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You're Engaged (Congrats!) - Now What?

photo: m place productions

You found your Prince Charming and (finally!) have the most beautiful ring you have ever seen shining on your left ring finger for all to see. Locash's "Ring on Every Finger" is playing on repeat and you're ready to "Flip that Miss to Mrs" RIGHT NOW!

All you can think is WHAT NOW?!? Venue - Colors - Theme - Dress - Bridesmaids - Flowers - Food - Decor - It's all whirling around in your head like a tornado. So many decisions so little time!

I know you’re anxious to be married and want to rush through the engagement phase, but I promise that is a mistake. Once you start planning, it’s a snowball effect that turns into an avalanche that doesn’t end until after the big day. Don’t find yourself overwhelmed, wishing it was over already or wishing that you had just a little more time! I completely understand the desire and too many brides do it anyway. Just remember, you only have “x” number of months to be engaged, and a LIFETIME to be married. It will come faster than you think, trust me.

So pump the breaks, grab a glass of the champagne that room service brought up (you’re still in the hotel room from your engagement night, right?) and start by reading this list below. You'll be able to breathe again in no time.

Pop the Bubbly I'm Getting a Hubby

photo: m place productions


You got engaged yesterday and are ready to plan your entire wedding right this second! NO. Unless you're getting married within the next 30 days, take some time to enjoy all the thrills of being a FIANCEE! I recommend talking with your new fiancé and deciding on an amount of time in which you will not - I repeat WILL NOT - talk about anything wedding related. This will take a lot of pressure and stress off of both of you.

If your ideal wedding date is 2 years from now, maybe you wait 6 months before you start planning. If your ideal wedding date is a year away, maybe give yourselves at least a month. This will give you some time to share your engagement story over and over, show off your ring, and mentally prepare yourself for this next big step in life before people start hounding you for wedding details.

If they do start asking “Have you picked a date?” “What city will it be in?” “What is your dress going to look like?” “I’m invited, right?” you now have an honest excuse that will get you off the hook from becoming overwhelmed with these questions that you don’t immediately have answers to (even if you have given it a little thought). “We have decided that we are going to enjoy being engaged for right now and will start the planning in a couple months.” Everyone will understand and lay off asking questions for a while.

Take an evening, just the two of you, and make time for a date-night where you have the chance to let your new title sink in.

He Asked She Said About Damn Time

photo: m place productions


Use the “I Just Got Engaged” card everywhere you go! Anytime you can slip that into a conversation, the person you are talking to will stop what they’re doing just to say “Congratulations!” They will immediately have a more positive attitude toward you and you have another opportunity to show off your ring and brag about your fiancé. Depending on where you are, maybe you’ll get a complimentary dessert at the end of dinner to celebrate.

If you haven’t already, post your favorite photo of your ring on Facebook and Instagram and watch the thumbs up, hearts, and comments pour in! Everyone wants to be excited for you – let them! Maybe your fiancé hired a photographer (bonus points!) to capture the exact moment where they were down on one knee and you have the BEST “surprised” face on. Share this photo everywhere too! Of course, make sure you have told mom, dad, grandma, and all other important people before they find out you’re engaged through Facebook.

Being engaged really is the best time of your life so make sure to soak in every moment! You only get to go through this process ONCE (sometimes) so enjoy every second.

Surprise Proposal She Said Yes

photo: m place productions


You can guarantee that you will be asked to tell your proposal story hundreds of times (you know you’re excited to brag). However, once the wedding happens, people will be asking all about your wedding instead. Over time, you and your fiancé may start to forget little details that you wish you could remember. The best thing you can do for yourselves is document it right away. Perhaps even have it documented in both of your perspectives so you can remember how sweaty their palms were and you couldn’t figure out why. Or how they were so nervous that you would figure out what was going on because you have to know EVERYTHING about everything at all times.

Ways to document your story:

- Make a photo book on Vistaprint or Shutterfly with photos and use it to fully tell the story

- Type it in a word document and save it in a safe place on your computer or external hard drive

- Write it out in the form of letters to each other

- Have it professionally printed and hang it on the wall in a nice frame

- Write it in a journal kept safely on your bookshelf

- Make a scrapbook with photo documentation

You will be so happy you did!

Las Vegas Wedding with Elvis

photo: m place productions


Once you have fully embraced your engagement and it is your agreed upon time to start planning, the first step should be considering whether you want a local or destination wedding. This doesn’t have to be solidified right away, but you should narrow it down to one or two contenders. Perhaps grandma doesn’t travel well so you’re thinking about staying local. Or maybe you love Las Vegas and you know your guests would love a mini-vacation too. Of course there’s always the option that you want to do a Wedding-Moon with 10-20 of your closest family and friends on a beach in the Bahamas.

Deciding these possibilities will help you know where to start with all of the other details. Consult a wedding planner (see Step 6) to make sure the location(s) you are considering align with your budget, guest count, and wedding vision. You should also know where “location” lands on your priority list. If it is #1, all other details can be planned around that.

Lake Tahoe Destination Wedding

photo: m place productions


The next step is to decide what time of year you would like to get married. Want to get married in Las Vegas? July probably shouldn’t be your ideal month. Getting married in Chicago? Let’s avoid January. Again, this is not something that needs to be 100% decided right away. You should have a season or month picked out to move forward though. This will also help with people asking “When’s the wedding?” You will be able to respond with, “We are thinking a spring wedding – maybe April or May.”

If you have a specific date in mind – you LOVE the song “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire so your wedding MUST be on September 21st – that should be what you lead your planning with. If a specific date is high on your priority list, you may not be able to book your favorite venue if the date is already taken.

The more flexible you are with your date, the easier it will be to find your venue. Sometimes venues will give discounts for different days of the week so you should also consider a not-as-popular day of the week, such as a Thursday, if you are looking to safe a little extra money or have something extra thrown in.

Outdoor Boho Wedding

photo: the light & the love


The best thing you can do for yourself, your fiancé, your family, and your bridesmaids, is to hire a wedding planner. I promise you will be SO HAPPY you did! It is an entirely separate conversation we could have about why you should hire a planner, and if a planner is right for you, so look out for that article later.

What I will say now is that once you have completed the steps above, this is the time you should be seriously considering and searching for a planner. Yes, it is another line item on your budget that becomes a factor, but if you plan for it right out of the gate, the cost is manageable and well worth it.

Don’t know where to start? Check out The Knot and search the city in which you want to get married in. This will give you numerous options where you can view photos, reviews, and website links. This will help narrow down your options without searching through 100 pages on Google. At the end of the day, you want to find someone you connect with and trust instantly. You will be spending a lot of time over the next year+ with this person so if you connect with them, the planning process will be so much more fun!

Make sure to consider Symphony Weddings & Events for your planning needs!

Casa de Shenandoah Wedding

photo: m place productions


You guessed it, it’s now time to start your Pinterest board! Before you go pin-crazy, you should have already discussed your initial vision and theme with your planner. Make sure the things you’re pinning RELATE to what you have already decided that you want. Want a modern elegant look? Yes that mason jar on the stump centerpiece is cute but it doesn’t match! Back away from the “pin now” button!

Another important thing to remember with Pinterest is Fantasty vs. Reality. Yes, the entire ballroom being transformed into a forest with butterflies flying around everywhere is absolutely STUNNING! But unless you have the budget to match, you may need to be prepared to compromise and do something not as extravagant. The #1 thing brides don’t realize with pinterest is how much that gorgeous centerpiece is actually going to cost. Can you say #StickerShock ?

Your pins should be pure INSPIRATION. Your planner will then take that inspiration and align it with your vision and budget. Most of the time your actual wedding will turn out more beautiful than that pinterest photo anyway.

It is important to also remember the other resources for inspiration gathering: Wedding Blogs, Bridal Magazines, Instagram, and Bridal Shows!

Which leads me to the next step…

Bridal Spectacular Fashion Show

photo: adam frazier photography


A wonderful source of inspiration is your local bridal shows. Having a destination wedding? See if you can plan a girls weekend to your destination when a bridal show is going on. Every vendor in attendance is there to show off the “latest and greatest” in wedding trends. A bakery might be showing off the new suspended cake swing they created or a photographer might be showing off a new photo gift perfect for mom. Your venue might even be there and you can see a new décor piece they added that you love. Maybe they have photos you haven’t see before of the space and you love the way the lighting looks. The possibilities are endless!

In addition to gathering inspiration, Bridal Shows are a really fun experience! There are ALWAYS bakeries with cake samples (who doesn’t want cake?!), photo booths with fun props that you and your #squad can enjoy, and of course plenty of giveaways that you can win! Most importantly, you feel like the center of attention and people all around you are congratulating you on your engagement and the butterflies come back all over again. Most bridal shows give you buttons or t-shirts or something to help you stand out in the crowd. Eat up the attention!

If you are considering a wedding in Las Vegas, make sure to check out The Bridal Spectacular Show here:

Engagement Photo

photo: m place productions


Okay you’re ready. Be free! Embark on this amazing journey that is wedding planning. You really can the time of your life if you follow these steps and truly enjoy every moment. There are so many experiences to be had!


So now that you’ve taken a step back from planning your whole wedding in one night, turn Locash back on and keep celebrating!! Congratulations on your engagement!!

Happy Planning!


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