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Steps After Engagement

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photo: Crystal Reyns Photography – more of their e-session here

{This article was just featured in our most recent wedding magazine.}

Congratulations – you’re finally engaged and you have the ring to prove it! As you and your partner embark on the journey that is wedding planning, you are surely excited by what the next year or so of engagement has in store. It can be tempting to dive in head first and surround yourself with all things weddings, but it’s important to take it slow in order to prevent yourself from taking on undue stress and burning out. With that in mind, here are some of the first things you should do after getting engaged.

Enjoy it! That’s right – quit dreaming up color palettes and mapping out your ideal tablescapes in your head. Log off of Pinterest and put your phone down. It’s time to unplug and truly take in all of the bliss of your new engagement. Plan a romantic date night to celebrate, just the two of you – the planning can wait, but you won’t get back these precious moments again.

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photo by Cardinal Rose Photography

Share the news. Assuming you didn’t livestream the proposal (you didn’t, did you!?), the time will come for you and your fiancé to spread the news. Before you pick the Instagram filter that best suits your ring’s sparkle, be sure to personally tell those that are close to you. Your parents or your best friend will want to be the first to know about your engagement – don’t let them find out through social media! Once your loved ones are in on the news, feel free to spread the love throughout your social accounts.

Settle on a budget. You weren’t expecting to start with wedding dress shopping and cake tasting, were you? The wedding budget is the end all, be all of your planning process – it will have an effect on every aspect of your big day, so it only makes sense to start there. Sit down with your partner and start with a ballpark number – at what point can you not bear to spend any more money? It could be $10,000 or $100,000. Whatever it is, find a common place where you can agree on an overall budget for your wedding.

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photo by Ashley Eiban Photography

Pick your Big Three Once you have an idea of your wedding’s price tag, it’s time to settle on your Big Three: the three most important must-haves on your wedding day. More than likely, these will be the categories you spend the most on, so it’s important to come to a consensus. Is there a venue that you’ve been dreaming of since you were a child? Does the entertainment make all the difference to you? Is food a priority? Or do you value high-quality photography more? If you’re having trouble agreeing on three, pick one that you can both agree is most important and then select an aspect for each of you – that way, you can compromise and everybody will get what they want.

Once you get through these first steps after your engagement, you can begin the initial stages of research for your wedding. Above all, don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

Amanda Zack is a wedding PR specialist with OFD Consulting, based in Richmond, VA. She also serves as a Public Relations adjunct professor at her alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University.

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