You're engaged! Congratulations! You're probably over the moon with excitement but also completely overwhelmed about what to do next. Just relax! You'll figure everything out so take a deep breath and try to soak up these next few days or weeks before the crazy planning begins. Once you've shared the good news with your family and friends and celebrated with your new fiancé (you have a fiancé!!!!), here are the immediate to do's that we suggest tackling in your wedding planning journey:
1. Insure your ring!
This is often overlooked but should definitely be your first to do. Get your new bling insured so that you don't have to worry about anything happening to it.
2. Decide on a few date options
Start out with at least 2-3 dates that you would be happy with and that work for the majority of your family and close friends - remember the date you pick isn't going to work for everyoneso make a list of people that without a doubt have to be there and then make a list of dates that work for you and them. You'll decide on your final date once you tackle to do number three below!
3. Reach out to your dream venues + photographers
Your venue and photographer are two of the most important items to book right away and should be the first outreach you do in order to determine your date options. Make a list of 3-4 venues and photographers you love and reach out to see if they have availability on the dates you listed in step number two. Once you've figured out who is available (and within your budget) you can nail down your date.
4. Schedule your engagement photo session!
It's important to get your engagement photo session date on the calendar as you'll want to use the photos from this session to send your save the dates and build out your wedding website. Ensure you get the date you want and that's in the near term by planning this as soon as you book your photographer.
Need help deciding when to take them, where to take them, what to wear, and what to bring - check out our Complete Engagement Photo Guide for Brides!
5. Find your engagement photo dress
The next big question after booking your engagement photos… what are you going to wear?! A little white dress is always a classic bridal option that photographs beautifully. Whether you're taking your photos in the spring, summer, winter, or fall, Eternal Ivory will always have an option for you!
6. Gather inspiration
If you haven't already, create a Pinterest board (or a few) with inspiration images for both your engagement photo session, wedding day, and any other pre-wedding events you may decide to plan. At the very least, have a wedding day inspiration board so you can share it with your vendors as you meet with them. This will help them quickly understand your vision for the big day! Need some help getting started, check out our Pinterest page!
7. Ask your bridal party
Once you have your date nailed down, it's time to pop the question to your bridal party! We're all about the special little details so when asking your girls to be a major part of your big day, we love doing a bridesmaid proposal. Whether it's a simple, cute card or a full on gift box, spend some time making it special - after all, they're going to be spending a lot of time making your day special over the next few months!
8. Decide on a wedding planner
Decide if you're going to hire a wedding planner. If you are, start reaching out to a few to get their pricing and availability. At the least, we suggest hiring a day of coordinator so that you nor a family member have to stress about coordinating everything on the big day. If you're not hiring a full wedding planner, then go ahead and skip to number nine, choosing your other vendors.
9. Reach out to additional vendors
If you do hire a planner, they can help you source and select the best vendors for your location and budget. If you don't hire a planner, you'll have to do all of this on your own. A few of the vendors you'll want to start finding right away include your caterer, florist, videographer (if you plan to have one), and the event rental company (if your venue doesn’t offer tables/chairs/linens with their package).
10. Create your wedding website + save the date cards
Even before you have your engagement photos back, you can start building out your wedding website. Share details about your engagement story, the wedding day, and your bridal party. Create a page for your wedding registry. And then, add in details about the actual wedding weekend, including hotel recommendations, as you start finalizing them. Once you have your engagement photos back, create your save the dates, add some of these pictures to your site, and include the wedding website address on your save the date card!
Of course, your wedding planning to do list will continue to grow but these are the immediate to do's we suggest focusing on. If you're looking for more wedding planning tips and a way to stay organized (and sane) through it all, check out this amazing wedding planning app, Everly Wed!