Just Engaged? Here’s What To Do Next!

Just engaged and wondering what’s next? A lot goes into wedding planning, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Here are the must-do to-dos after getting engaged.

By McCall Minnor

Illustration graphic of an engagement ring box with a wedding ring and shine marks to indicate sparkle
Photo by Zola

You’re engaged! Whether you asked or answered, you just took the first step toward one of the happiest days (and chapters) of your life. You’ve probably heard that now the work begins—and, if you’re hoping to wed in a year or less, that’s true. Wait, wait, wait… don’t get overwhelmed. Yes, there’s wedding planning to do, but it doesn’t all need to happen at once.

Just got engaged, now what?

With the help of Zola, you’ll be off planning in a jiffy, but your list of to-do’s after engagement doesn’t have to be stressful. However, there are certain things you and your partner should accomplish in the first month (or so) after your engagement. Plus, you’ll discover the things you shouldn’t do right away, so you’ll know what to look forward to doing.

So, now that you’ve officially ticked “getting engaged” off the list, it’s time to begin. First, congrats! Second, here’s your checklist of what’s coming up next as you begin to plan your wedding day.

17 steps for the just engaged couple

1. Celebrate

It might feel tough, but refrain from reaching for your phone right away. Instead, take some time to celebrate your engagement with your new fiancé. Make your way over to your favorite bar or restaurant and enjoy each other’s company. Take a walk on the beach or through your favorite part of the city.

Regardless of the setting, enjoy the moment one-on-one (unless, of course, your loved ones were in on the proposal and are waiting in the wings). Before you know it, you’ll be up to your neck in wedding planning, so savor this time for all it’s worth. Bask in that newly engaged glow.

INLINE Unsplash 1080x720 Photo Credit // Unsplash

2. Share the news.

When you’re ready to tell others, start with those closest to you. This is likely your immediate family (parents and siblings), other close relatives, and best friends. Ring them personally or pay a visit, if possible, but steer clear of text messages. While it might seem like the most efficient way to tell your people, it can feel a bit impersonal. Save text announcements for people you aren’t as close with.

Typically, there’s a hierarchy that states you should tell family first. However, we realize that not all dynamics are the same. Share the news of your engagement with those you love in the order you deem most appropriate.

3. Alert the (social) media

That is if you’re on social media, of course. Once you tell your close family and friends, now it’s time to tell the world. Share a status update on Facebook to say that you’re just engaged, or post a photo or story on Instagram. Take a selfie with your partner, show off your ring, or upload a photo someone snapped of the actual engagement moment.

You’re engaged—you should absolutely share the story. However, we do caution against spamming your various timelines with engagement news. There will be plenty of opportunities to share wedding planning highlights as you work out details. Maybe don’t exhaust your followers with too much upfront.

4. Tell your loved ones first

It's normal to be extremely thrilled and excited about the proposal. Of course, you want to let everyone within earshot—or everyone with access to a smartphone—know of the good news. We get it, it’s convenient to make a couple of posts online.

And while it’s completely up to you who you tell and how you do it, you probably don’t want the friend you lost touch with after college to find out via Facebook that you’re engaged—before your own parents or best friends.

Hold off on making any social media posts until you’ve delivered the news to your important people in person, if not via a phone call.

5. Start thinking about dates

Due to desirable venues and certain months getting booked well in advance, it’s wise to start thinking about dates quite early. This is especially the case if you’re looking to have your wedding within a year or two of getting engaged.

Start by discussing the ideal time of year or month with your significant other. Then, check for any holidays, birthdays, or other conflicts that you’d like to avoid double-booking.

Also, reach out to important loved ones, such as close friends and family members, to check for conflicts before settling on anything. Find out what works for you and those closest to you, and settle on a few days or weekends that you can ask potential venues about.

6. Start talking logistics

You and your partner have brainstormed locations, dates, and your wedding style—now’s the time to start setting things in stone. Be pragmatic in your discussions and decisions. Start by sitting down together and drawing out a personalized budget and timeline. Or, let Zola do the manual work for you – create a personalized wedding checklist, timeline and budget in just a few minutes. Sign up and access our free wedding planning tools here.

There’s no official timeline you need to stick to but your own, by the way. If you want to be engaged for a couple of years, do that. Circle back to planning in a few months or years. If that’s not you, however, start with a location and date. Once you have both of those, reach out to venues. Figure out what they have for availability around your desired date and book it. From there, you can begin looking into and securing other vendors, such as a wedding planner, catering, and entertainment.

7. Say your thank yous

Throughout the first few weeks of being engaged, you might receive celebratory cards and even gifts from friends and family. This is even more likely if you have an engagement party. Maintain a list of everyone who sends or brings you a card and/or gift, so that you can send out proper thank you cards.

8. Spend some time researching before booking

Remember how important it is to think about the big picture? You’ll want to put considerable time into that before booking a venue or any vendors for your big day. You’re just engaged, after all.

We know that locking down a space or photographer you love ASAP can be stressful, but trust us, you want to take the time to be really clear about what you both want before making anything official.

Try not to rush. Allow yourselves the time to dream, find inspiration, and bounce ideas and desires off of one another.

9. Hold off on sorting the wedding party

Maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and every bridal party and wedding party member in between… there’s potential for a lot of loved ones to be involved in your wedding day! While this is one of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding, we highly recommend you hold off a few weeks before asking anyone to officially take on a role. There are many details that can shape not only who you’ll want by your side but how many people you’ll be able to include.

Wait to ask your helpers until you’ve figured out your wedding’s basics—your budget, venue, and the type of wedding you want, to start.

10. Keep things vague with guests for now

As with requests and potential wedding party members, hold off on inviting anyone to your wedding until you have planning underway. The excitement of being newly engaged, added to the love and well-wishes from all around, can have you wanting to share the excitement and invite everyone. Refrain. Better to keep things polite and vague now than to be put in an awkward position when someone doesn’t make the guest list later on.

11. Wait to purchase your wedding attire

It’s incredibly tempting to start trying on wedding dresses, suits, and other wedding day attire soon after getting engaged. However, it’s crucial that you don’t jump in too soon. At this point, odds are you haven't yet decided on your budget or what you really want.

Rushing this process and making a purchase too soon out of excitement can lead to regret and financial issues down the line. Wait until you’re sure of what you’re looking for and can afford before making any try-on appointments.

12. Relax

One more time: you just got engaged, so slow down. Wedding planning has the potential to be pretty stressful right off the bat. With guest list creation, wedding venue touring, budget making, and every other aspect of the wedding planning process right around the corner, don’t forget to make time to enjoy being engaged.

Set some time aside for a relaxing date night, just the two of you. Put the beginning stages of planning on pause and focus on each other and how happy you are to be where you are right now.

13. Expect some unsolicited advice

Upon telling loved ones of your engagement, chances are you’re going to be hearing a lot of advice from those who have had a wedding. Take any and all unsolicited advice with grace, but don’t be quick to take it to heart.

While you may come to agree with and appreciate some advice here and there, you definitely don’t need to take or even consider it all. Offer a “thank you,” pocket what gems you can, and move forward.

14. Host an engagement party

After saying yes, it’s time to celebrate! Depending on how you want to announce your engagement, this should take place before or after you post to social media. If you like the idea of telling your friends and family all at once, plan a surprise engagement party before making a public announcement. That way, the news is completely unexpected. Many couples also prefer to host a more formal engagement party (with invitations and maybe even scheduled activities) a few weeks after the engagement.

If your loved ones are already in the know, one or some of them may come forward and offer to host your party for you. Whatever you decide works—engagement parties aren’t necessary, so if you choose to have one, get creative with engagement party ideas and celebrate however you want. Be aware, though: You shouldn’t invite anyone to the engagement party that you won’t invite to the wedding. Plan accordingly.

15. Book an engagement shoot

This is another optional to-do. If an engagement photoshoot doesn’t sound like your style, stay with us for just a second. Engagement shoots are popular for a few reasons. Mainly, they’re usually free and come as an additional component of your wedding photography package. If you haven’t yet booked a photographer (totally normal at this stage, by the way!), you can either wait until you do or you can hire another local photographer for this shoot.

Couples also often see an engagement shoot as an opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera together. Again, if you have a photographer booked, this is a great time to get to know more about his or her style. This way, you’ll hopefully feel more natural when your photo is being taken from all angles come wedding day. Use your engagement photos on your save the dates, wedding website, and/or wedding invitations.

16. Think big picture

Now that you’re no longer just engaged, your engagement celebrations have probably slowed. Now it feels like time to really start thinking about your big day. Don’t stress yourself out by immediately looking into every single detail, though. Start off by discussing big-picture ideas with your partner. Now is the time to figure out if you’re both on the same page with your dream wedding style and guest count.

Talk about everything from wedding location and wedding size to a potential color palette and wedding date options. And, of course, always be open to your partner’s ideas. Stay organized off the bat by gathering inspiration in a place that’s easy to access and edit. Pinterest board, Google Doc, computer folder, binder—whatever works for you.

17. Make time to soak it all in

We’re aware that we’re reiterating here, but it’s worth the reminder. Don’t get so immediately wrapped up in wedding planning that you forget to enjoy being just engaged. Skipping over this part can lead to considerable stress later on. Pop some bubbly, spend quality time with your fiancé(e), and bask in the excitement from all of those closest to you.

Engagement rings and wedding bands

If you were over the moon to put your new ring on… only to find it didn’t quite fit, you’ll want to get it sized ASAP. This won’t be the most exciting part of getting engaged, but it’s necessary if you want to avoid losing your special stone.

Speaking of losing your ring, enter ring insurance! When it comes to what to do after getting engaged, sorting out insurance definitely isn’t the most exciting task. While it's not super sexy, it's highly recommended. Most jewelry experts suggest taking out a policy with a jewelry insurance provider (and not extending your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to cover it). Head to a jeweler or another certified professional and get an appraisal. Here’s more on engagement ring insurance.

FAQs about getting engaged and post-proposal to dos

What does it mean to be engaged?

Just engaged? That means you and your partner have decided to get married and are planning your future together. Being engaged is more than just wearing a ring. It's an exciting and romantic phase of your relationship. However, it also comes with some responsibilities and challenges as you grow together.

What to do after getting engaged?

First of all, remember to celebrate! Next on the list comes telling your family and friends. Then, start thinking about wedding dates, share your good news on social media (optional), and arrange an engagement party and/or photo shoot. For now, don't worry about the guest list or wedding attire.

How do we announce our engagement?

How you announce your engagement is completely up to you and your partner. Most couples like to tell their immediate family and friends face to face before announcing their good news on social media. Others will share the news through phone calls, TikTok, or traditional paper announcements.

How to start planning a wedding?

The first thing you'll need for wedding planning is a wedding checklist and a budget. You may want to create a wedding Google Drive and email to keep everything organized. Or you can use free budgeting and checklist tools from wedding planning sites like Zola. Then you can start on the finer details: where, when, what you'll wear, and who will take part.

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve checked these boxes, you’ll be ready to go all in on wedding planning. Buckle up because it can (read: probably will) get hectic. Just remember to take a pause every now and then to enjoy being engaged.

Here at Zola, we have everything you need to make wedding planning as seamless (but exciting) as possible. Even if you don’t publish it yet, you can start working on your wedding website and making your wishlist on your wedding registry right away. Zola can help you every step along the way from proposal to your new life together as a married couple. Enjoy!

INLINE Unsplash 1080x720 (6) Photo Credit // Unsplash

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