I don’t know about you, but getting engaged is one of the most exciting moments in two peoples lives! You may or may not have been dreaming of this day your whole life? It is exciting and once you get over that initial “Holy shit I am engaged” feeling calms down, the “Oh shit, we need to plan a wedding” starts to settle in.
If you are recently engaged or you feel like the big moment might be coming, you MUST read this following list of what to do after getting engaged! If you are stressed, have questions, or just want to know what the next steps are after getting engaged, just keep reading!
“Engagement Season” That time in-between Thanksgiving and Valentines Day where all the people get engaged! A romantic time of year, filled with family, friends and fun!
I LOVE seeing engagement photos, I cry hearing the stories & seeing the photos, and I dream of my own. (hint hint Adam)
But I also know that it can be insanely overwhelming, and you may not know where to begin the process of planning a wedding. Which vendors do you need to book right away? Which vendors can wait a couple months? Who the hell is paying for this thing? Do I need a dress right now?
1. Enjoy being engaged!
Let’s start with the ENGAGED part! Take some time and just enjoy each other as an engaged couple! This is a very big time for you both, you have taken the first step in solidifying your relationship, and it needs to be more celebrated! Shout it from the roof top! Tell parents, family, co-workers, EVERYONE! Take that perfect ring selfie and post it on all of your socials because girl it is time to celebrate!
I once went over to a newly engaged couples house and they had the big gold letter balloons in their kitchen that said, “Engaged AF” and I LOVED that they were really taking the time, they even had an engagement party to celebrate, which I don’t see trending nowadays. In the end, you two will be married, but for the first week or two, just focus on your love for each other!
2. Get your ring insured!
This is just a simple reminder, that thing is sparkly and expensive and can easily slip off your finger! Don’t wait, jump right in and get that little baby insured!
3. Start getting organized!
We love a good wedding binder! Something that shows your personality, has a calendar in it and can keep you nice and organized! A binder will help you keep track of meetings, your vendors, receipts, contracts, photos of your visions. You can buy a big fancy one or you can make it yourself!
4. Get together with your partner and start talking about the visions you BOTH have on your wedding day!
I. Picking a date - How long do you want to be engaged? When do you both envision the wedding being? If you get engaged in December and you want a summer wedding, you may have to push it out a year, otherwise you are looking at a 6-8 month engagement, and it might be difficult to find vendors. If you want a Fall wedding, those are becoming more and more popular, so again, finding vendors and especially a venue could be tricky.
II. Discuss how involved both of you will plan on being during the engagement process. Does this all make you both stressed and overwhelmed? Don’t let it! Look into hiring a Wedding Planner or a Day of Coordinator to help alleviate the stress and keep you organized!
III. Style of wedding - Classic, Vintage, Boho, Rustic, Elegant, Bold, Neutral, Simple. Whatever style you may want to have, we believe it is important for both to have design elements in the wedding that represent the both of you. You can have touches that represent you both individually as well as a partnership. (Pinterest is great for both guys and gals, talk to your man about just looking through so that he can get a better idea on his vision)
IV. Start researching (not touring) venues around the area, there are so many different styles when it comes to venues, so first just start looking at types of venues that are out there and see what style you want. Don’t hop right into tours until you have budget, venues around Minneapolis can be expensive AF, you don’ t want to tour one, fall in love and realize there is no way you could ever spend that much money. Its better to get your budget in check and a general idea on guest count figured out, otherwise you will be going tours with no purpose.
5. Have a meeting with your parents to discuss guest list & budget.
Now that you and your partner have discussed your dream wedding vision, it is time to meet with the parents and get their visions. Some parents want to be super involved, while others may not. It’s important to talk with them, let them know your thoughts and to make sure they understand that it is your wedding and you want them to enjoy it as well. The big factors to discuss with parents are guest list and budget.
I. Who does everyone want at the wedding? You should have both sets of parents make their lists, combine those with your lists and then create an A, B & sometimes C category. If your parents are pitching in, they should have a say in guest list, but this can be a slippery slope and if it’s the two of you paying and you are on a tight budget, while it may be uncomfortable, you will have to discuss that with them. We hear all the time, parents want all of their friends and co-workers there to celebrate with, and while that is great, remind them, there is a budget and the venue will have a max capacity. A rule of thumb I love to recommend is, if you or your partner have never met the person, they do not get an invite.
II. Who is going to pay for the wedding? This is never a fun subject, but it needs to be done. Will you guys be saving up? Will the brides parents be paying? Will it be a collaborative effort? If so, get a clear understanding on who is contributing how much. I can not tell you how many times a couple has came to us and said “Well I think my parents will probably throw us $5000?” Come to find out, they are only planning on giving them $1000 or only paying for the food. Sometimes you need to educate them on how expensive its going to be & let them discuss what they are comfortable with contributing. Having this conversation will alleviate a ton of stress to just get it all out in the open.
6. Now is the time to start an in-depth venue search and schedule some tours.
Budget & guest list in mind, now its time for our favorite part of planing… VENUE TOURS! Compile a list of venues you really want to see and start making appointments. There are so many unique and fun venues out there and we love researching and touring them! If you are not like us, this stage can stress people out, because good lord there are so many venues in the area, you have hotel ballrooms, industrial & historic warehouses, classic estates, mansions, barns, farms, parks, gardens, ski chalets, breweries, restaurants, theaters, those are some off the top of my head, of course there are many more! We suggest touring many different styles not just 1 that you saw on Pinterest. Get a feel for the different styles out there, you may surprise yourself! Be open minded to styles, and think about your overall vision.
Here is a small list of initial things you can ask your venue consultant:
o Do they require In-house catering or can you use outside catering?
o What is the food and beverage minimum?
o Tables, chairs included? Who sets them up if the room needs to be flipped? Is there a fee involved in flipping the room?
o Do they have a separate ceremony spot?
o Are table Linens and napkins included? If so, do you have options?
o What is the House fee/ Service charge?
o Is staff included?
o Are there any other charges that get added on to the rental fee?
o Is there an event coordinator included – If yes. What exactly will they do for you the day of?
7. You have your budget, guest list and vision in place, now is time to start looking at the other vendors that make the wedding a reality. Most of your vendors, don’t have to be booked right away, but there are a few that book out fast and sometimes a year in advance.
I. Photographer - They book out fast, plus you want to get them booked so that you can get your engagement photos taken care of!
II. Wedding Planner - If you are looking into a Full-Service Planner, this should be the first person you book, we will be there with you from the get go to help get the planning started and help with all questions you may have.
III. Church (if you are having a church ceremony) Sometimes the church will determine your wedding date, so when you decide on the time of year, you will want to contact your church right away to see available dates.
IV. Venue - Venues are booking out a year in advance now-a-days, so if you have had your eye on one, make sure you don’t wait!
We want couples to enjoy every minute of their engagement! This is just a short list of what to get started on after the big day, if you need more help, feel free to contact us! We love sitting down for FREE consultations, we can brain storm, eat some pancakes, give advice, and have some fun!
Congratulations and Cheers!