Sandy Malone, star of TLC's Wedding Island, is the owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico. Here, the pro-planner is dishing some of her expert advice for free. The topic? Her top eight post-engagement don'ts for brides-to-be.
1. Don't tell anyone you're engaged before you tell your family. No matter how close you are to your girlfriend or buddies, your parents deserve to know first. Also, they should hear the news from you — not through the grapevine or Facebook.
2. Don't say to anyone, "Of course you'll be invited!" unless you're absolutely, positively going to invite them to the wedding. You don't know what kind of budget you're working yet and more guests means more expenses.
3. Don't flood your social media accounts with wedding-day details unless you're inviting all of your "friends" and "followers." You might end up hurting people's feelings unintentionally if they assume they were going to make the guest list.
4. Don't announce your date or venue until it's actually confirmed. Out-of-town guests will start making travel arrangements as soon as possible, so you need to be 100 percent sure of when and where you're tying the knot — you don't want anyone booking plane tickets for the wrong date! It can be very embarrassing to have to change things after you've mailed a save-the-date.
5. Don't rush down the aisle. Take your time to make decisions — especially the guest list. Vet it carefully and think seriously about who gets a plus one. Remember: Each random date a friend brings is one legit bud you cannot invite.
6. Don't run out and start wedding dress shopping immediately. Where you're getting married will more than likely dictate the dress. Plus, your overall budget might determine whether you can afford a $5,000 dress or a $1,000 dress.
7. Don't book a venue or wedding planner before you check their references. Wait until you've done your research to put down a deposit.
8. Don't talk about how much you're spending on your wedding to anybody but your fiancé and parents — and maybe your maid of honor if you're BFFs. People gossip and it's nobody's business. Plus, somebody who cares enough to ask is probably somebody you'd rather not know how much cash you've spent anyway.