10 Essential To-Do’s For Newly-Engaged Couples
Kick start your wedding planning process with this quick list of newly-engaged couple to-do's.
Congrats, you’re engaged! Now you are probably asking yourself "What do I need to do right away after getting engaged?" While the average engagement these days lasts anywhere from a year to a year-and-a-half, there are some essential to-do’s—that are also wedding etiquette friendly—to tackle right away.
Before we dive into this list of newly-engaged couple to-dos's, please pause for just a moment. Breathe. Make sure to relish this awesome occasion with your new fiancé, and savor this time before the wedding planning hustle begins. Then you can get going on checking off these to-do’s!
1. Tell your families before you tell your followers
We’re sure you’re going to want to share the news quickly—but hold on one second. Before spilling the beans on your Instagram or Facebook page, be sure to tell your parents, siblings, grandparents, and other close relatives and friends. You would probably feel bummed if your best friend or sister got engaged and you found out during your Saturday morning Facebook catch-up. And after sharing the news with your closest people—then by all means show off that #ringselfie online!
2. Capture your love story/engagement story
Before too much time passes and while you’re still riding high on your engagement, write down every wonderful detail of your relationship. From how and when you met, to your first date, then of course the proposal. You will be glad you captured it all down on paper and will fondly look back on it during your marriage. This is also a great piece to add to your wedding website, too. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- How did you meet?
- What was the occasion?
- Who made the first move?
- When did you know you were in love?
- What about the proposal? Where did it take place?? Your reaction?
Don’t forget to see if anyone captured proposal photo(s) that you can have as a keepsake, or even to use on your save the dates.
3. Sit down together to go over your wedding vision
Did you always dream of a fall wedding? Summer destination wedding? A big bash, or an intimate family gathering? What are the must haves or deal breakers? Your vision will influence everything from your budget to your venue to your honeymoon, so it helps if you’re both on the same page. Doing this is also going to help you make decisions faster and reduce stress during your wedding planning journey. Consider incorporating familial, cultural, or religious traditions that are important to you as you begin dreaming, too.
4. Discuss a wedding date/options early on
You can do this in conjunction with discussing your wedding dream. First, pencil in more than one date (three is recommended) so you can be flexible when you start researching availability of venues, bands, photographers, and other services. Brainstorm dates that may be symbolic, falls in the season you want, fits within your budget, and so forth. Definitely check in on your close family members’ and friends’ schedules to make sure they are available to celebrate the big day with you.
5. Have a budget discussion together
Including the who pays for what conversation. Many couples are sharing costs with both sets of parents or even paying for the wedding (or parts of it) themselves. Talk with both sets of parents to learn if and what they may be able to contribute. Budget will influence every piece of your wedding planning. Don’t try to figure it all out at once—it might take a few conversations! Your budget will depend on the time of year, day of the week, location, venue, number of guests, formal or informal reception, and features like flowers, music, decor, and more. Our interactive budget guide is a great place to start!
6. Plan a wedding that’s true to you as a couple
Your wedding should be all about you as a couple. Don’t be pressured by “Pinterest perfect” wedding ideas or opinions from family and friends that would sway you away from having your day your way. Remember the real purpose of this whole wedding planning journey is that you are planning YOUR big day together. During the hustle and bustle of planning, it can be easy to lose sight of that when you’re dealing with vendors’ questions, family members offering their two cents, or texts from your future mother-in-law.
7. Insure your engagement ring
Yeah, this isn’t the most exciting “to-do” during this journey … but it’s a must! Your ring will be around forever, so of course you want to protect it from loss or damage. Ring insurance works just like other insurance. One way to insure your ring is by going through your existing renter’s or homeowner’s insurance to cover jewelry (just be sure to comb through the fine details regarding riders, floaters, and all those other fun insurance matters.) Another option is to purchase coverage through a stand-alone jewelry insurance group that specializes in all the ins and outs of insuring expensive jewelry.
8. Pick your bridal party after careful thought
And after some time has passed following your engagement. It’s so tempting to pick your bridal party right away. Let the excitement of your engagement simmer down a bit so that you can really think about this big decision with a clear head. Depending on how far your wedding date is, a year or two could go by—and many relationships can change in that time. As you’re thinking through your bridal party picks, don’t feel obligated to include those that had you in their wedding. Go with your gut—chances are you already had half your bridal party picked before your engagement! We recommend asking family and friends at least 8-10 months in advance, depending on your wedding date.
9. Wait on the whole inviting people thing
That is, wait until more details of your wedding vision are filled in, including initial venue plans and budget. (Remember how your budget may affect your guest list count?). Don’t divulge too many details with people you’re not sure you’re able to invite to your wedding—avoid hurting feelings. You will go through a few renditions of your wedding guest list as you nail down your venue space and budget. Once your guest list is final, share the news by sending out save the date cards or magnets (and grab free samples beforehand)!
10. Join online social communities for support
Check out sites like The Knot and WeddingWire to grab wedding planning tips, tricks, and even advice from other newly-engaged couples via their message boards. These sites are also filled with vendor recommendations, decor ideas, photo inspiration, and much more to help you on your wedding planning journey—plus they offer free templates for creating wedding websites.
And because we can’t resist … a couple of our all-time favorite wedding planning tips!
11. Start your wedding planning checklist early
It’s never too early to start thinking of your wedding planning to-do’s! There is a lot to think about, plan, pick out, reserve, pay for—you get the picture. We’ve gathered tons of input from couples to create our own FREE wedding checklist. Be sure to go check it out! Our hope is that it will help you feel calm and confident so you can savor every moment of your wedding planning journey. And really, with the above to-do’s – you’ve already checked off a few things of your checklist!
12. Plan and spend quality time together with your fiancé
Away from the wedding planning talk! From the second you get engaged; it can be so easy to go right into non-stop wedding planning mode. It’s an exciting time, so it’s normal! But remember that wedding planning will involve tons of decisions and even moments of tension—you might be out for dinner for date night but quickly launch into seating charts or what to include on the reception menu. Keep dating your fiancé during the wedding planning process and make it a rule that date nights cannot involve any wedding planning talk. Make this effort to keep the romance alive—you know, that romance that was there even before the proposal. We promise you won’t regret setting this boundary!
We wish you the best as you embark on this wonderful, new, life-changing adventure with the love of your life! Be sure to follow us on social for all kinds of wedding inspiration, tips, tricks, real weddings, and much more.