11 Things To Do The MINUTE You Get Engaged

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Right after you cry tears of joy, of course.

Congratulations! You're engaged. These 11 to-dos—from the fun (get a manicure!) to the nitty-gritty (set your budget)—will get you organized, on track, and well on your way to planning the best wedding ever.

1. Call your VIPs

Share the big news with your inner circle before updating your status on Facebook. It's not cool for your acupuncturist to find out before Grandma.

2. Get your engagement ring insured

It may not be the most thrilling task in the world, but if your engagement ring falls down the garbage disposal, flies off a rollercoaster, or sheds a diamond or two, you'll be ever-so-glad you got that precious stone insured.

3. Get a manicure

Everyone's eyes will be on your hand, so grab your BFF, splurge on a professional mani, and start showing off that sparkler!

4. Enjoy the moment

Being engaged means you get to plan the wedding of your dreams. But it also means that you just committed to spending the rest of your life with your soul mate. Take some time (at least a couple of weeks) to savor how epically romantic that is before you dive into logistics.

5. Start dreaming

This is the fun part: brainstorming with your guy about the big day. Compare fantasies (tequila tastings! beach vows!), and sign up for a Pinterest account to create an online inspiration board. Go crazy—you can refine things after you've picked your venue.

6. Add up your wedding budget

Ready to get down to the nitty-gritty? Settle on a rough guest list and budget. "Without them, you can't book the right venue and vendors for your price point," says wedding planner Tracy Taylor Ward.

7. Get out your calendar

Have a range of dates in mind before you tour venues. Are you envisioning a spring garden wedding, or fall I do's in the woods? Do you want to honeymoon in Yosemite, or cruise the Caribbean? The answers will help steer you toward your ideal time of year. Tip: Ask engaged friends when they're getting hitched, so you can avoid those dates.

8. Hire a wedding planning pro

If you want to work with a wedding planner, book her before you choose your venue. "I often wish I could turn back time and show new clients a site that would have been a much better fit," says planner Annie Lee.

9. Find a wedding venue

Your venue will influence every decision you make, from your color scheme to the style of your dress, so lock it down early. The key is finding one that meshes with your vision (black-tie ballroom, modern minimalist, etc.). And don't be afraid to think beyond the banquet hall.

10. Stay organized

This is not the kind of party you can throw together at the last minute. Stay on track by creating a comprehensive timeline of your wedding to-dos.

11. Book in-demand vendors

Once you've secured a venue and date, start hunting for your officiant, photographer, and band or DJ. Because these vendors typically book just one event per day, they get scooped up very quickly. "Many have schedules that rival the president's," says planner Calder Clark.

This article was originally published at Brides. Reprinted with permission from the author.


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