Getting started

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The question has been popped, the answer was yes and now it is time to get down to brass tacks. Or rather, it’s time to get down to gingham and dahlias and color schemes. A lot of time, work and decisions go into every wedding, whether it is bare bones or grand and complex. Here are the things to focus on post-engagement.

1. Take some time to enjoy being engaged. The time that you are engaged is special and exciting, and though it will certainly involve wedding planning, it isn’t just about planning the wedding. Your engagement is about you as a couple, your love and your commitment. Revel in those things.

2. Tell important people personally before blasting the news on social media. Even if important members of the family, like grandparents, are not on social media, they are more likely to hear it from a third party once it’s public. Once you put that telltale ring picture on social media, people will assume that it’s fair game to share the news.

3. Begin a basic budget outline. No need to hammer out all the details the second the ring is sized and slipped on. Instead, figure out what you can contribute from savings, what percentage of your paycheck you are willing to set aside in the coming months and note any external contributions that you know of, such as help from parents or in-laws.

4. Discuss the big picture of the wedding with your partner. You don’t have to start compromising or deciding just yet, but be sure to discuss whether you want a lot of guests or few, a summer wedding or a winter one and possible themes and locations, especially if your families are from different places. Make sure that you both understand each other’s priorities and wants, so that you are on the same page when it is time to have tough discussions and make decisions.

5. Look at photographers. Engagement shoots are great for social media, save-the-dates and for your wedding website. Deciding which photographer you want for your wedding can be a tough call with so many different styles of photography. An engagement shoot can be a great opportunity to work with a photographer and see if you mesh well before committing to having them do the whole wedding. If you do find the perfect photographer, ask them if they have packages or deals that include engagement photos.

6. Browse. For everything from the dress to choosing the maid of honor, just take your time. It is easy to get caught up in the first dress that seems right or to start handing out titles like bridesmaid as the inspirations strike you. Don’t make any choices that you can’t change right off the bat. Asking a friend to be your maid of honor and then finding out that your little sister wanted that role more than anything will put you in an awkward situation, where nobody will walk away totally happy. Talk out your thoughts before you announce your choices or put
down deposits.

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