You wrote … “I’m newly engaged and a bride to be. My fiance is my dream come true. We’ve talked about getting married for a while so I knew it was coming. But now that it’s here I’m not sure what’s next. Any advice?
Well, first of all…. Congratulations! Getting engaged is something that girls think (or fantasize) about all their lives (it’s just part of our make up). As for guys, they’re just dickin’ around, coasting through life with no clue what happens after they get down on bended knee.
So let’s get down to business! He popped the question. You said YES and formalized the deal. Now what?
If you just got engaged and are wondering what’s next and where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Below you’ll find practical tips and great advice—some are obvious while others 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. Go step-by-step and be steered by what’s in your heart, and you’ll be fine!
Top 10 Tips for The Bride-to-be
Being a bride-to-be is exciting. There are so many things to think about. Sure you need to know about the big stuff, like proper party etiquette or formal announcements. But it’s all the other stuff, that may not seem obvious at first that helps make this time so much fun.
So… What do you need to think about? Who do you need to tell? What do you need to do?
Start Spreading The News
Tradition says that you tell your parents first (likely because Dad needed to start saving for the wedding). It’s still a good idea because the last thing you want is for your parents to hear about your engagement 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”. Then 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. It’s one of those small things that 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 must be recorded in pictures. Many couples include a picture in their announcements whether 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 commemorate the occasion. They will help you 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, a casual afternoon tea or evening cocktail will do.
Traditionally an engagement party was hosted by the bride-to-be’s parents. Today anyone can host an engagement party—even the newly engaged couple themselves.
Many purists/etiquette buffs would disagree with that last statement. They’d 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. They’re 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. 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 something. So make sure that you have a bridal gift registry. By registering early, 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 you. It’s not about being selfish or greedy. It’s about making it easier for the people who do want to buy you something for your engagement and/or wedding. They appreciate knowing that there’s a list somewhere of everything you want and need.
It also doesn’t mean that you expect any gifts. All it means is that if they choose to buy you a present that you have pre-selected some things that you like, want, or need.
Get Your Engagement Ring Sized!
If you’re ring isn’t a perfect fit and especially if it’s 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. The problem is that the longer you wait the more likely you could lose it. That definitely puts a damper on 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. Find out specifically what you’re covered for under your existing policy to see if you need some additional coverage.
Finally, remember to update the policy when you move. The insurance company needs to know exactly where the ring is ‘living’ once you transition to married life.
Think About Your Engagement & Wedding Style
How formal, traditional, casual, or unique, do you want things to be? Start researching. 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. See if there are some that you want to follow. We cover most of your engagement etiquette questions and traditions, so make sure you check out all the sections.
Remember, this will likely be one the most important transition periods in your life. And, the biggest party you’ll ever throw. So take the time to make it extra special for yourselves.
Say YES to the Dress!
Yes….The all-important DRESS! For any soon-to-be bride on a budget (which means just about everyone) this is important.
The bad news for bargain savvy brides is that The Running of the Brides Sale at Filenes Basement is over. They went belly-up! Too bad, because we know tons of brides (including ourselves) that have bought dresses from them with great success and HUGE bargains.
Now for the good news. There’s a great organization called Brides Against Breast Cancer and they hold events across the U.S.
They sell designer wedding dresses that are donated by brides, and bridal salons nationwide at up to 80% off retail pricing. What’s even better is that you get a designer gown at bargain basement prices and help a wonderful cause at the same time. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Please make sure you visit Brides Against Breast Cancer to find out when they’ll be coming to your area.
Now take a deep breath. 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…