Firstly, congratulations! He’s planned the proposal, popped the question, and you have said “YES!” No matter how he did it, this is one of the most wonderful times of your life to celebrate life, love, and each other. How exciting!
But what do you do next?
The first thing you will automatically want to do is call those close to you; your parents may have suspected an imminent proposal (or at least hoped for one!) and your best friend may have been involved in the pre-proposal planning. Telling loved ones will involve an evening with the phonebook out if they don’t live locally, but we can’t emphasize how much it means to family to be told personally.
Facebook status update: ‘Engaged’
As tempting as it is to flash the bling straight onto Facebook and show off the sparkle, there are some social media No-No’s you must remember. From his subtle nerves before asking, to the tears behind the “Yes!”, the proposal has been all about you two from Day One. Social media takes a private moment and makes it public (remember this throughout: dress fittings, bridesmaid outfit shopping, hair trials!) Savour this time with close family and friends, not with your online accounts.
“Show us the ring!”
This will be one of the very first things you will be asked; and show off that sparkler well! Millie Mackintosh, the new wife of Professor Green, gushed how lucky it was she had only had her nails done the day prior, despite no expectation of a proposal! Take her lead and have your hands pampered, not only will your guests keep looking at your hands, we can guarantee you won’t stop staring either!
“When is the Big Day!?”
Having examined the ring and “oooh’ed and aah’ed” your loved ones will be thrilled to find out when your big day is. Be prepared for this question; don’t worry about an exact date and time, but “Next Summer!” will satisfy their need to know just as much. Before giving too much away, sit down with your fiance and chat over dinner about when you both would love to get married. It may be you have always envisioned a stunning winter wedding or a fabulous garden party affair in the heat of summer. Pick your favourite time of year first, and then work from there.
Be aware that venues will have different prices depending on your day of the week and your chosen month. Winter weddings have become exceedingly popular, whilst August is still the month that 40% of brides choose (Brides Magazine). If a Wednesday in February works well for you, you might find you have saved yourself a significant amount of money (towards a dress number two, perhaps?).
The ‘when’ will soon lead on to ‘where’; don’t forget to explore venues you might not necessarily have associated with weddings traditionally; a local cricket club pavillion, a farmer’s field for a marquee, a college boathouse? Are you looking for city chic, country rustic, or a dazzling destination wedding?
A rough idea of numbers:
Having established a time of year you love and the general tone of your wedding (formal, outdoors, casual, vintage etc), start thinking about a guest list. Venues will have a maximum capacity so keep this in mind (the choice is yours as to whether you shorten the guest list for the place you love!) On the other hand, an excessively large reception room with a guest list of 20-30 people sat at one end, may leave you all feeling a little lost. Our gorgeous bride Fiona, below, worked her guest numbers and venue space perfectly!
Money, Money, Money:
Other engagement guides may suggest budget be the first thing you and your new husband-to-be discuss. We disagree with this; it should certainly take place early on in the wedding planning, but it should never dictate the overall feel of your wedding. We believe you should envision the wedding you would love, and the work to bring it within budget. Call in favours from friends and family, look at non-traditional venues, and list your priorities in order of things most important to you. Then work from the bottom of your list, cutting out if you need to, or re-evaluating the amount of budget allocated.
As long as you stay realistic, you can make it happen!
So congratulations, you made it this far, you are newly engaged and you know what to do next!
In the meantime, just enjoy; being engaged is a magical time of your life and we hope you love it!
Feature image by Pierre Torset, http://howheasked.com/proposal-in-paris
Ring image by Amber Engfer Photography, http://amberengferphotography.com/2011/06/kathy-and-dan-married
Couple image by The Bridal Photographer, http://www.thebridalphotographer.co.uk/