Just Engaged? 10 Planning To-Dos Not to Stress Over

Just said "yes"? Focus on soaking it up—these 10 to-dos can wait.
by Vi-An Nguyen
A couple dances to their first dance
photo by Michelle Lindsay Photography
  1. 1. To-Do That Can Wait: Choosing Your Bridesmaids

    Bridesmaid helps bride put on shoe
    photo by Brandon Kidd Photography

    Of course they were some of the first people you called after the proposal, but pause before asking all your besties to be in your wedding party. Drama has a habit of popping up in the early stages of engagements, so wait for the initial, "Oh my god—you're engaged!" phase to die down before asking your girls to be bridesmaids. A few weeks after your engagement, you'll have a better idea of who's excited to dive into wedding planning with you and who might have a better time at your wedding as a guest.

  2. 2. To-Do That Can Wait: Buying Your Dress

    Monique Lhuillier wedding dress hangs on a hanger
    photo by Christa Elyce | Photographer

    Browse through magazines and online galleries to your heart's content, but consider holding off before actually purchasing your wedding dress. After a few weeks of looking online and trying on dresses, your taste might change in a surprising way (same goes for your accessories). But don't sit on the decision for too long—you don't want to find yourself a month from the wedding date without a dress. We recommend buying your gown six to eight months before your wedding.

  3. 3. To-Do That Can Wait: Your Seating Chart

    Glass mirror seating chart
    photo by Abby Jiu Photography

    You'll want to figure out a rough estimate of your guest list so you can plan things like your budget and book your reception venue, but don't worry about deciding specific seating assignments yet. That can wait until after you've received your RSVPs and finalized your reception setup (venue, table sizes and so on).

  4. 4. To-Do That Can Wait: Picking Your First-Dance Song

    A couple dances to their first dance
    photo by Michelle Lindsay Photography

    Your first dance song—and all of your wedding music—is one of those details that you can tweak right up until your wedding day (especially if you're hiring a DJ). So there's no need to stress. (Check out these classic first-dance songs for some initial ideas.)

  5. 5. To-Do That Can Wait: Choosing the Bridesmaid Dresses

    Bridesmaids in white bridesmaid dresses
    photo by Amber Gress Photography

    Your wedding party attire is one of the most impactful ways to carry out your overall wedding style. But, similarly to your wedding gown, it's likely that your theme or colors will evolve during your planning process. So save bridesmaid dress shopping for when you've decided on a final look and feel for your wedding (you don't want to have your ladies buy one color or style and then later change your mind!).

  6. 6. To-Do That Can Wait: Planning Your Honeymoon

    Tropical honeymoon
    photo by iStock

    More and more couples aren't jetting off on their honeymoons right after their wedding day, so it's okay if you need more time to plan carefully—even if that means waiting a few weeks after your wedding to go. If you do want to leave for your honeymoon the day after your wedding, book your travel plans six to eight months in advance.

  7. 7. To-Do That Can Wait: Choosing Your Flowers

    Floral boutonnieres
    photo by Jose Villa Photography

    Book your florist early on (you'll want to pin down the best person—one whose overall style matches yours), but you don't actually have to specify what flowers you want until a few months, or even a few weeks, before your wedding. So start setting aside photos of wedding flowers that you love (and have a conversation with your florist about which blooms will be available for your wedding date), but don't worry about narrowing it all down just yet.

  8. 8. To-Do That Can Wait: All Those Little Details

    Succulent escort cards
    photo by Annamarie Akins Photography

    Tiny details, like your linens, table settings and escort cards, don't need to be dealt with until well after the bigger decisions, like your reception venue, are made. If you've got the itch to plan right now, focus on the fun stuff, like tasting appointments with your caterer and cake baker or choosing your wedding colors.

  9. 9. To-Do That Can Wait: Buying Anything Edible

    Edible favors
    photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

    You might have already found the perfect chocolate wedding favors, but don't buy them just yet. Plan to make the purchase of anything edible as close to your wedding date (no more than a month in advance) as possible to get the freshest goodies for your guests.

  10. 10. To-Do That Can Wait: The Legal Stuff

    Signing a marriage certificate
    photo by Emily Wren Photography

    You should be getting manicures and showing off your ring—not getting paper cuts on your fingers from all the documents you're filling out. Changing your name, combining bank accounts, updating tax forms—that can all wait until after the wedding. For now, check out Your First 11 To-Dos after getting engaged.

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