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

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

5 Things to do Now that You’re Engaged

Is that a new ring?

It’s time to start planning and pinning and doing all the things. Wrong. Before you dive headfirst into ALL THINGS WEDDING PLANNING promise me this, you’ll take a breather and allow yourself time to simply be present. Check out my top 5 things to do now that you’re engaged. I promise it’s worth it 😉

Stinson Beach engagement session with champagne, now that you're engaged, celebrate!

1. Celebrate!

Woohoo! Pop that champagne! Tell your family and friends and shout it to the world! This is the best time to soak it all in, flash that newly sparkly left hand (did you just become a lefty?) and be present in how amazing this time is for both of you. Your families may want to throw you a little party, or perhaps you’ll want to plan a little party for you and your friends. Whatever you decide to, celebrate it.

2. Breathe

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!

Bride and Groom exit church with flower petals showering them in Napa, CA. 5 Things to do Now that You're Engaged

3. What type of wedding is best?

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!

Wedding dress hanging in bridal suite of The Millwick in Downtown Los Angeles, CA

4. Figure out your budget

People hate talking about money. However, you need to have a budget. Your wedding decisions should be based around how much money you 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? An 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. 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 Things to do Now that You're Engaged. Beach elopement on cliffs of Cambria, CA.

5. Secure your venue and date

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.

6. Bonus: Hire a Wedding Planner

I know I promised you 5 things to do now that you’re engaged, but here’s a bonus for you . HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER. Wedding planners are magicians. 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!

Did you enjoy reading “5 Things to do now that you’re Engaged”? If so, head over to my blog to check out even more goodies!

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