You're Engaged! Now What?

The time period from around Christmas to Valentine's Day is commonly referred to as 'engagement season.' If you have recently found yourself engaged, CONGRATULATIONS!!! Before you do anything else - take a moment, breathe, enjoy the fact that you just agreed to marry the love of your life!

Have you taken a moment to breathe and enjoy yet? Good. :)

After you get engaged, you will probably start to wonder what to do next. I want to offer five things to do first. Prioritizing these five tasks will take much stress away from the wedding planning process and ensure a joyful engagement season that leads up to the wedding of your dreams!

1. Create a Budget!

Let's be honest. Not many people enjoy talking about money or setting budgets; however, creating a budget is the first thing to do once you get engaged! Discuss who will be contributing what amounts of money toward the wedding, and settle on a budget that best fits what you are able to do as a couple. Deciding on a budget first will help as you search for vendors by having a specific price range. Along with this, it will give you a vision of what you'll be spending for the big day!

2. Narrow Down Dates!

After creating a budget, it is best to next narrow down a few possible dates for your wedding celebration. I recommend having a few to choose from so that you have more options when asking your preferred vendors their availabilities.

3. Set a Guest List!

Pretty much everything else you do depends on how many people you are planning to invite. After you've created a budget and narrowed down a few dates, sit down with your fiancé and set a tentative guest list. At this point, there isn't a need to gather addresses or contact information. Just compile a list of names of guests you both desire to be present on your wedding day!

4. Pick a Venue!

This is the point where you really get to start envisioning your wedding day. What do you want your ceremony and reception to look like? Do you see yourself walking down the aisle in a lush green field, between rows of pews in the historic church downtown, on top of a mountain while the leaves change around you? Start dreaming and tour venues that seem to line up with those dreams.

5. Hire a Photographer!

I know what you're thinking - this is a blog post by a wedding photographer, so including hiring a photographer is totally biased! Well guess what? This fifth point does not come from bias. Hiring a photographer is one of the most important tasks throughout your wedding planning process. Your photographer is who will arguably be with you and your partner the most throughout the wedding day. Along with this, your photographer will be the person documenting one of the most special and important days of your lives. With that said, it is best to start looking for a photographer who has a style and personality that you like as soon as possible.

I hope these five things to do after getting engaged give you a great starting point for your wedding planning process. I'm excited for you! May you enjoy this season of life, while anticipating the coming of the next one.