So you just got engaged…here’s what to do next

By Jennifer Gentile

Perhaps it happened during a quiet moment between just the two of you. Maybe he tipped off your friends and family, so your nearest and dearest got to witness your happy tears. However the proposal happened, congratulations on your engagement!

The wedding journey is just beginning, and as any bride can attest, the to-do list can get overwhelming in a hurry. Brides in recent months have had an added layer of complication with COVID-19. As you begin the process, consider the impact the pandemic may have on your plans, such as safety precautions, the size of your celebration and vendor availability.

Our advice: Go step by step, and make the most important decisions first. Now that you have the ring, here’s what to do next:


Tell your VIPs, either by phone or in person, before posting the news to social media.


Be prepared for a deluge of opinions about when, where and how you should get married, and accept that you can’t please everyone. Avoid committing or agreeing to anything for the first few weeks while you and your fiancé hone your vision. In the meantime, receive suggestions gratefully, but don’t feel obligated to say “yes.”


You can’t make many other decisions until you know when the big day will be, so first things first. You may immediately have a season in mind, or even dates that are meaningful to you and your significant other, so you can start there. Take care to avoid any scheduling conflicts for your VIP guests, and make sure you give yourself plenty of time to plan — bearing in mind that many popular vendors are booked a year or more in advance.


Like your date, you need a budget before you can do much else. Be clear on who is contributing what, and communicate early and often, to prevent misunderstandings later. Head count greatly affects the bottom line (not to mention the size venue you’ll need), so tailor your guest list to what you can reasonably afford.


This step may well determine your wedding date, as it may depend on when your preferred venue is available. When choosing where to hold your wedding, make sure the venue aligns with your vision, fits your budget and can accommodate your guest list comfortably.


Coordinating a wedding can get stressful quickly. This is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, so pause to enjoy it before launching into planning mode.