15 Things to Do After Getting Engaged

By Published On: December 11, 2023

Congratulations! This is such an exciting time for you and your partner! In honor of your upcoming nuptials, we’ve gathered up 15 things you’ll want to do after getting engaged, from nail prep to budgets, registries and guests lists, we’ve compiled all the must-dos with help from some local experts, too!

1. Savor the moment

This is one of the most important moments in your life, so take a second and breath it all in. Maybe enjoy a romantic meal together or a starlit stroll — this is the beginning of the rest of your lives and a memory to cherish for always.

things to do after getting engaged

Photo by J & N Studios

2. Schedule a manicure

Everyone will want to take a peek (and pic!) of your ring, so get those nails in tip top shape!

3. Celebrate the news

Call your close family and friends and broadcast the great news. Take to social media, schedule an engagement photoshoot, or even plan a party.

4. Get your ring sized (and insured)

While not the most romantic of endeavors, these are a priority. You’ll want to get your ring fitted as soon as possible. “It is important to size a ring that is too big to decrease the risk of losing it,” says Joe Lucido, owner of Lucido Fine Jewelry, whose iconic jewelry destination now has locations in Rochester, Sterling Heights, and a recently remodeled showroom in Birmingham. “You want to prevent a ring from moving in a compromising position on your hand that could cause damage to the stone or ring. If a ring is too small, it may cause discomfort and swelling to the finger. We invite our couples back to the store after their engagement to make sure the ring fits properly and have a champagne toast to celebrate their upcoming wedding.” He adds, “For a new fiancée we try and size their ring the same day if at all possible. We understand that no future bride wants to give up their new engagement ring they just received. In most cases, depending on the ring, it could take up to a week or more for sizing.” He also advises on looking into insuring your ring. “It’s very important to get your ring insured in case of loss, damage or if a stone falls out. Protecting your jewelry is a great investment with usually a small premium and deductible. Make sure you have a current appraisal, so you receive proper coverage in case of a claim. Depending on how much time has passed, your ring may cost substantially more to replace without insurance.”

5. Set a budget

Financial talks are never fun, but a necessary part of any event planning — especially one of such importance. Nicole Lasher of Metro Detroit-based Nicole Leanne Photography says your budget is all about prioritizing. “Determine your priorities and allocate your budget accordingly. Decide what aspects of your wedding are most important to you—whether it’s photography, venue, food, or entertainment—and allocate funds accordingly.” If staying in budget is one of your top priorities for your wedding day, you can also download our complete wedding budget tracker.

6. Narrow down your guest list

Whether it’s an intimate reception of 20 or a ballroom of 200, you’ll want to sit down with your partner and discuss potential numbers and how many guests your budget actually allows. While family and friends will want to join in on the discussion, it’s important to remember that in the end, the day is about you and your partner, and any final decisions lie between you two.

7. Discuss your wedding style

Just as a marriage is a blending of two lives, your wedding is a blending of your individual styles. Lasher says, “stay true to your desires as a couple. Your wedding should reflect your personalities and preferences.” She also suggests, developing “a mood board or Pinterest board to gather inspiration for your wedding style, colors, and themes. This will help you communicate your vision to vendors.” This is also a great time to begin researching vendors that work with the feel and look your hoping to achieve. “Read reviews, ask for recommendations, and schedule meetings or consultations to get a feel for their work and personalities.”

8. Hire a wedding planner

“If your budget allows, hiring a full-service planner (especially if you are planning a destination wedding) is a huge help to planning a stress-free, beautiful, well-run wedding,” says Meaghan Kenny of Fox + Fern Events in Traverse City. “We recommend interviewing a few different planners that align with your budget and needs and making sure that they not only have the experience and team required for your specific needs, but also that you 1. align with them stylistically (does their design portfolio match up with the style you like? If not, they may not be the best fit for you) and 2. align with them personality-wise. You’ll be spending a lot of your personal time with this team — make sure you like them!”

9. Select your venue and vendors

Selecting your date and venue should be top priorities, says Lasher. “Many other decisions hinge on your chosen date and location,” she says. As a wedding photographer herself, she suggests “it’s best to book your wedding photographer about 9 to 12 months in advance, especially if you’re getting married during the peak wedding season or in a popular location like Detroit. Some couples even book their photographers as far as 18 months in advance. However, if you’re planning a more intimate or less formal affair, you might have more flexibility and could potentially book a bit closer to your wedding date. The key is to communicate with the photographer and understand their availability and booking timelines to ensure the best fit for your needs.” In general, she recommends that for “in-demand vendors,” it’s “best to secure them as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.”

10. Choose your stationery

From invitations to save the dates, escort cards, menus and more, when it comes to selecting your wedding suite the options are limitless. You will, however, want to make sure you mail out your save-the-dates 6 to 8 months ahead of your nuptials, and your wedding invitations should be sent out 6 to 8 weeks ahead.

things to do after getting engaged

Photo by Rosy & Shaun

11. Dress shop!

Gather up your tribe, make some appointments, and get in those dressing rooms! Don’t limit yourself to a predetermined style either. Try on things you might not normally go for — you never know what is going to give you that “say yes” feeling! And just remember to have fun! This is a time to remember, to laugh, and probably shed a few happy tears, too.

12. Set up a registry

Whether for a bridal shower or the big day, guests are always looking for ideas on what to buy the happy couple. Websites like Zola, MyRegistry, and Joy are a few great one-stop registries for those looking to add products from a myriad of brands and vendors. You can also checkout Honeyfund, where guests can contribute to your honeymoon plans!

13. Book day of accommodation and transportation

You and your partner (and many of your guests as well!) are going to want somewhere to stay following the reception, so make sure to look into nearby lodging. When it comes to booking accommodations, Kenny recommends “reaching out to multiple lodging options in the location you’d like your guests to stay and asking if they offer room blocks, and if so, could they send over information and pricing. A few key things to review and ask: How many rooms will be available in your block to start? If your block is complimentary (meaning you aren’t on the hook for any rooms left unbooked and rooms are simply released once you get closer to your wedding day), you are likely going to start out with a smaller block of rooms — typically 10-15. We recommend encouraging family and close friends to book ASAP so that more rooms can be released into your block once those are booked.” She also suggests asking “how many rooms are available in the hotel total? You don’t want to choose a spot that is almost booked up!” When it comes to transportation, we spoke with Amanda Austin of Petrol Vintage, a metro Detroit-based vintage car rental company, who recommends booking day-of-transportation a year in advance. “In August and September, we’re usually booked up every single weekend, and tons of days during the week for engagement sessions.” And it’s not just about logistics either, “day-of transportation in a vintage vehicle can be really special — it’s one of the only times you and your partner are alone. Whether you’re in the back seat winding down from the excitement, or sitting alongside each other in the front, you get to put on your wedding playlist and take it all in.” She also adds, “cars can make for really fun photo props. It can get pretty easy to run out of poses without props, so a car is the perfect backdrop to add something different to your portraits!”

14. Pick out your wedding bands

“If you haven’t already, make sure give yourself at least six months prior,” suggests Lucido, to “create a stress-free experience so you don’t have to settle on a band because you are in a time crunch.” Also remember these may need to be sized as well, and according to Lucido, “depending on the band you choose, it could take up to 6 weeks or more.” So, plan accordingly.

15. Don’t forget to make it official!

You’ll want to get your marriage license squared away prior to your wedding day. In the state of Michigan, a person must obtain their marriage license from the clerk of the county in which the applicant resides. If you’re both non-Michigan residents, you must apply in the county in which the marriage is being performed. Also, you’ll have to wait three days after applying for the license to be issued and used. According to the Wayne County clerk’s office, “a marriage license is void unless the marriage is solemnized within 33 days from the date of application.”

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