You’re Engaged! Now What?

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[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"] When the moment arrives, it's like time stops. The love of your life is there, down on one knee, looking at you and waiting for your answer... and it's a resounding and excited YES!

When that ring is on your finger, it symbolizes your commitment to one another. It's a symbol of the future you will build together, and the next journey you are agreeing to embark upon: wedding planning.

When you slipped your ring on, you might not have known exactly what you were getting into as far as planning goes. You may very well be starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. Don't fret.

These 10 tips will help you ease gracefully into your new relationship status. So keep calm and read on.

  1. Tell the right people right away.

Be sure to tell immediate family and VIP friends—you don't want them hearing the news from anyone else. If you have children from a previous marriage, they should be first on the list. Marriage is a big deal, and you want to give your loved ones the privilege of sharing the joy with you personally.

  1. Talk about the general plan.

When you share the news with people, you're going to get bombarded with questions about where, when, who, etc. It's helpful to know at least the approximate date and where you plan to get married. Remember to keep the details broad and basic, though. Keep it open enough for you to adjust.

  1. Announce the news.

These days, most people put an announcement on Facebook, and that's more than fine. The traditional method of announcing your engagement in the newspaper never goes out of style either, and it's important to share the news with those who aren't as fond of social media.

  1. Register for your wedding.

When you host an engagement party, some may bring you a gift. I tell my clients to empower their guests with the knowledge of what the couple wants/needs/would like to collect instead of leaving them to figure it out on their own. You'll save yourself a lot of headaches.

  1. Plan your engagement party.

Engagement parties are not necessary, nor do they need to be large and elaborate. But the point is to offer friends and family an opportunity to come together, celebrate and wish you well in person. Just remember, it's in poor taste to invite anyone to an engagement party who won't be invited to the wedding.

  1. Decide about wedding planning.

Do you want to enlist help or do it yourself? As a professional consultant, I certainly see the value in hiring a proven industry professional to guide and assist you with this major lifetime event. However, many people feel comfortable and are even excited to take the bull by the horns and craft their own amazing day! Whichever you are, take the time to really think about it. And remember you can always circle back and enlist help if you get in over your head or would like someone to take over on the wedding day.

  1. Set up a wedding website.

Many sites like theknot.com or weddingchannel.com offer free options for this. Your site is a great way to get all your info together in one place for guests.

  1. Talk budget.

Get an idea of who is going to pay for what and what the funds add up to. This should be done before shopping for sites and vendors to avoid any unnecessary heartbreak. Know before you go.

  1. Do some preliminary vendor research online.

This can be overwhelming, so I suggest researching companies and pricing online before attending bridal shows or racing out to view a site. Most of us don't rush into a car dealership without first doing some research about what we like and what we can expect to pay. The same goes for wedding vendors.

  1. Ready, set, go!

Buy some wedding magazines, sign up for wedding blogs and have a great time learning all things wedding.

Photo: Hamilton Photography 

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Raquel Shutt

Raquel Shutt is the owner of Wedding Savvy Inc., a premier full-service wedding planning company located in Annapolis. For more than 10 years, Wedding Savvy has been featured in many regional publications such as The Knot Magazine, The Washingtonian, and The Capital, as well as featured on We TV’s “Platinum Weddings.” Her firm has been recognized as one of the best by Weddingwire.com and Capital Gazette. Recently, Raquel was named one of Annapolis’ Finest 40 under 40 by Cystic Fibrosis as well as “People to Watch” by The Capital in 2009.