Melissa is a wedding, elopement, and lifestyle photographer specializing in photographing candid and emotion filled moments with her clients.

 Based in Sonoma County and San Francisco Bay Area. Available for travel worldwide.

5 Things to do After You Get Engaged


I’m stoked for you, honestly. You’re embarking on a really exciting time in your life and you more than likely are feeling a little bit like a deer in headlights. Am I right?

So let’s start with 5 things to do now that you’re engaged. It’s an easy number and I promise this will help you get on your feet!


You just got engaged! WAHOOO! First…celebrate your news because HECK YES! Pop that champagne! Tell your family and friends and shout it to the world!


Getting engaged is the easy part of the equation when it comes to getting married. Someone asks a question and someone responded with a yes (hopefully LOL). And now you’re here! It’s time to BREATHE. I feel like a lot of people think they need to jump face first into wedding planning and making all the decisions and the reality is you should just enjoy it for a bit!

3. Decide what type of wedding you want

Everyone is going to have an opinion about your wedding day and how you should spend it. Your parents, your friends, your friend’s parents are all going think they know what’s best for you. Here’s my biggest piece of advice to all of my couples. Stay true to what you want. This is YOUR wedding. You want to elope on the cliffs oh Moher? Throw the party of the century in Tulum? Spend the night dancing under the stars in your parent’s backyard? Figure out what makes the two of you the happiest and go for it!

4. Figure out your budget

For some reason people hate talking about money, but here’s the truth: YOU NEED A BUDGET. Your wedding day should revolve around how much money you have and want to spend on the day and where you want to spend it. You’ll need to prioritize your vendors and decide what’s most important to you. Is it your photography? And epic venue space? Delicious food? Prioritizing your vendors will help you figure out where you want to spend your money and once you’ve determined that, you’ll be able to see how much more money you have to play around with.

Do your research. The hardest part about starting out in wedding planning is not knowing how much you’ll be expected to spend on your vendors. Talk to friends that have been married, read blogs, reach out to vendors that you might be interested in working with and figure out what they charge on average. This will help dictate your budget and how much you’ll be spending on your vendors.

5. Secure your venue + date

Now that you’ve figured out how much you have to spend and where you want to spend it, it’s time to secure a venue and a your date. If you’re eloping somewhere you’ll most likely need permits and lodging choices researched. If you’re planning a big soiree you’ll need to figure out what venues you’re interested in learning more about and set up some tours. Consider venues that include certain things in the cost. Do they supply rentals with the cost? Bathrooms? A wedding coordinator? Or do they charge a flat fee and leave you responsible for bringing everything in? These are all things to consider when looking at the big picture.


If you happen to have some extra budget money to put towards a wedding planner, don’t hesitate! These magicians are amazing at moving around budgets and handling everything they can for you so you don’t have to. The stress they take off your plate is priceless and I always highly recommend hiring a team that can help you manage everything to come with planning a wedding.

That’s it! I hope this helps you figure out where to start and gives you some direction on getting things moving!


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