First of all – huge congratulations! You are engaged – how exciting! This may have been something that you have been waiting for, for quite some time, and now it’s finally here or perhaps it was more of a surprise. However you got engaged, I’d love to know details, who proposed? Where? How? Leave them in the comments below! I just love hearing engagement stories (and telling my own…my husband popped the question in scenic Monument Valley – very romantic!).
Now you may be left wondering what the next stages are after your engagement and in what order you should tick them off your list? But before you start to stress, don’t worry you are in the right place and I am here to help!
Planning a wedding is a timely process – so you don’t need to start planning the moment you say “yes” to your significant other. Every couple’s timeline is different and you don’t need to compare how quickly or slowly you decide to begin the planning process. When it comes to the timings of everything, it can be confusing – Who do you tell? When do you plan the engagement party? What planning tasks do you need to tackle first? These are common questions that many engaged couples wonder, but fortunately I have the answers for you.
Here are my top tips on what to do once you become engaged.
One of the first steps after you’ve got engaged is to share your happy news. Take as much, or as little time as you like! Some couples want to tell everyone as soon as possible and have the Instagram announcement planned out before their partner has had time to get up from their knees, while others may like to keep it a secret for a little longer. I enjoyed staying in that little engaged bubble with just the two of us knowing for a day or so before sharing the news! When you are ready to tell people, I would suggest that you ensure you’ve told immediate family and friends before posting to social media.
Once you have shared the exciting news, take as long as you can to just enjoy the experience with your fiancé. Relax, and don’t jump straight into the planning and I would suggest that you just enjoy being engaged for a little while. You may even decide to have a party surrounded by friends and family or arrange an engagement shoot. Many wedding photographers will offer this as part of their packages or as an ‘add on’ option – it can be a great way to get to know them whilst helping you both feel a little more relaxed in front of the camera before your special day too.
Of course, if you are planning a shorter engagement or you just want to get straight into the planning then you may not want to delay the to-do list for too long. Just ensure that whatever you do, it feels right for the two of you. It’s your wedding journey after all!
It’s also worth mentioning in this section that you may want to get your ring insured too – It’s a pretty sentimental piece of jewellery after all.
When you are ready to begin the wedding planning, I’d suggest getting an organiser/folder or a planner to keep everything in one place. There will be a lot to coordinate over the next few months. Get into the habit of keeping important information in a specific place, there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to hunt out a contract or rsvp’s when you really need them.
Start to think about what kind of wedding you are wanting to have. A formal gathering? A relaxed outdoor wedding? Would you like to get married in a church? If you have no ideas where to start, think about what kind of personalities you have as people, do you enjoy a good party or are you happier at smaller, more intimate gatherings? The internet is a great help when it comes to planning a wedding and Pinterest and Instagram are good places to start. Create your own mood board and pin things that appeal to you, it’ll be handy when showing your suppliers colours, the atmosphere and moods you want to recreate for your day. I find that even though at first it might seem like you are gathering lots of random ideas, once your mood board takes shape you can see a consistent theme appearing.
Next, it’s time to think about what’s important to you as a couple. You may have always wanted a formal sit down meal at your wedding or maybe you always pictured an outdoor ceremony? If you have something that you have always had your heart on then you should try your hardest to include it on your list.
Now it’s time to start a list of tasks that need planning! I would recommend setting aside some time with your significant other to go through this list together, free from distractions. Planning is best done in stages so as not to get overwhelming. Don’t let wedding planning take over date night, as it’s still important to set time away from planning as a couple. By allotting time specifically to tackle your wedding to-dos you’ll accomplish so much more than just getting round to it whenever.
Make a list of what each of you is going to do and split the tasks so that you can both be involved. This will keep both of you included, every step of the way. Keep communicating too so that you don’t end up contacting the caterer twice or booking two florists! Some of my couples even set up a separate wedding email to keep track of everything in one place.
Your partner may not want to be so involved in choosing the decorations for the tables and so that can go on your list, and you may decide that you are happy for them to choose the evening entertainment and so that’ll go on theirs. Have some tasks that you’ll do together too and you’ll soon get into the swing of wedding planning. When the planning gets tough, take a break from it all. It can wait! Spend the time to reconnect as a couple and get excited about the day ahead.
If you’re looking for gorgeous inspiration, why not take a glance at my wedding portfolio page, or my Pinterest where I have saved ideas for a variety of wedding colour palettes and examples of floral arrangements.
Once you have started to form a picture of your ideal wedding, you can hopefully begin to narrow down a season in which you would prefer to tie the knot. This might be dictated by the availability of your wedding venue, but do consider opting for a less popular day of the week, such as Thursday or Friday if weekends are in high-demand. Book venue visits so that you can see the space in person and feel an emotional connection instead of just looking online if possible. If you live overseas, many venues will offer virtual tours online or via Zoom. If you can visualise yourself saying your vows there – it may be ‘the one’!
Now you have a date in the diary, you can start to reach out to other wedding suppliers that you love and see if they have availability for your date. I’d suggest looking for vendors who have worked at that venue, check out the tagged venue photos on instagram, or use hashtags such as ‘londonflorist’ to find local suppliers that suit your aesthetic.
And there you have my top tips of what to do now you are engaged! Welcome to wedding planning, I know you are going to love it and remember I’m here to answer any questions you may have along the way – your wedding suppliers are always on hand to help and who better to ask for advice than those who are in the industry?
If you’re looking for a florist to add timeless, elegant and romantic florals to your wedding or event I would love to hear from you. Please head to my Contact page to enquire about my availability for your date and follow me on Instagram for even more floral prettiness.
If you’re just starting on your wedding planning journey, check out my blog post on ‘Why you should work with a wedding planner’.
Photography by Sophie May Photography
photography by Natalie Stevenson, Cristina Ilao, White Stag Weddings, Camilla Joy, Sophie may
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