If You're Thinking 'I'm Engaged, Now What', We've Got the Answer
Congratulations, you're just engaged! As a new fiancé, you might be wondering, "I just got engaged—now what?" Before you start to stress, we're here to help. Planning a wedding is a timely process that doesn't need to start the moment you say "yes" to your S.O. Every couple's timeline is different, and there's no specific schedule when planning your nuptials. But when it comes down to the order of tasks, it can be confusing. Who do you tell? When should you have an engagement party? What planning tasks should you tackle first? These are common questions you might be thinking of now that a wedding is on your horizon. Luckily for you, we have the answers.
If you're just engaged and wondering what comes next, you're in the right place. Here, we break down exactly what you should do first after the proposal. (Spoiler alert: You don't have to start checking off to-do's right away.) Read our top tips here to help kick off your wedding planning experience.
Declare the News
The first step after you're just engaged is to share the happy news. Take as much (or as little) time as you want. Some couples want to tell everyone as soon as possible, while others might prefer to keep the news a secret before going public. When you're ready to share, there are some people who should be told before you post on social media (think: your parents and immediate family first, followed by extended family and friends). Once the VIPs are in the loop, you can go public with your "just engaged" post (accompanied by a cute Instagram caption, of course).
To avoid hurt feelings, contact your inner circle first. Your loved ones will appreciate the opportunity to congratulate you directly.
Enjoy Your Engagement
Once you've shared the news of your engagement, take a moment so enjoy the experience with your fiancé. You don't have to jump into wedding planning when you're just engaged—in fact, we encourage couples to take some time to relax before the planning process begins. Host an engagement party with your nearest and dearest, or take an engagement-moon to enjoy one-on-one time. (Yep, it's a thing.)
Of course, if you're planning a short engagement or you're working within a strict wedding timeline, you might not want to delay the process too long. Do what feels right to you and your partner, not what you think you should do according to those around you.
When you're ready to start planning, the first step is to organize your wedding information. We recommend downloading The Knot Wedding Planner app to keep everything in one place, from your registry to your wedding website and your vendor list. Start by taking the Style Quiz to get personalized inspiration for your nuptials. Once you have a vision, you'll be prepared to select a date and venue, as well as your team of pros. The app will also help you manage the less-glamorous planning details, like your budget breakdown and the status of RSVPs.
If you also like to write notes, get a wedding binder to keep important documents, copies of contracts and receipts. You can have an easy planning process by staying organized from the beginning.
Start a Checklist
Once you select a wedding date, start a list of tasks to guide planning. You can create a personalized wedding checklist on The Knot to figure out what your to-dos are on a month-by-month basis. Don't stress yourself out in the beginning by setting deadlines that might prove to be unrealistic—our tool will guide you on which essential tasks to do when. It might seem a little daunting to get as much done as possible in the first few months, but it'll save you potential headaches and roadblocks in the weeks leading up to your big day. Trust us, you'll thank yourselves later.
Set Aside Time to Plan
We recommend setting aside time with your S.O. to plan together. Don't let wedding planning overtake date night, as it's still important for the two of you to enjoy time together that's not focused on the wedding. By allotting time to strictly focus on planning, you'll accomplish more together instead of scrambling.
This eliminates confusion (i.e., one of you thinking you're supposed to call and check on hall rentals when the other's already completed the task). Communication is key when planning a wedding.
Divide and Conquer (While Communicating)
This is the best way to get things done. You and your partner should both be involved every step of the way. Make a list of details to be taken care of, then choose what you each want to do—your partner may not be concerned with exactly which flowers you carry, and maybe you're not picky about what your partner's wedding party wears. Even though you have a checklist, it's good to over-communicate. If you're sharing duties, you should also be sharing the details. It's okay to take care of certain things by yourself, but don't neglect to tell each other about it so the caterer isn't contacted twice. And when the planning gets tough, take a break from contracts and seating charts to do something fun, like writing wedding party bios on your wedding website or adding products to your registry.
Once you've taken care of these starting points, you'll be well-prepared to dive into planning your wedding. Get started with our all-encompassing guide here, and don't forget to create your wedding website and registry as soon as possible too.