It is engagement season which really puts us in a good mood. Isn't it fascinating? With the Spring wedding season just around the corner, the flowers are preparing to bloom, and the sun is becoming more prominent. Romantic engagements are popping up all over social media. But it doesn't end here of course. While this moment is one that you will cherish forever, there are a few things you should definitely do first to get the ball rolling into planning the wedding of your dreams.
Here's what to do after getting engaged:
1. Announce Your Engagement
Let all of your immediate family and closest friends know about your engagement. You can simply give them a call or you can go all out and throw an engagement party. It's always nice to let those closest to you know in person rather than them finding out in a random social media post. They're already suspicious, let them know what's up personally. This is also a great time for engagement photos.
2. Love on the Ring
After announcing to those closest to you, show off your new bling by posting a ring selfie! You might even begin a unique hashtag for everyone to use when posting pictures of you and your new fiance. This is also a good time to have your ring re-sized if needed and to get your ring insured.
3. Continue to Date Each Other
The most common mistake that newly engaged couples make is getting super excited and getting married as soon as possible. This does not give them the time to continue dating one another. Getting engaged is a huge step. Don't follow it up to closely with an even bigger one. Give yourself a gap period to continue getting to know each other on a more sophisticated level. You could even try going through pre-marital counseling to get a better understanding of how you will live your lives together.
4. Decide Your Guest List and Budget
Knowing the number of guests you anticipate directly correlates to the overall budget since many of the larger expenses of a wedding will depend on your guest count. For example, food and beverage cost can be upwards of $50-150 per person. That said, a guest count of 300 is going to require a much higher budget than a guest count of 100. By rule of thumb we typically recommend arranging to spend a minimum of $150 per person towards your overall wedding budget. This will typically cover the essentials, but consider preparing to spend more if you have any ideas about high end 4-course meals or luxury brands. Keep in mind, that your budget and guest count go hand in hand, so one way to reduce your overall cost is to reduce your guest count.
5. Get Inspired
Browse through Instagram and Pinterest to get all those fantastic ideas and creative juices flowing. Focus in on a style or a direction you want for your overall wedding aesthetic and color palette. Getting a solid idea where you are headed is going to help you and your designer to create a cohesive and impressive design plan for your dream wedding.
6. Shop for a Venue and a Date
You can't finalize the date until you confirm the venue. So, now is the time to begin your search for the perfect location. There are literally countless options and possibilities. In Charleston, our venues range from ballrooms, to gardens, to antique homes, and museums. Select a venue that best suits your vision, but be sure to consider the climate during the time of year you hope to book for. Once you have finalized the venue and the date, it's time to send out your Save the Dates!
7. Wedding Gowns
After you get engaged, don't rush into finding your perfect wedding dress, but make your decision gradually. Look into several designer dresses and make your decision based on how you look and feel in the dress. Believe me, the gown of your dreams will stand out from all the rest. I also recommend choosing a bridesmaid dress at this time if you want for all of your maids to wear the same one. It will be less stressful on you if you select a dress and provide the information to your bridesmaids from the start. If you are ok with your bridesmaids looking less uniform, then you can hold off on this and allow your bridesmaids to give their input.
8. Select Your Tribe
Now for the fun part, choosing the best people for the most important day of your life is quite the task. Begin by selecting your Maid of Honor and Best Man carefully. These should be people who you can count on and who will not buckle under pressure. Then select the rest of your party. Remember that they are your support system throughout the wedding planning process. Understanding this is an emotional task, choose wisely. Also, try to be as upfront about your expectations as possible from the start. Be clear about the cost and the time commitment of being your attendant to avoid conflict.
9. Consider a Wedding Planner
These are just the first 10 steps we recommend after getting engaged, but there is still a very long journey ahead. Bringing a professional planner on board will help ease the planning process and make easy work of the logistics and design. Do a little research to find a wedding planner that is perfect for your needs; someone you connect with. Wedding planners in Charleston are a great resource for vendor referrals and new developments in the wedding industry.
10. Take a Breather
Do something spontaneous and fun with your fiance. See a movie, take a trip, or take up a new hobby together. Whatever you do, just have a great time. Wedding planning has the potential to be such a stressful task, so try to take as much time as you can throughout the planning process to just do things that make you smile and laugh together. Remember why you chose to get engaged in the first place.
The secret to being happily engaged is to take it slow. Don't feel rushed to make a bunch of major decisions in a short period of time. Don't make impulsive minor purchases either because they are often followed by regret and they add up. When it comes to hiring vendors, those who linger over a decision for a long time are typically the most stressed. When you fall in love with a vendor and they check off all of your boxes, make a swift decision to hire them, and take your date off the market in their books.
This is surely going to be one of the best experiences of your life. Simply relax and focus on your devotion to one another. After all, this is what really matters in the end.