday, insurance is usually the only way to have it replaced without buying an entirely new one. The cost of insurance is usually affordable and again – gives you peace of mind.


3. Discuss your timeline.

First things first, there is no pressure to immediately pick your date, venue and get the ball rolling! If you and your partner want to have a long engagement and wait a few years, then you do you. Most people just ask “Have you picked a date yet?” because they’re not sure what else to say other than “Congratulations!” 

Whether it’s in one year or six years, though, a great first step when you’re officially engaged is to at least talk about timeframe so you’re on the same page. If you agree that a year or so is perfect, then you know that you can get the wedding planning party started! Sometimes, agreeing on a general time frame like two summers from now, or having a New year’s Eve wedding will at least clarify a starting point for you.


4. Get inspired.

Now’s the fun part! If you’re anything like me, you already have at least one Pinterest wedding board (I won’t be admitting how many I have here…). That “just got engaged” mood is the perfect time to go back to all those ideas and comb through for the ones you truly love! Even better, you can share the board or individual pins to your partner to get their input!

With your partner in the loop, you can start to figure out which styles, themes, colors, etc. fit for you. It’s still early in the wedding planning game, so anything that makes you say “Ooooh!” should just get pinned. Let your mind run wild and have fun with it!


5. Book your venue. 

Typically, booking your venue is the first thing to get done after you get engaged. You may have a date in mind, but if your dream venue isn’t available on that date, you’ll have to be flexible. Or if your date is set in stone, you’ll have to be flexible with your venue choice. 

Once you have a venue booked and the date settled, you can go all in! Write it down on every calendar in the house! Tell all your friends and family! And now you have a date to give to the rest of your vendors to start booking them, too! 


6. Pick your bridal party! 

Not everyone has a bridal party at all. If that’s the case for you, then skip to the next one – less work for you! 

If you do have a bridal party – whether it be one maid of honor and best man, or nine of all your best friends and family – the best time to ask them if they’ll be a part of your day is after you book your venue. There are so many special ways to ask, but there’s nothing wrong with just popping the question over lunch or Facetime, either. 

What matters most is that when you look back at your wedding album, your heart will be happy that those who are close to you played a special role in your wedding. 


7. Book your photographer & have your engagement session. 

The next vendor just engaged couples book after their venue is their photographer. Booking your photographer early is in your best interest to be sure they’re available for your date and that you leave time for your engagement session. Engagement sessions are usually 9-12 months before your wedding so that you can send your Save the Dates about 6-9 months before.

Don’t think you need an engagement session? Engagement sessions are the perfect way to get comfortable in front of the camera and get to know your photographer. Likewise, they’ll be getting to know you and your style so that on your wedding day, they bring out the poses and prompts that work best for you. 

On top of that, the majority of couples will use their engagement sessions photos on their Save the Date, print photos for displaying at their reception, create a wedding guest sign-in album, and get them printed for their home. It may not seem like a super necessary part of your wedding package, but trust me – you’ll appreciate it when you look back! 

Congratulations on your engagement & happy wedding planning! 


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