You are engaged!  Congrats!  That’s so exciting!  But, what are you supposed to do now?  We went right to the professionals in the Washington, DC area for the answer to the question that many of you are asking yourself.  What is the first thing I’m supposed to do once I become engaged?  Read on to find out what our local wedding and event planners recommend.  And, believe it or not, they didn’t say, “Hire a wedding planner!”  On the contrary, they provided the type of helpful and solid advice that you can expect from wedding the pros in the DC area.


Photo Credit:  Michelle Lindsay Photography from Becca and Tim’s wedding

On reflecting, “The first thing a couple should do after they get engaged is ask themselves, ‘what is it that I want to remember about my wedding 30 years from now?’  By asking that question the couple can naturally zero in on what the most important pieces of the day are for them, which helps when setting priorities during budgeting and planning.  It is easy to want to jump in feet first once engaged, but taking some time to thoughtfully reflect on what is most important to you will help keep you on track throughout the process.” — Teresa Lee, owner of Rex & Regina Events

On enjoying the moment, “One of the first things you should do is enjoy the moment and excitement of being engaged.  Don’t start planning the second the ring goes on your finger (unless your wedding is three weeks away, in which case you’d better start planning pronto) and don’t let people rush you into picking dates or bridal party or doing anything but just being happy.  Drink champagne.  Admire your ring 50 times a day.  Make sure it’s insured.  Call all your family and friends.  Jump up and down.  Enjoy!  You will have months or even a year of planning ahead of you (and some of that time will be stressful) so savor the first blush of engaged bliss.” — Laura Weatherly, owner of Engaging Affairs


Photo Credit:  Egomedia Photography from Emily and Dave’s wedding

On gathering consensus, “Make sure you and your fiance have a firm grip and agreement on the type of wedding you want to have (including where and how many guests will be the upper limit).  This will be invaluable as you start planning with your families.  Your parents will hopefully be amenable to the type of wedding you want when you come together as united front.” —  Katie Martin, owner of Elegance & Simplicity

On setting a budget, “Be excited, but also remember to be realistic from the start!  Have a meeting with the ‘finance committee’ (i.e. those contributing to pay for the wedding) and decide what your overall budget is BEFORE you decide on how many guests you will be inviting, where the wedding will be held or start trying on dresses.  You will save yourself a lot of unnecessary anxiety if you plan smart from the beginning and know what your overall budget can afford.” — Maria Cooke, owner of Ritzy Bee Events

On talking finances, “The first thing a newly engaged couple should do (after taking a little time to celebrate) is determine their wedding budget.  It’s important to talk with those who will be contributing financially (parents, etc.) before moving forward with wedding plans.  Setting up an organized budget will save time and will help eliminate potential headaches.  Many of my couples will open a separate bank account for wedding expenses.  Doing so will help ease the task of tracking and maintaining wedding expenditures.” — Jamie Sears, owner of Simply Chic Events

On getting a head count, “Before calling around to venues, trying on dresses, and heading to your local craft store the first thing you should do is evaluate your guest headcount.  Truly sitting down with your families and writing down how many guests you want to invite will help you determine how many you can afford to invite.  This first step will also be extremely necessary in figuring out which venues will suit your wedding best.  You might be in love with a historical venue downtown, but if it only holds 150 guests and you have down 250 people, perhaps that isn’t the venue for you.  We always tell our clients they are way more popular than they realize and everyone loves a party, so planning this step first and being realistic about how many guests will show up is the first step in perfect wedding planning,” — Laura and Megan, owners of Events In The City


Photo Credits: Meghan Lynn Photography from Lauren and David’s wedding

On gathering inspiration, “Immediately after getting engaged (and after the necessary ‘tell the family’) I dragged my now husband to the store to stock up on a ton of wedding magazines.  Once I was able to get all the swooning over photos out of the way, I started the hunt for venues.  We were going to be getting married in Richmond and I wanted to make sure we were able to get the perfect venue.” — Tabitha Roberts, owner of Roberts & Co. Event Planning

On selecting a season,  “The most important thing to do when you first get engaged is to enjoy every moment with the special person and your families.  Take some time to decide what season and date is perfect for your future celebration!  Once you have selected your date, it is then time to decide what elements are important to both of you.  Bringing on a planner can then help guide you in the correct direction to make a decision on budget and venue selection.” — Jeannette Tavares from EVOKE

There you have it!  All the advice you can handle for what to do once you first become engaged.  So, congrats and enjoy!  Have a look around and we look forward to joining you on your journey.

Be sure to visit our inspiration galleries for fabulous ideas, or our real wedding gallery for beautiful weddings!



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