By the time you are reading this you may well have already skipped through 1 and if you are anything like me you will have gone right on to 2 as well. But just in case here are my top 12 things to do now that you are engaged. I did try and keep it to 10 but my indecisive nature kicked in and I decided to keep all 12.
1. Have champagne and call your family and friends, let them know the good news
Take a moment to enjoy this yourselves first. However when you are ready to tell people be sure to give your parents the good news first, this is always better and much more exciting in person but if you are away then a call or Skype works just as well. Then tell other family and friends. Only once you have told everyone closest to you then it is ok to post the happy news on Facebook, twitter and Instagram get the news out there and take joy in all of the well wishes you are sent – it’s an exciting time! #engaged #isaidyes #newlyengaged
2. Get booked in for a manicure and take an engagement ring selfie
You are going to be showing of your engagement ring to everyone over the next few weeks, make sure you are putting a well manicured hand forward.
3. Insure your engagement ring
I know, not one of the most exciting tasks but it is very very important. This is one thing you don’t want to forget. Make sure you know what your policy covers you for if the ring is lost, damaged or stolen. You may be able to add this to your current home insurance policy so look into that too, just make sure you do it.
4. Think about the big picture/get dreaming (what type of wedding do you want)
Discuss what type of wedding you want, small and intimate or a big wedding with all your friends and family invited. Will you have a theme, what colours do you like, do you want boho chic or glam, do you veer on the side of tradition or do you want something a little more out there. The date of the wedding will have a big impact on this so think carefully.
5. Make a budget and get saving
The boring but necessary part – and always leave room for movement – If you are anything like me – no matter what you budget you will go over it slightly (or in my case astronomically but it was so worth it) thinking back I would have been slightly more generous in my guesstimations on costings because some things were surprisingly more expensive than I had planned for. I will be writing a separate blog on this with a spreadsheet for you to use so keep an eye out for that.
6. Think about your guest list
This is oh so important. When me and Tom got engaged we sat in the spa at the hotel (following my manicure) and wrote on some hotel paper a list of all of the people we wanted to invite. We soon realised that we had faaaaaar to many people on the list and then realised that in our excitement we had completely missed out some people that 100% had to be on there. Either way it is an important task that needs to be done especially before you go venue hunting as this will help narrow down where you can fit all of your guests. Don’t worry though, this list can always be altered.
7. Get the calendar out
The first thing anyone is going to ask (you know it’s true because you will have asked this yourself to so many of your friends) ‘ when is the big day’ this is where your thinking on what type of wedding you want will come in handy. If you are going for an outdoor boho style wedding then winter isn’t really going to cut the mustard. If however you are looking for warmer tones, candles and winter Pimms as a welcome drink then November through January will be perfect. Another thing to think about is the wedding venue ‘off season’ many venues offer a slight discount between October to January as it is their off season where as it will be full price for a summer wedding and of course there will be less availability.
8. Get yourself some wedding magazines and look for bridal fayres
This is one of the best bits, it is now perfectly acceptable to buy all of those wedding magazines you have been staring at longingly for years. Don’t hold back, buy a variety of different ones to find the one you really love. You can even get these in digital format if you really want to, although there is nothing quite as nice as sitting with a glass of wine in the evening and flicking through your favourite wedding magazine.
Bridal fayres are also a fantastic place to get ideas and meet local vendors. I am a firm believer in meeting suppliers first where possible to make sure you connect, the last thing you want to do is book someone and then realise they are not on the same wavelength as you when it comes to your wedding.
9. Go venue hunting
So, you know what type of wedding you want, you know the season or maybe even the month you would like to get married, now you need a venue. You may have picked some ideas up from your wedding magazines (many of them advertise fantastic venues – the local ones to you are always great for this), you may also have picked up ideas from the wedding fayres. You can also of course use trusty old google and then once you have a good idea of where you want, go and visit them. You can get a proper feel for the place when you go in person, you can meet the venues wedding planner and make sure you feel comfortable with them.
Before you make your final decision it is always fun to look for reviews from other brides on the venues, wedding blogs are great for this. Here are a few of my favourite wedding blogs;
10. Book in-demand vendors (photographer/band or dj/officiant)
With your venue chosen, your next step will be to book the most in demand vendors.
- Your officiant – if you are having a religious wedding you will need to speak to your church about the process, these vary from church to church and religion to religion so be sure to ask
- If you are having a civil ceremony you will need to give notice of marriage and make sure that they are available on the date you want to get married. If you are getting married somewhere other than your home county you will need to get in touch with the officiants in the county in which you get married (I will be doing another blog on this)
11. Send out save the dates
Now you know your date and wedding venue you need to let your guests know to save the date. This isn’t the official invite it is just something to ensure that people don’t book their family holidays directly over your wedding date, particularly if they are people you really want to be there. These should only go out to day guests if you plan on inviting someone only to the evening sending a save the date may be a little confusing.
12. Kiss your FIANCE
THE MOST IMPORTANT PART – Wedding planning can be overwhelming at times, take a moment to remember why you got engaged in the first place. Make time for each other and set a day a week where you have absolutely no wedding talk, just be together and enjoy it.