Happy Wednesday everyone, and welcome to the very first post of my wedding edit! I recently got engaged and realized I’m loving absolutely EVERYTHING about the planning process, so I knew it was something I wanted to share on my blog!
As I mentioned above, a few weeks ago, Stefan asked me to spend forever with him at our favourite place and it couldn’t have been more perfect (full engagement story to come!). I had heard numerous times that the day you get engaged is one of the bet days of your life, and it couldn’t have been more true for us! We had such a blast and I wish we could do that day over and over again!
As a planning fanatic and lover of all things decor and style, everything about planning our wedding has been such a blast for me- I’m loving every second of it, but I know not everyone feels the same way. A lot of soon-to-be bries feel stressed and overwhelmed with wedding planning, and I want you to know that’s totally normal and you’re definitely NOT alone! If you’ve recently gotten engaged and have no clue what to do now, I’ve come up with a list of what to do after you get engaged to get started on the right foot!
1. Celebrate Just The Two of You
Make sure to take time to celebrate, just the two of you. It’s such a special time and it will never happen again, so enjoy it! Perhaps, like us, you get engaged while you’re out of town, or maybe you get engaged at home. Wherever you are, take a day or night to celebrate your engagement.
Your friends and family will want to celebrate with you too, but it’s important to take the time for you two to cherish and really take in this next step. Go out for dinner, get drinks at your favourite spot, have a romantic picnic in the park. However you want to celebrate, make sure to enjoy it!
2. Get Your Ring Sized
I didn’t have to do this step because Stefan knew my ring size, but if your ring doesn’t fit properly, it’s important to get it sized as soon as possible. The last thing you want is for it to fall off your finger somewhere, and god forbid you can’t get it back. I imagine it would be really tough to part with your ring after you get it, but having the correct size is so important!
Or if you’re open about the ring like we were (I showed Stefan what ring I wanted months ago- I am the one who will be wearing it forever, after all!), then you can let your partner know what size you are so you don’t have to get it fit!
3. Toast With Your BFFs
Your friends will definitely want to toast to your new engagement! Set a date and get a group of your besties together for a little celebration (I did this with a few girlfriends, but you could also do a mixed one with your partner if you wanted!). One of my best friends hosted the toast and it was such a fun night, filled with my favourite things- friends, Thai food, Prosecco, Aperol spritz, and she got cupcakes and stuck photos of me and Stefan from all the years we’ve been dating into them! It was so sweet!
It was so nice to celebrate with some of my closest friends so quickly after our engagement (the toast was about a week after), so I definitely recommend getting a bunch of your best friends together to celebrate! You could also host a toast, or if no one is up for hosting, head to your favourite restaurant or bar for some celebratory drinks!
4. Build a Budget
Building the budget for your wedding is one of the most important parts of wedding planning. Once you know your total budget, you can allocate budgets to different areas of your wedding (For example, how much of your budget are you willing to spend on your photographer? Your flowers? Your dress?). This will help you prioritize what aspects of your wedding are most important to you, and ensure you don’t end up spending more than you can afford.
5. Choose a Wedding Season
Do you know what time of year you want to get married? This can guide (or be guided by) your venue choice, and budget comes into play as well. Winter weddings are cheaper since its low season, while peak wedding season runs from late spring to early fall.
If you want to have part of your wedding outside (maybe your ceremony, cocktail hour, or the whole wedding), than you’ll want a time of year that’s a comfortable temperature outside (and don’t forget to factor in rainy season!). If you’re on a tight budget and are not picky about doing anything outside, a winter wedding may be best for you!
6. Decide If You Want a Wedding Planner
If you feel super overwhelmed by the wedding planning process, hiring a wedding planner may be a good idea. However, it is an extra cost, so if you’re on a tight budget (or would just rather spend your money on other things) it may not be necessary. If you’re more like me and love planning and are just wondering what to do next, this post is sure to be a helpful wedding planning guide!
7. Create Pinterest and Instagram Inspiration Boards
This has been one of my favourite things to do to get inspiration for our wedding! It’s so much fun to look at weddings on Pinterest and Instagram and see what really sticks out in terms of decor, style and overall vibe. Creating your own inspiration boards will help you with wedding planning. You can make your Pinterest boards public, or private if you want to keep your planning a secret (or would just rather not share it with everyone on the internet!).
8. Start Looking For A Wedding Venue
We’ve actually known where we wanted to get married for a couple years, so this step was easy for us. However, if you’re not sure where you want to tie the knot, start looking for a venue! Your options may depend on how long your engagement is- for example, if you have a super short engagement, venues could be booked up for the date you want. But of course, not every venue is booked on every date, so you’ll always be able to find something you love!
Choosing a venue may come easy to you- maybe there’s a restaurant or vineyard that has a special meaning to you as couple. Or maybe you’ve always envisioned your wedding at a beautiful refurbished barn or on the beach. On the other hand, you might have no idea where you want to get married at all!
I could write an entire post on choosing a wedding venue (and I probably will), but here are some things to keep in mind:
Determine your vision for/ the theme of your wedding, the number of guests, your budget, the season (do you want to have an outdoor ceremony? Or will the entire wedding be outdoor?), what’s included with the venue (for example, tables, chairs, linens, etc.) and what you’ll have to rent, and the theme/vibe you want your wedding to have.
Related Post: 9 Tips to Find the Perfect Wedding Venue
9. Pick Your Wedding Photographer
There are a few things you can hold off on when it comes to planning your wedding. In my opinion, your photographer is not one of them. To me, finding your dream photographer is one of the most crucial steps of wedding planning. Having beautiful photos of your wedding day is so incredibly important. A photographer that can capture the essence of your wedding day while making you feel comfortable and at ease will make your wedding day flow so much more smoothly.
Ask for referrals from friends, family and your venue (if you have a venue booked), look at online portfolios and instagram accounts of photographers in your area, and meet with a few photographers to see if you guys jive. At these “interviews” you can find out more about their experience, their process, and ask to see some wedding albums so you get a good feel for what you can expect for your own photos.
I was luckily introduced to an amazing photographer last year who did my friend’s wedding photos and I knew I wanted to book with her as soon as we got the edits back! Her and her husband (who’s also a photographer/videographer) took me and Stefan out for dessert and tea/coffee so we could all chat and it sealed the deal even more!
Make sure your personalities align, that you feel comfortable with them and that you guys can be open and fully communicate with each other. Having gorgeous images is super important, but having trust and open communication with your photographer is just as crucial.
Other things to consider when choosing a photographer for your special day: Your budget and what their price is, if they include or charge for a second shooter (I highly recommend getting a second shooter!), their editing style, their knowledge/experience, and past client reviews.
10. Find a Wedding Florist
Flowers are another element I think is SO important to your dream wedding. Floral arrangements are so beautiful these days and can completely transform your venue space and complement you as you walk down the aisle.
They can also take up a significant chunk of your budget!
The process for finding a wedding florist is similar to finding a photographer. I found the floral studio we’re going to be using on Instagram, but you can ask for referrals, search online and on social media, ask your venue for florists- and always look at their past work.
Choosing your actual wedding flowers will be a whole other post (which I’m super excited to write!), but finding your wedding florist is the first step!
11. Start Thinking About Your Wedding Dress
Again, depending on how long you have until your wedding, it’s time to start thinking about your dress! I find looking through Pinterest is super helpful to nail down the style you want. Maybe this is something you’ve been thinking about for a while or maybe you have no clue, but think about things like your personal style, the vibe of your wedding and what you’ll feel most comfortable and beautiful in!
Keep in mind that it can take 8 to 9 months for dress alterations (of course, if you have a wedding sooner than that, you can do quick orders), but if you have a year or more until your wedding, you may want to start booking appointments sooner than you think would be necessary. I had no idea it took so long for alterations, so I’m glad I did some research!
12. Choose Your Wedding Party
You may already know who you want in your bridal party, but if not, it’s time to make some decisions! Perhaps you want to keep it small and only have a maid of honour. Or maybe you want to include all your best friends. Keep in mind, you’ll be buying them bridal party gifts and if you insist they get their hair and makeup done for your wedding, you may pay for that too.
Choosing your bridal party is SO important. They’ll be standing next to you on one of the best and most important days of your life and be there with you through the planning and everything else.
Once you’ve chosen who you want to be in your bridal party, it’s time to ask them! You could do this with a simple phone call, face to face, or maybe you create a cute bridesmaid box where you ask them with a card and a few cute gifts (I’ve seen people do ring pops, small champagne bottles, and personalized drawings). How you ask them is totally up to you!
If you’ve recently gotten engaged and feel a little lost when it comes to what to do next, I hope this post has helped you! The most important thing is to try not to get too stressed and really enjoy this season of you lives! If you have any more awesome tips on what to do after you get engaged, I’d love to hear them!
And if you loved this post, please share it on Pinterest!