I'm Engaged! What Next?

Your Guide To Being Newly Engaged

There’s no two ways about it: getting engaged is big news. You’re marrying the love of your life and making plans for an exciting future together. Before you know it, you'll have family and friends asking questions about the big day – often before you've even had a chance to pop the Champagne! Read on to discover how we advise you to begin your wedding journey.

Congratulations! We love a festive proposal and we hope you've got a ring on your finger that you adore. But that's the easy part! While planning a wedding is a fun task, it's also hard work. So, before friends and family start asking you how you envision your day (trust us, they might even ask before you've clinked those celebratory glasses), check out what we advise you to do in order to get your dream day off the ground, in some simple steps.


Whether you called your parents moments after you said yes or chose to enjoy the newly engaged bubble alone for a while, letting everyone know you’re engaged is an important next step. “Many couples send out an engagement announcement,” explains Vaishali Shah from Ananya Cards. “I think it’s especially lovely when they include a photo of the proposal!” You might prefer to bypass the cards and just post an engagement selfie on Facebook and Instagram - just be weary that not everyone is on social media so you may want to let close relatives and friends know privately before you go public.


Traditionally, engagement parties were hosted by the bride’s parents to celebrate news of the happy couple’s forthcoming wedding. Today, many couples choose to host their own, giving them free rein on how, where and when they celebrate. It could be as simple as a barbecue, as elegant as a garden party or as glam as an evening of dinner and dancing in a country house – the choice is yours. It’s also a great way to practise the art of party planning on a smaller scale, before the infamous 'wedmin' begins... But don't feel the pressure to host something spectacular if you already feel your wedding budget is stretched as it is or you're just not an 'engagement party kinda couple' . Do what feels right for you and if that means a few of your nearest and dearest around your house with a pizza & some Prosecco then thats fine too!


Booking your venue is typically the first planning step couples take – this gives you a time, date and location to make all your plans around. But there’s a lot to consider to find the perfect setting for you. “Think about the number of guests you’ll have, your budget and what time of year you’d like to get married,” suggests Wedding & Events Manager at The Bingham, Amy Braund. “There is no point looking at a venue that can only hold 60 guests if you’ve got 100 to invite.” To help you find the perfect wedding venue in Bedfordshire we have rounded up our top 5 places that we love on our previous blog post! Check it out here.


“Send out Save the Date cards once you've booked your venue and know the date of the wedding – especially if you're getting married in the summer or at Christmas,” advises Vaishali. “You can give as much or little information as you like. Date and location are key, but if you already know it will be a certain type of celebration, a destination wedding, for example, let your guests know now.”


Wedding planning is a bit like a rollercoaster ride. There’ll be highs when you find your dream wedding dress, lows when you discover a supplier is fully booked and, in the end, you’ll probably wish you could relive the whole process again (even if you don't think that at the time)! Who better to ride those emotions with you than your best friends? Choosing your bridesmaids early on means you'll have their support throughout. “You could ask your best girls to be your bridesmaids with a scented candle featuring an engraved cover that says ‘will you be my bridesmaid?’, gifted to them as a surprise,” suggests Champagne and Flamingos' Jane Helliwell. Or if your bridesmaids happen to be man-maids then maybe just buy him a beer & let him know! He'll be just as happy with that! Ha!


Weddings are at their most joyous and beautiful when they are a perfect reflection of the two of you. Everything from the flowers to your wedding cake can reflect this. You might find it useful to start creating different boards on Pinterest so when you begin speaking to suppliers, they have a visual point of reference. You'll soon start to see your favourite trends emerging - even if you hadn't realised. "A great cake designer will pull out little bits of this and design you a beautiful wedding cake that tells a story of you both and your special day", says cake designer Suzanne Thorp from The Frostery.


You may already know exactly what you want or have absolutely no idea. Fear not, the earlier you start, the less stressful wedding dress shopping will be. We always want everyone to plan ahead as much as possible. We live in an Amazon world, where we all think we can just click 'buy' and it'll be delivered the next day! But bridal gowns, whether they're bespoke or made-to-measure take a lot of care and time to create. We think purchasing a dress six-eight months in advance is ideal – to allow fittings and alterations to take place without a lot of last-minute stress. Once you've booked your first appointment, you'll hopefully have a better idea of what you like and don't like. Remember, it's true what everyone says about keeping an open-mind. Listen to the advice of the person that's leading the appointment; they know what they're doing and, quite often, you'll be surprised by what you end up with. We have had countless brides come in saying something like 'no lace, absolutely no lace dresses', what do they fall in love with one we have made them try it on? Its usually a brand new experience for brides so let us guide you.


One of the great perks of throwing a wedding is all the presents you'll receive. If you want to give your guests a helping hand, it's a good idea to set up a gift list. "It’s great to start thinking about your gift list nice and early. Start thinking about the items you have always wished for, and items you already own that you might like to replace as your wedding list is the perfect time to upgrade your home”, says Georgie Evans from The Wedding Present Co. You'll want to ensure the details of any gift lists are set up before you design your wedding invitations so all the info can be included.

There you have it! Your Newly Engaged Guide to starting your wedding journey. A very important part of that story is your wedding dress and we are always here to guide you and help you find that perfect gown. Book your appointment below and let's get that ball rolling!


Claire & Christine xx