Someone popped the question and the other said “yes”! Congrats, you’re engaged! It’s one of the most thrilling moments of your life, but after you’re done dancing around with your partner it can become very overwhelming to think, “ok, so now what?”
Let’s answer that question. Here are some things you should do from the second after you get engaged all the way up to your wedding day:
Tell the world
The first thing you need to do after you get engaged is probably the funnest part: tell the world! It’s tempting to post a photo on Instagram right away, but make sure that’s what you want to do. Before you tell the world, make sure you and your partner are aligned on who to tell and when. Depending on the situation, some couples like to tell the world right away and some like to keep their secret to themselves for a little while.
No matter when you decide (or if) to post your engagement on social media, make sure you make a list of people in your life that would be heartbroken if they heard the news from social media and not you first. Some of these people may include:
- Close relatives
- Best friends
Once you have that list of people, set some time aside with your partner to call, video chat, or even meet in person to tell those you’re closest to the good news first. Even though at the end of the day your engagement is about you, you don’t want anyone’s feelings to get hurt if you don’t tell them that you’re engaged before posting on social media.
Once your closest family and friends know, then you can decide whether or not to post on social media or not. Just be warned, you’ll be getting a lot of excited people sliding into your DMs.
Let’s be real, wedding planning is stressful. Make sure you give yourself some time to actually enjoy being engaged before you dive into planning for your big day. Try hosting an engagement party with your closest friends, go on a mini vacation, or even just go out to a nice dinner to celebrate.
Once you and your partner feel ready, schedule some time to sit together and talk about your big day. Talk about what you want your day to look like from the type of wedding, the venue, aesthetics, vibes, and how many people you might want to invite. If you have Pinterest boards or inspiration photos, share those with each other. The most important thing in this step is to be honest with each other. If your partner wants a 500 person wedding and you want to elope, make sure you’re working together to both get your dream day.
Once you have a solid idea of what you want your day to look like, make sure you and your partner assign each other tasks to plan for your day. Make a checklist of things you need to plan (see below) and allocate who’s in charge of what. One person shouldn’t be in charge of everything, that’s a sure way to create more stress. No matter what your tasks are, make sure you’re always communicating with each other and making sure you’re both getting what you want.
Wedding planning checklist
Like we said, once you’re ready to start planning your day with your partner, make sure you create a checklist of things to do and allocate out your tasks. If you’re looking for a place to start, check out this list below. Obviously you’ll need to change things on this checklist to best fit your day, but this is a good place to start:
1 year + out
- Choose a date (also choose a backup date in order to be flexible with venues or in case you need to reschedule for any reason)
- Decide/plan on a budget
- Create a wedding inspo board on Pinterest if you don’t have one already
- Decide who’s going to be in your wedding party
- Explore ceremony and reception venue options. Try to keep your options and date ideas open in order to book the best possible venue for your day. Once you know which venue you want to book, book them ASAP in order to save your date.
- Start hiring wedding vendors for your day:
- Planner (not necessary, but if planning is already stressing you out, this is a good investment)
- Start putting together a guest list. Put together a dream list of everyone you’d ever want to invite and then create a small list in case you need to have a smaller wedding based on the venue.
10-12 months out
- Order and mail your Save the Dates
- Decide on invites and any other stationary you may need
- Create a wedding website/registry
- Book officiant
- Take a look back at that wedding professional list and book any other pros you need during the day of that you haven’t yet
- Purchase your wedding day outfits (dress, tuxedo, etc)
- Take your engagement photos (if you already have a photographer booked, try scheduling a time with them to shoot your engagement photos as well. This will help you feel more comfortable on the day of your wedding as well)
8-9 months out
- Choose wedding party outfits and accessories
- Find hotels for wedding guests and book blocks out. If you can, try to find hotels at a couple of different price points so people have options.
- Start dreaming about where you want to go on your honeymoon
- Purchase wedding bands
- Explore wedding day hair and makeup styles
- Plan your day-of ceremony
- Meet with officiant to talk about what you want your ceremony to look like
- Reserve any rentals you may use: chairs, linens, lighting, décor, etc.
- Schedule cake and catering tastings (yum!)
- Book transportation to and from venues and/or hotels
- Choose flowers for bouquets, wedding party, venue decor with your florist
- Schedule dress/suit fittings with you and your wedding party
- Book honeymoon flights and hotels
- Book room for wedding night
- Order wedding cake
- Create a playlist for your DJ/band
- Assemble rehearsal dinner guest list
- Book rehearsal dinner venue
- Finalize honeymoon plans
- Finalize party details (rehearsal dinner, happy hour, dinner, reception, morning-after). Create a timeline and schedule for each and give to all necessary attendees. That way you’ll have less to keep track of on the actual day
- Plan seating arrangements for reception
- Decide on hair style with stylist
- Finalize readers and readings during your ceremony
- Finalize reception menu with caterer
- Order Thank You cards
- Mail out wedding invitations
- Develop system for organizing RSVPs (this could be online or organized in-person)
- Begin writing vows (though honestly, most people write theirs the night before)
- Review ceremony details with officiant
- Apply for marriage license
- Create wedding day timeline and send to your vendors, officiant and wedding party
- Schedule meeting with wedding professionals to finalize day-of details. People you’ll want to connect with include:
- Confirm honeymoon reservations
- Pick up wedding bands (rings)
- Pick up marriage license
- Final dress fitting
- Follow up with guests who have not sent in their RSVP
- Give final count of attendees of both rehearsal dinner and reception to caterer(s)
- Break in your wedding shoes so you can walk comfortably on your wedding day
- Choose someone to take charge during your day if you don’t have a wedding planner
- Send wedding day timeline to photographer and a list of “must have” shots
- Pack for honeymoon
- Prepare final payments to vendors
- Have fun at the rehearsal dinner
- Go to bed early!
- Make sure you make time to eat and drink water throughout the day
- Give your wedding rings to someone you trust in your wedding party
- ENJOY YOUR WEDDING
- Return any rentals
- Send out Thank You cards
- Make final payments to vendors
- Have fun on your honeymoon!
Getting engaged is one of the most exciting moments in your entire life. However, once the adrenaline fades away, it can quickly become overwhelming when you start thinking about needing to plan your wedding.
Make sure you and your partner take some time to enjoy being engaged and once you’re ready to start planning work together as a team to ensure a stress-less and enjoyable experience.