Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007. Here, the veteran planner is sharing some expert advice for free: She's sharing the top eight things you have to do right after you get engaged.
Congratulations! You're engaged! Maybe you're not in a rush to get down the aisle, but regardless, there are some things you need to do immediately even if you don't plan to set the date yet.
1. Get two ring holders.
One for your dresser and one for the kitchen. Kitchen accidents are the leading cause of death for expensive jewelry and it's never okay to set your engagement ring on the counter with a sink nearby. I have a friend who spent the week prior to her wedding waiting for her Rottweiler to return the precious ring naturally before anyone found out. She'd left it unattended on her bedside table.
2. Insure your ring.
If you didn't get an appraisal with it because it was a family heirloom or purchased through another non-traditional outlet, take it to a reputable jeweler and pay the fee to have a proper appraisal done. Then get it insured soon after. The insurance is a rider on your homeowners' or renters' policy and won't be expensive.
3. Tell both sets of family that you're engaged.
Even if you're not close to them all, it's not appropriate for them to learn the news through social media or the grapevine. Make the phone calls.
4. Open the books to each other.
Meaning if you don't already know each other's financial situation, it's time for the big reveal. Credit card debt, car and student loans, plus everything else needs to be put on the table and discussed as a team. Any challenge can be overcome but you must be open and honest and face it together. Likewise, share the good news regarding investments, trust funds and other income.
5. Start working on a five-year plan.
Where do you intend to live? Will you buy a house? Do either of you plan on going back to school? Deal in the future — not the "here and now" so you're both clear on each other's goals. This will also help you when you're planning your wedding budget.
6. Cut off most contact with your exes.
Unless your fiancé is friendly with him or her, too, it's time to cut the email, Facebook or texting cords. You're marrying somebody else.
7. Start thinking about the size of your wedding party.
But don't start naming bridesmaids or groomsmen. That should wait until you've got your budget, date and venue locked in so you make educated decisions about how many bouquets you can really afford.
8. Register for gifts.
Although it may seem premature, people will begin giving you engagement gifts as soon as the word is out. And unless you want to have to re-gift 10 vases that you can't return, registering early for at least a few things will make it easier for your friends and family. If there's going to be a big engagement party, this step is a must. Remember, you can always register for more later.
Whether you're getting married in six or 18 months, consult our wedding planning checklist right now to make sure your day goes off without a hitch.