Congratulations on Your Engagement! What to Do Next

There are fewer moments more exciting than when that ring slips onto your finger for the first time. After you tell your friends and family the great news, this excitement easily can turn into a frantic realization of how much you have to accomplish between now and your wedding day. But don’t panic! Although it is a rather lengthy to-do list, first things first. Let us break down your top five post-engagement action items so you can kick-start your wedding planning without diving in too deep.

party

Step 1: Celebrate simply

Always remember to take time to celebrate this momentous occasion. Traditionally, the parents of the bride host an engagement party for the happy couple. If you happen to be the one hosting, however, keep your workload light with easy engagement-party ideas. Remember: You have a lot of work ahead of you, so pace yourself! Don’t worry about registering for engagement gifts, either. Registering is best left for wedding gifts.

Step 2: Set your budget

This may sound complicated, but all we’re talking about is a basic estimate of how much you are comfortable with spending on your wedding. Now is the time to ask your parents and family if they are willing and able to help. Only when you have a general idea on budget can you move on to the next steps.

Step 3: Pick your planner

To hire or DIY — that is the question. If you have the funds, a wedding planner is truly invaluable. But if you’re looking to cut costs, all you need is elbow grease and a good wedding-planner book. This planner from Target is a complete workbook designed to be used with your partner to address what both of you want out of your special day. Plus, it comes with Cash Back at Rakuten!

Bride and groom

Step 4: Get the venue

Finding your perfect wedding venue will impact not only your budget, but also your wedding date. Many venues are booked well in advance; some even a year or longer in advance! Once you have the date locked in, you can start booking all the services you need, from photographers to entertainment.

Wedding dresses

Step 5: Go dress shopping

Most wedding dresses are made to order, and oftentimes, you can even choose between standard sizing and custom sizing, which takes longer. Aim to order your gown six to seven months before your wedding to avoid rush fees, fittings and alterations. Keep in mind that it may take you some time to find the one.

Save the date

Step 6: Save-the-Dates

Sending out save-the-dates is essential to giving your guests plenty of notice about your wedding day. They are especially useful if you are planning a destination wedding and want to give your guests extra time to book travel and hotels. Take some romantic engagement photos and upload them to Minted to create your custom save-the-dates.

Briana is a shopaholic whose newest obsession is matching top-and-skirt sets (but she also can’t resist a good jumpsuit). She loves rock music, horror movies and is an all-around pop culture junkie. She is, without fail, always down for karaoke. Her blog, Mamafierce, is a chronicle of personal fashion, body positivity and the adventures of motherhood. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three-year-old son and tortoiseshell cat, Divvy.

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