Whole Lotta Love Weddings
12 things every couple needs to do after the engagement
Updated: Apr 20
Photographer: Pink Photographics
They've put a ring on it!
The fairy tale you’ve always dreamed of has happened. You’re on cloud 9 and want to / need to tell everyone!
You got that selfie pic and you’re itching to post it on social media for the whole world to see. Congratulations. Soak up every second of it.
Before you let the need to start the wedding planning asap take over, STOP. Enjoy this moment of just being a fiancé. This is a special time that needs to be cherished. Planning the wedding can wait a while.
I’ve created this helpful list solely for the engagement period, to help you build up to the mammoth task of planning your wedding. You know what they say, start as you mean to go on!
1. Tell your nearest and dearest first!
Before you hit that post button on social media, let your family and closest friends know first. The nicest way of doing this is in person – if they’re close by. If not, call them first. What I’m trying to say is that it is essential that your nearest and dearest don’t find out about your engagement through a friend of a friend who saw it on social media.
2. Announce it for the world to see
Now that your closest know about it, it’s time to post that selfie pic #engaged, #wearegettingmarried, #heproposed, #sheproposed, #theyproposed.
Better still, why not organise an engagement shoot with a photographer? This could be arranged in secret (as a surprise when you are proposing), or after your proposal, when you get that mani done, wash your hair and put on something fabulous, if that's important to you. You will love your engagement photos - even your ugly cry happy face! It's a nice pre-wedding photo session with your photographer too.
3. Get that rock insured!
If it’s pricey, and it most probably will be, get that ring insurance, stat! And while you are at it, explore wedding insurance too. It’s always good to be covered – you’ll sleep better for it. This is the time to make sure you resize the ring too. If too loose, you might lose it. Also, some jewellers only offer free resizing for a short period of time after the purchase.
4. Engagement party?
This calls for a proper knees-up IF you’re a party kind of couple. Your family and pals will want to celebrate with you. But if you’re not up for a large gathering – nothing wrong with that - you can just book a romantic weekend away or get together with your nearest and dearest for a no-fuss dinner and drinks. The most important thing is that you do things your way – from this moment till the wedding day. Remember, this is YOUR moment. Do it your way.
This advice I give to all my couples throughout the whole wedding planning process. You DO NOT need to please anybody else! Voice this rule to your family and friends from the start. It will stop people from butting in with their never-ending opinions and well-intentioned recommendations on how it should be done, which causes nothing but a headache.
5. Find a wedding planning guide that looks most in-sync with you as a couple
If you’re a non-conformist and are looking for a cool modern way of getting married, steer away from the old-school blogs featuring cookie-cutter weddings. Instead, look for new fresh modern blogs like Rock My Wedding, The Un-Wedding, Unique Rebels Union, Green Wedding Shoes, Most Curious Wedfair, Unconventional Wedding, and Way Out Wedding. There you will not only find some good advice, and fantastic inspiration on styling but loads of brilliant wedding suppliers that would most probably offer what you are after.
6. Discuss your Budget!
This is THE most important thing to talk about BEFORE you start planning your wedding.
Where is your wedding money coming from?
Will you be financing the whole thing yourselves or is family helping?
If the family is contributing, now is the time to have those discussions with them.
If you’re financing the wedding yourselves, now is the time to do a deep dive into your finances and see what you can afford and how much time you'll need to save towards it.
Once you know what the budget is, everything will be much clearer and you can start looking around for suppliers accordingly.
Find out how to best calculate your wedding budget here.
7. Talk Numbers
With the budget figure sorted, start talking about the number of guests. After all, the budget will be hugely impacted by the number of guests you invite - as you found out if you checked out the 'how to calculate your budget' article above.
The best thing to do is to list everyone you would like to invite, then cull the list by importance if necessary.
I'm guessing you've googled what the average wedding cost is in the UK. I feel you. So many conflicting figures on how much an average wedding costs these days, you're left feeling non of the wiser.
It really depends on where in the UK you live or where you want your wedding to be. Costs vary considerably on absolutely everything, from venue hire to catering costs per head, so do your research carefully before starting with booking things! I’ve written a helpful guide on different wedding options (venues & styles of weddings), and how much each costs here.
8. Your Wedding Party
This one always brings a smile to my face as it's one of the nicest parts of wedding planning. It'll feel like the second round of proposals! Choosing your bridesmaids, best man/woman, and speech readers will feel exciting and important for all involved. These special people will be with you every step of the way, so choose wisely.
9. Communication is EVERYTHING!
Never forget for one moment this is both of your weddings! I know, it’s so easy to get carried away, especially if one of you is more introverted and the other is an active doer. I often experience this with my brides, who out of excitement start talking to vendors or booking venue viewings without discussing it first with their partner because 'I'm really the one in charge of all weddingy things around here.'. Not ok. If this is you, check yourself on regular basis. I actively encourage the quieter partner in the discussions on everything to do with planning, and they, although shy at first, very quickly start expressing opinions from the vibe, styling, flowers and colours, often surprising their partners in the process.
This is so important, people. You absolutely DO NOT have to do things everyone else is doing!
Write down the absolute non-negotiable must-haves for your wedding and allocate the budget towards that first. Whatever is furthest down the list (you can call it ‘would be nice to have’) can be crossed out if the budget can’t stretch that far. Simple as.
Here's my recommendation on the most important suppliers for your wedding:
Production (lighting, rigging, set design)
Decor & Props
Stationery & Signage
Remember this is only my professional opinion and not set in stone. (altho I would never compromise on having a good photographer and the right florist if documenting your special day well and the look is high on your priority list!). Ultimately, YOU decide what is the most important to you.
Now that you have the budget, the guest list and the priorities firmly locked down, it’s time to look for wedding inspiration.
The best place to get inspired is on the above-named blogs' Instagram feeds and Pinterest. Start your own Wedding Pinterest Board and save anything that takes your fancy. Don’t worry about mixing up too many styles at this stage, just keep saving what you like.
Separate/group your inspiration into different boards: dresses, suits, shoes, flowers, backdrops, tablescapes, tables, chairs, aisles, bridesmaids dresses, etc.
Once you accumulate loads of pics, step back and look at the overall collage of images. It’ll become very clear what colour palette and styling you’re drawn to the most.
It is important to do this together:
Decide on both of your preferred aesthetics.
Compromise - find the middle ground.
Delete the rest.
Most couples hit a wall at this stage, as they have no idea how to implement what they have chosen or where to find suppliers who specialise in those styles. It is important to know that not all suppliers, one of the most important here is the florist, can do what you want them to. This is a bug bare of mine when couples book me after they've booked important suppliers and then I have to tell them that who they've chosen will not deliver what they want - as it's not their niche! If you're not sure how to move forward, NOW is the time to look for your perfect wedding planner/stylist. But not just any planner will be suitable (the same rule applies to all suppliers here!). Find someone whose work speaks to you and they will be able to help plan and create your dream wedding.
A style-led wedding planner can not only elevate your wedding look but will save you time by taking the wedding planning reigns and advising you every step of the way. They will save you money - they will know if your expectations are doable within your budget, where you can cut on cost, which suppliers to book and how to brief them, and most importantly be there on the day to organise the setup, the running of the day and, the one that every couple forgets about - the takedown.
Read about how to choose the right wedding planner for you here.
12. Make time for each other!
Wedding planning can take a toll on any relationship. It can feel like a sprint but in reality, it is a marathon. You got to take care not to run out of puff too soon.
Making time for each other with regular wedding planning time-out date nights, weekends away, or doing anything other than wedding planning is an absolute must. It’ll remind you why you’re doing this in the first place - because you love each other. Nothing really matters more than that.
Allocate the time in your diaries for exactly that. To help you find time in between important time-sensitive decisions, download my FREE 12-month wedding planning calendar checklist which you will find at the bottom of this page. It will keep that wedding planning anxiety at bay. Read about the importance of self-care when planning a wedding here.
Enjoy this special time, lovers! I'm here if you need me.
Whole Lotta Love,
P.S. (do have a read about everything to do with wedding planning on my blog. Loads of good advice there!)