We're Engaged. What's next?
It doesn't matter how it happens, it is always romantic, whether it was at a restaurant or at home, when your partner 'pops the question'. It is one of the most exciting moments in a woman's life, beside her wedding day of course, but that ring means your wedding day is closer than ever before. Forever you will remember the day your partner asked you to marry them and regardless of the circumstances this question then poses another question; 'What is next?'
Many questions will run through a newly engaged couples head, Who do we tell? Do you have an engagement party? Do you have a quiet dinner with friends and family? When do we start preparing for our Wedding Day?
First of all, don't worry, just enjoy the first few weeks of your engagement, you will be floating along, starring at your ring and never letting go of the beaming smile spread across your face. Enjoy it while you can, because soon after you will find that your energy and patience is tested whilst planning for your wedding.
It is tradition that you tell your parents first. If you can tell both parents together, this is a good idea. Although if not, it is usually the brides first. Ensure you do this in person, after your parents have been told, you can tell the rest of your family and friends.
Whilst experiencing engagement bliss, before everyone else adds in their ideas and suggestions, think as a couple about who you would like for your Best Man, Bridesmaids, Matron of Honour and where your dream location would be. Dream a little and brainstorm ideas of a perfect wedding. Don't forget this is your wedding and you can choose the theme, the date and the location. This is just a dream, nothing is booked, think creatively and imagine what you want as a couple, then you can try and work to your dream.
If you are going to celebrate your engagement with a celebration, choose what works for you and your budget. You may want to throw a party, either at a hall or in your backyard. If you would like to go for a quieter dinner party with friends and family, choose a local restaurant. Do remember that a wedding is a costly occasion and you will have to begin budgeting for one, so choose your engagement event wisely.
If you choose to have an engagement party it needs to be soon after the engagement. Invite your guests with an invitation, this also means that if you haven't had a chance to inform them yourself, they can find out before another person tells them.
If you choose to have an engagement party why not have a little book there for past-brides and family to write in their 'wedding tips'. This way you are provided with good, free advice from those who know you best!
Traditionally the bride's father makes the official announcement of engagement at the party and then the groom follows by toasting both families and the bride. Although this is tradition many couples are choosing to announce their engagement together. Some couples are even throwing the party and surprising everyone by stating their engagement!
Do remember there is etiquette in regards to engagement, don't announce an engagement if a family member, from either family, is ill or has passed away and if another family member has just announced their own engagement or pregnancy.
After your engagement excitement has subsided start a 'To Do' list. Use the book of tips from your engagement and think about everything from your gown to flowers, from the cake to the rings. Although your list may seem endless especially because you still have to choose a date and write a guest list, don't worry, you have a huge support net around you, don't forget you have two families now.
Don't forget that choosing a date is a priority, take in consideration public holidays and other important dates. Decide which day and at what time you would like your wedding. You need to have made bookings for your wedding a long time in advance. Don't rush your date, ensure that you have enough time to organise your wedding before booking anything. Use your engagement party as a way to 'save the date'.
Once you've chosen the day you can start organising everything, there are so many factors to consider: guests, venues for ceremony and reception, caterer, photographer, cake, music, honeymoon, vehicles, wine, theme, flowers, shoes, brides dress, tuxes, bridesmaids dresses, rings, hair, make-up and many more!
Don't be afraid to ask for help. You can get help from professionals, publications, friends and family. You need to consider hiring a wedding planner or consultant, also.
Purchase a binder to put in all of your ideas, your 'to do' list, your guest list, your receipts and your quotes.
Now go ahead and start planning...
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