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You're engaged!! Now what?

First off, congratulations!!

Today we are going to give you the first 9 steps after engagement to begin planning your dream wedding!

1. Share the news with your nearest and dearest first before you post it on social media. Who qualifies? Start with both families, parents, grandparents and close friends. How should you tell them? It's best to call or better yet, share the news in person, if possible. You don't want grandma finding out you're engaged "through the grapevine".

2. Now it's time to take the perfect (ring) selfie and post it to Instagram as a way to announce your engagement. It's okay to show off your new bling on social media, it's the modern-day version of publishing an announcement in the newspaper. Just remember, this step is completely optional. If you are not into social media, don't feel like you have to use it.

3. Size and insure your ring. We know that it's hard to take your eyes off that new sparkly ring on your finger but you don't want any chance that it may fall off. Have your jeweler size your ring if it doesn't fit perfectly. If you have existing renters or homeowners insurance a quick phone call to your agent is all it takes to add your ring to your current policy.

4. Start a vision board and get inspired. This it the part that brides look forward to most. You've probably had some idea of what your wedding would like since you were 12, now is the time to collect all the inspiration. Pinterest is a great digital resource to use and you can share your with your bridal party. You're going to have a lot of ideas, checklists and photos. Keeping all of those organized in one place will help mininimize your stress and not become overwhelming.

5. Have the money talk with your fiancé. To avoid "money-stress" having the budget discussion early is important for a smooth planning process. Be realistic about your finances and who will be contributing to the budget amount. Discuss your priorities. Is it about the location, the dress, good food and drink? Set your priorities to ensure you have enough money set aside for what matters most.

6. Set a date (range). You may not have an exact date set in stone during the early planning stage. However, it is important to have a specific time of year in mind. Are you thinking of a Spring or Fall wedding? Trying to work around holidays and school schedules? Answers to these questions will help your narrow down a more specific date. It's always best to have a few dates in mind because many vendors are booked months (or years) in advance.

7. Create a (draft) guest list. Discuss with your families about who they would like to invite. You likely start with the your immediate family and closest friends before inviting co-workers and distant relatives. Will children be welcome or will it be adults only? Will everyone have a "plus one"? These are all important things to consider as you are creating your guest list.

8. Choose your bridal party. This is an important and sometimes difficult task in your wedding planning process. It's the most important day of your life and you want your closest friends and/or family standing beside you. Continue to follow us as we will be expanding on this topic in the coming weeks.

9. Celebrate! Getting engaged is a momentous occasion and should be celebrated as such. Host an engagement party and invite your closest family and friends to help celebrate. Don't forget some one-on-one time either. Schedule a date night with your fiancé so you can enjoy celebrating your engagement together.

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