The first 5 things you need to do when you get engaged

November 30, 2015

You’re engaged, it’s so exciting!!! But now what?  We’ve talked to our top wedding experts and compiled the first five steps you should take once you’re engaged.


Step 1 – Celebrate

First things first, you and your fiance should take a moment to truly appreciate what you’ve done.  You’re engaged!  You’ve found your life partner, the person you’ll wake up beside for the rest of your life.  Before you get into the nitty gritty of planning your wedding, step back and enjoy this amazing milestone in your life. You’re engaged!!


Step 2 – Call Your Family and Close Friends

The temptation to blast out a photo of the ring and your smiling faces on Facebook and Instagram may be great, but be sure to call your close friends and family first.  You don’t want Mom and Dad to find out online.  Not only that, this is a great way to bask in the joy.  It’s something you and your fiance can do together.  Talk about how you plan to tell them, will you blurt it out first thing?  Make them guess the big news? Will you tell your own parents, or let your fiance share the news with his or her future in-laws?  Whatever you decide, take the time to reach out personally to the most important people in your life before you make it public on social media.





Step 3 – Decide Where and When

This is the “big picture” step.  Ask yourself some broad questions. Is your dream wedding in the city?  The beach? The mountains? Do you want to stay close to home or plan a destination event?  What sorts of activities do you want to enjoy with your wedding guests? Do you like golf, skiing, walking, hiking, shopping, swimming in mountain streams, enjoying fine food, campfires, lawn games, snowshoeing, puzzles, card games?  Have you always imagined snuggling up by a cozy fire with your friends and family?  Or partying on a sandy beach?

These questions should help guide you in the next two big decisions – when and where.  Decide if you’d like to plan your wedding for Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall and where you’d like to host it.  If you’re looking for shopping and late night parties you can rule out country wedding venues, if your dream wedding includes skiing with friends you might choose a winter date in Vermont.


photos: Sabin Gratz and Cronin Hill

Step 4 – The Budget

Next you’ll need to talk about budget.  The most important advice our experts gave on this – be open and honest.  Talk to your fiance and family members about who will pay for what.  Don’t assume anything.  Then start to prioritize.  Decide what is most important to you.  Are you and your guests foodies?  You might want to spend a little more on the caterer.  Is the perfect venue the most important thing?  That might be where you push your budget a little.  Planning your wedding budget will be a fluid process, but you should have a ballpark idea of what you’re comfortable spending before you go too far in the planning process.  One idea is to set aside a certain percentage of your budget for the things you fall in love with as you plan so you can spend a little more on that spectacular bouquet or special dessert that makes your wedding feel perfect.  Many of the bigger wedding planning websites offer wedding budget calculators or wedding planning worksheets.


photos: Daria Bishop and Cronin Hill

Step 5 – Choose your Wedding Venue

Once you know where and when you want to get married and have a general idea of what you plan to spend, it’s time to choose your wedding venue.  You won’t want to wait too long as venues are often booked a year in advance.  If you’re planning a destination wedding be sure to ask the venue about lodging options.  You’ll also want to know what assistance they’ll give you with your wedding planning and if you’ll have the venue to yourself.  Some wedding venues may host multiple events in one day.  Once you ask all your questions, be sure to visit the venue and take a tour – then trust your instincts.  If you love it, it’s the place for you.

[related reading: How to Choose a Barn Wedding Venue ] [related reading: Outdoor Wedding Planning Tips ]

If you’re thinking about a wedding at Riverside Farm we’d love to talk with you and see how we can help.