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Congratulations! You’re Engaged. Here’s What to Do First

It finally happened.

The person of your dreams dropped the big question and you said those famous two words that will forever solidify your bond for each other: “I do”. Well, let me be the first (or thousandth) to congratulate you on this joyous occasion! There’s never been a more exciting time to get married. But what comes after you’ve told every person you’ve known since elementary school and sent out that seemingly mandatory social media post announcing your engagement? Well, next comes the planning.

So, where do I start?

Choosing your wedding date is as good a place as any to start; although your decision in the matter usually depends on a few factors. Firstly, you’ll need to look into the availability of your favorite wedding venue. Everyone wants a summer wedding, so you might have to be flexible if you have your heart set on a particular venue, and consider another season. Of course, this might be all for naught if your savings aren’t quite ‘wedding day’ ready. Fortunately, there are some handy mobile apps to build your savings during your engagement. Weddings are, indeed, financially-demanding events. So, don’t feel like you should rush to tie the knot. After all, the typical engagement is 14.5 months long.

Okay, my wedding date is set! Now what?

Congratulations! That was no small feat. Now onto the next one: making your guest list. Your guest list will likely affect the rest of the decisions you make, so it’s important to get this out of the way from the very beginning. Deciding who exactly will make the cut is no walk in the park. Especially, considering how expensive each guest can be. This will require you to sit down and have a frank conversation with your significant other about who is on the “must invite” list.

Okay, we narrowed it down to only like 500 people (joking, of course). What comes next?

Now that the guest list is set, you can start to look into specific venues. Naturally, you’ll want to make sure any site you look into can accommodate your guest—rain or shine, snow or sleet (for those northerners out there). Whether you’re looking for a traditional ceremony or a lakeside outdoor wedding, the best venues have it all. Just be sure to ask what’s included so you know what else to rent, or save money on.

Venue booked. Heartbeat regulating. I can do this.

Yes, you can! And you’ve gotten a few of the most important things out of the way. Once your venue is booked, you can feel free to let your guests know. If your guest list is like most, then it’s pretty safe to assume that some guests will be traveling from far and wide to attend your ceremony. Therefore, the quicker you let them know about your big day, the better. For those out-of-towners (or not-too-close-to-venu…ers), you should provide details about traveling and accommodation in your invitations. You’ll also want to ask for an RSVP in your invitations, as your venue and caterer will want to be made aware of your official headcount in the weeks prior to the wedding. Once that’s settled, you can take a deep breath and relax knowing you got some of the major heavy-lifting out of the way.

When you’re ready to jump to the next phase, consult a comprehensive wedding checklist. We wish you the best of luck in your new life together!

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