You just got engaged, congratulations! These 13 things to do after you get engaged will help you stay organized, on track, on budget, and on your way to planning your dream wedding.
1. Purchase a Wedding Organizer/Binder
Once you’re engaged there will be so much researching and planning, you’ll want to keep everything organized. The best way to do this is to use a wedding organizer binder, which can either be an actual wedding binder(costs around $20 or less) or a plain 3 ring binder(costs around $5 or less). The Wedding Organizer we recommend is:
The Wedding Planner & Organizer by Mindy Weiss – Mindy Weiss is a celebrity wedding planner. She created this all-in-one Wedding Planner & Organizer to help couples keep track of every detail leading up to their Big Day. It includes exactly what you need for on-the-go, on-the-ground wedding planning. You can take it with you to every meeting, take notes, keep loose paperwork like business cards, pamphlets, print-outs, photos etc, and keep completely organized.
2. Insure your Engagement Ring
You now have this beautiful engagement ring that is not just sentimental, it’s a huge investment. If your ring is ever stolen, falls down the drain, or a prong breaks, you will be so glad you purchased that insurance. Contact your home owners or renters insurance and add your wedding ring to the policy.
3. Decide on the Type of Wedding you Want
Photo by: Emily Harris Photography
Start brainstorming with your fiance on the type of wedding you want. Talk about how many guests, formality and style. Try to come up with a general idea of what you both envision and want. Look at magazines and wedding websites to get inspiration and collect ideas. Learn what you both want and don’t want in your wedding.
4. Establish a Budget
Once you’ve figured out the type of wedding and estimated number of guests, you can come up with a rough cost estimate and budget. Figuring out your budget is a must before booking a wedding venue or hiring vendors. Find out how to create a wedding budget that is realistic, you can stick to, and still have a perfect wedding.
5. Decide on a Wedding Date Range
The most popular wedding months are June, September, and October since early summer and fall have beautiful weather. And since these months are the most popular, lots of dates will be booked and venue costs will be at peak levels. If you’re trying to save money on your venue, off season dates may save you on your venue cost. But, you may have to sacrifice other areas, for example, off season flowers can be very expensive. The same goes for Friday versus Saturday wedding dates. If your venue charges less for Friday wedding reception, your vendors may not do the same. Also, you’ll want to consider where you want to honeymoon; you won’t want to book a date during hurricane season if you’ll be honeymooning in the Caribbean.
6. Choose your Wedding Ceremony & Reception Venue
Now that you have a rough estimate of how many guests you’ll be inviting, the type of wedding you want, and what season your wedding will take place in, you can determine your ceremony and venue location. When you visit a wedding venue, be sure to make the appointment at the time of day your wedding will be. This will give you the most realistic feel and view of the venue. Also, make sure to find out if the venue is full service or not. A full service venue will offer everything from table & chairs to linens & catering. Non full service venues may only offer the space and you need to book everything else. Other venues have a list of required vendors that you must choose from, not giving you the option to freely choose any vendor you want.
7. Book your Photographer & Other High Priority Vendors
Many top wedding photographers and other in demand vendors book more than a year in advance. Make sure to book the vendors you want quickly to secure them before they are gone. Research our list of top wedding photographers now. Find out more about when to book your wedding vendors.
8. Choose your Bridal Party
Photo by: Mattson Photography
The sooner you ask, the sooner you can get the help you need from them with shopping, planning, and just making the most fun of your wedding. Plus, it will give your bridal party time to budget their money that they’ll need to spend on your wedding. Don’t forget to be good to your bridal party, find out how here.
9. Select your Wedding Invitations
Keep in mind the type of wedding and theme you have chosen when picking an invitation. This will be your guests first glimpse at the style of your wedding, so you’ll want your invitations to reflect the wedding day you and your fiance have envisioned together.
10. Shop for Dresses & Tuxes
Have some fun and go shopping for your dress and accessories! Plan a day to take your maid of honor or mom along for some support, then take them out to lunch for a special treat! Once you think you’ve found the right dress, don’t second guess yourself, relax and look no further. Then you can choose and order your bridesmaids dresses and accessories. And, don’t forget to have your fiance and groomsmen pick out and rent their formal wear.
11. Begin Choosing your Wedding Cake & Florist
Photo by: Corbin Gurkin Photography
Collect photos of cakes and flowers that have caught your eye. Provide the baker and the florist with as much information about your wedding such as location(photos), formality, theme, your dress, colors(fabric swatches), and menu. This will help them to customize and give you suggestions on what works best for your wedding.
12. Select your Wedding Transportation
Photo by: Marc Sadowski Photography
Choose the type of transportation for you and your wedding party. You can get creative and unique like a party bus or bicycles, or choose a traditional limo. Don’t forget about your guests from out of town, provide them a ride from their hotel and back.
13. Think of Honeymoon Ideas
Deciding on where to go for your honeymoon can be overwhelming. Sit down with your fiance and each make a list of your top 5 choices and compare. Look for similarities in what you want, like action filled outdoor activities, relaxing spas, or urban getaways, and choose a destination that fits.
Once you’ve completed these 13 things to do after you get engaged, you’ll be on your way to a wedding of your dreams! Enjoy every minute of it because it will go by fast.
Here are more wedding planning timeline tips from our expert photographer members to help with your planning.