Congratulations, you’re engaged! But now what?

Sure, you pop some champagne…but then what? Who do you tell? What do you book? As experienced wedding officiants, we’ll walk you through exactly what to do after you get engaged.

It can be overwhelming to decide what to do next once you and your partner are engaged. Naturally, you’ll be feeling a lot of emotions, and you might also be receiving lots of comments and opinions from friends and family members.

Before you rush into wedding planning or commit to anything you don’t actually want, take a beat. Check out our list of step by step instructions for exactly what to do after you get engaged.

Step 1: Celebrate your engagement!

You’re engaged! Wahoo! You and your partner have decided you want to get married and spend your lives together. That is HUGE!

Pop some champagne, order two desserts and celebrate. This is an exciting moment and you two should bask in it together.

A lot of couples make the mistake of jumping straight into the next step once they get engaged. They quickly rush to share the news or immediately begin wedding planning.

And while we totally understand the desire to share your happy news and finally start planning your wedding, we encourage you not to skip this moment. You’ll only be newly engaged for so long. Make the most of this time and celebrate! 

Newlywed couple popping champagne on a mountain top after their helicopter elopement with Young Hip & Married
by Amanda Arch Photography

Step 2: Phone home and share your engagement news

After you and your spouse-to-be have celebrated, it’s time to share your happy news with your nearest and dearest. And you’ll have to go old school for this one – it’s time to pick up the phone.

Call your parents, your siblings, your best friends and everyone else who will want to celebrate the news with you. Even better – visit them in person if you can!

Pro tip: Make these calls all at the same time because word of your engagement will start to spread fast. Even if you let your loved ones know that you two want to be the ones to share the news, there’s a good chance your Aunt Trudy will let it slip and your Uncle Don might be upset if he doesn’t hear from you until two days later.

Step 3: Shut down any wedding planning questions

As soon as you’re engaged, you’ll be hit with a million questions. “What are your colours?” “When’s the big day?” “Will I be a bridesmaid?” “Do you need the number for a caterer?”

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of these wedding planning questions. What you don’t want to do is over-promise or be forced into making a decision on the spot.

Memorize this line and repeat it back to anyone who asks about your wedding details right after you get engaged: “We’re just so excited about the engagement and want to celebrate that right now. When we start wedding planning, we’ll let you know.”

Step 4: Share your engagement on social media

They say it’s not official until it’s on social media. Of course, you don’t have to post your engagement on social media. But most people like to share these big life moments with their far away friends and followers on the internet.

Only share your engagement on social media after you’re 110% confident that you’ve told all of the important people in your life directly. If you couldn’t tell them in person or over the phone, at least make sure they got a personal email, text or message.

The last thing you want to do is have your grandma find out you’re engaged when she’s scrolling through her Facebook homepage.

Newlywed couples hugging each other and smiling to the camera after their Young Hip & Married elopement; what to do after you're engaged
by Erica Miller Photography

Step 5: Get your ring sized and insured

If you have an engagement ring, you’ll want to make sure it stays safe. You don’t want it falling off or getting lost or stolen.

If the ring doesn’t fit properly, make a trip to the jeweller to have it sized. To insure your ring, take the appraisal (usually given to you by the jeweller at the time of purchase) to an insurance agent. Make sure you ask questions about what happens if the ring is lost, stolen or damaged.

You may also be able to add your ring to your home owner, rental insurance or car insurance policy for a lesser cost.

Step 6: (optional) Throw an engagement party!

If you want, now is a great time to throw an engagement party and celebrate with more of your loved ones. This is a fun way to mark this big milestone in your life and get everyone you love together.

Engagement parties are not mandatory and if you do decide to throw one, it doesn’t need to be huge. You can celebrate your engagement with a simple family BBQ or picnic at the beach with friends. Of course, if you want to go all out, rent that venue and pass around those canapés!

PS: Don’t forget your line from step #3 about wedding planning. You’re going to need to say it a lot during the party!

Step 7: Talk to your partner about your wedding plans

When you’re ready, sit down with your partner and discuss what you both want out of a wedding. You don’t have to nail down any specifics at this point.

This is when you can talk about what kind of wedding you want to have – big or small, local or destination, this year or next year. What do you want the vibe to be? Is there anything you absolutely do or don’t want at your wedding? You should also discuss an approximate budget and guest list.

One way to start this discussion is to have each of you separately write down the three most important things for to have at your wedding. For example, you might write, “Great food, great photography and a meaningful ceremony” while your partner writes, “personal vows, good music and great guest experience.”

These important wants for your wedding will help you see where to prioritize your time, effort and money. If you don’t care about flowers or your outfits, you don’t need to spend more time or money on those items.


Newlywed couples standing by the water in Richmond, BC with a purple sunset behind them
above & feature image by Emily Nicole Photos

Step 8: Do some wedding research

Now that you have a better idea of the type of wedding you are planning, you can begin to do your research. Gather quotes, visit venues and read reviews to get a better idea of what your options are and how much they will cost.

Another part of your research may be learning more about your budget. If you have relatives who will be contributing to your wedding budget, now is the time to sit down with them and learn what that contribution might look like.

Step 9: Take a break! 

Planning a wedding can be very overwhelming. It often feels like a full time job. It can be easy to lose yourself in your wedding planning and forget about other things. So take a break!

Take a step back from wedding planning and re-focus on your relationship. After all, you shouldn’t just be planning for this one day event – you should be planning for your lifetime marriage together.

Go out for dinner with your fiance and promise not to talk about anything wedding related. Keep up your other hobbies and make plans that have nothing to do with your wedding, so it’s not the only thing you’re looking forward to.

PS: This tip goes for your other relationships as well. If all of your recent phone calls with your bestie have been about wedding cakes and DJs, it’s time to take a break and ask about their life for a change.

Step 10: Start booking your wedding vendors and venue

Once you’ve got your research done, your budget and guest list set, and your relationship on track, it’s time to start booking things.

Depending on your wedding ideas, you may need to book 12-18 months in advance. Most couples begin by booking the venue first, which will confirm the wedding date, and then other large ticket items like photography, catering and planning/coordinating.

If you’re planning a destination wedding or elopement, your bookings and timeline may look different. For example, if you’re just looking for an wedding officiant and photographer for a simple elopement, you can check out our Elopement + Photography package right here!

Newlywed couple standing next to a wooden pole in a park that says "lovers." He's carrying his suit jacket and she has a bouquet of flowers in her hands.
by Tashlynn Photography

If you’re newly engaged, we hope that these 10 steps for what to do after you get engaged helped relieve some stress and set you on the best path towards your marriage.

Remember that this is supposed to be an exciting time in your life. Soak it in and don’t spend your entire engagement stressed about wedding planning.

At the end of the day, your relationship is what’s most important. When it comes time to book your wedding officiant, we’d love to help you craft a custom ceremony that tells your love story and reflects your values. Check out our ceremony packages here.

We’re so excited for you and this journey you’re about to embark on together! Congratulations on your engagement!