You’ve got the ring, you’ve got a partner for life, but now what? Getting engaged is a WHIRLWIND, and once it’s over it’s hard to know what to do next! Lucky for you we are going through EVERYTHING you should do in the months after you get engaged.
Your engagement will probably be the stage of your relationship that moves the fastest so you need to ENJOY IT!
Take some time after you get engaged to talk to your high-priority humans. You’ll more than likely want to put together a list of these people and try to do it in one sitting via phone or facetime, that way people don’t hear via the grapevine.
Once you’ve told your high priority humans, celebrate! Throw a party, celebrate with your friends and get excited because it’s time to start planning your wedding. Gather your friends, if you’re having a wedding party you can begin to let them know and celebrate together and from there you can start communicating with family about your engagement party, and your wedding shower!
After you’re engaged take some time to sit down with your partner and talk about setting a budget. Make a rough plan for what you want your day to look like, who you would like to be there and what you would like the experience to be like. From there you can make a rough budget and begin to look at venues you think might fit your needs.
After that, have a priority list of what you hope to have at your wedding day, and then do the research to find vendors that can fit in your budget. When looking at vendors keep in mind that DIY doesn’t always mean less expensive. Things like flowers and decorations can really add up when you plan to do them on your own, so do your research when you’re trying to plan around a budget.
This one and your wedding date tend to go hand in hand unless you’re planning on a property that isn’t a traditional wedding venue. Finding your wedding venue can be a daunting task so begin by setting an ideal location you would like to keep it in. Think about how far your families might have to travel, think about who you would like to be in attendance, and then think about what you would like your wedding day to feel like.
From there make a list of three to four venues within the area you hope to have your wedding at and inquire. From there you can evaluate costs, set up tours and hopefully after the tour you will know which venue is the one for you.
This one is especially important if you have a number of friends that are around the same age as you. As soon as you’re ready, start looking at possible venues to host your wedding. Set a style or a vibe for your day and then begin to look at venues that fit your vision. From there put together a list of 4 or 5, take some time to visit and once you find the one you’ll be able to set your date.
After you’re engaged and you set your date, tell your close friends and family immediately so that they can make sure they have it on their calendar. The last thing you want is for one of your friends to set their wedding on the same day as your wedding.
Once you are a little less than a year out you can send your formal save the dates, followed by your invitation about 6 or 7 months out from your wedding day. This will give your friends and family plenty of time to prepare and make sure they are ready for the day.
After you save your wedding date you will want to start looking at vendors. Your photographer will be one of the first vendors you book! Most photographers start booking their weddings between 9 and 15 months out. Once you have your date, if you have a photographer in mind, you’re going to want to contact them sooner rather than later!
If you’re flexible and just have a style in mind when it comes to your photos, search hashtags like #chicagoweddingphotographer, ask for vendor referrals from your wedding venue or ask friends who have already had their wedding who they used to document their day. If you’re looking to see my availability, inquire to see if I’m available for your date!
After that your planning can sorta be at your leisure. Much like your photographer, if you’re flexible with who you want on your wedding day you can take a bit more time in finding the rest of your vendors. There is a full breakdown below of ideally when you will want to look for various vendors when planning for your wedding.
This rough timeline will give you a general idea of when things should be happening after you get engaged leading up to your wedding day.
Start to make your guest list, determine your budget, find a venue and set a theme or feel for your day, last but not least tell your wedding party.
11 Months Out- Hire your vendors that book far in advance like your photographer, videographer and any other vendors that you have on your priority list.
10 Months Out- Take engagement photos, book hotels, start shopping for your wedding attire and create your wedding website.
9 Months Out- Purchase your wedding attire, and begin to gather decorations. If you plan to rent your decorations, find a rental company.
8 Months Out- Register for gifts, begin looking at wedding party attire, and find a florist!
7 Months Out- Set up bigger rentals such as tables, chairs, hire musicians, and if you plan to have a rehearsal dinner, find a location to host it.
Book transportation, plan your honeymoon and hire or find an officiant.
4 Months Out- Taste testings, find a desert or wedding cake artist, purchase wedding bands, and set up a hair and makeup trial.
3 Months Out- Send out invitations, plan your menu, book any entertainment rentals such as a photo booth or live artist.
2 Months Out- Send out rehearsal dinner invites, have a dress or suit fitting, pick up or apply for your marriage license and purchase any small items like gifts, flower girl baskets, or emergency supply kit supplies.
1 Month Out- Start packing, have your final dress fitting, pay your vendors, write thank you cards, finish up your seating chart, and last but not least, get excited!
As you can see from the list there is A LOT to do after you get engaged, but there is even more to be excited about! Remember that this time is all about you and your love for one another and getting the celebration for that love just right. Give yourselves the time you need to not only plan out everything you want but enjoy yourselves while doing it and you’ll be well on your way to an amazing wedding to kickstart the rest of your lives together. Looking for more help when it comes to planning for your day? Head to my blog for more resources.
an illinois Boudoir and Wedding photographer based in bloomington, Il.
Available for travel throughout Chicago, Peoria, and the midwest!