Congrats! You're Newly Engaged!

Being newly engaged means thinking a little differently than you used to. Your future has now taken a different course.

He popped the question, you said YES and formalized the deal, which means that there are a few things you need to cover in the 'present'!

If you just got engaged and are wondering what to do or where to start you'll find some practical tips and great advice below—some are obvious while others are things you likely hadn't thought about. Either way we have you covered.

Remember that your engagement is all about YOU so don't sweat it. If you go with what's in your heart you'll always be right!

Start Spreading the News!!!

Tradition says that you tell your parents first (likely because Dad needed to start saving for the wedding) but it's still a good idea because the last thing you want is for them to hear it from someone else. So you're parents first, then his parents, then close family and friends. After that, you have a bunch of options—there are many ways to tell everyone else that you're newly engaged.

You can write up an engagement announcement in your local newspaper, you can mail out engagement cards or send out more formal personalized letters describing the romance and eventual proposal. Some have even tweeted the happy event. The important take-away here is to get the message out as soon as possible to the people who are closest to you. Hurt feelings are easily avoided when a newly engaged couple spreads the news themselves.

The Oh, So Important Manicure!

Your hands will never in their life get so much attention! For the newly engaged bride-to-be her left hand leads the show. We guarantee that upon hearing the news, the first thing that everyone will do is say "Let's see the ring" and ooh and ahh while you delicately extend your hand in their direction.

So put your best hand forward with well groomed nails and cuticles. If you aren't used to getting a manicure, it's time to start and makes the whole engagement process even more special.

Engagement Picture Time: Say Cheese!

Being newly engaged is one of those special moments in life that should be recorded in pictures. Many couples include a picture in their announcements whether they be in the newspaper or by mail.

You can have them done by a professional photographer who you may want to use for your wedding (kind of a dress rehearsal for them for the big day) or have a friend snap a few shots. It's entirely up to you and your personal style. Beyond what you may use to announce your engagement, make sure that you have a few pics to celebrate the occasion and remember this special time in your life.

It's Family Time!

If both sets of parents haven't met, it's time. Host a small luncheon as a couple or go out to a restaurant. Your families are now connected through the two you and it's important that they meet and start getting to know each other. It doesn't have to be a formal occasion, even an afternoon tea or evening cocktail will do.

Let's Party!

Traditionally an engagement party was hosted by the bride-to-be's parents but today anyone can host an engagement party—even the newly engaged couple themselves. Many purists and etiquette buffs would disagree with that last statement and insist that the party be hosted by anyone other than the couple themselves—so if you want to abide by the strictest of etiquette rules, throw the party yourselves but have someone else host it.

Engagement parties are important because they are often the first time that your friends and families, who are now connected through you, get to meet and know one another. You can make it as formal or as casual as you'd like but just make sure that the guest list only includes those that you will be eventually inviting to the wedding.

Register for Gifts!

Although presents aren't normally given for engagements and should never be expected, some people may want to buy you a little something. So make sure that you have a bridal gift registry so that they can easily get you something that they know you want.

Have lower priced items on your registry list especially for your engagement. Being registered somewhere is as important to your guests and friends as it is to the two of you. It doesn't mean that you expect any gifts, all that it says is that if they choose to buy you a present that you have pre-selected some things that you really like, want, or need.

Get Your Engagement Ring Sized!

If you're ring isn't a perfect fit and especially if it's too loose, head over to your jeweler and get your engagement ring sized . So many newly engaged couples are so excited about the ring and what it means that they don't want to part with it, even for a second. The problem is that the longer you wait the more likely you could lose it and that definitely puts a damper an any engagement.

Get the Ring Insured

An engagement ring is an investment and symbol of your love. Many newly engaged couples forget to protect that investment and insure the ring either as an addition to your homeowner's insurance or under a completely separate policy.

Jewelry insurance can be tricky so find out specifically what you're covered for under your existing policy or if you need some additional coverage. And finally, remember to update the policy when you move so that the insurance company knows exactly where the ring is 'living' as you transition to married life.

Think About Your Engagement & Wedding Style

How formal, traditional, casual, or unique, do you want your nuptials to be? Start doing some research and look on the Web and in magazines for ideas on party themes, styles, and colors.

Find out about the various traditions surrounding an engagement and wedding to see if there are some that you want to follow (we cover most of your engagement etiquette questions and traditions right here on this site, so make sure you check out all the sections).

Remember, this will likely be one the most important transition periods in your lives and the biggest party you're ever going to throw, so take the time to make it extra special for yourselves.

Ahh! Take A Deep Breath

Don't let the process of planning a wedding bog you down. Enjoy this time, cherish the moments and relax. It will work out and if something doesn't, well, it will make for a great story to tell the grandchildren.
 

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Being newly engaged is an exciting time filled with joy and wonderment. Don't worry about what to do next or where to start just enjoy it, take things step by step and... Congratulations again!

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