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10 Things You Should Do When You're First Engaged

Updated: Mar 2

Getting engaged is so exciting! If you're reading this, you probably just said "yes" to the person of your dreams! You're all giddy, your mood is high, and I just want to say CONGRATULATIONS. First and foremost, soak it in and enjoy this time of your life where you don't necessarily have to have wedding plans set in stone yet. Take a month or two to chill because I am sure you know, there will be plenty of time to stress about wedding decisions. Once you are prepared to start your planning process, you can tackle these first ten tasks to really get the ball rolling.

1. Take time to soak in your engagement

It may be so, so exciting to run straight to your phones + social media to announce your engagement, trust me- 2024 Bride here! Before announcing it to the world, take some time to really soak it in just the two of you. Pop a bottle of bubbly, go to a celebratory dinner, dance in your apartment together, whatever you need to do to revel in this huge change in your lives!

2. Announce your engagement

Unless you're planning on keeping your engagement a secret for a bit, feel free to call your friends and family to let them know the amazing news! Telling your close friends and family before changing your relationship status online is important to avoid hurt feelings. However, it's your engagement, so if you want to announce it to save yourself from having a million conversations, you do you!

3. Celebrate!

Maybe you have been to an engagement party (or not). However, if you're wanting to throw a small party with friends and family to announce or celebrate your engagement. This is the perfect time to do so! It can be anything from a nice dinner at a local restaurant to a bbq in your backyard! It's your party celebrating this new milestone between you and your partner, you can call the shots!

4. Insure your engagement ring

There are so many websites out there to walk you through this process. If your engagement ring is expensive, you are going to want to have some sort of insurance to cover it in case it is lost, damaged, or stolen. The cost of insurance is typically 1-2% off the total ring value.

5. Start dreaming of your wedding plans

The best way to do this is create a pinterest and start saving wedding inspiration you love! From venues, to florals, to photo styles! This will help you narrow things down later + even when selecting vendors and sharing your vision!

6. Set your wedding budget

We get it, talking about money can be uncomfortable for so many people, but it is an important step to planning your wedding early on! Remember there are going to be unexpected wedding expenses that may take you by surprise (vendor gratuities, alterations, jewelry, honeymoon plans, etc.), you're going to want to plan for these things now so you don't have to sacrifice later.

Some couples receive help from their parents or grandparents, others who are footing the bill themselves may opt to have a smaller event or destination wedding. All are completely valid options that you can explore.

7. Create a potential guest list

Gather all of your potential guests on a list, parents, grandparents, friends from college, work mates, distant relatives you may be closer to, etc. I always say, if you wouldn't have them over to your house for a weeknight dinner, should they really be invited to your wedding?

You can also create an "A" and "B" list for your guests, where the "A" list embodies those who you absolutely must have at your wedding, and the "B" list can be those who fill in spots or are invited a bit later if your budget allows for more guests.

Having a guest list right off the bat will help you when selecting a venue. Certain venues have a set capacity, so you will know whether or not you will have to trim your guest list or not.

No matter what, never feel guilty about your guest list. It's your wedding day and you really want to surround yourself with the people who matter the most to you and care about you and your partner. Don't worry about collecting addresses or phone numbers at this point, once you have a venue and a date set this will be more important then.

8. Search for a wedding planner (if desired)

A wedding planner can help you with SO MUCH. From venue + vendor searching to helping create a design and decor plan for your big day. Having a wedding planner can really benefit couples who are busy with work, not enjoying the planning process, or wanting someone else there for extra assistance. While it doesn't always fit in everyone's budget, our biggest suggestion is at least hiring a day of coordinator to ensure a professional is taking care of everything day of and finalizing those last details leading up to your big day. It will take a lot of stress off of your plate closer to your wedding day, which can be a relief.

9. Choose a venue + set a date

You have your guest count + budget, now it is time to tour venues! You can first start by deciding if you want a local or destination wedding? Do you want it indoors, outdoors, tented? Are you wanting to have a church ceremony or same-site ceremony and reception?

When you start touring venues it is important to ask the venue questions to understand what to expect on wedding day. The questions we typically suggest asking are:

  • Is the date we are wanting available? If not, what are some other dates surrounding that are?

  • What is the cancellation policy or fee?

  • How many weddings do you host in a day / weekend?

  • What are the rates for the different days of the week (Friday versus Saturday)?

  • What is the required deposit amount? Do you offer payment plans?

  • Do you require us to use a specific list of vendors or can we bring in our own?

  • Are there any noise or decor restrictions?

  • Is there a food or beverage minimum? If we don't meet this, what is the consequence?

  • When does access begin at the venue? If we wanted to purchase additional time for getting ready is this allowed?

  • When is the typical rehearsal time for weddings?

Don't forget to snap photos + videos on your tours to look back on and recall what you saw to compare venues, if needed. Once you select a venue, you have your wedding date + can begin searching for your dream venue team!

10. Secure your vendors

It used to be easy to push off securing wedding vendors for months or weeks before your wedding date. These days, reliable vendors are booking up 12-18 months in advance. Of course, there are still going to be fantastic vendors out there that will be available for your date, but be mindful of your timing. As a planner / day of coordinator, even we book out 12-18 months, sometimes 24 months before a set wedding date.

Be sure you vet your vendors and choose people that are reliable, have previous work to showcase, and HAVE A CONTRACT. Trust me, you do not want to be caught up on your wedding day wondering where your vendor is and not having anything holding them to being there for you on your big day. It is also super important to select vendors that you really "vibe" with. I can't tell you how many times I have met with a couple that tells me their vendor team is great "except for so-and-so". It's unfortunate because you want to have trust in the people you hire, and not only that, but you want to LOVE their work and how they show up for you. So pick vendors that you're obsessed with!

My biggest suggestion for wedding planning is to just have fun with it. It shouldn't be stressful or taking all of your energy, but there are times that it for sure does! Break out the bottle of bubbly, order a pizza, make it a date night and get to planning! Of course, if you're looking for extra help, our team at redwood weddings is always here for you for every step of this next adventure!


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