the journal

Read all about the latest and greatest

Read all about
the latest and greatest

the journal

Engagement, The Wedding Series

9 Things to Do After You Get Engaged

Hello, newly or nearly engaged couples!! Being engaged is so. much. fun. Unfortunately, behind all of that fun, your mind might be going crazy… what do you do now?? I’ve been gathering a lot of information from y’all and the most common thing I hear is “How do you plan a wedding??”

Well, I’m here to announce… *cue theme music* THE WEDDING SERIES!

I’ll be walking through multiple topics with y’all. We’ll cover everything from budgeting to how to plan a wedding quickly and even ways to keep photography in mind while you make plans for your dream day! Let’s get going!

First, go ahead and grab a cup of coffee, cocoa or tea, then sit back and put your feet up while I pass on the information I’ve learned from 5 years of business as well as being engaged and planning my own wedding.

Tell your family and your friends! Take time to enjoy it and then grab your BFF’s and get a manicure together!

Honestly though, just take some time… a week or even a month and just enjoy being engaged. Tell your family, tell your friends… tell your checker at the store! Throw an engagement party and just have fun with your people. Everyone will constantly be asking to see your ring, so having nice nails is a fun, extra confidence booster.

Designate a “ring spot.”

This is something my mom recommended to me when I got engaged. I was so paranoid about losing my gorgeous ring, but there were times when I simply had to take it off! She advised me to pick one or two spots around my house to put my ring, and then ONLY put my ring there. For me, it’s the kitchen window sill and a ring holder in the bathroom. I’ve never lost my ring yet, so hopefully this works for you too!

Figure out what your budget is and then make a list from the most important wedding things to the least important wedding things so you know what you want to spend money on.

Figuring out your budget needs to come before choosing a venue, because you need to be aware of what venues are within your price range and there is no way to know that without hashing out exactly what your budget is.

Listing the most important things to the least important is an extremely helpful way to figure out what you value. If you do this, you’ll be able to easily see exactly what you need to skimp on so that you can afford what you really want.

When choosing a wedding date, narrow it down to multiple wedding dates and see which ones work with your dream venue, then go book it!

There’s several ways of choosing dates.

First of all, what season do you want to get married in and does it work for your work schedule? If you’re a teacher, April might not be possible because of school.

Maybe you’ve already decided what venue you want to go with. You could contact them and see what dates they have available. If you have your heart set on a specific photographer, you could always change your wedding to a different date so that your photographer is available. However you go about deciding dates, this is an important first step.

Once you have your date and venue, book your photographer, florist, and wedding coordinator.

Professional photographers, florists, and wedding coordinators are usually booked AT LEAST 6 months, if not a year, out. In order to get experienced vendors, you need to book them early and quickly, but make sure to do your research on them. Look on Facebook, The Knot, and Wedding Wire for reviews so you KNOW you won’t have anything to worry about closer to your wedding date.

Choose your wedding party and ask them.

You can come up with a fun way to ask them, or you can just ask them outright. Try to have a few backups, just in case one of your top picks cannot be there.

I always recommend that a wedding party be larger than 3 people, because it can help make it more relaxed and fun with the great camaraderie a larger group can have.

The Travelers Des Moines Wedding Photography

Go dress shopping

This is SUPER fun to do while the excitement of engagement is new! Go in with the mindset that you don’t need to buy anything that same day – just get an idea of the style of dress that you like. If nothing else, it’s a great time to hang out with some of your favorite gal-pals!

 

Take the time to look on Pinterest to gain ideas, but be aware that not everything is do-able or within your budget.

You might see an AMAZING image on Pinterest that you want your photographer to re-create, but if you’re hiring an amateur or a friend who “takes pictures” then that just isn’t realistic. You might be drooling over some gorgeous getting ready images, but if you get ready in the back room or nursery of a church, that probably isn’t possible, due to wall colors, clutter, and lack of light.

On the flip side, Pinterest is incredibly helpful to determine what kind of gown you like, to gain suit ideas, flower bouquet ideas, table centerpieces, etc. It’s an amazing resource!

 

Go on date nights with your fiance where you DO NOT talk about wedding planning. Maybe you love wedding planning together, but it’s still important to take time apart from that and just enjoy each other’s company.

I wish we had done this more often. We lived 2 hours apart, so any time together was spent wedding planning. I think we only took time away from planning once or twice.

Your date doesn’t even have to be a whole meal. One of our favorite things to do is to go grab donuts and then drive or walk around and eat them while we hang out. It’s simple and quick, but really fun and who doesn’t love donuts??

Now that we’re married, we try to have one date night a month. It usually includes a trip to Costco, but when you live an hour from the closest one, you have to double up!

I hope all of that was helpful and not overwhelming! Please reach out to me if you’re really hoping I talk about one specific topic or have questions in general!

Love, Anna

View more of The Wedding Series here.

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