Getting engaged can be one of the most exhilarating and rewarding moments of anyone’s life. The romance, the effort, the element of surprise—it all comes together in one dazzling moment of love.
But the whirlwind of events, decisions, and family gatherings that follow an engagement can be enough to cause some stress, if only for the sheer amount of organization and planning that becomes expected of the happy couple. So many things to do, and so many decisions to make!
But worry not. We’re here to guide you through the traditional timeline of post-engagement events and wedding planning. Plus, we’ll provide some clever tips for how to make every step of the way as beautiful and memorable as possible.
So… you’re engaged! Now what?
Amidst the flurry of excitement of becoming engaged to your beloved, it can be hard to know what your next move should be.
Well, here’s a secret: there are no rules.
Really! In the precious moments following your engagement, you needn’t feel obligated to do anything but bask in their glorious light. Take some time to really be present with your partner and do whatever feels right for you both.
While the announcing, organizing, and decision-making about venues, dresses, guests and catering will come later, now is the time for you and your partner to relish the precious moment. There’s plenty of time for rushing around and socializing later.
When you’re both ready you can…
1. Announce the good news
Once the initial wave of excitement has died down, let friends and family know about your engagement! They’ll be thrilled to hear the story of how and where it happened, and the news will start to feel more official once loved ones are in on the secret.
2. Book an engagement photo shoot
Once close family and friends know about the engagement, it’s time to hire an engagement photographer. These photos will serve as the announcement for extended family, peers, and neighbors to hear of your news and give you and your partner the gift of a visual memento of this precious moment in your lives.
Photo: RingShot Photography
3. Throw an engagement party
An engagement party is a great way to celebrate your decision to marry the love of your life. You have months (or in some cases, years) of wedding planning ahead before the big day, so a party now helps keep the excitement alive and invites your besties to get involved in the wedding planning process.
Your engagement party can be as big or small, as grand or simple as you and your partner would like. It’s a great opportunity to practice communication, organization, budgeting, and sharing responsibilities with your partner.
An engagement party is also the perfect opportunity for wedding vendor tryouts. Hire a party planner, DJ, caterer or floral designer for your engagement party and you’ll get an idea of their pricing, personalities, and work styles before the big day. But most important of all, have fun with it!
4. Meeting with a wedding planner
Once all the engagement photos are taken and everyone has heard your exciting news, it’s time to focus on planning your wedding. Meeting with a professional wedding planner will give you a better idea of venues, decor and color schemes to suit your theme, and all the other details that make a big day truly special.
Contrary to popular belief, a wedding planner can actually save you money in the long run. With special industry connections and an experienced eye for budgeting, a wedding planner can alleviate significant stress while saving you money at the same time.
5. Make a date with a boutique
Wedding planner or not, once the main wedding preparations are underway, you’ll want to start building up a visual map of what your big day is going to look like (it will also save you time closer to the date). Book an appointment with your best friends at your local boutique to try on looks, choose your wedding style, and gather ideas.
Photo: The Wedding Shoppe
How To Make Your Engagement Even MORE Extra
If you’re the type of person that likes to go all-in, an “extra” engagement might be appealing to you.
In a time where there is so much going on in the world, putting in that extra little bit of energy to make your life feel incredible is well worth the effort. And what better time to apply that mentality than to your engagement?
These three tips to amp up your engagement will sweeten the deal.
Photo: Brooklyn Bowl
1. Create a wedding hashtag
Call it superficial, call it what you like, but celebrating your life by announcing your engagement online can feel really gratifying and exciting. Plus, it’s a great way to immortalize the moment and spread the news far and wide that you are getting married. Consider creating a wedding hashtag that incorporates your names like #BenJenAtLast #CelebrateAffleckLopez or #BenLovesJen that you can use to share memories throughout the planning process and even post-wedding.
2. Hire a photographer to capture the journey
Why limit your photographic journey to just the engagement and wedding days? You can hire someone to take beautiful pictures of the first time you try on your dress, shop for flowers, and plan wedding details with your partner. All of these memories are ripe for capturing in the incredible medium of photography. You won’t regret it.
3. Treat yourselves
The decision to get married to your partner is one well worth celebrating in any way you can. The road to the wedding may be full of arduous admin and task-mastering, so go ahead and treat each other to something that keeps your eyes set on the prize: each other.
This can be in the form of whatever makes you two happiest as a couple. Little getaways, fancy dinner nights, spa massages, or fabulous gifts—do what makes you feel special.
Above all, remember that engagement symbolizes your commitment to marriage, so breathe deeply, have fun, and connect with one another. The journey from yes to I do is an exciting one, and you can make it as memorable as your wedding!
Featured photo: The Lake House Inn
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