4 Things to Do (and NOT do) After You Get Engaged
If you’re reading this, you’ve recently said, “Yes,” to forever with your
favorite person. Congrats!
While feeling extremely excited, you’re probably also wondering…now
what? After all, this has never happened before.
You may have dreamt about it and walked the path in your mind. But now
that it’s here, the path seems a little patchy.
Where’s the best place to start? What steps do you take to make the most
of your engagement? And what can you do to begin your wedding planning
As a wedding planner who’s helped hundreds of couples on their road to
marriage, allow me to guide your first steps.
Here are four things to do and four not to do after getting engaged.
The First 4 Things To Do After Getting Engaged
1. Take It In
First and foremost, savor the moment and the feeling of being engaged.
At least one partner has likely been anticipating this event for some time
– planning, prepping, and maybe to some degree, feeling a little nervous
about what the other person will say.
And the other partner may have been waiting to be asked.
Now that it’s happened, take it in. Enjoy it before you tell everyone and
move forward into the busyness of planning.
2. Draft a Guest List
When I speak with couples, the first thing I often ask is if they have a
guest list. If the answer is “no,” I tell them to create one before we move
Why is it so important to have a guest list before anything? Because I
can’t find a venue if I don’t know how many people you’re inviting. I
can’t give you a ballpark budget number or even tell you what to expect
if we don’t know how many people you will have.
The difference between 10, 150, and 300 is so vast that the guest list is
essential info that we need before we can make any other decisions.
3. Have a Candid Conversation About What You’re Comfortable Spending
This doesn’t mean you have to create a budget. But it does mean you
should have an idea of what your max number is.
Sit down with your partner and talk about a realistic number that
1) you feel comfortable spending and 2) will cover the wedding you
Because if you were to come to me, and I asked you, “How does a
budget of 80K sound?” What would your immediate reaction be? Does
that sound about right, or is it too much? If you’re unsure, there’s still
some work to do!
4. Find Out What Your Parents Are Comfortable Spending
If your parents or others are contributing, you’ll need to have the
financial conversation with them too. And not only will you need to
find out their max number, but also what expectations may come with
their financial contribution.
Do they want you to invite certain people? Are there friends of theirs that
are now added to your guest list? Do they have expectations of how you
allocate the money? Is this strictly for the band or catering?
These are all important things to consider as you navigate the money
conversation with your partner and other financial providers.
What NOT To Do Immediately After Getting Engaged
1. Don’t Tell Anyone for at Least 24 Hours
As a couple, bask in the fact that you’re engaged. This is a moment the
two of you need to share on your own before you let in other people.
Because once you do, it won’t be the same.
It’s not usually intentional, but people’s opinions and expectations of
when you should be doing things and how you should be doing things
can change the moment. Once you share the news, you’re now dealing
with other people’s perceptions of what this means versus what this means
to the two of you.
So let it be, just for a little while, and enjoy your secret.
2. Don’t Rely on Social Media or Pinterest
This isn’t to say you can’t find inspiration from these websites, but I
strongly urge couples to steer clear from falling down the eye candy
The problem with these sites is that they don’t tell you what it costs
to produce an event or how to create the one you’re looking at. So you
have no context for anything financially related to that picture you
just fell in love with.
And if you fall head over heels for a design (or many designs), you
may feel defeated and overwhelmed because you have no idea how
they got there. Besides, it’s too easy to get caught up in everything
you see and second-guess what you want. At some point, you have
to stop the scroll.
3. Don’t Allow Other People’s Opinions and Expectations to Overwhelm You
Depending on your personality and situation, this may sometimes
feel like a challenge. But at the end of the day, I want to remind you
that it’s your wedding, and you need to have the wedding you want.
- This isn’t about letting your parents live vicariously through
you for the wedding they didn’t have.
- This isn’t about following a trend everyone’s talking about, and
you feel obligated to try.
- This isn’t about doing what your friends did at their wedding.
Know what you and your partner want, and be prepared to present
a united front when discussing your wedding. For example, you, your
partner, and one of your parents sits down for a meeting with me.
Everything is going well at first, because everyone is on the same
page about plans and details. But then one of your parents starts
adamantly presenting their case, and you or your future spouse breaks
down and switches sides. Now, you’re no longer Team Couple. And it
can make for an uncomfortable ride home.
This is a good time to practice that marital teamwork and remember
who you’re marrying.
4. Don’t Let Wedding Planning Take Over Your Relationship
Take time away from planning. Because at the end of the day, this
is about celebrating your marriage, and when you enter that marriage,
you want to have a strong relationship.
What happens when the wedding is no longer the most significant
thing? What are you talking about when conversations don’t revolve
around planning? What experiences are you sharing?
Take time to build that foundation before the wedding is in the
rearview mirror. Your relationship is so much more than a one-day
event, after all. It’s the rest of your life.
There’s no doubt that getting engaged is exciting, and the thought
of everything that comes next can be more exhilarating. I can assure
you that your road to marriage will be much smoother if you follow
these dos and don’ts.
And I’m here for you if you want a professional planner to drive you
down this long and winding road. Reach out, and let’s begin.