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I’m Engaged – What’s next?

Congratulations! The engagement is on! Now what? 
Here are a few simple and basic notes to get the wedding plans started:

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1) Protect the Hardware!  Visit or contact the jewelry store from which your ring was purchased and make sure it’s registered with the store for future cleaning, sizing (and re-sizing) and maintenance.  Next, be sure the ring is insured either through the jewelry store, or through your private insurance company.  Then, consider taking a picture of the ring on your finger and have fun showing it off!  A fresh manicure followed by a day at the spa could heighten this experience.

2) Set A Wedding Date!  Your family and friends will all want to know when and where the wedding is taking place so you should begin contacting wedding ceremony locations (church, venue, hotel, etc.) to make sure your date is available. Also, consider a wedding reception location and make sure your reception venue is available and can accommodate your needs. This may involve a day of visiting wedding venues to determine what will work best for your special day. Don’t forget to look at the calendar to be sure you are aware of holidays, big sporting events, or extremely popular travel or vacation dates which may inconvenience your guests.

3) Get the Word Out! Contact your family and friends. Announce on social media and consider starting a wedding blog so all your friends and family can keep up with your engagement (and the gift registry, wedding date and location, pictures, etc.) Post a story about how you met and what you hope the future holds as a married couple.

4) Consider Finances!  Set a budget for the wedding and the reception. The more guests you invite to the wedding, generally the higher your expenses will become. Determine the financial source(s) and make sure you have time to put the finances together. Consider opening a wedding savings account; or, consider opening a “wedding” credit card, one with perks like travel miles or hotel nights – then use the card (pay it off before the wedding) to enhance your honeymoon travel plans.

5) Invite Guests! You may start considering who will be in your bridal party and assembling a general guest list. Once you announce your engagement, your friends may wonder if they’re going to be “in” the wedding, so you may want to have a good vision of your desired wedding party participants. Make sure the number of guests you invite will fit your wedding budget and not exceed your venue’s capabilities. Involve parents and close family members in the guest list process to make sure everyone important to you is invited to help celebrate.

6) The Best Day Ever! It’s time to begin contacting wedding vendors to secure the date. Popular wedding services book quickly so now’s the time to make sure you have all the best. You may need a venue, caterer, florist, cake bakery, DJ, musicians, officiant, limousine, etc. Consider hiring a wedding planner to help you with the vendor selection process or contact a wedding vendor you trust and “pick their brain” to discover all the best and most reliable services.

These are just some of the ways you can get started with the planning process.  You could also consider hosting an engagement party or perhaps a trip for just you and your fiancé to help you enjoy the engagement through the wedding planning process. The engagement is intended to be a happy and magical moment in time…enjoy the journey!