It's that time of year again- and no I do not mean the holidays! Engagement season is officially upon us. Soon your social media will be filled with faces of ecstatic couples who have just shared in the biggest commitment of their life. It is an exciting time to say the least, and perhaps you will be among this years engaged couples?
It's hard to know just what to do when you get engaged. Smile? Laugh? Cry? I did all of those things and actually at the exact same time (and I have photos to prove it!). But then what? Before you head off in any which direction, take a moment to indulge in our advice on the first three things you should do after you get engaged:
1. Do Nothing but Celebrate for One Month
Yes, you are seeing that correctly. Do. Nothing. For. One. Month. All of the venues, photographers and caterers will not be taken. Pinterest will be around in February! This month is crucial for an engaged couple. It is possibly where all major mistakes are made in wedding planning, as couples rush to make decisions because they buy into the notion that all things wedding related will run out. There are plenty of wedding vendors to go around and one month is not going to make or break your wedding day and your experience leading up to it. This is the time to get comfortable saying "fiancé," talk about what you picture your wedding day to be like, tell the grocery store clerk you just got engaged and just be head over heels in love. I repeat- do not contract any vendors your first month of being engaged!
2. Look Into Wedding Planners
Your month of just being engaged is over. You are starting to feel normal referring to your partner as fiancé and you seriously can't wait to start planning. Consider a wedding planner. I'm telling you this as a newlywed, not as a Wedding Planner. Wedding planners take the stress and exhaustion out of planning, leaving the fun tasks for you and your partner. If that sounds like a good way to be engaged, start looking into one first. The reason you want to find your planner first, is because they are your guru into contracting vendors- especially your venue! If you are hiring a planner, you want to bring them on prior to any vendor, so they can help guide you through the entire process and navigate your finances properly with realistic expectations. There are a ton of wedding planners out there and many types of coordination plans. Make sure to look into a few before settling on one, and I can't stress enough how important it is to be a good fit for each other, both personally and professionally. This is a relationship in itself outside of your own and it is so important to take your time to find the proper fit, don't ever feel stuck.
3. Set a Budget
I am sure you have heard this before, but it is so true that we are going to reiterate what every magazine, blog, wedding planner will tell you- set a budget- unless you truly have no budget. Whether the budget be large or small, it is so important to do so. Then, go one step further and divide your budget by wedding category (floral, venue, catering, etc.). If you have a full service wedding planner, they will do this for you and direct you on budget norms. Your budget is crucial, it is going to tell you how many guests you can invite, how much design you can incorporate and what venues you can choose from. Nothing makes sense until you have created a budget and nothing provides more peace of mind than having that conversation in advance with each other so there is no misunderstanding financially.
Congrats and happy planning!
Danielle and Kelsey
Photography by Phil Chester