First of all, EEEEEKKKK! Congrats on your engagement! You’re probably feeling all the feels right now and although this is such an exciting time for you, I know the list of things to do after getting engaged can seem intimidating. The best piece of advice I can give you is to take it all in and enjoy it, then get to worrying about the long to do list you now have ahead of you. Here is the ultimate checklist of what you should do when you first get engaged.
Your engagement is such a short period of time in your relationship and you won’t get this time back. Even if you’re super excited to share the news on social media, documenting it all will take away from you enjoying the moment and the early days of your engagement! First and foremost, soak up this time together, pop some bubbly, and worry about calling everyone and making big decisions later! Take a week or two and just be engaged!
One of the first things you’ll probably want to do after getting engaged is to tell your friends and family. You can do this by hosting a dinner party, posting on Facebook or Instagram, or calling people individually. If your proposal happens around the holidays, you’ll probably already have a few opportunities to be around your friends and family. Here are a few ideas of how to announce your engagement to friends or family at holiday gatherings.
Since getting your engagement ring sized can take a few weeks, that’s something you’ll want to knock out right away. It sucks being without it, but it’s worth it and is just something you have to do! I think getting your ring insured is a very good idea because if it ever gets lost or stolen, insurance really is the only way to replace it without buying a new ring.
Before you make any decisions like who will be in your wedding party or select a date, you should talk to your fiance and decide on a budget together. Taking time to discuss important things like budget and timeline will minimize frustrations and disagreements down the road. One of the reasons you should decide on a budget before choosing a date is because the date of your wedding could affect the pricing of the venue and other venues. For example, the most popular time of year to get married in Chicago is August through early November, so if you’re hoping to snag a lower price on your venue, consider a spring or winter wedding.
You should also talk about how many guests you’d like to invite and how many wedding party members you’d like to stand at the altar with you because that all affects your budget and is important information potential venues will ask. It’s also a good idea to talk your guest list over with your families so there are no surprises, especially if your parents are helping you financially with the wedding.
If you can, it’s great to be flexible on your date because your dream venue or other wedding vendors may be booked on the date you choose. If you can be flexible with your date, you have a better chance of booking your favorite vendors on a date that works for most or all of them.
You might already be decided on having an outdoor or indoor wedding, but if you want an outdoor wedding, it’s a good idea to choose a venue that you equally love the inside because you never know what the weather will be like. In Chicago, the weather is unpredictable literally all year round and you don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute to find a tent because there’s rain on your wedding day. When looking at venues, the most important things to keep in mind are the location, capacity, availability, type, layout, rates, restrictions, parking, transportation, facility extras, catering, bartending and rentals. That sounds like a lot, but take notes when touring venues on all those things and it will really come in handy when it’s time to make a decision!
This is definitely one of those things that you shouldn’t rush into! This is a big factor on how the entire process will go leading up to your wedding, from showers to bachelorette and bachelor parties, who you invite to be in your wedding party is something you should carefully consider. Think about if inviting someone will add stress to your wedding or if that person will add support. Once you decide, set realistic and honest expectations with them. Another thing to think about is that more isn’t necessarily better. If you choose to have 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen, where will you take all your pictures? Think about if there’s space for that in your venue, if that will take extra time and cost you more, and if you can afford things like 10 hair and makeups, 10 bouquets and 10 boutonnieres.
Most engaged couples in Chicago find their photographers on Instagram by searching terms like #chicagophotographer or #chicagoweddingphotographer. If you want the same photographer for both your engagement photos and your wedding, I recommend finding 5-7 photographers that you like and inquire about your wedding date to see if they are available. Chances are your top choice might be booked, so it’s good to research a few options so you have backups! Here’s a link to good questions to ask your wedding photographer before booking.
So there are your next steps after getting that ring on your finger!! Congrats loves, this is such an exciting time in your lives and you should enjoy every minute of it!!
I know planning your dream wedding can be stressful, heres the thing though, you don't have to do this alone!! I got you! I will be your Chicago wedding guide helping you navigate the not so fun parts of planning your best day ever! I believe you should have FUN on your wedding day! I know, crazy right? Let me prove it to you!