Besides getting used to how heavy your left hand is now that you're carrying around that big rock, the "newness" of engagement may begin to fade.
But now the planning can begin!
It may seem overwhelming, with all the things you have to accomplish in a matter of months. The Knot released this list to help you take a deep breath and get down to it.
1. Make a Timetable
Figure out what season you want to get married in and what your venue will be. That will determine how long the engagement will last (on average, couples' spend 6 months to a year and a half engaged) and when the big day will be. You'll have to consider conflicts with potential dates. For instance, if you want a fall wedding but your dad is a farmer, you'll have to consider that he's going to be very busy with harvest. If you're really hoping to have a summer wedding, you'll want to make sure you're not double booking your family members who may have family reunions and big vacations already planned.
2. Pick Your Style and Your Location
Before you make a dash to the closest bridal boutique, you have to first consider what style you want your wedding to be. Are you thinking lace and vintage or ball gown and traditional? The possibilties are endless. And although the day is yours to do whatever you please, planning ahead so elements aren't clashing will do you a whole lot of good.
3. Create Spending Limits
Ah, the budget. Every couple has one, even if the number of digits isn't the same. Kim Kardashian may be able to spend $20 million on a wedding, but there's a sizable chance that's a little on the high side for us average joes. There will have to be a conversation with your family about how much everyone is contributing. It may not be the most fun conversation, but it has to be had in order for all other decisions and purchases to be made.
You may be the type that wants to squeeze everybody you know into your sanctuary that holds 200. On the other hand, maybe you're the type that would rather invite 20 people and call it good.
Keep in mind, though, that the size of your venue will determine how many people you can invite. Your budget will also heavily affect the size of your guest list. If your parents or his parents are chipping in a large sum of money, they will have a big say in the number of mouths they're paying to feed.
5. Register for Gifts
Believe it or not, your loved ones will begin gift hunting pretty soon after you're engaged. It may seem like you're jumping the gun, but you're not! Get registered for at least a couple items right away, especially if you're having an engagement party, so friends and family won't have to guess what you want.
6. Insure Your Engagement Ring
Make sure your now-most-valuable and precious gets insured. You can either add it on to your homeowner's or life insurance or insure it through a specific jewelry policy. A company that specializes in jewelry insurance might provide more coverage for damage, loss, or theft.
7. Propose to Your Wedding Party
Now it's your turn to propose! Have fun with how you ask your favorite gals to stand beside you when you say "I do". Once you've got your party assembled, make sure you communicate details to them as soon as you know them. They'll be dedicating a lot of time and money to making sure your day goes perfectly. Let them know (and often) that they're appreciated!
8. Consider a Consultant
Maybe your heart tells you that you're getting engaged in 6 months, but your planner says otherwise. If the honest truth is that you and your future hubby are swamped with other obligations, it may be wise to consider hiring a wedding consultant. Let them worry over the nitty gritty details. If you can't afford a full-time, from start-to-finish planner, a day-of coordinator may be the way to go.
9. Book a Venue (And Your Date!)
With all things considered, budget, guest list, theme, and catering, you're going to want a venue that will accomodate all that you've already decided. Once you select a venue and sign the contract, you will officially have a wedding date, and the countdown can begin!
10. Hire Priority Vendors
If you're the type that wants the big-dog wedding performers, photographers, and caterers . . .book now! They're probably in high-demand with other couples, as well.
11. Wedding Dress Time
And finally, it's time to shop for your perfect wedding dress. If you're not familiar with dress lingo, brush up on what exactly silhouettes and necklines are. There's a plethora of options out there so it's not a bad idea to have an idea of what you want before you even set foot in a shop. The season you get married in will also affect the type of fabric you'll want.