Engaged! Now What?

You’re engaged! Got the man, got the ring…now what?

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First 10 things to do!

It happened! It was perfect, a complete surprise and its official! You’re engaged! Congratulations!
Seriously take a moment to soak it all in and remember all the details because soon you’ll realize how you have so much to do. Hopefully, you have already notified every special person – dear god I hope I don’t have to tell you to call family especially before you instagrammed, facebooked and #hashtagged it.
If that is the case, then let me tell you the to do’s (10) first thing, now that you’re engaged and are wearing that gorgeous ring!
1. Safeguard your ring baby – Yes it is like a baby and you probably aren’t used to carrying around that extra weight. While you are at it, get it sized and look at a few bands that he may like for his wedding band (at least to get some ideas). This ring cost a small fortune though and should be a forever piece so while you are getting used to such responsibility, have it insured!
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2. Set the Where & When – Before a wedding hashtag, you should probably decide on where to have the wedding and when (approximately). For some, this is easy because you live in the same area you grew up but for many, you want to figure out: Should you marry in your hometown, your fiancee’s home town, where you live, where you met, went to college, where you love to visit or even an exotic destination. I consider this more important than the when part at first because normally you don’t want to set a July date and then chose an Arizona wedding location. Ideally. Many places of course have a season for the most popular dates for weddings. Colorado is especially popular in fall for the color change but the main season is May to November (whereas in the Caribbean that is hurricane season so November to May is preferred).
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3. Make a draft guest list – Why? Well every venue is limited somewhat for space so at least ballpark the guest count so you know if your dream venue can accommodate your number. Or else you’ll waste time looking at venues that won’t work or booking a venue that will force you to cut your guest list. Oh and don’t forget about those +1’s for your single friends and all the kiddos of your families.
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4. Start Saving – Ugh. Whether it be putting aside $100 from each paycheck, taking on a holiday job, or selling a kidney, you need to start saving for all the expenses expected and unexpected.  And just about every wedding vendor you hire will require a deposit/retainer so you’ll need some funds upfront as well as the rest when the date gets closer.
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5. Now the perfect, dream venue – If you are searching local, you might already have your eye on the perfect place, but if you are going the destination route, you might want to skip ahead to #6 first. Few people know their dream wedding venue before they get engaged. Think about budget, about guest list and about style and look (rustic, classic, luxury, romantic, etc). Keep these in mind because you can go venue poor by spending your entire budget on the venue with nothing included. Pick up a few bridal magazines like Rocky Mountain Bride, The Knot, etc, check out the wedding blogs and if you are lucky there might be a resource like Wedding Sites and Services (magazine and online) for you to search easily for your perfect venue.
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6. Hire a Planner (Just do it!) – I know a lot of you are very capable, crafty (DIY) and talented but let me tell you now, you are going to want at least a day of planner – and some venues even require one. You want them because you want someone to set up all of the rentals or the centerpieces/favors you made and for all the problems of the day to be taken to them and not you. In addition, they can give you venue suggestions and vendors that are trusted pros that will take care of you, make your dream wedding come true with much less stress. You don’t want your wedding day to be a job, working yourself all the way up to and on the wedding day!
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7. Hire your must have/most important vendors – Like photographer! Seriously, some things are more important to you and your fiancée than others. It may be the photos (hopefully), or the flowers, or the entertainment. Whatever it is, hire those people asap now that you have the date and location before they don’t have the date. Popular dates go fast, well over a year in advance and there have been dates that I have turned down a dozen times because of its popularity.
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8. Consider sending out Save the Dates – and an engagement session for some romantic, lovely images of the two of you. Usually these are sent out 9-12 months ahead of your wedding day especially for your out of state guest and destination weddings. If you do want to use professionally taken images, consider your photographer’s schedule and then the timeline to get the photos to you and then to have things printed. It’s better to get started now.
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9. Create a wedding website – I know it sounds a little silly but it will actually make things easier on you. Put all the necessary information on there and basically you can tell everyone to look there instead of repeating yourself constantly. Things it should have is the location, directions, date and time (eventually), room blocks, registry information, your story and pictures and anything else you need to tell everyone.
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10. RELAX – yes now relax a bit. You have done a great deal of work and the rest can actually wait. Now you can start looking at inspiration to really plan and design your day. And don’t forget to enjoy that person that wants to spend the rest of your lives together! Have date nights without talking about wedding stuff. Enjoy your pre-honeymoon period of deep, intense love for each other and excitement for what will be your future together.
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