Eight things to do once you are engaged.

It finally happened. You are getting married. Everything is so exciting and things are starting to move…well, fast! It feels almost unreal, yet things are definitely happening, and brace yourself: the hours, days, and weeks following this special moment after you said yes are bound to be a whirlwind of planning.

There is so to think about and do, so many people you HAVE to talk to, and so much to organize. Don’t be overwhelmed. You have plenty of time to plan the rest of your lives but if you’re like most newly engaged people, you’ll be itching to share the news with all your friends and dive into the actual wedding planning part headfirst.

Pinterest boards, bridal magazines, blogs, dress shopping, venue hunting…the list goes on and on. Years of watching wedding movies couldn’t have prepared you for what’s to come (trust us, it’s totally different). While the average engagement lasts a year to a year-and-a-half, there are things  you are going to want to get done stat—no matter how long you plan on being a fiancé.

So where do you get started? There’s no strict order to follow as long as you tackle the immediate to-dos. Committing the rest of your life to the love of your life is scary and amazing and the best kind of stress, however, it’s a major, major milestone, and planning a wedding together is the icing on the cake—we promise.

  1. Call mom and dad! Or your sister, or grandfather, or besties (unless you are keeping your engagement under wraps for a while). The last place anyone wants to hear about your news is via an IG post, so give them a ring personally and tell them the happy news. There is a good chance your parents already know what’s up and have been waiting patiently for the phone to ring.

Get a mani. Your hands will be in the spotlight for the next couple of weeks, which means you might want to get them looking their very best.

  1. Get insurance on your new Bling. Listen, I know—it’s not exactly the most sexy thing I could put on this list, but it could wind up saving a lot of heartache down the road. You can even look into adding it as an extension to your homeowner or renter’s insurance policy, which is a surprisingly inexpensive option.
  2. Talk about setting a date. The most in demand wedding dates and venues get booked far in advance so if you’re hoping to tie the knot in the next year or two, it’s smart for the two of you to start thinking about dates now. Your date can also be a huge player in the cost of the wedding…..see number 4.
  3. Start considering your location and venue options. Keep in mind: You can’t book a date until you’ve nailed down the where of it all! Now is the time to start doing research online and scheduling tours.
  4. Sort out your Budget. Ive written about this before: no one likes to talk about money. We all have a hard time with it, and its totally normal. However, before you can really move forward with any real planning, discussing a budget, determining who is paying for what and talking realistic cost is a step I can never recommend anyone skipping.21c museum hotel
  5. Build a Wedding Website! This one is so fun! Check  your options and decide whether you’d prefer to build a site of your own or use one of the wedding website templates that are hosted by a third party (think the or Zola).
  6. Start researching photographers and plan your engagement session. Yes it is that important. Yes I will admit to total bias here. BUT here me out: photographers are typically the second vendor couples book, and many accept bookings a year to two years in advance. Click that link to find my guide of twenty questions to ask your photographer (here to help you always!).
  7. Get inspired. The world is your oyster. Create a Pinterest board, a real physical mood board, save photos on Instagram, cut out magazines and start to  gather imagery of your favorite wedding elements. Keep it to yourself, or share with your friends, parents and planner to help guide them as they help you in your planning.
  8. Speaking of which…Consider a wedding planner or coordinator. I cannot stress this one enough. Many a wedding I have photographed that has been saved by a wedding planner with the couple being none the wiser–this is an investment that to me is one thousand percent worth it. If you’re considering bringing a pro on board to your vendor team, ask around for references (*ahem* any vendors you’ve already committed to should have at least a few to send you_ and hit up the good ol’ internet, then set up some interviews. Find someone you trust and connect with, and you will me in good hands.

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