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This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. OMG, it finally happened: you have an engagement ring, and you’re engaged! The day of the proposal is a day of excitement and joy! But, once the initial surprise wears off, you may be wondering what comes next — and like it or not, the hours, days, and weeks following the proposal are guaranteed to be a whirlwind.
When I became engaged, I was completely overwhelmed. Suddenly, there were so many things to do and so much to get done! While you’ll have a ton of things to think about between now and the big day, there’s plenty of time for that a little later. If you just got engaged, here’s what to do right now to help keep you sane and smiling throughout this rollercoaster experience!!
#1: Enjoy Being Engaged!
You just got that ring on your ringer, your partner just asked you to marry them, you said “YES,” and it suddenly starts to sink in that you are a bride, and… You’re. Getting. Married.
Stay in the moment
Take a moment. Take a deep breath. Really think about the thought and planning your fiancé put into preparing for the proposal. It’s an expression of their love for you, and their commitment to your relationship. Take the time to acknowledge and appreciate it. This is a person who has decided they want to spend the rest of their life with you! They’ve decided they love you so greatly and so deeply that they want to make the ultimate commitment: dedicating their whole self to you. This is a huge deal! I highly recommend you stare at the engagement ring, and think of all the wonderful things ahead of you. Soak in that “just got engaged” feeling for as long as you can, just the two of you!
Head to the nail salon ASAP! As a newly engaged fiancé, there’s really no way you can avoid showing off your engagement ring. Even though your ring will have the spotlight, getting a fresh mani will make you feel more polished for those inevitable grabs of your hand over the next few weeks.
Don’t forget to take pictures either, not just now, but throughout the engagement. There’s one thing all brides can agree on: the time you’re engaged moves by quicker than you could ever expect. You’ll look back at the end and wonder where it all went. Don’t let these memories pass you by. Take pictures of you, of your fiancé, your ring, everything you can. Kiss each other a few thousand more times. Bask in the moment, and really start your engagement with a happy bridal glow.
#2: Get Ready For Questions
Your first task? Sharing the exciting news with the world. As soon as you get engaged, people will start asking you when the big day is. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “how would I know yet, this literally just happened?!”
get on the same page
People started asking us about the date the very same day my partner and I announced our engagement. On the one hand, this is great! It means they’re excited about your wedding, and can’t wait to put it on their calendar. On the other hand, it can feel like a lot of pressure to answer questions like this right away. Make sure to take some time to sit down with your fiancé and get on the same page about how you’ll respond to these questions, and how much you want to share about your desires and plans.
come up with a canned response
You may get other questions like “Where are you getting married?” and “Who’s in the bridal party?” and “Have you been dress shopping?”
Be prepared, and have a strategy for how to handle questions. Any ready-to-go sentence that communicates how excited you are, yet gently tells the questioner to not ask additional questions, is a good one. By agreeing and putting this together with your fiancé beforehand, you can help keep your cool in situations where you’re bombarded with questions.
It can help to have some premade answers, like “oh, we haven’t chosen a date yet, but we’re so excited to jump into wedding planning.” or “we’re just taking it slow and taking a bit of time to enjoy being engaged before getting into planning,” or even “we’re shooting for early next year.”
if that one relative is complaining already
I feel you, girl. Remember that your wedding is about you and your partner, and that when you’re having a wedding, you are essentially throwing a free party for your closest friends and family. They don’t get to complain, and if they do, you are under no obligation to listen to them. If there’s one thing you will quickly discover in your time as a fiancé, it’s that almost everyone has questions to ask about your life, and opinions about how they think your wedding, your honeymoon, and your plans for after should be handled. I’m not going to lie: some of these questions can get very invasive and personal. This is your special time, so do your best to avoid making decisions based on pressure from family or friends.
#3: Tell the Important People First
Announce to family, then friends that are like family, and then everyone else. This is a big one, because it involves other people and their feelings. Definitely consider telling the important people in your life about your engagement before going public with it on social media. Getting engaged is a big deal, and your loved ones are going to want to share in your joy!
Put an embargo on everyone except you and your fiancé spreading the news on social media. Everyone has that one relative who loves to be the bearer of big news, so if you are worried about that, it is totally okay to let them know that this is your news to share. Set aside a few hours and plow through your phone book. If this sounds like a daunting task, you can always enlist that chatty family representative to help you out.
For the more traditional bride-to-be
If you are a more traditional bride, then you should tell your parents of your impending nuptials before anyone else. Both of you should be present and ideally you will tell them in person so they’ll have a chance to look at the ring, share in your excitement, and start talking about the wedding. Then share the news with your close friends — the ones who are likely to be your Maid of Honor or Best Man, or are sure picks for the bridal party. Also consider other best friends or family members that might be hurt by not getting a phone call.
make it special
Before jumping into an announcement, ask yourself if there are any special traditions surrounding engagements you could participate in! For myself, I knew I wanted to have a sorority candle pass. This is a tradition that surprises the other women in your sorority with an engagement. When the ceremony starts, the sisters know someone is engaged, but they don’t know who. The engagement ring is put on a candle, which is lit and passed around. Whoever blows out the candle is engaged, so when you blow it out, everyone smothers you with their love! I loved my candle pass, and if you have a chance to do a ceremony like that, or something similar, I definitely think you should.
again, get on the same page
Don’t forget to talk to your fiancé and make sure they’re on top of it too. My fiancé only told his parents and his best friend, so when we broke the news on social media there were some hurt feelings from family that hadn’t heard it directly from him. Getting on the same page with each other about who you’re going to tell, how, and when, can help avoid starting off your engagement with hurt feelings among family and friends.
#4: Announce Your Engagement
Once you’ve told your closest friends and family, it’s time to spread the good news to everyone else! There are many ways of doing this, and none of them is the “right way.” So think about what works best for you, what suits your style, what’s going to reach the people you want it to reach. Consider announcing your engagement in the newspaper, or sending out announcements in the mail.
Now is also a great time to make a wedding website, which we did. We created our own because my husband is technologically savvy, but if the thought of creating your own seems a little out of reach, there are plenty of easy and free or affordable options out there.
Shout about your everlasting love from the social media rooftops
Personalize your social media announcement in a way that works for you. You can let the world know how excited you are to be marrying your best friend, talk about the proposal or your relationship story.
If you can, try to hold off on posting the bling! I know, I know, the temptation to show off that rock is strong… like, really strong. But remember: this is about the future and love between the two of you, not about jewelry! So, opt for a couple shot! You won’t regret it because holding off will give people something to ooh and ahh over they next time they see you!
Sit back, relax, and let the likes roll in
Now is the time to make it a big deal, because it is a big deal! It’s okay to get really excited because chances are everyone is going to be excited for you — and even if they aren’t, it’s still okay to share your love. Be sure to thank everyone for their well wishes by commenting on your original post.
#5: Start Using a Journal
My final tip is to start using a journal if you don’t already have one. Your engagement will be a time of ten thousand moments you won’t want to forget, but there will also be some frustrating times you’ll need to vent about, and not necessarily to your partner.
Memories to cherish
I think that the journal I’ve been keeping is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I’m a very emotional person, and I find it really helpful to jot things down, whether they’re happy or stressful. If I’m having a good day, I write it down so I can remember it later. If I’m having a bad day, I can look back at the sweet things I wrote, and it helps me get happy again. Whether you use a written journal, a journal online, an app, or a wedding blog, make sure you have a place to vent and write about this rollercoaster experience!
Andrew proposed to me on the Mark Twain Riverboat at Disneyland on November 6, 2016. We got engaged during Dapper Day, and I was so surprised! It was the best day, and I am so happy to have a journal full of memories that I can look back on!
One last tip
Above all, don’t be too hard on yourself if you get things wrong, miss something, or mess up. Getting married is a whirlwind of emotions, expectations, desires, and logistics.
It’s okay to feel overwhelmed
It can all be overwhelming at first, and you should be ready to forgive yourself if you get something wrong. Remember that in the end, this is an exciting, magical time for you and your partner to work together, deepen your bond, and show your commitment to each other. You will have to remind yourself of this quite often, but it helps. Don’t forget: this should be fun!
P.S. For extra fun, submit your proposal on How They Asked by the Knot!
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