He popped the question. You said yes. Hooray! You're engaged! What a super exciting time! Now it's time to Instagram a ring selfie to let all of your friends know you're officially engaged, right? Wait! Before you start spreading the news over social media or freaking out over wedding-planning checklists, this is what you need to do first.
Before you tell your family and friends, take a moment with your new fiancé! Head to your favorite bar for a glass of Champagne, or if your partner thought ahead, pop that bottle of bubbly he brought along in anticipation of a "yes!" Until the celebrations and parties and wedding are finally over, there's not going to be much "just the two of you" moments. Get in some good time with each other now—and make it a point not to talk wedding details. You'll get caught up in wedding planning soon enough, so enjoy this time before you let everyone else in on your good news.
Tell your Family
You may want to let people in on your engagement as soon as the ring put on your finger or you might want to keep the moment private a bit longer. Whenever you decide to share the good news, you should tell your parents first, then other family and friends.
If you're on vacation when you get engaged and want to share the news before you get home, try to find Wi-Fi so you can Skype or Facetime to share the news.
No one likes to be the last to know—and getting the news via mass e-mail, Twitter update or Facebook is especially awful. So set aside a few hours and go through your contact list and make the calls. Only after you've told everyone closest to you is it okay to post that ring selfie on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and every other social media platform that may exist.
Get Your Ring Sized
Your stunning ring is perfect in every way, except it doesn’t quite fit right – whether a little loose or a little tight. Get it resized ASAP! After all, you'll be showing it to everyone and the last thing you want is to do is lose it. The process can take just a few hours or, at most, a few days.
Get Your Ring Insured
Nothing can replace the sentimental value of your ring, but if something happens to it, at least you can get your (or his) money back. If you have homeowner's or renter's insurance, call to add the ring to your policy. You may need an official appraisal before you can officially add the ring, so call the insurance broker to see what paperwork is required. If you don't already have renter's insurance, it can be cheaper to buy it and then add the ring. Your insurance broker will be able to help you find the right option.
Get a Wedding Planner
No, not a person (at least not yet). Get an app, a datebook, a calendar or some other kind of keep-organized device to help you create a timeline for major wedding-related tasks. A wedding-planning binder to keep all those inspirational ideas you find surfing Pinterest and Instagram is also a good idea.
Create a Budget
Prior to making any wedding decisions, you need to figure out what you have to spend and whether your families will contribute. Make sure you and your fiancé are in agreement about your priorities before talking to your parents about budget and logistics.
Start a Savings Account for Your Wedding
Remember that even a simple, small wedding costs money - usually more money than you would think. A wedding savings account is an easy way to keep cash accumulating for your big day, so you don't have to rely on credit cards to cover everything later on.
Put together a preliminary guest list
Once the budget is set, figure out who you're going to invite to your wedding. Before you start putting a number on how many guests you want, it's a good idea to ask both your parents about who they'd most want to invite. Be sure to tell them this is just a draft and things might change. After you have their "dream" lists, you can add, edit and trim. If you're undecided about someone, consider whether or not you'd invite him or her over to your house for dinner. If you wouldn't, don't invite him or her.
Think about what you want your wedding to be
Get a bunch of wedding magazines, watch a bunch of wedding movies, look at maps for honeymoon ideas, and blog-stalk wedding planning websites. If you haven't been planning your wedding since you turned five, that's OK; now's a good time to collect ideas that inspire you and to learn what you want—and don't want—in your wedding.
Consider Whether You Want to Hire a Wedding Planner/Coordinator or Want to Do It Yourself
Take a look at your wedding and think about the parts that are going to take some extra planning. Negotiating with caterers, djs, organizing the timeline, etc. – and decide if you want to tackle these by yourself. Hiring a wedding planner/coordinator can save you A LOT of stress and time. Keep in mind that a wedding coordinator will cost extra money, so make sure the option fits into your budget before you give it serious consideration.
Pick A Venue
Now that you have your budget and guest list settled, it's time to pick your wedding venue. Where you get married can dictate a lot about the wedding—from the date to the dress code. The key is to look far and wide, and to follow the advice that's typically given for the wedding-dress hunt: "Try on" different options, not only the one you think you want. You never know what you'll end up liking the most.
Determine a Date
Once the word is out, expect lots of questions, including "When are you getting married?" Reveal a date if you have one, or let curious friends know plans are in the works—as they should be, especially if you want to hold your wedding at a popular time of year, such as June or over a holiday. Locations, photographers, caterers, and other professionals book up early, sometimes a year in advance.
Start looking for a photographer
You may think that getting a photographer for your wedding is something you can do when your big day is close – but it’s not. The good photographers book up early and you want to have the opportunity to find just the right one. Having a good fit with your photographer is very important. If you aren’t comfortable with them, then it will show in the photos. And, after it’s all said in done, ten years from now, the only thing you have left of your wedding is your photos.
Relax and Have Fun!
Take time to relax—get a massage, sleep in when you can. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event purely about you and your fiancé. You are allowed to enjoy it!