After your engagement and sharing the happy news, you are enjoying your engaged life, as you should! Take a breath, and take a break. You have been waiting for this moment, and soon, you will have plenty of wedding decisions and wedding details to decide.
After reading this post, you will be prepared to start your wedding planning!
The challenge is knowing where to begin.
Taking The First Steps After Your Engagement
- Find an officiant
- Create a Wedding Guest List
- Find a wedding venue
- Create a list of vendors
- Choosing a wedding dress
- Start thinking about your vows
And so, there are many things that you could do after engagement. But it’s a good idea to start with these things on your wedding planning checklist for peace of mind because they will start filling up quickly!
Of course, there are hundreds of tasks that you could complete after your engagement. These are the three that I would recommend after my experience with wedding planning and officiating. These items are time-sensitive, and you will want to complete them as soon as you know your big day is approaching. This is assuming that you have a wedding date selected. You will need a date before completing tasks like securing your venue.
Knowing your dates before reaching out to your wedding party will also be helpful. Even though the wedding party consists of your closest friends and family members who will be very understanding, it’s a sign of respect to let them know as soon as you know your wedding dates so that they can plan accordingly.
Notice that I used the word dates, not date. There is much more to your wedding dates than the date you are married. Your dream wedding dates include your wedding events, such as your bridesmaids’ day, guy time, wedding shower, wedding rehearsal, engagement party, and even your honeymoon.
The more of these dates you know, the better, but even if you know the wedding date, your wedding party will certainly appreciate knowing they can plan around that date. For example, if I know someone is inviting me to a wedding, I will go ahead and at least plan to take 2-3 days off of work before the wedding, especially if I am a member of the wedding party.
Choose Your Officiant
Choosing a wedding officiant as soon as possible after the engagement is important. Not only are they very busy, but it’s also important to start your wedding counseling as soon as possible. You should start immediately if you hadn’t started planning before you were engaged.
After your engagement, the clock is ticking. The pastor/minister will let you know his/her requirements for your wedding. Many people forget that your approval from your officiant is the most important thing for your wedding day next to a Yes from your spouse.
Choosing a venue is another task requiring booking at least a year ahead of time; this must be at the top of your wedding checklist before choosing other things such as the type of wedding, whether a destination wedding or something else, wedding attire, wedding style, etc. If you are thinking about getting engaged, you might want to go ahead and reserve a venue. It might sound crazy, but the deposit to reserve your venue is nothing compared to losing out on the location you’ve always wanted.
The Main Wedding Planning Ingredient After Engagement
Finding a venue for your wedding ceremony is one of the most important parts of your wedding plans. Your wedding planner or coordinator will have some great ideas to help prepare for your wedding day, but few will be more important in your wedding planning process than finding a venue.
After the engagement, start looking for potential venues for your wedding. You will want to be very intentional about locking your wedding venue date as soon as possible. Typically you will need a deposit to secure the wedding date of your choice. Some venues may also be flexible in allowing you to provide your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice of wedding dates. The best scenario is to lock in and secure your 1st choice.
I know that you’ve had your dream venue in mind for some time, but you don’t want to chance to secure your date if you don’t have to. It’s much better to secure your 2nd choice than wait too long for your 1st choice to become available. In other words, don’t make the waiting list your first choice. Reserve the best venue at the top of your list and available on your wedding date.
The time of year you choose your venue will make a huge difference. You will already want to consider reserving your venue 1-2 years ahead of time because of all the couples waiting so long to have their weddings due to Covid. But remember, a spring or summer wedding will not have the same availability as a winter wedding and, often, a fall wedding. Keep this in mind when choosing a date. If you are willing to be flexible on the time of year, your availability may increase, and your costs decrease.
Completing your Wedding Rings
Another thing that you will need to do after your engagement is finished is the process for our wedding rings. Sure, you may have your engagement ring. However, you will need to finish all that is needed for your wedding bands. This includes rings for him and her and details such as resizing and ensuring you have insurance for all your rings.
It also doesn’t hurt to figure out how you will keep your rings clean, whether you clean them yourselves or plan to have them professionally cleaned on a schedule. You paid a good amount for your rings, and it makes sense to have an engagement ring care plan to keep them clean and in good condition. Your precious stones deserve it because they symbolize your promise to one another.
Get Your Ring Sized
Your rings can either be sized and cut by a jeweler or, if you prefer, you can size them yourself with the assistance of your fiancee. Either way, you’ll want to ensure that you have a backup plan in case something goes wrong during the sizing process. Sometimes, two people have different sizes, and you will want to find a solution that works for both of you.
If you decide to get your rings done, you should expect to pay between $50-$150 depending on what type of setting you need (plain, half moon, etc.) and where you live. Be sure to read reviews online before making any decision. Many jewelry stores offer free or discounted services for new customers.
Think About a Date
Finally, you’ll need to consider a date that works well for your average wedding budget and schedule. You won’t necessarily want to select a date month from now because we know things will change. We’re talking about a day and a month here. Select your desired wedding date and then work backward from there. For example, say you would like to hold your wedding ceremony in May 2021.
Then, set April 2020 as your wedding date. Once you’ve chosen your month, go back to December 2019 and choose a date within that month. Finally, select March 2020 as your preferred wedding date. Now you have three options for your wedding location: April, April, and March.
This gives you plenty of time to finalize your plans. However, you don’t want to rush into selecting a wedding date. It could cause some anxiety and stress down the road when you realize that your timeline has changed. Remember, you can always adjust the date later on once you have everything finalized and are ready for your perfect wedding day.
You will have plenty of time to get your engagement photos because this is more flexible than your other vendors. One thing you can do to help your wedding budget is to get a separate wedding photographer for your engagement photos. Your package with your main photographer will include the sessions included, and one might be an engagement shoot, but if one is not included, don’t worry. You will be able to find someone to take the engagement photos that you can use for your next holiday cards!
And so, how are you feeling about choosing a photographer for your wedding? Hopefully, you feel a little better after reading this blog post!
Again, congratulations on your engagement make sure to have some quality time with your partner and happy planning!