Creative Tips

Things to Do as Soon as You Get Engaged

Surprise engagement session downtown ottawa

April 22, 2021

Grey Loft Studio
We met online 10 years ago, fell in love, 3 babies, lots of cameras, and here we are. Want to know more about our story? 
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From taking a ring selfie to narrowing down the guest list, here are the things to do to kickstart your wedding planning process as soon as you get Engaged.

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Holy moly, you have an engagement ring and you’re getting married. It’s so surreal, yet definitely happening, and like it or not, the hours, days, and weeks following that proposal are guaranteed to be a whirlwind.

There are so many things to think about, so many people to contact, and so much to get done. Don’t be overwhelmed. You have plenty of time to plan the rest of your lives but if you’re like most newly engaged people, you’ll be itching to share the news with all your friends and dive into the actual wedding planning part headfirst.

Surprise Engagement Session - Downtown Ottawa - Parliament Buildings. Grey Loft Studio - Wedding  & Engagement Photographer

Pinterest Board is getting Very Real!

Pinterest boards, bridal magazines, blogs, dress shopping, venue hunting…the list goes on and on. Years of watching wedding movies couldn’t have prepared you for what’s to come (trust us, it’s totally different). While the average engagement lasts a year to a year-and-a-half, there are certain things you’ll want to get done stat—no matter how long you plan on being a fiancée.

So where do you get started? There’s no strict order to follow as long as you tackle the immediate to-dos. Committing the rest of your life to the love of your life is scary and amazing and the best kind of stress, however, it’s a major, major milestone, and planning a wedding together is the icing on the cake—we promise.

Bridal Portraits  - Back of the Dress - Wedding Day Inspiration - Beautiful Bride. 
Grey Loft Studio Wedding Photographers in Ottawa, Ontario.

First step, call your parents!

And your siblings and BFFs, too (unless you are keeping your engagement under wraps for a while). The last place they should have to hear about your new status is on social media. Give them a ring personally and tell them the happy news. Chances are, mom and dad already know what’s up and have been waiting by the phone patiently for your call.

Time for a Manicure

Your hands will be in the spotlight for the next couple of weeks, which means your manicure best be on fleek. Or, if you’re going for the natural look, make sure your nails are clean and shaped. Otherwise, friends will be focusing more on your chipped nail polish than your gorgeous engagement ring. Not cool.

Bridal Portraits  - Back of the Dress - Wedding Day Inspiration - Beautiful Bride. 
Grey Loft Studio Wedding Photographers in Ottawa, Ontario.

Post a Ring Selfie, because you can

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? If you’re ready to share with the world that you’re engaged, open up that Instagram. Take a ring selfie or a sweet pic of you and your fiancé to share the love. Even better—if the actual proposal was caught on film (check out the one we did here), nothing is better than that look of surprise. And don’t forget to make it Facebook official.

Get insurance on the Bling

We know, we know—it’s not exactly the most romantic or exciting thing in the world, but it could wind up saving your butt in the long run. When added as an extension to your homeowner or renter’s insurance policy, it’s surprisingly inexpensive. We’ve hear wayyyy to many horror stories, so save yourself the trouble and do it asap!

Stomp the brakes, take it all in

Truth be told, you don’t have to have all the answers right away and you should be enjoying your engagement. Plan a night out, take a movie night in. Enjoy this little honeymoon before all the planning stress arrives. Take time and plan a fun little excursion for the two of you. It’s important to celebrate this together!

Tremblant Engagement Session - Snowy Engagement - Grey Loft Studio

Think about Dates & Season

There’s no secret that the best venues and vendors get hired early. If you want a certain spot you may need to start planning sooner. Things to Do as Soon as You Get Engaged doesn’t have to be a lot, however you may get lot’s of questions from people. Date and location will be the most asked question by far! Try not to worry so much about the date it falls on, rather the time of year and the feel you want. If you love long sunny nights, June is a great time. However if you prefer the crisp air in the fall and the changing colours, choose something in late September or the first week of October.

Research Wedding Venues & Plan Visits

Often I will hear of couples waiting till the winter to check out a venue, however, this isn’t wise. You won’t get the real “feel” if you go in a different season. Choose to go around the time you want to get married and you will know how it actually looks. Try to plan and visit a few venues over a few days so you can figure out what you like and don’t like. Plan a lunch after your visits and do some pros and cons. Some venues offer all inclusive packages, others offer basic options. Venues can offer discounts if you choose to book off-season. If you want open bar or champagne toasts, knowing all the ins and outs are important.

Bride & Groom - Wedding Day Portraits - Stonefields Wedding & Events in Carleton, Place. Grey Loft Studio Wedding Photographer & Videographer.

Figure out how many People you want to Host

It’s the biggest party you’ll ever host, so make sure you invite the people you truly want to come. If you are on a tight budget, remember the more people you invite the higher the cost. Whenever you want to cut the budget, the numbers truly make a difference. Smaller gatherings mean you can have more budget for things that usually get cut such as beautiful florals or hiring a videographer. Of course we would always recommend recording your day because all that’s left after are the feelings, memories, photos, and video’s.

Whether you’re going big or keeping it small, being on the same page about this one is so important. Get your family’s input if it matters to either of you or if they’ll be footing the bill. Once you’ve agreed on a rough guest count and budget, you can commit to a venue.

Group Family Photo - Wedding Day Fun - Pick All the People you love - Le Belvedere - Grey Loft Studio

Crunch some numbers

Money talks, but unfortunately, no one likes to talk about money. It can be, well, awkward. However, before you can really move forward with any of your wedding plans, this is a discussion that has to be had. If you think you or your spouse’s parent’s will want to contribute, it might be best to set up a brunch or zoom call to discuss. Keep in mind that your food, drinks, & venue will take up a large portion of your budget. After this, florals, dress, decor, photographer & videographer will make up the last larger parts.

Build a Wedding Website

Things to Do as Soon as You Get Engaged are kind of exciting. It’s official when you make a website right? At the very least, look at your options and decide whether you’d prefer to create your own from scratch or use one of the many wedding website templates out there. Check out the pros and cons, and then pick together. Your wedding website more than a formality. It’s an important resource that will keep your guests informed and help them plan their schedules and transportation. They’ll be able to easily get into town and know where and when to celebrate.

Jimmy Choos - White and Pink Florals - Wedding Details on wedding day.

Time to get inspired, Things to Do as Soon as You Get Engaged

Create a Pinterest board, Google Doc, save photos on Instagram, or create a folder on your computer to compile imagery of your favourite wedding elements. Keep it to yourself just for organizational purposes, or share with your wedding planner, mom, friends, fiancé, and whoever else to view and contribute. This is useful when you meet a floral decorator team and when you plan your must have photos.

Choose your very best People to stand with you

How many bridesmaids or groomsmen do each of you want? Are you cool with having odd numbers or is an even number a must? Does one of you (or both) want a bridesman or groomslady? Will you have a maid of honour or best man? No matter what, you need to discuss these things before one of you starts popping the question to friends. Don’t forget to plan a fun way to ask them. Gift boxes, cards, games, etc. Plenty of unique ways to ask your crew to be a part of your day. Remember, they will be planning your bachelor & bachelorette parties, so choose wisely.

Remind yourselves that this is a very exciting time but it can also be very stressful. Whenever you can make it fun, do so. You want to look back and have fond memories of this time. Remember there are no rules. You can plan it anyway you like. If you want to plan your own parties, you can! If you want to elope, you absolutely can! Do what feels right for you, because there’s no right or wrong way to do things as you get engaged!

Vow Books - Custom - What to do When you get Engaged

If you want to start interviewing vendors, check out “Important Questions to Ask Potential Wedding Photographers“.

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