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The Next Steps: What to do After you Get Engaged

Wedding, Wedding planning, Wedding Wednesday

Sep 12, 2018

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what to do after you get engaged


What to do After you Get Engaged :  The next step

You’re engaged!  Congratulations!  Enjoy the excitement and celebration!  Soon your thoughts will turn to wedding planning and what to do after you get engaged.  Last week we talked about the first five things you should do when you become engaged.    If you missed that blog post, check it out here.  Top 5 Things to do When you get Engaged


So now that you’ve taken care of that gorgeous new ring, told everyone, prioritized and made a budget…

It’s time to dream!

what to do after you get engaged|dream|inspiration

Maybe you’ve been dreaming and planning for years, or maybe you’re just beginning to think about what you want your wedding to look like.   Gather a few bridal magazines to look through.  Search ideas on Pinterest boards and wedding blogs.   Even watching wedding movies can help you find inspirations.   Ask your married friends what they liked best about their wedding and if there’s anything they wish they’d done differently.

Gather all your favorite ideas into one place, a Pinterest board, a three-ring binder, whatever will work best for you to keep you focused and organized. This is a great time to buy a wedding planner/organizer if you haven’t already.  One of my brides shared with me that Michael’s offers an amazing wedding planning binder with lots of tips, as well as pocket folders to keep your organized–they almost always have a weekly coupon for 30-50% off.

As you look through your favorites, what kind of theme are you noticing?  Elegant or Rustic?  Classic or more modern?     Determining the type of style you want for you wedding you will help you narrow down your vendor search.  If you want an elegant wedding, you probably don’t want to look at barn wedding venues.  If you like classic photography, you can skip looking at photographers with a dark moody style.


Research Vendors

What to do After you Get Engaged


What was your top priority for wedding planning?  Whether it was planning around an anniversary in your relationship, being able to hire a vendor you’ve been dreaming of, or getting married in a certain season, it probably related in some way to the date.  And by now people may be asking you, when’s the big day?  Where are you getting married?  If you know you want to get married in your church, contact the event coordinator as soon as you decide this to look at dates open on their calendar.

For all other vendors, pick 3-4 top dates and begin researching vendors with the date and style in mind.  You probably don’t want to have a completely outdoor wedding in the middle of winter, and in summer, air conditioning can be crucial! Ask for recommendations from recently married friends.  Indiana Wedding Vendors and the Knot are great resources to find local vendors.  Local wedding blogs, like Wedding Day Magazine and Midwest Bride can give you a glimpse of real weddings, that utilized vendors in your area.

Look at websites and social media pages of vendors to get a feel for their style and if they would be a good potential fit for your vision for your big day.  Venues and photographers book up to a year or more in advance, so it’s wise to start nailing those down first.  Narrow down the vendors you’ve been looking at to the top 5 venues and photographers you want to know more about—3 to contact and 2 as a back-up.


Interview  and Book Vendors

What to do After you Get Engaged | vendors

Reach out to those top vendors to set up interviews.  Tour the venue you’re considering.  What to look for in a venue could be a whole post in itself!  For today, we’ll stick with…. Do you like the venue as much as you did online?   Did you feel the event coordinator was a good fit for you as a couple?

Meet with your potential photographer.  Your photographer will be with you nearly all day during your wedding day.  Feeling like your photographer’s personality is a good fit for you as a couple is as important as liking the style of their final images.  I offer complimentary engagement sessions with all my wedding packages, because getting to know my couples is so important to me.  This time together not only gives the couple beautiful images together, it helps us to start building a relationship and become comfortable with each other.  On the wedding day, my couples are familiar with me and my work style and I’m familiar with them and the way they interact.  All this helps me tell their story and capture genuine emotion on their big day.

Once you’ve made your decision, make it official, book your venue and your photographer…  Whoo hooo!  You’ve done it!  You’ve booked your biggest wedding vendors. You can relax a bit.  Now you can use the same process when choosing your florist, DJ, caterer, rentals, etc.


Start your guest list

What to do After you Get Engaged | guest list


You’ll want to invite everyone you ever met to help you celebrate your big day, but few people have the budget to make that a reality!   The more guest you have the higher the cost, because ultimately more people means more meals, more tables, more centerpieces…  Here are a few categories to consider when making your guest list.

Immediate Family

Distant Family

Friends and Co-workers

Close-Friends of Parents

As you’re keeping track of your final numbers, be sure to account for yourselves (the bride and groom), the bridal party, all plus-ones and children.  Speaking of bridal party…..

Choose your Bridal Party

What to do After you Get Engaged| bridal party



Before you start asking your friends to be in the wedding, sit down together and talk about who you want to include in the bridal party.  Is it important to you to have an even number of groomsmen and bridesmaids?  Which family members, if any, are important to you and your fiancé to include?   Ushers and guest book/program attendants are other roles to consider when planning who to include in your big day.


Once you work your way through these steps you are well on your way to planning your big day! Take time to relax and enjoy each other.  Go on a date night where you don’t even talk about wedding plans!   There’s still much to do, but you have a great foundation for your dream wedding.  Over the next few months work on choosing wedding attire, starting with your wedding dress.   Then work on planning the details of your big day–decor, florals, meals, etc.  Earlier in the year I spoke with R Geary Floral about choosing your wedding flowers, check out that blog post here: Choosing Your Wedding Flowers


It may all seem overwhelming at the beginning, but break it down step by step, and you’ll see progress.   Looking back at completed to-do lists is a great way to remind yourself of the progress you’ve made.  Remember in all the planning, all the details–all the to-do lists, your big day will be perfect because you’ll be marrying your bests friend!


Happy planning!

To learn more about the Simply Seeking Photography wedding experience click here:  The Wedding Experience 



Collage and Bridal Party Photos

Venue | Orchard Ridge Country Club

Florist | R. Geary Floral Design-Becky Geary

Dresses | David’s Bridal

Tuxes | Louie’s Tux Shop

Groom & groomsmen socks | boldSocks

Robes | Silk and More

Bat Mugs| Lumberlend Co.

Rings | Bradley Gough Diamonds

Grooms’ Watch | Mvmt

Bride’s bracelet | Esty -EmmieMaeBridal

Bride’s shoes | TOMS

Hobby Lobby


Close-up of Bride and Groom  And Ceremony Photo

Ceremony Venue  |  The Tabernacle

Florist  |  The Country Squire Florist

Wedding Gown  |  One Fine Day 

Bridesmaid’s Dresses  |  David’s Bridal 

Tuxedos  |  Louie’s Tux Shop

Hair  |  Julie Stinson of 12th Street Hair Design

Jenny Straub

Make-up  |  Melisa Sink

Decorations made by Bride and her family and friends.


Interview and Book Vendors photo:

Venue | Laurel Hall

Florist | Blooms by Blush

Bridal gowns | Blue House Bridal 

Hair | Allison Linnear


To learn more about the Simply Seeking Photography wedding experience click here:  The Wedding Experience 


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