So you're officially engaged? First off, congrats (and let us see that ring)! Now that you've said Yes, you'll want to follow some simple steps before you get to saying I do. Below, we've broken down 10 things to do once you're engaged. Read on, preferably over a glass of bubbly!
Take a well deserved celebratory moment with your significant other. Go to dinner just the two of you, stay up late with a bottle of champagne. Call your closest family and friends to share the great news! The key here is to take time to yourself to not talk about wedding planning or stress budget details. Instead, simply take time to be with your new fiance and enjoy each other.
2. Treat Yourself!
Have your nails professionally done. Everyone will be asking to see that beautiful sparkler on your left hand, so a mani is a great idea. Or, if you're more into relaxation, opt for a massage. Or, maybe you're tired of cooking dinner every night and want to hire a chef to do it for you one night. Whatever indulgence you prefer, take some time to treat yourself to something that feels special and celebratory.
3. Start Thinking of a Few Potential Dates
There’s no need to get terribly specific at this point, but you can start to think about the time of year you’d like to get married (Spring vs. Fall) or any particular months you’d like to avoid (December because of holiday commitments, March because of too many family birthdays, etc.). Brainstorm with your partner, and make the planning process a fun one by not getting too bogged down with details at this point.
4. Sign Up For a Free Aisle Planner Account
Take a tour through the tools you’ll use most: The Guest Manager, Budget, and Planning Checklist. Wedding planning can be intimidating, stressful and chaotic to say the least. Using our cloud-based software ensures you can access all of your wedding related items—inspiration images, vendor contracts, communications with your wedding planner, etc.—anywhere, anytime in one simple place.
5. Build Your Tribe
Start thinking of those important people who you want to be a part of your wedding. Not only the bridal party, but important family members who may be readers, ushers, officiants, bachelorette party invitees and more. Again, you don't have to get specific at this stage, but it's fun to start brainstorming about old friends and new!
6. Talk Money
This may be the least fun (but most necessary of all of today's steps). You'll eventually need to figure out who will be contributing to your wedding budget, and the amount they are offering. Build out a budget based on the contributions as well as what you will contribute, and begin to build your financial breakdown using your Aisle Planner Budget tool.
7. Hire a Wedding Planner
Your planner will be absolutely essential as you embark on the journey of finding a venue, building your event partner team, establishing your creative vision and most important, staying on budget! A planner has access to insider information, industry whole-sale pricing and has tons of trusted vendor relationships. So, while some think hiring a planner is a luxury they can't afford, hiring a professional wedding planner often saves you money (and not to mention stress and sanity) in the long run.
8. Start Building Your Guest List
This is where the real planning starts. Everything stems from your guest count—the venue you need, the amount of food you'll need, what types of favors you can afford, how much decor you can afford, etc.—which is why beginning to build your guest list early on is huge. Plus, it also sets the mood for the type of wedding you'll have. There's a huge difference in both budget and overall atmosphere for a 75-person wedding versus a 300-person wedding.
Start by prioritizing who you’d like to be at your wedding, based on the number you can financially afford and go from there. You’ll need estimated guest count as you’re considering venues, catering teams, ceremony sites and more. Remember to allow for a number of invites for both parent groups if they’re contributing to the budget.
Photo courtesy Shane and Lauren Photography