Congrats, You’re Engaged! Now What?!?

So one of you popped the question, the other one said yes, and now you’re getting hitched? Great! Here’s exactly what to do when the dust settles (a little) and it’s time to start planning:

1. Choose a date—or at least a month or season. No, you don’t have to settle on the final date yet, but when you start telling everyone the news (see #2), this will definitely be one of their first questions. You can be as vague as “next summer” or “September 2015,” but at least have something in mind.

2. Tell the people most important to you—in person. If you can’t tell them in person, an actual phone call will do. Just make sure that the key people in your lives hear the happy news from one or both of you, before they see it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

3. Focus on the ring. Get it sized right away, if necessary, so it won’t fall off. Also, get it appraised and insured—very important! While you’re at it, treat yourself to a manicure… your hands will be getting lots of attention with your new bling!

4. Log on and sign up for wedding websites, which offer tips, tricks, budgeting advice, and approved wedding vendors. Try www.TheKnot.com, www.WeddingWire.com, or www.BorrowedandBlue.com. And don’t forget about good old-fashioned wedding magazines; it’s fun to curl up on a chair and leaf through them while you daydream about how perfect your wedding day will be.

5. Find your ideal wedding binder. This should have a calendar with spaces big enough to write lots of info, and folders or pockets for all the lists, magazine pages, and photos you’ll collect.

6. Start a sample guest list, and get your families involved. Again, this doesn’t have to be final, but you definitely want to get an idea of how many guests there might be, because when you start scouting venues and thinking about food, you’ll need an estimate of attendees to get the best, most accurate pricing.

7. Think about the big stuff first. If you have the ideal venue, ceremony/reception musician, or photographer in mind already, look into it right away. The very best vendors get snapped up quickly, so it’s never too early. Check out musicians’ websites for song samples and reviews from past weddings.

8. Relax! This is a very special time in your lives, so enjoy every moment!