engagement photo

Photo: Tony Gambino Photography

Whether it was a total surprise or totally expected, getting engaged is one of the most exciting times of your life. While you’re probably on a bit of a post-engagement high, it’s totally normal to have mixed emotions during this time—and maybe even feel somewhat stressed about what’s to come.


Overshare

Yes, your family members and friends are super-excited for you. But that doesn’t mean you need to repeatedly update your social media feeds with every detail about your engagement. One social media post announcing your engagement is appropriate (don’t forget to start researching wedding hashtags, too!)—there’s plenty you’ll want to share as you move through the wedding planning process, so no need to overdo it now.

Make a huge purchase

We all know that weddings are expensive—an average of $28,000 in the United States. Until you finalize your wedding budget, it’s best to hold off on making any major purchases (anything from a new car to that pricey new purse), if possible. It’s best to sit down with your future spouse and any parents or family members who may be contributing to the wedding and figure out how much you’ll actually be spending on your wedding. You may need to be a little tighter with your finances during your wedding planning process, so be mindful when eyeing any non-wedding-related splurges unless they’re absolutely necessary.

engagement ring

Photo: Katelyn Prisco Photography

Wait to insure the engagement ring

An engagement ring is an extremely valuable piece of jewelry—both financially and sentimentally. Be sure to get it insured before wearing it around—this is not something to put off (yes, we know you’re busy). It’s easier than you think to lose or damage an engagement ring, so better to be safe than sorry. And while you’re at it, make sure that the ring is sized properly so it doesn’t slip off.

Verbally invite people to your wedding

Sure, immediate family members and your best friends are definite invites to your wedding. However, there are probably lots of people who you’re pretty sure will be invited but it’s not definite. Avoid telling people that they’re invited to your wedding until you’ve booked your venue and created your guest list with your partner. You may end up falling in love with a venue that has a smaller capacity than you anticipated, or you may decide not to invite co-workers after a debate with your partner. You don’t want people to feel misled and disappointed—or even angry—at their lack of invitation to your big day.

Start trouble with in-laws

Start off your relationship with your future in-laws on the right foot. Even if they’re not your favorite people, your future in-laws are family now, so avoid starting drama with them—particularly at this early point in your engagement. Even if, for example, your mother-in-law is stirring the pot by asking inappropriate questions about your wedding or trying to insert her opinion where it doesn’t belong (“Well, I have to invite my co-worker’s kids!” or “You must get married at our club!”), try to deflect her as much as possible. A simple and polite statement like “We’re just enjoying our engagement right now and aren’t really ready to start making wedding decisions” should hold her off—at least for a little while. Your partner should also be able to handle his or her own family and help keep the peace.

happy couple

Photo: Blueflash Photography

Buy wedding attire

Even if you’ve dreamed of a particular wedding dress or other attire for years, hold off on buying anything until you’ve booked your venue. Remember that where and when you’re getting married informs what you should wear (for example, you wouldn’t wear a heavy ballgown to a summer wedding on the beach). Feel free to get that wedding dress Pinterest board going, but wait to start shopping until that venue contract is signed.

Say “yes” to everything

In the days after your engagement, your loved ones are going to want to celebrate you and your partner. Dinners, phone calls, happy hours, parties—it may feel like a whirlwind of activity. Amid the chaos, don’t forget or neglect what this whole celebration is all about—your relationship with your future spouse. Try to take some time to be alone with your partner in a quiet setting—not to discuss your upcoming wedding, but just to be together. Don’t be afraid to say no or to postpone certain events (that wine date with your camp friend can wait a few months) to maintain your sanity and avoid getting burnt out so early on. There’s plenty of celebrating still to come.