This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Holy moley, you have an engagement ring and you’re getting married! So where do you get started? Obviously, you have to spill the beans to your parents. After that, there’s no strict order to follow as long as you tackle the immediate to-dos. Here are the 12 most important things you need to do to really kick off your wedding planning
Call Your Parents
And your siblings and BFFs too! The last place they should have to hear about your new status is on social media so give them a ring personally and tell them the happy news. Chances are, mom and dad already know what’s up and have been waiting by the phone patiently for your call. Eek, so exciting!
Make Sure Your Nails are on Fleek
Your hands will be in the spotlight for the next couple of weeks, which means your manicure best be on fleek. Otherwise, friends will be focusing more on your chipped nail polish than your gorgeous engagement ring. Not cool.
Post a Ring Selfie
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Now that you’ve got the important phone calls out of the way (because in the case of your parents, a picture alone won’t suffice), it’s time to announce to the world that, yes, you’re engaged! The best way to do so, obviously, is by showing off that rock, brides.
Set a Timetable
The minute you get engaged, everyone will be asking for your wedding date. But in reality, you won’t be able to set an exact date until other major decisions—like choosing (and booking) your venue—are made. So first, focus on determining a range of dates that’ll work for you. The average engagement lasts 14 months, but also think about what season you’d prefer, any major holidays or family events you’d like to avoid conflicting with, and how long you predict you’ll need to plan.
Create a Pinterest Wedding Board
If you’re introverted, set your board to private and pin away without the rest of the world getting a glimpse of your wedding tastes. Even if you’re not introverted, this is a smart move. You avoid oversharing your big day’s style and décor, and you can still invite your wedding planner, mom, bridesmaids, or whoever else to view and contribute to your wedding Pinterest board.
Set Your Budget
Sit down with your families and figure out how much everyone is contributing. This number will affect every decision and purchase you make, so be sure to work out your budget before you start planning. It can be an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s better to get it out of the way now.
Draft a Guest List
As you begin to build your guest list, you’ll need to consider a number of factors. If you have a particular ceremony or reception site in mind, for instance, you’re going to be limited by how many people it can accommodate (you can’t squeeze 300 people into a lighthouse). Would you rather have quality one-on-one time with each guest or throw a once-in-a-lifetime party for all your friends and family? If mom and dad won’t budge about inviting throngs of friends and family, you’ll have to hear them out—especially if they’re footing a major part of the bill. Keep in mind that more guests means higher prices, as catering costs are generally calculated on a per-head basis. So, in addition to location, your budget will have a big influence on the size of your guest list.
Insure Your Ring
No matter how careful you are, the peace of mind that engagement ring insurance will give you and your fiance is worth it. There are two basic ways to do it: As an extension of your renter’s or homeowner’s policy (which would reimburse you for a set amount of cash if you lose the ring), or through a company that specializes in jewelry insurance (which might offer more coverage than a standard homeowner’s policy by replacing a lost or stolen ring).
Book a Venue (and Set Your Date)
Your reception venue will become the backdrop for virtually all your photos and can influence everything from heavy hitters like your budget and guest list to smaller details like your menu (if you choose a venue with in-house catering). Ensure that you get the look, price and extras you want by scouring local listings, shopping around, scheduling visits and booking early. Bonus: By signing your venue contract, you will officially have your wedding date (congrats!)!
Hire Priority Vendors
If you just can’t imagine getting married without a certain local band playing at the reception or a photographer whose work you love, act fast. Many top wedding photographers like Andy Defrancesco and other in-demand vendors are hired more than a year in advance, and once they’re booked, they’re gone. Translation: Figure out what your highest wedding priorities are, whether it’s world-class catering or exquisite flowers, and snap up the vendors whose work you love.
Choose Your Wedding Party
Now it’s your turn to propose to your bridesmaids and groomsmen . Remember, the earlier you ask, the sooner you can enlist their help. And keep in mind that your wedding party is agreeing to spend their hard-earned money and donate their precious time—be considerate and kind by informing everyone about all your plans, showing them a good time and making sure they know how much you appreciate them.
Begin your search by browsing dress photos online (and saving your favorites — you’ll want to take them with you to your appointments). Then, learn the lingo before setting foot in a dress salon. Read up on silhouettes, necklines, trains and hues that might flatter you. The season will also affect your choice. Getting married in the sweltering summer? Go with lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, linen or organza. Having a winter wedding? Brocade, faux fur and velvet will keep you warm. Satin, shantung, silk and tulle are perfect year-round. Call and Book your appointment.