If you just got engaged, you’re probably still reeling from the excitement of it all. Not only do you get to marry the love of your life, but you’re about to embark of a fun year (or less) of planning the biggest party you’re likely to have in your lifetime—you’re wedding. While the initial month of your engagement is nothing short of exhilarating in almost every way, it can also be a bit stressful to say the least. “Almost immediately after you get engaged even strangers will start asking you whether or not you’ve set a date or chosen a venue,” says Sarah Quinlivan of Quintessential Events in Kansas City, Missouri. “Don’t let the constant bombardment of those questions weigh you down—instead, do small and big things to celebrate, like going out to a nice dinner with friends and family, buying a few wedding magazines or looking at Pinterest.” The most important thing she recommends to all newly engaged couples is to take time to simply be engaged. Once you feel ready, then you can start planning!
Need a little guidance? Here are seven things you can (and should) start doing the month after you get engaged.
Celebrate with a nice dinner (or activity) just the two of you.
Nicole McCann of Exhale Events in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, suggests giving yourselves a week after the proposal at least to just enjoy the moment between the two of you. “Reality will have set in and all of the phone calls and texts likely will have diminished,” she says. “Turn your phones off and celebrate with just the two of you—before you know it, you’ll have everyone trying to help you with wedding planning!” This is something she recommends doing often throughout the wedding planning process so that you don’t lose the all-important connection you share.
Celebrate with family and friends.
Once you’ve let family and friends know, there will likely be many questions and then the ask to celebrate. “In an effort to not feel overwhelmed by an instant amount of dinners out and repeating yourself more often than not organize a group evening out for drinks where everyone that wants to see you can join and celebrate in one spot,” says McCann. “Pick one of your favorite places and ask your friends and family to join you. This creates a casual way to see everyone you love and celebrate your exciting milestone!”
Take care of all things ring.
Your ring is going to be your new and forever accessory, but there are a few things planners recommend to ensure it is secure. “You’ll want to be sure get the ring properly sized right after you get engaged so it doesn’t fall off and also ensure that you have proper insurance on it, should something happen to it,” says McCann. “And lastly, if you haven’t already done so, treat yourself to a manicure—you’re going to be showing those hands a lot in the next few months!”
Discuss the vision for your wedding day.
Before you start telling your friends and family about all of the wedding details you’d like to see come to fruition, have a talk between the two of you, before everyone else inputs their opinion on your special day. “By sitting down and having an open and honest discussion about how you both envision your day will make you a stronger team through the process,” says McCann. ?This might include preliminary budget talks, design aesthetic, dream vendors, day of flow, or that must-have ice cream truck at the end of the night.”
Create a budget.
While this might not be the most exciting (or enjoyable) to-do, creating your budget is an important one. “Everyone has a threshold—and, like it or not, weddings aren’t cheap, so it’s really important you know what you can manage,” says Brooke Palmer Kuhl of RSBP Events in Tampa Bay, Florida. “Do not go into debt for Chiavari chairs, but do identify what is important and allocate the funds there.”
Establish a rough guest list.
Along with budget, creating a guest list can be incredibly helpful soon after you get engaged, since the more people you invite, the more your wedding will cost. First thing first: Determine if you want a small or large wedding. “Do you want all your friends, family and your parents’ friends there? Or do you only want immediate family and best friends?” asks Quinlivan. Once you have an idea of what size you want, she suggests making more than one guest list—list A, B and C—of who has to be invited or you would like to invite. “Consult with your parents and other involved parties on who must be invited and who can be cut and from there, craft the final list,” she says. “Our advice is to focus on those people you know will be in your lives for years to come.”
Don’t forget why you got engaged in the very first place—to enter a new chapter of your life with your soon-to-be spouse. At the end of the day, the wedding is about just that: a marriage. “It’s important to keep that in check as your start the wedding planning process,” says McCann. “Weddings are a highly emotional day and you want to be sure to secure a team that will be your biggest advocate and ensure your day is a true reflection of the both of you.”