You Just Got Engaged. What’s Next?
Updated: Apr 3
So, he finally proposed, and you said yes (or could it be the other way around?). We believe congratulations are in order. You guys are a step closer to being husband and wife. But before we cue the wedding bells, you need to sort some things out and prepare for your dream wedding. Whether you’re the type of person who’s been fantasizing about their wedding day for a long time (with dream suppliers in mind) or someone who has no idea about wedding photographers or stylists, YOU NEED TO ACT NOW. A year or 10 months from now may seem like a long time, but in reality, there are a lot of things you need to accomplish within that time frame. Not to mention, there are also other couples eyeing the suppliers that you also want to get. You need to have a plan. What comes next after the engagement, you ask? We here at Big Bliss Weddings love our couples and want to help them as much as we can. So we’ve come up with a list (in chronological order) of the essential things that you need to do after getting engaged for you to achieve the wedding that you envision.
1. Decide on a wedding date.
Sure, the day of your wedding will always be memorable to you and you’ll never forget that date. But if you prefer a special date in mind to hold your wedding (like your bf-gf anniversary) or have logistical reasons to consider (relatives will be coming home from abroad), you need to decide on the date and secure it fast. Wedding dates are a major factor in booking your major suppliers like venue, and photographers or videographers. For example, the months leading to December up to February are considered the busiest months for wedding suppliers so their availability will depend on how early you book them. Another reason for you to set the wedding date early is to give you a better idea of how much time you have to prepare (physically, emotionally, even financially). It will also give your guests enough time to make the necessary arrangements to attend (file a leave, book their flights, etc).
2. Set a budget for the wedding.
Now that you’ve done the first step, it’s time to make another crucial decision - setting a specific budget for your wedding. Having a budget will help you and your fiancee identify your goals for the big day. Are you having a big wedding with 300 guests or an intimate celebration in your favorite city? Which part of the wedding will take the biggest chunk of your fund? What are the non-negotiables when it comes to wedding suppliers? Finally, how much should you save per month to be able to reach your goal? Having a definite budget will cut down your list of potential suppliers and help make sure that you have a wedding that you can afford.
3. Secure your wedding venue.
Once you have decided whether you’re going to have a destination wedding or you want to keep it close to home, you can now thinking of a wedding theme that suits your personality as a couple. Once you have agreed on a theme, you may now start looking for a venue that will complement the overall look of your wedding. Depending on your religion, this can include churches and other places of worship, or you can have both the ceremony and the reception in one venue. In some churches, weddings are booked at least a year before the chosen date. You also need to consider factors such as location, the rates, and if they have any requirements that the couple has to fulfill (like attending a marriage seminar in their parish) or any restrictions they might have for other suppliers. But make sure you book your chosen venue right away so you won’t miss your chance of holding your wedding there. Booking your venue early will also help you determine the other suppliers that you may need on your wedding day such as a stylist, florist, caterer, choir or musicians.
4. Scout for photo and video suppliers.
As they say, you only get married once. So you would want the best memories, the most intimate details and precious moments captured and immortalized through pictures and videos. We can’t stress enough how important it is that you find a good and reliable wedding photographer and videographer. With the exception of your wedding coordinator (if you decide to have one), your photographer and videographer are the only suppliers who will be with the bridal party for the whole duration of the wedding, not to mention your engagement photo session. So it’s imperative that you hire the person or team that makes you feel most comfortable and whose work you admire. To find the best photo and video team for your big day, you can visit some wedding expos to see the different photo and video suppliers in your area, and to meet them in person. Talking to them will give you a grasp of how they work and how they relate to their brides and grooms. And when you’ve found the one, the photographer or videographer to include in your “dream team,” don’t forget to make a reservation. Because if they’re as good and impressive as you think they are, chances are they’re also part of another couple’s suppliers wish list.
5. Book a wedding coordinator.
If you want to be relaxed and stress-free on your big day, you can hire a coordinator (or usually a team of 3 to 6 persons) to handle the preparations and take care of some important details of your wedding. They are in charge of coordinating with the suppliers, the entourage and guests to make sure that everything goes smoothly with the planning, the ceremony, and the program. Depending on your budget and your need (like if you’re planning your wedding from abroad, or having a destination wedding in another location), you may choose from the different packages that these event coordinators offer. You can choose among full-coordination, partial-coordination or even an on-the-day event package. You can even just get a trusted friend or relative handle the coordination. But if you do this, make sure you can rely on them to get the job done, and they know of their responsibilities ahead of time so they don’t act like a guest and give you unnecessary stress on the day itself. There’s still much to do for the wedding, but once you have checked off those five things from your to-do list, you can relax as you move on to other preparations knowing that you have the crucial ones taken care of. Just don’t forget to breathe and remember what all of these are for. Good luck and have a blissful time planning your wedding! Thinking of whether to do an engagement session? Check out this blog to guide you with your decision.