With endless lights aand decorations, holidays provide a romantic backdrop to inspire wedding proposals. He popped the question, aand you said yes!

You are bubbling over with excitement, aand ready to start planning your dream wedding. Here are a few helpful suggestions for next steps now that you’re newly engaged.

Initial Family aand Friends Announcement

After saying yes, the first “next step” is telling family aand friends. Tempting as it is to update your social media status, call family aand close friends first. Personal phone calls keep the sense of romance alive.

Establish a General Time Frame for the Wedding

After your initial announcement, the most common question will be, “When is the wedding?”

If you don’t have a date set yet, you can have a general time-frame answer ready. For example, “We’re planning for Spring 2020.”

Protect Your Ring

Your ring is a symbol your love.  And it represents the soon-to-be forever bond between you aand your fiancé. Take some practical steps to ensure your ring is well taken care of aand protected. Professional ring sizing aand insurance are essential practical first steps. Homeowner’s aand renter’s insurance policies both should offer ring protection.

Wedding Website

A wedding is one of life’s most meaningful events. So many wonderful updates to share a long the way, it is common for new brides to create a wedding website. The first things to post include: a couple photo, your meeting story, engagement news aand a guestbook.

Once you have the essentials up, you share wedding information all along the way, too. Bridal registry information aand engaging components like interactive quizzes are fun options for your friends aand guests. There are several great wedding website template options to help guide you.

Wedding Planning: Gather Inspiration

Do you have a wedding Pinterest board? If you have been planning for the last 3 years or not, now is the time to dive into your dream wedding details.

Wedding Tip: Choose your décor to support the experience aand feel you want your dream wedding to create.

Wedding Budget

Think about your wedding budget.  Will you have help from family or are you aand your fiancé taking this on together?  Once you have a figure in mind, create a bank account just for this event.  Track your expenses through the separate account to maintain control of the budget aand gauge your progress toward the wedding day.  Written budget sheets aand estimates will also help outline each part of the wedding expenses aand help you keep your budget focused.

Guest List Request

The size of your wedding guest list aand party impacts every element of the wedding itself.  To build your list of potential attendees, ask parents aand immediate family for guest list suggestions.  Pull your lists together aand estimate the number of attendees you could have.  You can consider your budget aand prospective venue sizes to determine the maximum number of guests who will be able to attend.  Remember, not everyone you invite will come, so plan on a decline count, too.   Approximate guest numbers are important for your budget aand venue selection.

Wedding Party

Once you have an idea of the budget, guest list, venue, etc., it is time to consider who you will ask to be in the wedding party. Plan a special way to ask your bridesmaids aand coordinate a similar plan for asking groomsmen.

Interview Planners/ Vendors

If you will do the planning yourself, schedule potential vendor appointments. Ask friends for references aand research reviews to choose initial vendor visits. Arrange interviews aand tasting sessions  for caterers aand bakeries.  If hiring a planner, the process will be simpler, but you must select a planner you trust aand who gets your vision for your wedding day.  Referrals aand reviews are helpful.  Meet with top prospects aand have a face-to-face conversation.  Trust your intuition.  You’ll know the right planner when you meet them.

Check Dates for Local Area Bridal Expos or Trunk Shows

A great experience for local brides-to-be is to connect with vendors at local bridal expos aand events. You’ll enjoy the inspiration offered by many professionals in one location providing you with helpful information for planning your dream wedding.

Enjoy the Moment

Our modern lives are filled to the brim with demaands aand to-do-lists. Your engagement is important aand can be magical.  Take a moment (or more) to allow yourselves to be fully present aand savor the experience.

Plan a special time away for you aand your fiancé. Turn off your phones, TVs, aand screens. Enjoy a quiet, romantic evening together. Talk about the wonderful journey that brought you to the place you are enjoying now.  Stay connected to each other aand don’t get lost in wedding details.