5 Things You Need To Do After You Get Engaged

Photo taken in Waco, Texas, at the beautiful property of  The Cottage at Tell Story Walk   Blog Post coming this summer!

Photo taken in Waco, Texas, at the beautiful property of The Cottage at Tell Story Walk

Blog Post coming this summer!

I love hearing about proposal stories! In fact, in my inquiry process, I ask my potential clients how they met and how he proposed because I love hearing their story. These stories tell me so much about my couples and if we are a good fit! The couples I serve best love telling me all about the proposal and their love story.

Did you just get engaged?! CONGRATULATIONS!! Tell me about your proposal in the comments below!

The biggest question, after you say yes, is what do you do next?? That is a great question! There are so many opinions on the internet (as I am sure you found out)! Since planning my own wedding with my momma back in 2015 and being in the wedding world the last 4 years, I have made my own list of top 5 things you need to do after you get engaged! I hope this helps as you begin to plan your wedding day!

Check out Joe and Bobie’s Engagement Session  HERE

Check out Joe and Bobie’s Engagement Session HERE

1. BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET

The first thing has got be to figure out your budget. It’s great to have a Pinterest board full of inspiration and even have some of your vendors picked out! However, there is one thing I learned in this world of weddings and that is you have to be REALISTIC with your budget. My advice would be to pick 1-3 different areas to “splurge” in. For example,

You could pick florals, photo or video, and cake to go a little overboard with the budget. Shop at bridal shops with discounted dressed and keep your guest list down to save some money. You can also DIY things like table centerpieces, reception decor, and favors to save!

On average, in Lynchburg VA (in 2019), weddings cost about $15,000.

That’s quite a chunk of money, especially if YOU are paying for everything! So keep it real with yourself. Decide what is important to you and what a realistic budget looks like for the rest of your vendors and things needed. At the end of the day, the most important thing is being married to the love of your life!!

Check out Charlie and Maggie’s Engagement Session  HERE

Check out Charlie and Maggie’s Engagement Session HERE

2. CHOOSE YOUR VENUE

Choose and book your venue! You have to know what kind of feel you want for your day. Do you want a black tie wedding in an upscale venue? Do you want a more relaxed atmosphere in an elegant barn (Sounds like an oxymoron I know haha)? There are so many beautiful venues to choose from these days. I would search for venues on Instagram, Pinterest, and friends who’ve gotten married already. These resources are going to be the most genuine. I also recommend that you tour at least your top 5 venues. Sometimes seeing it in person will help narrow down the decisions.

Depending on the venue, they may have deals for Friday or Sunday weddings as well as cheaper dates in the “off season”. It doesn’t hurt to ask, right? If you want a specific date at a venue then you may have to start your budget planning according to that rate. The more flexible you are with decisions the cheaper and less stressful it can be! Newer venues may have deals as well if you are one of the first to book!

Fun fact: James and I fell in love with On the Glen at Glenburn Farms and were the first wedding ever there!!

If you have no idea where to look you can always ask your photographer or planner for venue recommendations. I have some of my favorite and dream locations on my website here if you want some ideas! One last thing, I highly recommend you pick a venue that you can have both the ceremony and reception at! This can maximize the time on the wedding day for portraits because there is no travel time and everyone is all in one place. This keeps your wedding day timeline simplified for sure! Having the ceremony and reception in one place is also helpful for your guests. It allows them to stay in one place and makes the entire wedding day easier on them too!

Check out Derrick and Kayla’s Engagement Session  HERE

Check out Derrick and Kayla’s Engagement Session HERE

3. CHOOSE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

Ok you had to see this one coming. Of course you need to pick your photographer out!! Most photographers book up within a year sometimes two. With choosing your photographer you need to find one that fits not only your wedding day needs but your personality! Every photographer is different and offers something unique. James and I want to be more than just a hired vendor on your day!

Your photographers will spend more time with you on your wedding day than you will with your fiancé! That is why you need to find someone that feels like a friend on your wedding day. Over the past four years of wedding experience, we have changed how to serve our couples through our unique Wedding Experience. We have a few different questionnaires to ensure we are prepared for everything on the wedding day.

During the complimentary engagement session we spend time getting to know our couples and teach them how to pose so that they are posing pros! If weather or the timeline changes on their wedding day for any reason we can roll right through portrait time (which has definitely come in handy on wedding days!). We also carefully plan out the wedding day, including a photography friendly timeline, ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks!

Next week I will be sharing other tips on choosing your wedding photographer! So look out for that post!!

Check out Zach and Micheala’s Engagement Session  HERE

Check out Zach and Micheala’s Engagement Session HERE

4. HIRE A PLANNER/COORDINATOR

So this part of the wedding planning gets overlooked sometimes. The reason I say hire a planner and coordinator is so that you can ENJOY your wedding day stress free! A planner is different than a day of coordinator. A planner will know all of the best vendors in the area. They also help with budgets and can keep you realistic with your expectations. Planners take all the stress off of you as you plan out every detail. They offer so much experience so no detail is forgotten!

Day of Coordinators are the ones that make the wedding day happen! They are the ones making sure all the details come together, everyone is on time, and everything is perfect. Coordinators play a vital role on the wedding day and for photographers they are the biggest help!! I know that my job is 100% easier if there is a coordinator at the wedding.

I know that you are thinking your aunt/friend/mom/ who planned a wedding 5-10 years ago could easily do this. You’re right! They could do it but the pressure to make your day perfect is also on their shoulders. I know from experience that your friends and family want to be a part of your day STRESS FREE and a planner and coordinator can solve this problem!

Hiring a planner helps:

  • Keep you organized from the very beginning

  • Learn your style to help make decisions

  • Keep your budget in check

  • Give you a stress free planning experience and wedding day

  • Recommend the best vendors in the area

  • Problem solve on your wedding day

  • And most importantly knows the in’s and out’s of a wedding day

Check out Matthew and Callie’s Engagement Session  HERE

Check out Matthew and Callie’s Engagement Session HERE

5. MOST IMPORTANTLY: INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE

So this honestly, is the MOST important thing to do. Your wedding day is just the beginning of an incredible lifetime together. The wedding involves so much planning and thought that this often forgotten. It is so important that you two consider speaking with a counselor, pastor, whoever is marrying you, etc. Another idea is to sit down with a couple that has been married 30+ years. Ask them what they did when times were HARD.

Being a newly wed is the BEST but definitely brings its challenges. James and I learned so much about each other our first year of marriage. I learned that we had two very different definitions of the word “clean”, there was a right and wrong way to make a sandwich, and that we both hated mowing and weed-eating. These sound like simple things but we would fight and argue about these simple things all the time!!! We are about to celebrate 4 years this year and have accomplished so much in our married life. I know that if we didn’t have trust in the Lord, trust in each other, and a firm foundation from counseling things may not be the way they are. Those first few years were definitely learning years but I wouldn’t trade them for anything!

There are so many resources available these days that will help you thrive in this new season of life. One resource I am enjoying right now is listening to my good friend’s podcast: 100’s of Years of Marriage Advice. They talk through real life issues and speak with couples who have years of married experiences. I love my EHP couples so much and pray their marriage continues to thrive and be as joyous as their wedding day!

Here are a few other resources for you to check out:

Let me know if you found this helpful and tell me about your proposal story in the comments below!

I can’t wait to read your love story and learn more about your day!

Contact me HERE to book your Wedding Experience!

Until next time,

Emily