Ask the Expert: The First Five “To-Dos” After You Get Engaged

by Ryan Conner | December 28, 2016

A wedding designed and planned by Grit + Gold. Photo by Charla Storey Photography.

Thanks to Jennifer Gardiner, lead wedding planner at Grit + Gold for answering this week’s reader question:

I’m engaged! What do I do next?

1. Announce your engagement! Shout it, tweet it, blog it, Instagram it–whatever your form of communication might be, let the world know your good news! Just be sure to call your closest friends and family before you blast it to the rest of the world. They will be even more excited for you and your soon-to-be if you take the time to personally call them to let them know your good news.

2. Get organized! The not so glamorous side of wedding planning involves tons of emails, paperwork, and contracts.  The good news is that there are a ton of resources out there to help brides-to-be! Start by reaching out to wedding planners to arrange consultations. You don’t have to go at wedding planning alone. Many planners can keep you organized, providing checklists and timelines as well as budget spreadsheets. Planners have so much industry knowledge which saves time and money. Setting yourself up with right tools early on in the planning process will guarantee success and less stress.

3. Determine your budget. Finances can be a bit of a sticky topic of conversation, but it is better to set realistic expectations early on in the planning process to help avoid any unnecessary stress later on. Sit down with your fiance and both of your families and determine how much everyone is willing to contribute, and the most feasible budget for your ideal wedding. Your budget will be a major factor in every decision you make in the planning process, so it is important to establish this as early on as you can.

4. Pick a date. Even if you haven’t narrowed down the specific date, it is a good idea to go ahead and select the ideal time frame that will work best for your big day. Once this is established, you can start making some major wedding decisions, like choosing your venue, and ideal vendor team.

5. Get inspired. Now for the fun part! Grab a few wedding mags and a bottle of wine with your soon-to-be spouse, and start imagining your ideal wedding. This day should be a reflection of you and your finance, so get inspired by the things you both love the most. Do you love to travel? Are you big foodies? Let your wedding style naturally develop based on the things you both love, and go from there.