I am engaged! Now what?
Well firstly, Congratulations, you’re engaged! Hopefully, you had one of the best romantic proposals!
Whether you’re planning a short and sweet engagement or a 2-year + engagement, get ready for one hell of a ride.
I’m talking the happiest, most beautiful, exciting, crazy, stressful, insane, process of your life. Yes, I’m exaggerating – but at the same time, I’m quite serious.
My two-year engagement has come to an end – my husband and I said “I Do” on a freaking Tuesday and our wedding was so uniquely us, it couldn’t have gone better.
That said, we experienced some very real highs and lows, and those moments you see on TV and don’t believe could happen in real life. We also learned a lot about each other…family dynamics…values, morals, priorities…it made us a stronger couple.
Now that it’s “over”, I have some thoughts on the whole Wedding Planning Process; what went right, what went wrong, and what I would change knowing then what I know now.
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I Am Engaged! Now What?
Now that you are officially engaged, the wedding planning can officially begin.
This is the number one question on most of the bride-to-be’s minds: I am engaged! Now what? We are here to share a few steps you can take in order to plan your dream wedding!
Step 1: The Dream
First, what do you envision for your big day? Have you been dreaming about it since you were 5 years old? Will it be at your family church with 100 guests, a hall with 200 of your not-so-closest friends, a backyard wedding with only your nearest and dearest?
Do you dream of the pure white dress or the ombré blue?
What about food; you could serve Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, even a Dessert-Only.
Did your cousin have a donut wall at her wedding – is that something you want?
With weddings come endless possibilities.
Now that you’re thinking about your dream wedding, what does your partner see for their big day?
Are they a tuxedo person OR a bit more casual with dress pants and a collared?
Maybe they want to wear some seriously dapper shorts.
Do they want a big wedding, or would they rather say “I Do” with a mountain view, your parents and siblings? The point I’m trying to make here is that you may have been dreaming about this day since you were 5 (or maybe today was the first day you thought about it) – BUT, you’re getting married.
There are now two people in your life whose decisions need to work together; you and your partner.
Step 2: The Factors
Second, your wedding is all about you and your fiancé – or is it? Dreams are great and you should definitely take time to dream up your wildest thoughts.
The more creativity the better when it comes to weddings, in my opinion at least. It’s what will make your wedding memorable, stand out among the 7 or 8 events your guests might attend that year, and for years to come.
Then again, some people may say that your wedding is NOT all about the bride and groom. Your parents, your future in-laws, and yes even that girl you went to elementary school with for one year may think they have some say over what happens on your special day.
Whether you choose to let them have that control is completely up to you.
Another factor you’ll want to start thinking about is whether or not your wedding will be traditional?
This can mean so many different things depending on you, your family, and your heritage. Some traditions can be really special, and make your wedding that much more unique (especially today when many brides are opting for the non-traditional route right off the bat).
A wedding is also a great opportunity to start a new tradition if perhaps you aren’t traditional but want to be in your own way.
What about the Bridal Party?
It could be big or small, you could also opt for no party at all. We had a small wedding of 40 guests; a big bridal party just didn’t make sense for our event.
If your fiancé has a large family however, having 16 people stand with you might work for your scenario.
Bridal Party drama is a whole other topic so I’ll leave you with this thought…if you want 300 people at your wedding and the only person you want standing next to you is your sister, and your fiancé wants his 5 best friends from his fraternity by his side, GO FOR IT.
Finally, location, location, location…you may have heard it before and it applies for weddings, too!
Outdoor, indoor, vineyard, mountaintop…remember there are typically 2 main events in a wedding; the ceremony and the reception.
Most couples also include a Cocktail or Mimosa Hour depending on your timeframe.
We opted for a one-stop-shop and had our ceremony, mimosa hour and reception all at the same venue.
This meant less money spent on additional people and places, it was easier for all of our guests to travel to, and it was a place to get comfortable and enjoy the day without stressing about where we were headed next.
Do you want to get married close to home, create a mini-vacation for all your guests, or make it a week-long vacation on a tropical island?
Take some time and think about it.
Step 3: The Reality
Third, a big reality that will affect your wedding is the Wedding Budget. Think about all the possible wedding expenses you might have!
Now is a great time to sit down with your partner and discuss how much money you have to put towards this wedding.
Is there a number in mind that you’d like to stay below?
If you don’t have the funding right now, how long is reasonable for the two of you to save for your wedding? How will you pay for a wedding with no money?
This will also help you start thinking about possible dates! Another budgeting question is, are any family members contributing to your big day? If not, no worries! If yes, figure out those numbers and see where that puts you with your own savings.
The reality of your wedding starts with you; what do you and your partner want? Look at your family and who you absolutely can’t get married without – is it realistic for them to be able to come?
Brainstorm, create a mind map of the keywords you want to describe your wedding theme or the type of wedding you want to have.
What you see and what you want, compared with what is realistic in your situation will help bring this whole thing to fruition.
What can you afford? Does that change if you got married in a year opposed to six months? What would a year and a half do? Weddings are a lot about compromise whether it’s with yourself, your partner, or your families.
My last tip for the day is Pinterest.
Use this brilliant tool to your advantage. Curated with everything and anything that your heart could imagine…if you don’t have an account yet, Make One!
Then create a Wedding Board and fill it with everything you like and LOVE.
You seriously need to take an hour every few days for let’s say 2 weeks and just scroll. You may be surprised with what pops up and what catches your eye.
Once you’re satisfied with the pins (for now), go through it with your other half and see what jumps out to them.
Really though, the first thing you and your new fiancé should do is CELEBRATE!
Enjoy this happy moment for what it is right now because soon enough, your days will be filled with compromise, answering the same question 20 times, and battling everyone including yourself – in a good way.
Don’t forget to have the gorgeous engagement ring appraised and, if necessary, re-sized!
This is part of our wedding series where we feature tips from real brides like you. This one is from Stephanie Groulx – I Am Engaged! Now What? 3 Things To Seriously Think About!
Stephanie Stephanie Groulx is a tax credit coordinator by day and content creator by night. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga practice, adventuring with her husband, and binge-watching Netflix with takeout. You can find more about Steph at thestephedit.com and on Instagram at
@thestephedit and photo by Lexie Laus Photography @lexielausphotography!
You can find other stories from other brides:
Wedding planning from the brides perspective
Pastel Pink meets Gold & White: An Elegant Wedding
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