Welcome to our blog! As Charlotte, Asheville, and destination wedding photographers, we do our best to provide as much information and value to you as we can. Our blog is still a little young but we can't wait to share all of our knowledge with you!
Congratulations!!!! You’re engaged!!!!! [pop the freaking bubbly!!]
This is such an exciting time, and we honestly could not be happier for you two! Don’t forget to call all your VIPs to let them know, show off the bling, and, of course, take that selfie for Insta #justsaidyes. You and your beau have decided it is time to spend forever together and, if you haven’t been collecting a binder of inspiration for the last 10 years, you might be thinking “holy sh**, what do we do next?!” Well, that’s what we’re here for! There are so many things that go into planning a wedding, but if you start a list and tackle one thing at a time, you’ll be able to conquer that list in no time! To get you started, these are our top 10 things for what to do after getting engaged.
Here’s what to do after getting engaged:
1. it’s time to celebrate!
Don’t worry about wedding planning just yet! You just got engaged, and the absolute number one thing to do after getting engaged is to celebrate! Whether you two decide to celebrate alone, at a fancy dinner or a weekend getaway, or celebrate with all of your closest people, choose what feels right for your relationship. The most important thing to remember through all of the planning is to do what you and your partner want to do. This is a celebration of your love, your story, and you deserve it to reflect your personalities! So if a full-blown engagement party is calling your name, remember to drink plenty of water with all the champagne!
2. insure your ring(s)!
As soon as possible, you need to call your insurance company and add that brand new bling to your policy. Whether you have both exchanged engagement rings, or only one of you is rocking it, your insurance company will need a current value on your ring(s) to add it to the policy. No matter if it’s a brand new ring, or a family heirloom, you can head to your local jewelry store (or where it was purchased) to get the proper paperwork. Oh, and if it isn’t a perfect fit yet, now is the time to get that baby sized!
3. pick your date!
Picking the ever-important wedding datewas hands-down, our favorite part of planning. You can choose a date that holds a special meaning, have fun with numbers or basically, throw a dart at a calendar! If you aren’t set on anything specific, consider seasons and weather to find the perfect date.
4. let’s talk budget!
This. Is. Crucial. Unless, of course, you just won the lottery, haha. Setting your budget and figuring out your wedding day priorities go hand in hand. As you talk budget, discuss what things are most important to you. Do you want to have a huge wedding, or do you two want to elope with just a handful of family and friends? How important is photography, and do you want a videographer, too? An experienced wedding planner’s average cost is about $2000, and you can expect to spend $3k-$5k for solid photography and/or video. Venues can be all-inclusive, offering food, beverages, and rentals, or they might just offer the wedding day space. Whether you come up with a range you’re comfortable spending or just set expectations, knowing your priorities will help alleviate some of the stress with planning.
5. determine your guest list size
Now that you know about how much you want to spend, you should have a pretty good idea of your guest list size. Still, it’s a good idea to start making a list of names in order to not leave off anyone important in the head count. Remember, it is ultimately up to the two of you who you have at your wedding and don’t ever feel guilty if you have to make some tough decisions!
6. research venues
You have a date, a budget, and a guest list size. These are the three most important things to have and know before researching venues, so let’s get to it!! If you want a cumulative list, head over to the Knot or Wedding Wire to find some of the best venues in the area you’re looking to get married. If you’re going super intimate, you can get creative by finding a place on Airbnb like we did for our wedding, or you could even have your ceremony in a National Park! Pictures are a great way to judge a venue’s beauty factor, but don’t forget, you can always tour the place before you book it! Or, make it a weekend adventure and tour several of your contenders! As with a lot of wedding planning, venue options are endless; just remember, venues are typically booked 12-18 months in advance, so if you are in love with a place, you need to reach out as soon as possible, especially if you don’t want to change your wedding date.
7. time to alert the wedding party!!
If you’re eloping without a wedding party, this won’t apply, but if you plan on having some VIPs by your side on your wedding day, it’s time to give them a heads up. Wedding party gifts are all the rage these days, but it is ultimately up to you how you decide to ask your crew. Personalized gift boxes are some of our favorites, but then again, we asked our Best Man and Maid of Honor over dinner and a bottle of Jack, haha. Once you have them on your side, these are the perfect people to delegate some tasks to! They’re there to help you make this day perfect so don’t feel bad asking them for help. And when it comes time to plan their outfits, Lulus and the Black Tux are two of our favorite places!
8. book your photographer and plan your engagement session.
The next vendor to research and book is your photographer/videographer. Like venues, photographers tend to get booked 12-18 months out, so if your date falls in that time frame, getting someone you love booked, should be next on your list! You should also totally consider an engagement session because not only will you get some gorgeous photos to commemorate this once in a lifetime moment in your life, but you also get the first-hand experience of working with your Photographer! Plus, your engagement photos are perfect for your Save the Dates and wedding website. Photography was super important to us on our wedding day (who would imagine that, haha), so it was important that we found a photographer who’s style and personality we loved. And while we may be biased, we can’t stress how important it is to find a great photographer. The photographs from your wedding day, last longer than any other wedding investment you’ll make. It’s what will make up the legacy you leave behind, so having someone you can fully trust to capture these precious memories is so so so important. And if it weren’t obvious, we would love to hear all about your wedding plans, so reach out and let’s chat!
9. order and send out Save the Dates!
As soon as you have your date set, venue booked, and have your engagement photos back, it’s time to order those Save the Dates! Save the Dates can be super personalized and are the perfect pre-invitation to let your guests know that you have a date and location set, and they need to keep your date open in their books! Some things to include on your Save the Date are your date, city/state of your wedding, a link to your wedding website, a little note that a formal invitation is to follow, and if there isn’t a photo of you two, don’t forget your names!! A good rule of thumb is to send out your Save the Dates at least six months before your wedding and follow up with your formal invitation about two months out. If you’re planning a destination wedding, you can always send them out sooner to give your guests even more time to plan.
10. set a timeline for the coming months
We’ve gone over a lot of things you can do after getting engaged already, but there are plenty of things left to do like book the rest of your vendors, find your wedding day attire, and plan your fantastic honeymoon! The best thing to do not to get overwhelmed is to set a timeline for the next few months. Having a list that you can check off and a timeline to follow will let you manage everything and even delegate some of the tasks to family and friends. You’re not alone in any of this, and don’t forget to celebrate your love story along the way!
So now that you know what do to do after getting engaged, keep on celebrating! This season of your life is so precious and will fly by before you know it. Not that that’s bad, because your wedding day is going to be amazing, but enjoy it while you can! Oh and one thing no-one tells you, fiancé/fiancée is so freaking fun to say, so say it EVERY day, haha. Congratulations, you two!!