THE FIRST 10 THINGS TO DO AFTER GETTING ENGAGED
By: Pam Denney
Happy New Year all! Unfortunately, the holidays are over and all the fun and joy of celebrating one of our favorite times of the year is complete. It is now time for us to jump into 2024 with gusto. Welcome to our first blog post of the year! We are thrilled to kick off this new year with fresh ideas, inspiration, and insights to share with you. This blog post is all about being engaged!
As we embark on this journey together, our aim is to provide valuable content that informs, entertains, and sparks meaningful conversations. We want to take a moment to reflect on the past year and celebrate the accomplishments and lessons learned. It has been a challenging and exciting year for all of us, but it has also taught us resilience, adaptability, and the power of community. We are grateful for the support and encouragement from you all, and we look forward to continuing this journey with you. As we move forward into the new year, we have exciting plans and topics lined up to discuss. We value your feedback and ideas, so please feel free to reach out and let us know what topics you would like us to cover or any questions you may have. Thank you for being a part of our community. Here’s to a year filled with inspiration, growth, and impactful conversations. Let’s make this year the best one yet!
So, let’s jump into our first topic of discussion. It has finally happened; you are engaged! After years of searching for your perfect partner, you have found the one who completes you in every way possible. Congratulations!!!! We are so excited to talk to newly engaged couples and hear how we can meet their rental needs.
Being engaged feels like a dream come true. It is a symbol of your commitment and the promise of a lifelong partnership, and we are excited to embark on this incredible journey with you. So, let’s do this!!! Let’s talk about what to do next.
As you dive into the thoughts of wedding preparations, you have already started envisioning the life you want to build together. But then it hits you — Where do I even begin to start planning for such a monumental event?
CELEBRATE AND ENJOY
First and most importantly, take the time to truly celebrate with your fiancé, just the two of you! You will not experience this exact moment again, so spend the day (or weekend) celebrating with your new fiancé! Live in the moment and don’t feel pressured to make any decisions or discuss any wedding plans until you feel ready! Don’t feel like you need to start planning the wedding the very next day. This is a day you will talk about the rest of your lives, so soak it in and enjoy.
SHARE THE HAPPY NEWS
The second thing you should do as a newly engaged couple is share the happy news. Take as much (or as little) time as you want. But in all reality, you may want to shout it from the mountain tops to everyone you know and even all the strangers you don’t know.
This tip from the Knot is so true:
We all have felt hurt at some point in the social media world when we have found out big news from family and close friends in a post and not in person. With that in mind, call your parents, your siblings and BFFs, too. The last place they should have to hear about your new status is on the web, so give them a ring personally and tell them the happy news. If your partner went the traditional route, your parents may already know what’s up and have been waiting by the phone patiently for your call.
Reed and David (Holly and Amanda’s husbands) both asked their dad, Carl, for permission to marry the girls and to this day I can’t forget Carl’s excitement in sharing the news with me. When David asked for Amanda’s hand in marriage, her dad was initially under a riding lawn mower and had to climb out to have a serious conversation with David. Our family knew the night both Holly and Amanda got engaged and we were so excited we could hardly contain our excitement. Both girls were engaged on our land, and we were all peeking through the window blinds the night Reed proposed to Holly and peeking through the woods and hiding behind trees the night David proposed to Amanda.
Your family will be so happy that you took the time to let them know before updating your social media. It can also be helpful to make a list of everyone who needs to know before the internet does to avoid any hurt feelings. However, at the end of the day, it’s your engagement. Don’t stress out about who to/not to tell. It’s your news to share with whomever you want.
DISCUSS PRIORITIES AND NON-NEGOTIABLE TOPICS
At the beginning of your wedding planning journey, take some time with your partner to discuss and decide on your priorities for the wedding, and what means most to both of you and what you both envision for your big day. It is really important that both of your expectations are heard at the very beginning of the planning process. This will really help you when reaching out to any planners, venues, vendors, rental companies, and other enquiries as it gives you a more specific idea of what you’re looking for.
For example, if a non-negotiable is that you really want dogs at the wedding, you’ll only be able to hire a venue that allows this. Alternatively, if you absolutely cannot live without a video of your wedding or a photo booth for your guests to enjoy at your wedding, there needs to be space for these items in your budget.
GET YOUR RING SIZED AND INSURED
We know this step right after you are newly engaged isn’t romantic, but it is necessary. If you notice the engagement ring doesn’t fit as you want, go to a top-rated jeweler and get it sized to your finger––you don’t want it falling off and getting lost. If it fits in your budget, get engagement ring insurance since it helps cover misplaced, stolen or damaged rings too. Some homeowner and renter’s insurance policies offer jewelry coverage, with some limitations, so research which policy works best for you.
Also, you may want to get a manicure. You are going to be showing off that hand a lot, so get a manicure to make it extra pretty, especially for the ring-selfie photos. This is a perfect excuse to get a manicure.
Take a ring selfie to capture the beauty of your engagement ring! Share it on social media or keep it as a memento of this special time in your life.
PICK A WEDDING DATE
Your wedding date is going to be a special date for you and your partner. One of the most important days in your life. Just like the date you first met or when you first said “I love you” to one another, it is a very important date. But you also have to consider if the date falls during peak or off wedding season, and if it will be on a weekday or weekend because all of this impacts the price of your celebration. If you have a specific date, season or venue in mind, we suggest you and your partner check this item off your after-engagement checklist as soon as possible. Once the date is selected, you will have a better idea of where to start with your other wedding planning to-dos.
START A CHECKLIST AND GET ORGANIZED
Once you select a wedding date, it is time to make a list of tasks to guide your planning steps. You can create a personalized wedding checklist on platforms like The Knot to figure out what your to-dos are on a month-by-month basis. It may seem daunting trying to get as much done as possible in the first few weeks after your engagement, but it will save you potential roadblocks in the weeks leading up to your big day. Trust us, you’ll thank yourselves later.
In addition to making a checklist, get organized. You may want to create a designated email address for all their wedding planning and vendor communication. You may also want to download a wedding app such as The Knot Wedding Planner app or the Joy App to keep everything in one place, from your registry to your wedding website and vendor list. An app will also help you manage the less-glamorous planning details, like your budget breakdown and the status of RSVPs.
If you prefer a hands-on approach and still like to write notes, we suggest that you get a wedding binder or planner to keep important dates, documents, copies of contracts and receipts all in one place. There are so many wedding planners out there to choose from. Check out this article from the Knot for so many planner options: Best Wedding Planner Books.
PLAN A BUDGET
Money talks, but unfortunately, no one likes to talk about money. Talking about money is always a very awkward conversation but in the wedding planning process it has to be done before you can really move forward with any of your wedding plans. This is a discussion that has to be had, be it between you and your spouse, or you, your spouse, and the parents. Form a budget based on what you and your partner, parents, and/or family can afford.
Try your best to stay within your budget. “Remember that ‘budget’ isn’t a dirty word. Your dream wedding of any theme and aesthetic can be achieved on just about any budget with the right wedding planner and vendors on your team. Setting a wedding budget is one of the first—and, frankly, most important—planning tasks to complete. After all, you can’t move forward with your vision or find your wedding planner and vendors until you know how much money you have to spend. It is no secret that wedding budget planning can feel daunting, particularly because weddings are expensive. Making your wedding budget doesn’t have to be hard or scary. There are several articles and apps to help with your wedding planning such as: Investopedia on How to Form Your Wedding Budget or by Vogue Magazine on Wedding Budget Planning.
RESEARCH WEDDING VENUES, PLANNERS AND VENDORS
Choose a Planner: Deciding to hire a wedding planner is one of the first (and biggest) decisions you’ll make in the exciting process of planning your wedding. This is one thing that we encourage for all our couples. A wedding planner will know the ins and outs of the wedding industry better than anyone, so naturally, they can help you coordinate, get you access to exclusive vendors, help manage your budget, and maybe even save you money in the long run. Full-service wedding planners are ready to handle every detail of your wedding and reception, including hiring a venue, decorating, contracting with florists and caterers, and generally looking after every detail of your big day. Many wedding planners also offer partial services, or “day of” coordination. These services are designed to help couples find an appropriate venue, and contract with the various vendors that will be needed for the wedding. Partial services can save couples a little money, but by their nature still leave most of the heavy work to the bride and groom. In the long run, a full-service wedding planner can save both time and money and can certainly lessen the stress load.
Research Wedding Venues: When researching a venue one of the first people you may want to talk to is your wedding planner. Planners are much more familiar with the venues in your areas and can point you in the right direction in what venue will meet all your needs. They are familiar with the requirements of the venues, the layout, and the time and items you will need to really transform the space.
Remember to choose a venue that aligns with your vision. If you are planning a modern wedding, you may want to look at art galleries or warehouse spaces. On the flip side, if you are planning a wedding incorporating more natural elements you may want to look at farms, parks, backyards, and ranches. But finding the perfect venue isn’t easy. There are so many options to choose from, whether you’re looking for a stunning barn, an elegant ballroom, an industrial warehouse, or a quiet stretch of beach. Venues vary so much, and you want to choose a venue that suits your wedding style. You can check out this article: On Minted with Wedding Venue Tips.
Once you start touring venues, it’s very important that you ask the venues questions to ensure that you know what to expect at your wedding. A few questions that we think you can’t forget are:
- Is the date of choice available? If not, are there surrounding dates available?
- What’s the cancellation fee?
- How many weddings do they host in a day?
- What are the rates for different days of the week? (ex. Thursday vs. Friday)
- What is the deposit? What’s the structure for the payment schedule?
- Do they require the use of their approved list of vendors? If not, are there limitations on the vendors you’ll bring in?
- Are there noise restrictions?
- Are there decor restrictions?
- How many restrooms are there for the guests?
- Is there a food and beverage minimum? What are the consequences if it’s not met?
- Can you source beer, wine, and liquor elsewhere?
Research and Meet with Your Vendors: It is very important to select a dream team of wedding vendors as early as possible since many of the best professionals are booked out a year or two in advance. In our industry, we have found that April, May, September, October and November are the busiest months for weddings, so our calendar fills up very quickly, especially in April and October. Your wedding planner is the perfect person to ask for vendor recommendations. Wedding planners work with other vendors all over and know which vendors will line up with your vision.
We urge you to look up professional vendors with solid recommendations to help make your dream wedding a reality. You can ask your married friends or family members for recommendations, find out what vendors were behind the wedding you love on social media. Once you and your partner have made a list of vendors you need and who you want to fill those roles, start setting up consultations with each of them to see if they’re the right match.
LOOK FOR WEDDING INSPIRATION
Arguably one of the most fun parts of wedding planning is finding inspiration. If you don’t know what to do after getting engaged, start looking at social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and FaceBook to find fun or romantic wedding themes, unbelievable decoration ideas, cool wedding attire you never thought of wearing and much more. Create a central place for you and your partner to add both your inspirational ideas, like a word document or vision board, to help keep everything organized and see the full scope of your wedding concept. Create a Pinterest board, Google Doc, save photos on Instagram, or create a folder on your computer to compile imagery of your favorite wedding elements. Keep it to yourself just for organizational purposes, or share it with your wedding planner, rental companies, mom, friends, fiancé, and whoever else to view and contribute.
Once planning is in full force, remember to have fun and take time for each other. Take needed breaks when planning becomes too much. Do something fun, just the two of you. Mini golf, bowling, ice skating, a trip to the beach, a nice restaurant, or just watching a movie and drinking a glass of wine. Wedding planning can be insanely stressful from the get-go, so try to find the humor in things and take some time to laugh, reconnect, and remember why you’re getting hitched in the first place.
And don’t forget to reach out to us for all your specialty rental needs and your inspiration photos. Not everyone knows but we offer customization for backdrops, walls, bars and so many other items. We can paint, wallpaper, or add a custom quote to just about anything and we would love to discuss all your fun ideas and requests.