Yay, You’re Engaged! Now What? 7 Things You Need To Do First

Filed Under: Planning Resources | Posted January 10, 2023

If you’re reading this, chances are high that your left hand has some extra sparkle on it – or maybe you’re anticipating it to come soon…

Regardless, getting engaged is such an exciting next step in your relationship, so let us be one of the first people to wish you a HUGE congratulations!! Pop the champagne, confetti, and ALL the things because this is the beginning of forever with the love of your life! What could be better than that?

Now, let’s be real. There are probably LOTS of questions swirling around in your head about what to tackle and when to tackle it. That’s why we created this list of 7 things to do first after you get engaged so you can be sure you’re doing what you need to be doing.

Our hope is that this list will help start your and your fiancé’s engagement and wedding planning process on the right foot. Remember, at the end of this, you both will be married and that is ALL that matters. It can be easy to get caught up in all the decisions that need to be made, but aside from this list, our best advice is to ENJOY your engagement and remember you will be husband and wife once everything is said and done.

Step #1: Celebrate as a couple!

Read this carefully: There is NO pressure to post on social media right away or call your loved ones the moment that ring is on your finger!  Enjoy the excitement just the two of you for as long as possible. Whether that’s waiting until after you go to a private romantic dinner or sometime the following day, the timing is up to you both!

Either way, give yourself time to play the proposal over again in your head.  If you’re like me, try to remember what you each said before you forget it! Write it down in a safe place so you never forget. This is the beginning of an extremely exciting new chapter for you and your fiancé, so you both deserve to have some time just the two of you to celebrate YOUR engagement!

Step #2: Celebrate with your loved ones!

Now’s the time to call your close family members and friends who are basically family members! Our advice is to avoid posting the exciting news on social media before your closest family and friends know. Your loved ones will want to be a part of the celebration, so definitely let them in on the exciting news!

Bonus Tip: If you and your significant other are NOT engaged yet and it’s important to you to have your close friends and family there for the celebration, be clear in advance about who those people are!

Step #3: Begin talking about wedding timeline, if you haven’t done so already

Ever since COVID, more and more people have been booking their venue (and even vendors) before they are officially engaged.  No judgement at all – my husband and I did this before we got engaged in 2016 long before COVID arrived!

The point here is you and your fiance need to discuss things like:

  • what time of year you would like to get married
  • how long you would like your engagement to be

Either way, you both need to do what’s best for you both and your families, even if that means a shorter engagement. This is a great time to look at the calendars and look at dates that will for sure not work, like your fiancé’s graduation from graduate school or a family vacation you’ve had planned for over a year.

Step #4: Time to ditch the Pinterest board you’ve had since high school & create a new one!

Okay, this one is serious. We all know you have a Pinterest board that you created in grade school or college where you planned out your dream wedding. Well, that was years ago and chances are, your taste has since changed. Or, chances are you don’t really remember what you pinned!

That being said, it’s time to get inspired!  Whether you have a vision in your head or you’re completely lost, Pinterest can be super helpful in making you think about things you like (and things you don’t like).

One of the first things we do with our full-service CJM couples is have them do this very thing!  Once their Pinterest board is created, we like to have a meeting where we strictly talk about their Pinterest board.  We ask questions like:

  • What do you like about this picture?
  • What do you NOT like about this picture? (This question can be SUPER helpful!)
  • What made you pin this photo?

Once you’ve created your new Pinterest board, look for trends. What does your vibe appear to be? What kinds of venues did you pin a lot of? Are there several photos at a winery or private estate? By looking at these patterns, you’ll be able to think through what type of venue would work best with the vision you’re starting to create!

Step #5: Discuss budget with each other and your families

We get it, talking about money can be awkward and complicated, but trust us, you’ll thank yourself later for having these conversations BEFORE you are deep in the wedding planning.  Discussing 1) who is contributing and 2) how much they are comfortable contributing is ESSENTIAL!

The two most essential steps in making sure you stick to your wedding budget are:

  1. Having these conversations BEFORE you begin looking at venues or hiring vendors. Money can add up quickly, so it’s best to have a plan before you start signing on the dotted line
  2. Being realistic about what type of wedding your budget can get you (and that’s where your wedding planner will come in handy, but we’ll get to that later)

Step #6: Start compiling a preliminary guest list

When we say preliminary, we mean it!  This is NOT your final guest list, but instead, it’s your starting point! The point of a preliminary guest list is to see how many guests you’re anticipating inviting, and therefore, what types of venues you should look at that can accommodate that number.

Doing this is as easy as ABC!

We advise our couples to start with their A-list, meaning the people who 100% HAVE to be there!  Think closest family members of the couple and closest friends of the couple. These are the people who you would be devastated if they weren’t there!

Then compile your B-list.  These are other family members (think extended family) and other friends who you would really like to be there. These are guests you would be really disappointed if they couldn’t make it.

Then create your C-list – AKA guests you are on the fence about or maybe people you feel like you have to invite or would like to invite if the budget will allow (In other words, C-list guests wouldn’t be missed too much if they can’t attend).

Step #7: Hire a wedding planner (obviously)

We help our full-service couples from the beginning of the planning process to the very end.  So why should you hire a wedding planner shortly after you’re engaged and completed steps 1-6 mentioned above? Great question!

When you hire Creating Joyful Moments as your wedding planner, we will help you:

  • Create your personalized wedding budget based on what your total budget is (and we’ll manage it throughout the entire planning process so you don’t overspend)
  • Find & book your dream venue (we’ll schedule ALL the tours and make a fun day out of this process!)
  • Hire your entire vendor team (all within your budget, too!)
  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms for all of your out of town guests
  • Ensure your wedding design has a cohesive feeling from beginning to end, from invitations, floral design and décor, menus, programs, lighting, favors, table design, linens, specialty rentals, save the dates – if it’s a detail of your wedding, we’ll make sure it fits the design!
  • Track all of your RSVPs & manage all of your guests’ meal selections so you and your fiancé don’t have to!

Once again, congratulations on your engagement! You and your fiancé are in such a sweet time in your relationship. There is something so exciting about being in the waiting – dreaming and anticipating the day you both will be married, surrounded by your favorite people. It’s a day you will surely never forget, but don’t wish this time away!

Celebrate this time together, with your loved ones, and be sure you’re starting the wedding planning process on the right foot. If you follow the seven steps above, we have no doubt you will be set-up for success!

Now, cheers to planning the wedding of your dreams!

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I'm so excited to have you here! Have fun browsing through recent CJM weddings, reading advice for fellow couples getting married, and taking a peek into my personal life!

Owner & Lead Coordinator of CJM, Indy-based wedding planning and design team

Hi, I’m Chloe.