Styled by Hitch Studio, photo by Erica Lynn Photography

He finally popped the question. You, of course, said YES! Now what?  These seven steps, as suggested by the wedding planner at Hitch Studio, will guide you on what to do next, while also having some fun along the way.

1. Call your family and friends (of course)! 

Your family (and children) should really be the first to know. It’s important to call both sets parents even if you’re not that close. They shouldn’t have to learn from social media or through the grapevine. Then let your family know, then friends…then social media.   

2. Buy a wedding binder.

Before you start planning, you need a place to keep all of your important documents, receipts, color swatches, vendor contact information, flower choices, magazine pages, etc. in one handy place. This will ensure better organization, and a greater chance of not losing items or ideas! A good binder will have a wedding checklist and budget worksheets, so it’s a great wedding planning tool overall. Hitch studio has the perfect wedding binder and planner, which can be purchased here

3. Insure your ring and get it resized. 

Your ring is sparkly and perfect in every way. Except for that little bit of wiggle room, or maybe it’s cutting off your circulation just a tad. Go get your ring sized ASAP! You’re about to be showing it off to everyone and the last thing you want is to lose it before you’ve even had a chance to let it all sink in. Speaking of losing your ring… get that thing insured! It may not be the most fun or exciting thing to do during this time but it is the most important. You never think it could happen to you until it’s your ring down the garbage disposal or you’re the one who forgot to take it off before you jumped into the lake. Trust us on this one, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

4. Research venues and dates. 

Since venues tend to book up the quickest, it’s always a good idea to start looking for a place right away and it may even lead you to deciding and official wedding date. Your venue will help guide you with your entire wedding theme and guest list. Think rustic and romantic in a barn, or sweet and summery at a local garden. Do you want a hotel connected to your venue? A waterpark for the kids? Do you want the outdoor charm of a venue with cabins for rent and a bonfire pit? With endless opportunities, it’s a good idea to check out all the options. If you bring a few dates you have in mind, the venue will help you narrow down the details. Choose a venue that fits all the guests you plan to invite — or lighten your list if you need to. 

5. Hire a wedding planner. For real. 

If you think hiring a wedding planner may seem like it’s only for the privileged, you’ll be surprised to see how affordable it truly can be. And at the end of the day, it’ll be one of the best things you spent your money on. 

Everyone wants and deserves to have the perfect wedding day. Let someone who’s had tons of practice help make that happen. They have all of the right connections and know which vendors are truly worth your time and money. When the big day finally comes, the last thing you need is to be rushing around making sure everything is in order. You should be relaxed and your mind at ease knowing that someone is handling every single detail

6. Talk to your fiancé about things like budget, dates and the members of your bridal party.  

  • Discuss Budget — Before you start getting all crazy planning your childhood dream wedding, bring it back to reality. Sit down with your fiancé and have a serious chat about what the two of you can realistically afford. You can still have the wedding of your dreams; you just may need to make a couple cuts here and there. Consider putting wedding expenses on a credit card that has some real points/rewards benefits. (We’re not suggesting that you max out a credit card with no plan of paying for it, but you might as well capitalize on these big ticket items coming your way with some honeymoon miles or something!) TheKnot.com offers this for a budgeting tool: 
  • Your wedding budget should follow this formula: 48 to 50 percent of total budget to reception; 8 to 10 percent for flowers; 8 to 10 percent for attire; 8 to 10 percent for entertainment/music; 10 to 12 percent for photo/video; 2 to 3 percent for invites; 2 to 3 percent for gifts; and 8 percent for miscellaneous items like a wedding coordinator. It’s essential to allocate an extra 5 to 10 percent of your money for surprise expenses like printing extra invites because of mistakes, additional tailoring needs, umbrellas for a rainy day, and ribbons for the wedding programs. Go to TheKnot.com/budgeter for an interactive budget allows you to add your own items. 
  • Prioritize Your Budget — Your wedding day should be custom to the both of you. Discuss what is MOST important to the both of you. Do you want unique and professional keepsakes from your day? Spend more on customizable invitations and a photographer. Maybe the entertainment and flowers will be most memorable to you, so splurge on the DJ and florist, and skip the monogrammed napkins. Maybe keeping everyone organized is important to you. Consider booking a limo bus to get your entire wedding party to and from photos, ceremony, and reception. It will be peace of mind for you that everyone is where they need to be WHEN they need to be there because you’re all riding together! 
  • Grab Your Calendars — Even if it’s not THE date, pick a rough time of when you’re thinking.  Are you wanting a classic summer night wedding, or fall ‘I Do’s’ among some bright leaves? Narrowing down a time of year will help you navigate the rest of your planning. Don’t forget to ask your other engaged friends what they have planned so you don’t land on the same day! Be aware of any big events that your date may overlap, making hotel availability scarce. 
  • Ask about bridal parties — You don’t have to name people just yet, but think about the size you want will play a huge part in your budgeting process. Think about the number of people you can actually afford to have. 
  • For more advice on budgeting and who pays for what read this blog we wrote! 

7. Get organized online.

Start a new Pinterest board! You may already have a wedding board from high school, but let’s just scratch that one for now because we’re pretty sure you don’t want to roll up to your reception in a hot pink limo anymore. Start fresh with a new one to fill with new ideas, color palettes, centerpiece ideas and everything else you can think of. Planning a wedding is an extremely visual and Pinterest is a great resource to grabs ideas from. If you’re not sure where to start, check out Hitch’s Pinterest! We have tons of boards to get you inspired! Feel free to make a “secret board” and share it with Hitch only — so we can get a feel for your wedding style. 

We also recommend creating a wedding website.  Having a wedding website is great platform for bringing all of your guests together in one virtual place. Plus it’s FREE! You can easily set one up on TheKnot.com/pwp or WeddingWire. You can write your ‘how we met story’, share any engagement photos, and post a gift registry. It’s also a great, paperless alternative for people to RSVP to your wedding. And when it gets closer to the big day you can share any hotel accommodation, maps, directions, parking information, special instructions and more! 

Want more tips for what to do after getting engaged? The Wedding Day Designer has over 20 tips on what to do after getting engaged, along with countless checklists, timelines, and much more! Check it out HERE!

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