Congratulations! You just said YES to spending forever with your *new* fiance!
As a wedding professional, I meet couples each day and engagements are part of my every day life. I sometimes forget that although there is so much excitement, after the champagne bubbles fizz out, the couple looks at each other (or me!) and says "what now?!".
To help you along, keep scrolling to read our TopSix: First Things You Should Do After You Get Engaged
#1 - Celebrate!
This is an AMAZING moment in your lives together. Take a moment away from the world (and world of social media) and celebrate with a glass of champagne at your favorite restaurant, first date spot, or anywhere meaningful to you as a couple.
#2 - Share the news!
Take the time to share with immediate family and friends BEFORE posting on social media. I cannot stress this enough. Find a great way -preferably in person- to share the surprise at a family gathering or get together with your ladies. The ring selfie can wait, I promise. (Bonus tip - get a mani with your potential bridesmaids and tell them the good news there! They will be sure to help you get the insta-worthy ring photo you love.) After all of your VIP have been notified, share the bling photos!
#3 - Create a wedding only email address and get organized
You will be registering for showcases and requesting info from venues. Keep it simple and make a free gmail account using your last names - email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org etc. to get everything in one place throughout the process. Also could be used as a wedding hashtag down the road! Note: You may not need a pre-made planning book at this stage. I would recommend waiting so you don't overwhelm yourself. Get through #4-6 first!
#4 - Set a budget and draft a guest list
The most important step. Setting an overall budget is an important conversation to have with your significant other, and then with families, to understand what you are working with. Think logically, as you will be starting your lives together, and don't want to put yourself in the red just to have a celeb-esque wedding celebration if that's not in the cards. There are so many ways to have a fabulous, personalized wedding on any budget. Sometimes a smaller budget, although a challenge especially here in NY, can be fun! Think outside the box and be open to off-peak or daytime weddings. At the venue I work out of, we offer amazing portfolios for both including lawn games, a rustic lemonade stand, trendy station upgrades, and more. Discuss the guest list with both sides so you can make an educated decision on space and price per person when you ...
#5 - Choose your venue and send save the dates
As dates get booked up quickly here on Long Island, I always recommend to book the venue as soon as you know what you like. Research The Knot to get quotes of your favorites via email, then visit your top 5. Make sure when choosing, you understand all of the financial terms and what is included. I always make sure to be completely transparent - our couples seem to really appreciate that, as no one likes to go home to crunch percentage on top of percentage after a long day of tours! Save the dates are an important next step to make sure your out-of-towners can make the soiree. You can even send out email or facebook messenger save the dates by inserting a digital design, and request an updated mailing address on return. Two for one!
#6 - Start a wedding registry
Better to start ahead of the game. Once you are in the midst of planning, the last thing you are thinking about is what kate spade salad plate you want on your registry. Your family may surprise you with an engagement party and it's always better to get things you want than 7 of the same champagne flute sets. The best I have found is Zola Registry as they carry almost everything in one place. Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon, Bloomingdale's, and Wayfair are other favorites. Check out this Bride's article for the Top 50 Best Registries.
Now it's time to relax ... a little. Let the planning commence!