Imagine this. You are standing in complete shock, your mouth dropped wide open, your stomach is filled with butterflies and you look down to see your boyfriend on one knee. Your head is swarming and you begin to think, “Is this really happening?”, “Are you serious“, “This can’t be real“!! You cry out, “YES! I WILL! I WILL MARRY YOU!” as he slides that beautiful diamond ring on your finger. You call your family and closest friends, telling them the exciting news that your ENGAGED!!

Days go by and you are starting to realize that your dream of being engaged has now become your reality. You sit there on cloud 9, reliving the moment and realize that now your next step is the planning process, but where do you start? Does this sound familiar?

Here are my top 5 things to do FIRST after you’re engaged!:

  1.  Create a wedding budget.

Sit down and have a conversation with anyone that’s involved in helping to pay for the wedding. It doesn’t make sense to book your venue, your caterer or your photographer without knowing just exactly how much you can spend. Which leads me to point number two..

2. Create a list of your priorities.

Don’t get caught up in details of your reception tables, the style of your bridesmaids dresses or the color of your bouquets just yet. It’s important to compile a list of what you think is most important to you and your fiancé. Begin numbering your priorities in order from most important to least important. (This list can range from a specific venue, florist, photographer or caterer). With a budget in place and a list of your priorities, you’re ready to begin searching!

3. Decide on the Style of the wedding.

There are so many different styles or themes of a wedding day that you can pick from, but you want to make sure that it resembles you and your fiancé. Do you want an elegant wedding with black tuxedos, sparkling sequin dresses in a ballroom? Or an outdoor wedding with an open reception, an ice cream truck and sparklers? Summer or Fall, City or Country? Determining these ideas will aide in finding vendors that fit that style.

4. Pick your date + start the booking process.

Once you set aside a budget amount, decide on your priorities, pick your wedding style (and your ideal wedding date!).. you’re ready to start booking your vendors/venues. Keep in mind that your not always guaranteed to have the exact date you have set in your mind as some venues may already be booked for your date! (Tip: Remember to be flexible when planning. Weddings involve many different people and schedules and can sometimes be tricky to find a common date on the first try).

Most importantly, don’t forget to…

5. Celebrate

Hang out with your favorite girls, dress up and go out on a date with your fiancé, or throw an engagement party.. find a way to celebrate. Believe it or not, being engaged goes FAST. While there’s so much to be planned and so many things to do, time has a way of flying by and soon you’re down to single digits! So learn to enjoy it. Don’t get caught up in the planning that you also forget to just simply live. I love the simple reminder to “never stop dating” and it applies to your relationship with your fiancé as well. Set aside time to have date nights, to hangout with your friends or binge watch the latest #fixerupper episode! ;)

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