Rachel Troyan of Outstanding Occasions | Victoria Canada of Victoria Canada Weddings & Events photo by Fully Alive Photography| Emily Schiesl of LVL Weddings & Events

Being newly engaged is such an exciting time in your life, but we know it can also be a little overwhelming. We want to get you started off on the right foot with wedding planning by sharing 7 things a couple should do FIRST after getting engaged. We reached out to a few of our favorite wedding planners to get their expert opinions as well!

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, please remember one thing -- before anything else...celebrate your engagement! Rachel Troyan of Outstanding Occasions says, “Newly engaged couples tend to get so immersed with wedding planning that they forget to take time for themselves. Make sure you take time to enjoy your engagement, alone as a couple, and also celebrating with friends and family!”

Ok -- now on to the top 7 things you'll want to tackle FIRST after getting engaged:

1 -- Establish A Rough Timeline
After you get engaged everyone will be dying to ask, "When's the wedding?" There are many factors that affect your wedding date. Don’t get overwhelmed and rush into any commitments! Start simply by thinking about what time of the year you want to have your wedding. Discuss with your fiancé which season each of you prefers and select a time frame that will work for you and your families. Rachel Troyan adds, “Once you've selected a time of year to get married, your timeline is set at it's most basic level, and other details will start to fall into place more easily. Remember, there's no universally correct length of time to plan your wedding, it varies by each couple.”

2 -- Decide On An Overall Feel
Many brides rush to pick out specific items for their wedding when they should really just be thinking about how they want the day to feel. Emily Schiesl of LVL Weddings & Events advises couples, “Talk about what you want the overall 'feel' to be on your wedding day, not necessarily a theme or specific details.” Do you want the day to feel dreamy and modern, like the wedding below (designed by Emily Schiesl)? Are you drawn to a formal, elegant feel like the white and gold wedding further down in the post (designed by Victoria Canada)? Perhaps you love a boho chic feel, or a vintage style like the third wedding in this post (by Rachel Troyan). Try to keep an open mind as the planning process continues -- it is often better to decide on a more specific theme after the venue has been booked.
Beautiful back view of airy laced bride glances down with veil wrapped in front of her.
Proteia and roses bouquet assortment for bride.
Bride & groom embrace moment holding close together face to face outdoors session.
Naturalistic flower arrangements on wedding table.
Hanging vases and roses for wedding table placements decor. Outdoor organic wedding.
Above: Planning & Styling: Emily Schiesl with LVL Events // Venue: Sanctuary on Camelback Resort // Floral Design: Petal Pusher

3 -- Determine Your Budget
It is important to set your budget early on in the planning process. This way you can be certain of what venues and luxuries you can afford. Rachel Troyan says, “This is perhaps the most important step in planning your wedding, and it can also be the most stressful. Your budget will play a role in every decision that you make about your big day, from your wedding dress to the venue you select. It's important to nail down an overall budget before making any big decisions, and especially before signing any agreements with venues or vendors.” Have a conversation with everyone who is contributing to the wedding budget so that you can get an accurate picture of what you have to work with. Doing this early on gives you more time to save up (if you need to), and it can keep you more disciplined when spending!

4 -- Hire A Planner
We strongly recommend that couples hire a wedding planner whenever possible. Emily Schiesl suggests you “hire a planner so that you can be fully engaged and enjoy your planning.” It is important to cherish the process and having a wedding expert at your side every step of the way will most definitely enhance the journey! Rachel Troyan says, “A wedding planner is dedicated to making your wedding day everything that you dreamed it to be. Their unique perspective and creative eye will help bring your dream to life, plus they're adept at keeping you on track (remember that timeline you established?) and on budget.” Victoria Canada of Victoria Canada Weddings & Events says, "Hiring a planner at the get go is a way to really maximize your budget and have a cohesive vision from the start!" We couldn't agree more!
Elegant white & gold plate menu & tableware for outdoor wedding meal.
Gold & white table setting & chairs for outdoor wedding.
Stairwell shot of bride sitting with white flowy dress and sparkly heels.
Portrait of simple bride glancing away outdoor photo shoot.
Bride picks up dress to walk down isle.
Above: Planning & Styling: Victoria Canada with Victoria Canada Weddings & Events // Venue: The Arizona Biltmore // Floral Design: Angelic Grove

5 -- Brainstorm Your Top Three Wants & Needs
We love this tip from Rachel Troyan! “You've probably been dreaming about your big day for your entire life, but now it's actually here! Take some time to create a list of the items that you and your partner truly want and feel are necessities for the big day, whether it relates to something practical, aesthetic, etc. This can be as simple as 1) Great Food, 2) Live Band, 3) Beautiful Flowers. Once you have your "top three" established, it's easier to focus your budget on those items, and then trim your budget down in areas that aren't as important to you. In the case of this example, you might opt for beer and wine at your wedding rather than a full bar, since alcohol isn't one of your top three priorities.”

6 -- Outline A Guest List
It’s crucial to have a general idea of how many guests you want at your wedding. Victoria Canada shares, “Making a guest list is key! This will help you decide where you can hold your wedding.” Create a rough draft of who you'd like to invite and be sure to consult with both of your families in the process. Victoria adds, “This should be the MUST HAVE people, not the obligated-to-invite.“ This rough guest list will help you estimate how much space you’ll need so that you can begin picking out a venue. It will save you a lot of time if you have an idea of how many people you want at your wedding before looking at venues! If you know you need space for 200 guests, this will narrow down the list of available venues by eliminating those that are only equipped to host 150 or less. And why waste time looking at them if they won't work for your needs?
Bride looks away in cactus filled garden, softly picking up layered dress.
Bride and groom listen to officiant during wedding ceremony with guests.
Bride & groom lovingly take a look at one another in green cacti garden.
Cobalt blue pressed glass table scape.
Yellow, pink and red roses on table reception decor setting.
Above: Wedding Planner: Rachel Troyan with Outstanding Occasions // Venue: El Chorro // Floral Design: Petal Pusher

7 -- Set The Date & Book Important Vendors
By now you have discussed which season and perhaps which month you want to have your wedding. Now is the time to narrow it down to a range of specific dates. These will be the dates you mention to each venue when visiting. Most couples will base the date of their wedding on the availability of their favorite venue. As for vendors, Rachel Troyan says “A good wedding planner has established relationships with top wedding vendors in the area, and is able to provide you with vendor recommendations that fit your budget, style and personality. This means less time spent sifting through a whole list of DJs to find one that's not cheesy, and more time spent enjoying your engagement!”

There are SO many components to planning a wedding; we hope these seven steps give you a good start! Oh, and remember to HAVE FUN every step of the way! It might seem impossible not to stress during the planning process, but remember this is a once in a lifetime experience and it’s important to enjoy it!
-----------> If you are caught up in the whirlwind of selecting your wedding vendors, click here to download a FREE form to help you through the decision-making process! We've created a convenient form to help you track and compare your top 3 vendors in each category. Download your FREE copy today!
Expert wedding planners share what to do FIRST after you get engaged
+ Comment +