Recently Engaged? Start Here.

January 20, 2016 | carrie

photo by Peyton Rainey Photography

If you’re reading this it means that you’ve recently said “yes” to the person of your dreams. Congratulations! While you may still be floating on cloud nine, we know that you’ve got work to do and we’re here to help you make the most of your engagement. Below, you’ll find nine things to do right after saying “yes” – from spreading the news to finding your wedding vendors – that will surely set you up for wedding planning success.

1. Tell your nearest and dearest

photo by Maggie Grace Photography

Call your family and friends and let them know about the exciting news! They will be so happy you took the time to let them know before updating your Facebook status. It can be helpful to make a list together of everyone who needs to know before the Internet does to avoid any hurt feelings.

2. Start dreaming about your wedding

photo by Tali Photography

Before you get started crossing things off your wedding planning checklist, you’ve got a lot of daydreaming to do! Take our quiz to find out which wedding style best fits your personality to get started. Next, you can begin choosing your wedding colors and making a wedding mood board to help you nail down your style. Don’t worry if you’re not sure what your wedding style should be – hiring a great wedding planner can help you have the wedding of your dreams even if you’re not sure what that looks like yet! These important questions to ask before you start wedding planning will be a big help too!

3. Set a budget

photo by Henry Tieu Photography

Setting a budget may not sound like a lot of fun, but it’s an important step to cross off your list early in the wedding planning process. Don’t worry, we’ve created a Budget Tool that will get your finances looking sharp for the big day! Be sure to check out our advice for setting a wedding budget and tips to save you money on your wedding, plus 10 unexpected wedding expenses to keep in mind when creating your budget. Planning a destination wedding? Here’s a budget breakdown of how much it costs to have a destination wedding. If you’re trying to plan a wedding without breaking the bank, our roundup of 50+ budget-friendly reception decor items is for you!

4. Take engagement photos

photo by Baylee Dennis Photography

The fun part begins – it’s engagement photo time! We recommend taking your engagement photos as early as possible so you can include a photo or two on your save the date cards. Make sure you hire a professional photographer to capture this special chapter of your lives – it’s over before you know it!

Check out these 8 tips for nailing your engagement photos and get inspired by these engagement outfit ideas for every style and any season! Dreaming of doing your e-sesh at home? Here’s everything you need for a cozy at-home engagement shoot. Not sure where you should take your photos? We’ve got a quiz to determine where to take your engagement photos that can help!

5. Create a guest list

photo by Aberrazioni Cromatiche Studio

After you set a wedding budget, it’s time to sit down and create your guest list. You will want this guest list prior to meeting with venues and caterers, as it will decide what you will be able to afford and what type of venue will work best for you guest count. To make sure you get all the information you need for your invites, we’ve created a wedding guest list tool. Not sure what size wedding you want to have? Check out our advice for choosing your wedding size. We’ve also got some handy tips for narrowing down your wedding guest list  and validation that you don’t need to feel guilty about your guest list that you’ll want to check out to help you make those difficult cuts.

6. Choose a venue & set a date

photo by Jami Laree

Now that you know your guest count and budget, you can start the venue search! Do you want a local or destination wedding? If you’re having problems choosing a venue take our handy quiz to help you decide what kind of venue is right for you and make sure to look through our list of the best wedding venues in your all over the world to find the perfect match in your area. Lastly, don’t forget to come prepared with questions and take photos as you begin to tour venues!

7. Build your vendor team

photo by Dawn Photo

It’s important to select your dream team of wedding vendors early as many of the best professionals are booked a year or two out! Ready to hire your wedding photographer, planner, florist, videographer, and more? You’ve come to the right place! Whether you’re getting married in Texas or France, we’ve got you covered with our hand-picked lists of the best wedding professionals around the world.

A few pieces of advice to get you started:

Everything You Need to Know About Hiring Your Wedding Vendors

Red Flags to Keep an Eye Out for When Hiring Your Wedding Vendors

Why Hiring a Free Wedding Photographer Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Searching for a Cheap Wedding Photographer? We’ve Got News for You!

3 Things You Should Consider Before Hiring Your Friend to Do Your Wedding

Why Hiring a Free Wedding Photographer Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

5 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Videographer to Capture Your Day

What to Know Before Hiring Your Wedding Videographer

8. Say hell yes to the dress

photo by Aimlee Photography

Even though you just got engaged, you might be shocked to learn that it can take six to nine months for your dress to be shipped to you, and that doesn’t include the time it took you to find your dress! It’s best to get this step out of the way as soon as possible just in case there are any last minute hiccups. Read our advice for what to do before your first bridal appointment to help you feel your best when you zip into your first gown. On the hunt for the perfect wedding dress? Check out the 11 best Etsy wedding dress shops for handmade gowns plus 70 stunning plus size wedding dresses.

9. Stay organized

photo by Rebecca Taylor Photography

There are tons of ways to stay organized during the wedding planning process. In addition to our handy wedding planning checklist, we’ve got a ton of helpful tools and tips to keep you organized and sane as you plan your big day!

The Best Wedding Planning Tools for a Stress-Free Engagement

The Best 12-Month Wedding Planning Timeline

The Best 10-Month Wedding Planning Timeline

5 Tips for Planning Your Wedding in Six Months or Less

The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Wedding Ceremony

The Ultimate Wedding Reception Timeline

Use This Wedding Décor Checklist to Help You Nail Every Detail

Use This Wedding Reception Table Checklist for Stress-Free Styling

Use this Wedding Floral Checklist to Incorporate Flowers Throughout Your Day

Show Your Guests the Way with This Wedding Sign Checklist

This Checklist Has Everything You Need to Include on Your Wedding Website with Joy

Don’t Forget to Tie Up Loose Ends with This Post-Wedding Checklist

Happy wedding planning, Junebugs!


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  1. Very sweet couple and wonderful place. Love the last photo most.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Carrie!
    I couldn’t agree more – dreaming together about your wedding is such a special and important part to wedding planning. I’ve found that couples who do this often create weddings that are true to themselves and their relationship. When planning the engagement pictures, I encourage my couples to be photographed doing what they love to do together. For example, if they love coffee shops and hiking, I suggest they go to both locations in order to document and remember what they love doing as a couple!
    –Brooke Smith
    432 Photography

  3. Love this article! Being newly engaged with a wedding on the horizon can seem totally daunting! I can’t say enough good things though about With Joy (www.withjoy.com) for helping smooth out the planning and organizational process! Their team is so helpful and their site makes so many of the components on this list hassle free ( LIKE STAYING ORGANIZED AND MAKING A GUEST LIST! ummm yes please!)

  4. thanks. the best tips for wedding

  5. These are some great tips for newly engaged couples.

  6. some awesome tips I think informative to me

  7. Very nice tips!!!
    Thank you

  8. Good tips for the newly engaged.

    Start loving each other more… do not ignore each other and take care of each other…..

    It’t not about being practical it’s about being emotional.

  9. Love everything about this! It’s so true and heartfelt

  10. Great tips! One of the best things about getting engaged is telling your loved ones. When we got engaged I couldn’t wait to share the news! It was such an exciting time. Enjoy each and every step, it’s a once in a life time experience. My best tip…..do what you want!!!

  11. Excellent and well informed advice. Planning a wedding can be quite overwhelming but having a timeline and budget really helps.

  12. So glad I came across your article! I am newly engaged and this was so helpful! To help me organised I also found a couple of tools online such as HitchPlanner, the guest list definitely is a must to keep track of how many guests to invite (or not invite!) for the wedding.

  13. Aleyna Wedding Cards: we sell very cheap and high qualty wedding invitations and we have etsy store https://www.etsy.com/shop/AleynaWeddingCards

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