YOU’RE ENGAGED! CONGRATULATIONS, I hope you’ve been spending some time celebrating this important moment! Now that you’ve made it official, you might be asking yourself this question, now what? As a Chicagoland wedding photographer, I’ve learned a number of important things about this time period through working in the industry. Though there are a lot of things that can happen all at once, there’s no reason to worry. After working with SO many couples over the last couple of years though, I’ve been able to put together everything one might need to know about getting engaged. That’s why I created this list of 8 things to be sure to do before your wedding to help keep you on track and minimize that stress. Let’s check them out!
The first thing to do after you get engaged is to reach out to all of your favorite people. Send them a text or give them a call to personally let them know about the big news! Whether that means in person, over facetime, or on a regular call you’re going to want to take some time to let all of your most important people know. It’s important to try and let all of your favs know as close together as possible. News like an engagement can spread like wildfire. Because of this, if you want to tell everyone the news yourselves you have to be quick!
For your fav people outside of your family and closest friends, you’re able to be a bit more relaxed with how you tell them. You can share your engagement photos to your group chat or make a post on Instagram. Once the news is out on social media you can be sure everyone and their mother will know. Lastly, if you plan to have your wedding soon after your engagement, opt to send out your save the dates as your announcement for those you don’t need to call directly.
After you and your honey have let all of your important people know that you’re engaged it’s time to start creating a vision for your wedding. This is honestly one of the BEST parts of planning. Take some alone time with your honey and begin dreaming all about what your wedding day might look like. What emotions do you want to feel throughout your day? Do you want a lot of people with you throughout the day? Do you see yourselves sharing the day with just your family and closest friends? Talk with each other about what emotions and experiences you want to have on your wedding day and that’ll get you right on track for the next step.
For tips on planning a wedding in the midwest, check out all my wedding planning tips on my blog!
Now that you have a general guideline of what you’re wanting your wedding experience to be like it’s time to start narrowing down your who, what, when, and where. This is one of the most important steps as it lays the groundwork of what your wedding day will be like. To start, who do you want to be there on your wedding day? How many people do you want in total? Who are your must-haves and who would you like to come if you have room? Next, what do you want to happen on your wedding day? Are you looking for an adventurous destination wedding, or are you more on the side of a small intimate elopement at your favorite restaurant?
When and where can be pretty dependent on one another at times so you might want to brainstorm for both at once. Think about where you’re looking to have the wedding, what kind of venue are you envisioning and where in the world do you see yourself having your wedding? What season do you want to have your wedding? Do you see yourselves doing a destination wedding cross-country or in your own backyard? Then, the last thing to consider is when your friends that are in the same situation plan to have their wedding as you don’t want to double book!
After your vision of your wedding and its rough outline start to take shape it’s time to start planning out your budget. The first thing to consider is your venue, by now you should have a couple of options that caught your eye that you can start to build your budget off of. After that, think about the experience of the wedding and what you want your day to look like. Next, consider the different vendors that are part of a wedding and what each roughly costs. Check out this Knot article to get a rough idea of what a wedding in your state might cost.
Now it’s time to set your date and choose your venue for your wedding. Before you begin, you should have an idea of the price range you’re looking for, along with what you want the venue to look like, its location, and what it provides. Start scheduling tours for your different venue options and go prepared with a list of questions and a notebook so you get all the info you need at once. You’ll want to have a rough date or season in your head so you’re able to ask their availability for your date. Once you find your venue with your date open it’s time to get your down payment in so you can reserve your date and get to the rest of your planning! For more information on wedding planning check out my blog with a full wedding planning timeline perfect for all wedding days.
Once you have a date and venue locked in you should start looking at and putting your down payments in for the vendors you want at your wedding. This step is incredibly important to be on top of to avoid missing out on working with a vendor that you love. Usually, a photographer will be the first vendor you’ll want to book since on average they tend to book out 9-15 months in advance. If you’re looking for a photographer you can check out Instagram hashtags like #indianaweddingplanner, #chicagoweddingvenue or something similar to find a photographer that you like. Or you can just head over to my contact page here and we can get to planning!! For your other vendors there’s usually a little more flexibility when it comes to booking them, but still best to do them sooner rather than later after you’re engaged!
Now that you have your wedding venue locked in you’re going to want to let the important people in your life know. Let immediate family in on the date, and then more importantly start telling your friends! The LAST thing you want is for a friend to accidentally book their wedding on the same day is yours. So go ahead and text the group chats with your dates and start spreading the word!
Last but certainly not least you need to celebrate! After you get engaged time seems to FLY by. You’re both about to take a huge leap into the next part of your lives together and you deserve to celebrate it. Schedule a date night, throw an engagement party, and have some family over for a cookout. Take some time to celebrate you and this exciting time in your life!
Life moves fast after you get engaged, so make sure to slow down and enjoy your time together as you start to plan out what comes next. If you follow these steps and communicate with your honey you’ll be so ready for your wedding day!