Wondering what to do now that you’ve joined the ranks of the recently engaged? In addition to staring at your left hand for hours on end, there are some essential steps every newly-engaged bride-to-be should put on her to-do list right away. From the fun (get a manicure to show off that sparkling engagement ring!) to the nitty-gritty (set your budget)-these 11 things will get you organized, on track, and well on your way to planning the best wedding ever.
Call your VIPs
Share the big news with your inner circle before updating your status on Facebook. It’s not cool for your acupuncturist to find out before Grandma.
Get your engagement ring insured
It may not be the most thrilling task in the world, but if your engagement ring falls down the garbage disposal, flies off a rollercoaster, or sheds a diamond or two, you’ll be ever-so-glad you got that precious stone insured. Anyone who’s ever been engagement ring shopping knows the value of these things certainly makes them worth protecting.
Get a manicure
Everyone’s eyes will be on your hand, so grab your BFF, splurge on a professional mani, and start
showing off that sparkler!
Enjoy the moment
Being engaged means you get to plan the wedding of your dreams. But it also means that you just committed to spending the rest of your life with your soul mate. Take some time (at least a couple of weeks) to savor how epically romantic that is before you dive into logistics.
Start dreaming
This is the fun part: brainstorming with your guy about the big day. Compare fantasies (tequila tastings! beach vows!), and sign up for a Pinterest account to create an online inspiration board. Go crazy-you can refine things after you’ve picked your venue.
Add up your wedding budget
Ready to get down to the nitty-gritty? Settle on a rough guest list and budget. “Without them, you can’t book the right venue and vendors for your price point,” says wedding planner Tracy Taylor Ward .
Get out your calendar
Have a range of dates in mind before you tour venues. Are you envisioning a spring garden wedding, or fall I do’s in the woods? Do you want to honeymoon in Yosemite, or cruise the Caribbean? The answers will help steer you toward your ideal time of year. Tip: Ask engaged friends when they’re getting hitched, so you can avoid those dates.
Hire a wedding planning pro
If you want to work with a wedding planner, book her before you choose your venue. “I often wish I could turn back time and show new clients a site that would have been a much better fit,” says planner Annie Lee.
Find a wedding venue
Your venue will influence every decision you make, from your color scheme to the style of your dress, so lock it down early. The key is finding one that meshes with your vision (black-tie ballroom, modern minimalist, etc.). And don’t be afraid to think beyond the banquet hall.
Stay organized
This is not the kind of party you can throw together at the last minute. Stay on track by creating a comprehensive timeline of your wedding to-dos.
Book in-demand vendors
Once you’ve secured a venue and date, start hunting for your officiant, photographer, and band or DJ. Because these vendors typically book just one event per day, they get scooped up very quickly. “Many have schedules that rival the president’s,” says planner Calder Clark. One of my friends is getting married next year so has started planning her big day. For her wedding, Professional photo sessions by talented photographer Olga Topchii are a must, so one of the first things she did was to book her wedding photographer! Where weddings are concerned, you can never be too prepared.
Published in Brides