Congratulations, you’re engaged! When you first become engaged, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed on what to do next. The emotions are running high, the family is already asking about when to expect grandchildren, and all you can think about is what color to paint your nails to show off that gorgeous ring. And then it sinks in.. You have to plan a wedding, too!

This is one of the biggest questions we get in regards to the planning process, and one of our favorites to discuss. Let’s face it.. if you don’t start out planning in an organized and precise manner, it is easy to become overwhelmed and side tracked in the journey. We figured we would give you our first TOP 10 things to do when you become engaged so that you can stay on track and enjoy the ride without all of the stress!

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU BECOME ENGAGED (in order of priority)

1) GET A MANICURE:

If you haven’t already, get a manicure, STAT! Wait, let’s correct that.. Get a GEL MANICURE stat. Friends, family, and social media will all be asking you to show off that ring for weeks to come, and you want to make sure your nails are on point, too, while letting everyone see that sparkle.

2) SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!:

What better way to flaunt your excitement than sharing on every social media as possible! This is such an exciting time for you and your fiance so soak it all up and enjoy the attention. Make sure you get a good ring shot and, if possible, share a picture from the “asking” and post it as you desire. For friends or relatives that are not on social media, you may consider sending them a short and sweet email or announcement so they also can shower you with love.

3) REST YOUR VOICE :

You are going to be telling A LOT of people about “how he asked”, etc.. Rest your voice while you can so you can be prepared to tell the story over and over again.

4) GUEST LIST ROUGH DRAFT:

Okay, it is no secret that weddings can be pretty pricey. One of the biggest and most effective ways to cut back on costs is through your guest list. The reason that we like to start with your guest list after you are engaged is because it truly will drive your wedding budget. For instance, if you have a guest count of 300, you are probably going to need a larger space to accommodate. A guest count of 50, on the flip side, will not require as large of a space. When writing your guest list down, start compiling everyone that you would think you would like to have at your wedding. Whether it be certain or uncertain if they will make the final cut, write them all down. Don’t forget to include your fiance’s wishes for who he would like in attendance and, if applicable, your families dream guest list as well. Once you have a final number, start making some cuts for the people you will absolutely invite, maybe invite, and back up invites. This will give you an idea of where to start and what to expect when you go visit venues with how much space is needed.

5) BUDGET:

Beside your guest list, your budget will drive your entire wedding. It is so easy to get off track and to lose sight of it, but be sure to be realistic with what you can and would like to spend for the entire process. Once you have a number in your head, (be sure this number is aligned with your fiance’s number as well), STICK TO IT! A little deviation is okay, but when you deviate from the budget over and over, you will definitely go over the amount in the long run. Oh, and remember that guest list we talked about? Now that you have a guest list and a budget, feel free to start making cuts or additions to maximize your budget and desires. Remember, although it is possible, it is improbable to have a budget of $5,000 and a guest count of 500.

6) HIRE A PLANNER!:

If you want to stay on top of that budget and eliminate stress as much as you can, hire a planner as soon as possible. Whether you are looking for a full service planner to take every detail off of your plate or a day of coordinator, it will be so helpful to have the peace of mind that all details are being taken care of and double checked. With a wedding planner, you will also have access to etiquette guidance, vendor referrals, and a second hand when needed for all of the tricky situations down the way.

7) DREAM!:

Your wedding day should match the style and vision of you and your fiance. Start writing things down as soon as you become engaged (and keep them all organized and together in a handy “wedding binder” if you are able to). Whether it be larger details such as venue selection/dress style or smaller details such as feelings you want to embody during the wedding (intimate, quaint, party central, romantic, soft, vibrant, etc), keep track of it all. This will not only help you start to see what you are really envisioning but also with giving guidance to others like your soon-to-be in-laws, friends, or wedding planner.

8) VENUE:

Start making a list of places that appeal to you. Be sure they embody the vision you are seeking and the mood you are wanting to create for your wedding. For instance, if you are looking for a smaller intimate wedding, perhaps a large banquet hall with 3,000 square feet will be out of the running. Consult a planner to help with these details if you get lost. Remember, they have access to many vendors and venues that they work hand in hand with and give you the lowdown on multiple locations. When you have a good idea of places to start, set apart some time to visit each venue. Don’t forget to keep in mind your guest count (for space needs) and bring some dates that you may have in mind so they can confirm availability.

9) BE FLEXIBLE:

Okay, not on everything, maybe.. But remember to keep an open mind to things. Perhaps you may have always dreamed of a New Years Eve wedding, but now that you’re engaged and have found your dream venue, you may learn that that date is no longer an option as it is booked. Set your priorities and don’t bend on those. If you are wanting to stick with a specific date, find the next best venue option that has availability.

10) RELAX AND ENJOY:

Throughout your planning process, you are going to be making A LOT of decisions. You will have many checklists, budget talks, and document signings.. remember to breathe and take it all in. The planning is absolutely an exciting time for you and everyone involved, but don’t let it overwhelm you.. oh, and if it does start to become overwhelming, go back to step 6: Hire a planner!