What to Do After Getting Engaged
YOU JUST GOT ENGAGED!! Feeling all giddy, you called your friends and family, celebrated with champagne, and now that it's official, it's time for the big task of...planning an entire wedding day!!
Before stressing about where to begin, take a moment to relax, and read these 12 tips that will make the wedding planning much more manageable. Having worked with newly engaged couples throughout the entire planning process and having shot over 50 weddings...from creating the timeline to tips on knowing when to trust your instincts, here are my recommendations for a stress-free wedding day! Read until the end for a free guide detailing how the wedding day might unfold for you, what will be captured, and a sample of a typical timeline for a full-day wedding!
1) Understand Each Others Bucket Lists
Let's start with the most overlooked. Getting married doesn't mean you should give up on your dreams. Talk to your partner about the things you want to accomplish in life, and the things you'd love to do. Applicable for your wedding day, and the rest of your lives!
2) Set a Budget
This may seem obvious, but budgeting is one of the most important things you can do for your wedding. Get advice from your already married friends or your wedding planner to help set a realistic budget, and know what things are most important to you and your fiancé. This will help you to allocate properly, so you can prioritize the must haves over the nice-to-haves!
3) Hire a Planner/Day-of Coodinator
Wedding planning is a lot of work, and can turn into a 2nd job with coordinating timelines, finding vendors, budgeting, etc. I would highly suggest having a planner or at least a day-of coordinator who will give you back some balance in your daily life, and help you throughout the process of wedding planning. This will let you spend more time celebrating and less time stressing over every little detail of your wedding! With all the information out there, even the thought of having a destination wedding in Europe might seem too overwhelming, but no dream is too big, and trust in the professionals who know their industry and will point you in all the right directions.
4) Start with your Color Palette
The color scheme determines so much, including the theme, the type of flowers you'll use, the ceremony and reception décor, and basically the entire look of your wedding. Are you looking for a romantic pink color theme? Or dreamy blue? Or maybe lavish gold? Get this down and the rest of the planing will feel a lot easier.
5) Get Advice from your Photographer
Booking your wedding photographer is one of the most important and sometimes stressful parts of the wedding planning process. When searching for your photographer, make sure you hire one that absolutely fits in with both of your personalities. From the engagement session to timeline prep, you will be spending a lot of time with this person, and how comfortable you are with your photographer will show through in your photos on your wedding day! Not only that, but your photographer will be there to weigh in on your start time and help you create your timeline.
I cannot stress this enough how important it is to hire vendors that you feel comfortable with, get along with, and trust completely to do what you hired them for!
6) Choose your Guest List Wisely
Have a serious discussion with your fiancé about what size wedding you'd like to have. Are you thinking of a giant party (of course within reason due to COVID), or would you rather have an intimate gathering of close family and friends? Once you make a list, put together a spreadsheet. The last step is involving family members, but remember that this is YOU and YOUR fiancé's wedding, and you're not obligated to invite someone just because of x or y reason. I hope this goes without saying, but chose those that have supported you through thick and thin, and the ones closest to your heart.
7) Have Fun Registering
Guests are going to spend money on a gift and they want to give something that will help you start your new lives together, so when it comes to your registry, don't feel limited!!
8) Be Selfish
This is you and your partner's wedding, not your mom's, not the person who might be paying for the wedding, and not social media's. You can't make everyone happy, so choose what reflects your taste as a couple when planning your wedding. It's all about you two after all!
9) Be Present
Many couples get so caught up in the planning process that they completely forget to soak in the engagement or the wedding day! The planning period can take a while, but the wedding day goes by so quickly, you'll blink and it's over! Be present. Notice all of your surroundings and the hard work you've done leading up to this moment. Above all, look into your new spouse's eyes, and at all the smiling faces who are with you sharing your joy.
10) Ask Your Partner
From what I've noticed, most brides take charge of the planning, and most grooms are happy to let them plan out their dream wedding! However, don't forget to ask your partner what he thinks, and feel free to let him choose his style for the tux, pick the music, and enjoy the tastings!
11) Trust Your Instincts
Maybe you always knew you wanted to elope in the redwoods, or have a small ceremony at a castle in France and have funds left over for a house or a spectacular honeymoon.…but when the ring was slipped on, social media and Pinterest filled your head with new ideas and before you knew it, you're trying to plan a dinner for 200. When choosing the big directions for your day, remember to trust your instincts and follow them. You won't be disappointed.
12) Last but Not Least...ENJOY EVERY MOMENT
At the end of the day, no matter how stressful planning your wedding gets, remember how much you love each other and how special your marriage is. Marriage is not about the wedding day, but every day after that. Celebrate each other, plan date nights, and make each other laugh for the rest of your lives together as a married couple!
Thanks for reading, and once again, CONGRATS on your engagement!
Download my free PDF below to see what a general full wedding day coverage looks like, as well as a typical sample timeline!