Getting engaged is one of those life events that you’ll remember forever, and kicks off the beginning of a crazy, amazing, and whirlwind time. But having never been engaged before, you might be asking yourself: What now?!
Well, there’s not one right answer — since this time is all about celebrating you and your fiancé, you should definitely spend it in a way that’s meaningful to both of you! However, if you’d like a general outline or roadmap of what you should be doing in the next month to work up to wedding planning, then I’ve got you covered with this list of 10 things to do the month after you get engaged. You can follow it to a T or pick and choose what makes sense for you, but these are things all brides will need to think about or do eventually. So, why not start out prepared?
1. Pop some bubbly
I mean, this one goes without saying, right?
2. Call your folks
Sure, you might want to give it some time right after the actual proposal to let the whole thing sink in. But sharing this news with your loved ones not too long after the proposal is not only important…it’s fun!
3. Take an awesome engagement ring selfie
It sounds a lot easier than it actually is. Luckily, we wrote a guide on how to do it right, so your selfie will be WOW (not womp-womp).
4. Plot an awesome way to break the news to friends
I mean sure, you could snap the selfie and throw it up on Facebook…but wouldn’t it be more fun to surprise your closest friends with a more creative approach? We love these 3 original ideas right here.
5. Go on a dinner date & discuss wedding aspirations with your fiance
A couple days after your proposal, go out for dinner and start outlining wedding ideas. No need to drill down into specifics — this is more of a conversation to get the broad strokes of your wedding picture. What season do you both think would work best? Do you want to get married outdoors or indoors? Do you picture your wedding being large or small? Getting on the same page will make talking about your wedding easier to friends and family who ask about it.
Another exercise I would definitely encourage you both to do is discuss your wedding must-haves, as well as things you don’t care for. For example, having a great wedding photographer might be your first priority, while a small wedding might be important to your fiancé. You may not want any bridesmaids, while he might not want to do a mother-son dance. Knowing what’s important to each person as early as possible is a great way to set expectations early and prioritize what you want for your wedding later on.
6. Wear out the phrase “We’re just trying to enjoy being engaged”.
Every newly-engaged bride and groom is guilty of wearing out this phrase. I know I am. But sometimes when you just don’t know the answers to the endless barrage of wedding-related questions, this sweet little phrase is the easiest way out of an annoying conversation. Just make sure you’ve retired the phrase a few months into your engagement, or friends and family will start getting antsy for real answers.
7. Set a budget
This should be the first major wedding planning thing you do. Yes, the FIRST.
It’s not the most fun or sexy part of wedding planning, but having a budget set before you start calling vendors will save you a lot of heartache. Finding out your dream venue you had your heart set on is actually 10k out of budget is not fun. But, a very likely experience if you don’t set your budget early. So, bite the bullet and have the money talk with your parents and fiancé, and see what’s available for the wedding fund. Then thank me later.
8. Start researching & making initial wedding planning decisions
Now that you have your budget, start doing initial research the building blocks of your wedding. What venues are in your wedding location, and what are their price points? Are you going to hire a planner? If so, this should be another one of the first vendors you start researching.
9. If you’re having an engagement party, start making plans
It’s likely that a friend or family member has volunteered to help put together an engagement party for you two; but if not, start making plans and recruit your closest pals to help out.
10. Treat yo’ self
It’s going to be a whirlwind month. So in the midst of all the engagement and initial wedding planning craziness, take some time to slow down and treat yourself! Whether it’s buying that cute little white dress you had your eye on or treating yourself to a relaxing mani-pedi, now is the time to pamper. After all, you just got engaged and are about to spend the next year planning a wedding! If not now, when?
Hopefully this is a good starting point for thinking about what to do now you got that rock on your finger! Your engagement is an exciting time, so make sure to spend it well and share your happiness with your loved ones. Tell us about your engagement and wedding planning aspirations! Or, if you have questions about your engagement and would like feedback from a newly engaged bride, just ask me in the comments — having gone through this just a few months ago, I’d love to help out!