What to Do When You Get Engaged

What to Do When You Get Engaged

Best wishes on your engagement! If you’ve recently popped the question or said “yes” to a proposal you’ll want to get off on the right foot from the very beginning. Below you’ll find a step-by-step guide on what to do when you get engaged, from spreading the news to organizing your wedding planning. Keep reading and start dreaming!

fashionable-engagement-couple-proposal-kiss-photo-by-sara-france
Photographed by Sara France Photography - San Diego, California wedding photographers

1. Celebrate with your loved ones. No doubt you’re excited to share the news with your close friends and family. To keep things easy, be sure you tell your parents, siblings and other relatives before they get the news from someone else. Then, reach out to your very best friends that you know will be happy for you. Once they are taken care of, shout it out to your colleagues and other friends on social media. 

If you want to tell your friends in person before the word gets out, consider planning an engagement party. And if you want your news to be a surprise, think about a good way to delight people. A special outing or event, such as a picnic, a hike, or a visit to a favorite restaurant or landmark, is a great way to spend time together and you can use the occasion to announce you’re getting married.

bottom-up-view-of-group-toast-rayan-anastor-photography
Photographed by Rayan Anastor Photography - Michigan wedding photographers

2. Set a wedding date. Consider the timing and logistics of your wedding, including the season and location.  As soon as you put the word out, everyone will wonder when the big day will be, so having a date, or at least a time of year, will be helpful. If you’re thinking about a destination wedding, check with those closest to you, along with the friends you want in your wedding party, and get feedback on their availability. 

3. Determine your budget. Decide on how much you can comfortably spend on your wedding and start setting aside the funds for all your expenses. If family members are pitching in, they’ll want to know what you need sooner rather than later so they can make plans as well. The average wedding in France, Italy and the U.S.right now is roughly $33,000. In Australia, it’s over $22,000 and in Mexico, weddings run around $15,000. Since the price will largely depend on how many people you invite, the next thing to do is…

4. Begin your guest list. Make a rough draft of all the people you want to invite to your wedding. Then, make a list of the people you can’t live without. This will help you set a range for the total number of guests to invite, which will be crucial to all the rest of your wedding planning.

haiku-mill-maui-bride-and-groom-seated-among-guests-at-ceremony-melia-lucida
Photographed by Melia Lucida - Maui, Hawaii wedding photographers

5. Buy a wedding planning binder or create an online folder to keep all your important documents in, including contracts and receipts. Spreadsheets with guest information as well as the type, name, contact information, price and notes about each professional you’re interested in working with can go a long way in ensuring you stay on budget and get the support you’ll need for your wedding to unfold seamlessly.

6. Start researching and book trusted vendors. We suggest hiring your photographer, planner and venue first. Lucky for you, we’ve already done a thorough search of the most experienced and respected wedding photographers on the planet so start with our highly-curated directory and look for a photographer in your area with the style you love.  

7. Consider your wedding style and theme. Think about the overall look and feel you want for your wedding, including the colors, decor, and attire. To get inspired, check out our Details and Decor gallery for great ideas for delicious cakes, gorgeous floral arrangements, and dresses to die for.

bride-and-groom-relaxing-in-garden-on-sage-green-vintage-couches-aralani-photography-elope-adventurously
Photographed by Aralani Photography - Portland, Oregon wedding photographers

8. Take care of any legal requirements. Depending on where you live, you may need to obtain a marriage license and have a civil or religious ceremony. Make sure you understand and fulfill any legal requirements for getting married in your area.

Remember, planning a wedding can be overwhelming, so don't hesitate to enlist the help of friends and family, or consider hiring a wedding planner to help with the details. Their expertise is a must when your guest list is large, since planning a wedding is far more challenging than planning a party in terms of logistics and design. 

For tons more information on what to do after you get engaged, check out our Wedding Planning articles with expert advice on everything from How to Write Your Vows to How to Get Camera Ready.