The average relationship continues for nearly four years before someone pops the question -- though for some couples this length of time will be longer or shorter, depending on a lot of circumstances! Getting engaged is a big step -- but it’s only the first one. Here are five things you need to start planning now that you’re engaged.
1) Establish a Timeline
The majority of engagements last for one to two years. During this time, you’ll need to do everything from choosing your vendors to booking hotels for your incoming guests. Having a firm timeline in mind -- even if you don’t have an exact date set -- will help ensure that your engagement doesn’t stretch on and on, much longer than you intended it to.
2) Your Budget
Now is the time to start pricing out not only what your wedding will cost -- but how you’re going to pay for it. If you plan on having a more extravagant wedding, you will likely either need to save more money per month, or have a longer engagement. If you’ve never been involved in wedding planning, it’s good to simply arm yourself with a basic idea of the cost of goods and services. While many of us may roll our eyes at the idea of the average couple spending approximately $26,000, there’s a reason for this figure. Take into account, for example, that a florist can easily cost you $1,000 or more. Seem high? The average bouquet will cost nearly $100 -- and this isn’t the easiest DIY project in the world, either. Decide now what you can do without.
3) Tell Your Friends and Family
This seems like a “duh” tip, but we’ve all seen the awkward Facebook post where it becomes clear that someone’s sister didn’t get the head’s up before the high school acquaintances. While you should absolutely use your favorite social media channels to announce your engagement, make sure you take the time to tell your close friends and family members personally. They’ll appreciate that you took the time to talk, and won’t make them feel like they’re the last ones to find out. The Knot has a handy guide on the do’s and don’t’s of announcing your engagement.
4) Look Ahead
Plan, plan, and plan some more. We recommend checking out our month-to-month planning guide for a go-to overview of what you should be thinking about. One of the first steps you can take, for example, is setting up your wedding website so that your loved ones can check in for the latest updates as you go along. Choosing a definitive date as well as a venue are not far down the list, considering how many other decisions ride on these choices. Check out our beautiful indoor and outdoor reception areas for ideas!
5) Think Beyond the Engagement and Wedding
Many peoples will, logically, already be planning for the future as they go along, but you might be surprised by how many people don’t have at least a rough five year plan in place. Once you’ve decided to get married, you’re now making decisions as a joint unit. That means being on the same page (or thereabouts) as to where you want to live, what sort of jobs you’ll have, whether you want kids (and when), whether one or both of you plan on furthering your education, etc. Addressing these concerns now -- rather than after the wedding takes place -- can often help mitigate a lot of future issues.
Some people might say that engagements are an organizer’s dream, thanks to all the preparation and planning involved. While planning may not be everyone’s strong suit, it will pay off in the long run to get a head start! Use our 5 point guide to get on the right path.