You’re engaged! Whether you answered or asked, you just took the first step towards one of the happiest days of your life. You 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. Here, instead, are the first things you and your partner should accomplish in the first month (or so) after you’re engagement.
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 it 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.
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, but 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.
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 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 news. 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.
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! Also, not super sexy, but 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.
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.
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.
At this point, your engagement celebrations have probably slowed. Now it feels like time to really start thinking about your big day. Don’t stress yourself out with immediately looking into details and logistics, 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 wedding style- (and size-) wise.
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.
You and your partner have brainstormed locations, dates, and your wedding style—now’s the time to set things in stone. Be pragmatic in your discussions and decisions. Start by sitting down together and drawing out a personalized budget and timeline. 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 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 booking other vendors, such as catering and entertainment.
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.