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You’re Engaged, What’s Next? pt. 1 | Snohomish County Wedding Photographer

The first question everyone will ask you – when’s the big day? I’m not kidding either. It will literally be the second thing out of their mouths after “Congratulations”. Even if they were there for the proposal… that was 15 seconds ago.

There is no question that this is an important thing to decide – but remember to stay flexible. Don’t get so set on a date that it ruins the rest of the planning. And don’t feel pressured to do this first. Tell your well-meaning curious cats that you’re planning to “just enjoy being engaged for awhile before we make such a big decision.”

So what should you do? And what order? Well, as a wedding photographer, wedding planner, and recent bride, I can tell you what I’d recommend.

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1. Tell your family and friends. Pick up the phone and call them, and make sure they hear it from you first – and not on social media. I know you’re super excited to show everyone your ring, but wait a few minutes and let the important people know.

2. Now head up on that proverbial mountain, and announce it to the world. Change your Facebook status, Instagram that beauty of a rock that now resides on your finger, and generally share your happiness. Don’t forget to thank everyone individually for the well wishes they will inevitably post on your wall for days.

3. It’s time to talk dates. Choose your “A” date – this is the one you’d want in perfect world. Then choose a backup date. You’ll want to have options when you start calling venues and vendors. The best places and people book up quickly and it’s good to have a few choices so you’re not disappointed if one of your “must haves” is booked on your original date. It’s best to choose a day 10-18 months from your engagement.

4. Think about your vision for your Wedding. Is it Rustic, Elegant, Couture, Homespun, Vintage, Themed? This will play a big part in choosing your vendors, your dress, and all the other important parts (decor and venue included!) Scour Pinterest (we have a couple of boards here and here and here that we recommend!!)

5. Keep everyone in the loop. Create a Wedding Website or Blog, and share the story of how you met, how he proposed, all the cutesy details that you will soon tire of repeating because your sisters friend of a friend just HAS to hear it. Delegate this to a close friend (maid of honor??) to update as you get closer to the date and have more things planned/set.

6. Buy a wedding planning binder and a bag to carry things in. Make sure that your binder has lots of space and dividers. You’ll want these things all separate: Each vendor, ceremony, reception, decor, clothing, budget (and a pocket for receipts), guest list, and a place to just jot general notes and ideas. Also install something like Evernote or Wunderlist and make sure anyone who is important to your wedding does too, and you all synchronize from the same list.

7. Make your list of vendors and start researching. You’ll need to think about Officiant, Venue, Photographer, Videographer, DJ or band, Wedding planner or Day of Coordinator (don’t have a wedding without a person there on the day of to keep things going), Caterer, Bakery, Salon/Makeup Artist, Get-away vehicle (and driver – spend this time enjoying eachother alone, not driving!),

8. Find time to have your ring sized. Yes, this means you’ll have to go a few days without wearing it. And don’t forget to follow our tips in the weeks leading up to your day.

9. Talk Budget. This will determine every part of your wedding. When you’re talking budget, make sure you talk about what things are most important to you, and set aside a larger amount to pay for that. Also, ask your family members (mom & dad, grandparents) to know if they’re going to pitch in – and find out how much, and when. Most vendors will take payments, but they’ll need a “retainer fee” to book the date on their calendar. {What are most brides in our area spending on their weddings? Click here and see!}

10. Now that you have a budget, you can start your guest lists. Make sure to ask your parents (and grandparents) for their “perfect world” guest lists – and have them indicate the most important people to invite from their lists. You likely will need to make cuts somewhere – and don’t forget to send those you “cut” an Announcement of your marriage after the date.

… keep an eye out for our next “What’s Next?” post!


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