First things first, pour some bubbly and make a toast to the future with your love. This is such an exciting time and there are lots of plans to make and things to do. But first, breathe. Take a minute to enjoy this “just got engaged” time together. Finish the bottle, smile a lot and take all the engagement ring selfies you want. But maybe don’t share them all.
Call your relatives
Yes, you could just send them a quick text, but actually being able to hear your lovely excited voices over the phone will make them so much happier. Pick up the phone and call your nearest and dearest before announcing your engagement on Facebook.
Set a date
Maybe not ‘the date’ but a date, like June.. Or ‘next summer’. Now your friends and family will stop asking ‘when are you going to get engaged?’ and start asking ‘when’s the wedding?’. And who can blame them? It’s exciting! So it’s best to try and come up with a bit of a plan and some brief answers to all the questions you’re going to be bombarded with.
Pick your people
Bridesmaids, Maid of Honour, Best Man/Woman. Decide who you really want to be involved in your day and think about how you’ll ask them. This is a fun job, it’s like a mini proposal of your own. And remember, there are no rules – if you want 10 bridesmaids, go for it (just be prepared for some long conversations about dress choices). If you don’t feel right having any, that’s fine too. And if you want your dog to do the job, well that’s more than fine.
Maybe you’ve had a secret wedding Pinterest board for years, or maybe you don’t know your favours from your fruitcake, but now is the time to go public and get stuck in. Go out and buy a couple of proper paper magazines and flick through them with a cup of tea. Browse some of the brilliant wedding blogs out there (we like festivalbrides.co.uk, rockmywedding.co.uk & bespoke-bride.com to name a few). Bookmark everything you like, discuss the ideas with your partner, then start narrowing things down.
Find a wedding planner
No, not necessarily a person (although maybe you do feel you need some expert advice, in which case we recommend the brilliant Knot & Pop). Buy yourself a notebook/calendar/app to keep track of all the important wedding planning dates and any ideas you collect along the way. If you’re going DIY and want to ask friends and family to help, just customise our wedding planning patchwork and get your team ready! Get organised now and your one-month-before-the-wedding-self will thank you.
Set a budget and start saving
You don’t want to get bogged down with numbers at this early stage, but it’s good to get a realistic idea of what you can afford. There’s no point dreaming about castles and bespoke suits if your budget won’t allow them. Just do some quick calculations and figure out what you can both afford to put away each month, open a savings account and get started. The sooner you start, the closer to that castle you can get.
Plan your honeymoon
It’s fun to daydream about your wedding day, but it’s also really fun to daydream about your honeymoon. Jetting off together on your first big adventure as a married couple is so exciting. Whether you want to go on a city break, relax on a beach or go trekking through jungles, the world is your oyster. But if you’re looking for inspiration our honeymoon page is a good place to start.
If you’re worried how you’ll pay for your honeymoon after all your wedding costs check out Lonely Planet’s Honeymoon Handbook for brilliant money saving advice and amazing budget-friendly destinations. Then set up a honeymoon fund to invite guests to chip in towards your dream trip rather than give you physical gifts.
Set up a honeymoon fund
Patchwork honeymoon fund allows you to create a gorgeous ‘patchwork’ of images to represent all the experiences you want to enjoy while you’re away. A bit like creating a Pinterest board it’s a great way of making plans and keeping track of all the little things you’d like to do. And when you’re ready to send out your invitations you can include a link to your honeymoon fund so everyone can share in, and help fund your adventure.
With Patchwork, friends and family get to choose which aspect of your honeymoon they’d like to fund – whether it’s £10 for coffee and cake in Stockholm, £50 for surfing lessons in Hawaii, or £100 for a night in a hotel on the Cote D’azur. So it’s easy to thank everyone with photos of you enjoying individual experiences while you’re away. And with cash contributions coming direct to your PayPal account or your bank account via Stripe, you can book your honeymoon when and how you like.
So, if you’re newly engaged, congratulations. And remember; enjoy this exciting, romantic time together, drink Champagne and fizz with excitement, then have fun making plans.