Post Engagement Checklist: Things to Do Before You Really Start Planning
Congratulations! He asked, you said "yes!" and now there is a shiny new ring on your finger! We know it's tempting to want to dive into wedding planning right away, but there are so many things to do that you'll find yourself in over your head in no time. So before you start to tackle the big planning items, like choosing your venue and hiring a photographer, there are a few small tasks to check off that will make the rest of the planning process much smoother. If you're overwhelmed, excited, and just don't know where to begin, look no further than our post engagement checklist, below!
The Post Engagement Checklist for the Busy Planning Bride
Call Your Parents!
And close friends and family members who need to hear the news directly from you! Because while your college professors can find out about your engagement on Facebook, your grandmother cannot. So spread the news and celebrate! Step 1 on the post engagement checklist is just to sit back and enjoy the outpouring of love.
Take the Perfect Ring Selfie
Updating your social media accounts is a great way to let everyone else know about your engagement. So treat yourself to a manicure and choose your favorite filter. It's time to snap a pic of that rock! Your hands are going to be in the spotlight for the next few weeks as your news spreads. If that's not a reason to pamper yourself, we don't know what is!
Start a Vision Board
Pinterest is your best friend. And your worst enemy. It is so easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of ideas floating around on the internet. So we recommend talking to your fella about things you both know you like first. Then start pinning! Chances are you'll start to see a theme or color scheme start to emerge based on what you're saving to your vision board.
Pro Tip: Be picky. And don't just save everything you think is cute. If you can't actually see yourself using it at your wedding, don't pin it.
Insure Your Engagement Ring
This may seem like far too serious a step when you're still just getting used to the sparkle of your new ring. But trust us, it's a post engagement checklist must. And safe is always better than sorry. Many renters and homeowners insurance plans have engagement ring additions for a very low annual payment. Or you can take out a specific jewelry policy all on its own. Either way, make sure you read the fine print. You want a policy that will cover ALL aspects of damage, loss and theft.
Once you're engaged, start saving! Creating a realistic budget early on is one of the easiest ways to help you stick to it. So start crunching numbers. You'll want to figure out how much your dream wedding would cost versus what you think you can actually afford. And don't forget to factor in details like your honeymoon and an "emergency fund." An easy tip to help you get started is to take the amount of money you know you need to save and divide it by 12. That's how much money you will need to save each month for a year to meet your wedding goals. The longer the engagement, the longer you have to save. And remember, you can have just as beautiful of a wedding on a $2,000 budget as a $50,000 one.
Pro Tip: According to Fortune, the average cost of a wedding in the United States in 2016 was $35,329.
Create a Guest List "Rough Draft"
Consider this your short list. Sit down and write down all of the most important people that you know you can't get married without. This will be your jumping off point when you start to compile your official guest list a little ways down the road. This goes hand in hand with your budget estimate. Generally you can assume that more guests = greater costs.
Pick a Potential Date
This comes further down the list than you might think, considering the fact that most people will immediately ask you if you've chosen a date yet. But it's for good reason. Once you have an idea of how long you would like to save, you can start to look at potential wedding dates. Also, keep in mind that your dream venue may need to be booked out at least a year in advance. Same with photographers. So relax and give yourself the time to plan. Check your calendar and come up with a few options that you can run by your parents and close friends. And once you've chosen your date, let everybody know! Take engagement photos or send out save the dates to make sure your big day gets on everybody's calendar.
Pro Tip: You'll want to make sure there isn't another big event that conflicts with your date. (i.e. Your grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary or the birth of your maid of honor's baby).
Create a Planning Timeline
The post engagement checklist is all about preparation for what's to come. It's the time to get organized, iron out some of the broader details and come up with a game plan. Think about it. Wedding planning is nothing BUT lists. The guest list, the vendor list, the seating list, the RSVP list....they just go on and on. Luckily there are so many great tools available to busy planning brides online. Take advantage of a customizable (and free!) wedding checklist by our friends at WeddingWire to help you streamline your planning goals and keep track of what you've already accomplished all in one comprehensive list. Then add a gorgeous Marrygrams notepad for your daily to-dos and you'll be well on your way to planning your dream wedding!
Build Your Wedding Website
While not mandatory, wedding websites are a great asset to the planning bride. They offer a platform for you to tell your love story, share engagement photos, and keep your guests up to date on any and all things wedding. Booked a block of hotel rooms? Post the details on your wedding website! Want to give your guests a digital option to RSVP? This is the place!
Choose your Bridal Party
Your wedding just wouldn't be complete without your best girls (and guys) by your side, right? So it's time to choose your bridal party! These special people will be with you every step of the way, not to mention they make planning a whole lot easier. And whether you stage an elaborate proposal or simply ask them over dinner, a Marrygrams "Will You Be My" card is the perfect keepsake.
Enjoy the Moment
Wedding planning is so fun, but also very stressful. So don't feel like you have to immediately jump right in and know all of the answers. This brings us to the most important task on the post engagement checklist, relaxing. Take a week or two (or ten!) after his proposal to just enjoy your engagement together. Go on a weekend trip away to celebrate and don't skimp on the champagne. Or cozy up at home with piles of movies and takeout. Trust us, all of the planning tasks will be waiting for you when you return. And don't worry, you've got plenty of time!