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You’re Engaged! Now What?

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Guest Post by Kacey Bradley 

Newly-engaged, you scored the bling. The brilliant shimmer inspires cheers and salutations everywhere you turn, boosting your “I just got engaged, y’all” afterglow. There’s more to do right after you get the ring, and it’s all part of the journey to taking those steps down the aisle and saying, “Heck yes, I do!” Check out these ten things to get on the wedding ball about stat.

1. Share the News

Throw an engagement party! Nothing beats word of mouth and a sweet toast, or ten, to the soon-to-be newlyweds. If announced on social media, the air quivers with less nervous tension, but you better make up a good excuse to invite everyone over if you managed to keep the news hush-hush.

Enlist help from a best friend to manage the details and rein in the guests because you’re still walking on sunshine. Either someone is dying or getting married — they’ll guess, and both are right in a way. You’re dying to tell everyone you’re getting married.

2. Get a Manicure

If you haven’t already, book an appointment for a manicure to showcase that ring and take it on tour all around town. Get yourself used to being treated like royalty and treat yourself that way because the stress of planning a wedding is no joke.Invite your bestie and mom to go with you and decide if you want to go wacky, nerdy, classy or a mix of all three with your manicure. Add in a pedi and massage. You deserve it.

3. Insure the Ring

Make sure the most essential item is in tow on the Big Day when asked “Do you have the ring?” It’s easy to forget this step but insure your ring to ensure everything else flows.You may not take it off, but it can slip off into the garbage disposal while cleaning up one day. If your partner didn’t sign up for a policy, make that trip to the jeweler's and get insured. No matter if your ring is $500, insure it — the average insurance policy is one to two bucks for every hundred. If you place your ring in a safe when not being worn, it can lower the price of the insurance.

4. Develop a Ring Ritual

You’re going to take the ring off at some point, so arrange the places you’ll store it ahead of time by developing a ring ritual. Going to the safe every time you take your ring off gets old, but it will protect the ring. Aside from that, identify places around your home where you’re prone to take off your ring. For example, place a ring dish away from the sink and toilet in the bathroom. Target a shelf away from where the ring could fall into a vent. Identify similar places outside the home, and structure your ring rituals — this way you’ll know where to check if it goes missing.

5. Dare to Dream

Before you crunch numbers, dare to dream big about your wedding with your partner. Make a wedding look book or collage of all your favorite wedding things. What stands out? This will help you identify the major elements you’re willing to splurge on when budget time strikes.

6. Book Hotel for Guests

Here’s an essential item to get out of the way quickly because it sneaks up on you. Get the wedding date set since the time of year and location do affect hotel bookings.

Guests pay for their stay and should book the room before any cutoff times to lock in special prices. You can use this as initiative to get folks to RSVP more promptly. All you need to do is block the rooms off, but make sure you go over cancellation clauses with the hotel.

Most hotels work in blocks. Book an open hotel block to avoid paying for rooms that guests don’t book — these are also known as courtesy blocks. If you wait too long, you get stuck with a closed block and scary attrition clauses that could cost serious out of pocket change.

7. Invite List

Don’t feel pressured to invite folks that will cause drama at the wedding. Try this tip to narrow down the list: Add them to the top if you imagine having dinner with them in the following year. Don’t bias your judgment with categorizations of family, friends and coworkers.

It gets tricky with distant kin, if you have a favorite second cousin and don’t invite their siblings, expect complaints, but remember this is your wedding. 8. Get a Wedding PlannerHire a professional because wedding planning will drive you crazy, and you need every ounce of your sanity for the Big Day. You’ll also get access to the planner’s resources who knows what the real price tag should reflect. Don’t get nickled and dimed.

9. Set a Budget

The wedding planner will set down with you to work out a practical budget incorporating your dream items. Will parents take care of items? If you have a florist friend who offered cost-free services, consider it. See a budget-less wedding here, see a 45k destination wedding here and a 35k budget wedding here.

10. Lock in Major Vendors

Book major vendors immediately because their services are in demand. Make a checklist and go down the list, including services such as the venue, florist and photographer. Target dream items first.These ten tips will get you on a solid and stress-free start to planning your wedding. You’ll have more time to enjoy every moment of your engaged life.

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