You’re engaged – congratulations!
But what now?
…who, how, and when should you tell the news?
…when should you start planning your wedding?
…and is your youth actually over – or is the best part of your life just beginning?
It’s having unanswered questions like these that prevent some couples from truly embracing this beautiful phase of their lives. After all, nobody really tells you what to expect from life after there’s a ring on your finger.
So, I’m here as your favourite Melbourne wedding photographer to chip in and give you my take of the top 5 most important things I’ve seen couples do to make the most of their engagement. Feel free to cherry-pick the tips that apply to you from this list – and leave everything else.
After all, your love story is unique – and you’re the one who gets to make all the rules.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right into how to make the most of this special phase of your life: your engagement.
1. Take a moment just to yourselves
Getting engaged is a very exciting time in your lives. I mean, you’re in the process of transitioning from “just dating” to getting married and spending the rest of your lives together.
So yeah, that’s a pretty big thing if you ask me! (But then again, I’m a die-hard romantic – so I might be a bit too excited here)
Anyways, the first tip is to take a moment to enjoy being engaged and have some time to yourselves. Enjoy the moment – embrace every second of it. Trust me, it won’t last for long, and you’ll never get these precious minutes, hours, or days of your lives back!
So, spend some quality time together. Go on a date – better yet, go on a romantic getaway, just for a weekend. Talk about how the two of you met; what your dreams are for the future; and how you’ve evolved as a couple.
This is the next phase of your love story – so go out there and actually make it all about yourselves. Your first instinct might be to share the news with your friends, families, and followers (on Instagram).
But once you actually share the news, you’ll be bombarded with so many questions, that you just might find yourselves struggling to make time for what really matters: each other.
Speaking of questions…
2. Get ready to deal with A LOT of questions
The minute you announce you’re engaged, you’ll be flooded with questions from basically everyone:
Ooo can you send me a picture of your ring?
What wedding venues are you looking at?
Hey, have you looked at dresses yet?
How did the proposal happen?
When’s the date?
…and I’m invited – RIGHT?
So, it’s good to prepare yourselves for all of these questions both mentally and by having a response in mind. While these questions are generally born out of genuine curiosity and excitement, they might make you feel uncomfortable, overwhelmed, or even pressured into doing something a certain way.
So, after you’ve spent some time just with each other, start preparing yourselves to tell the story of “how we got engaged”. And find an answer to “what happens next”.
Now, in case someone gets too nosy about your wedding, something like: “We’re enjoying engaged life right now and will start wedding planning when the time feels right” should quiet them down.
3. Wear your engagement ring in style
Okay, so I assume now that you have the ring, you’ll be showing your ring off to a lot of people over the next few weeks either in person or through your socials.
So, wouldn’t it make sense to get your nails done to give your new “ring-look” just a bit of extra sparkle?
After all, pairing your gorgeous engagement ring with your freshly manicured, beautiful nails elevates your style SO MUCH both in person and in pictures. It’s such an easy win that it’s practically a no-brainer – unless you absolutely hate manicures (which, to be fair, some of us do).
The other important thing about your ring is to get it insured as soon as possible. Your ring is probably amongst the top 5 most valuable possessions you own (and that’s not counting its infinite sentimental value), so it’s important to have the piece evaluated and then insured.
I mean, your ring can technically get lost, stolen or damaged – trust me, it does happen! So it makes sense to spend just a little extra on making sure you’re at least financially covered in these situations.
Now, you can usually either go through a jewellery insurer, or you can also just add it to your home and contents insurance too
4. Book your engagement photoshoot
In case you’re new to my blog, I’m a big believer in engagement photoshoots. And no, it’s not just because I’m a wedding photographer…
You see, an engagement photoshoot is like a special date with your partner. You get to dress up in nice clothes, go somewhere unique, and do fun things together.
And the result?
You have an epic romantic date together – now as an engaged couple. You have fun, you laugh, you cry. And at the end of the day, you’re left with a heart full of memories – and beautiful, artistic photos that capture the essence of your love story, and everything that makes you, You.
And what you do with those photos – those memories – is totally up to you. Some couples use them to share the news on Instagram with breathtaking photos of their engagement. Others print them and put them into their family albums. And you might want to do something totally different. The point is that you’ll now have engagement photos.
Now, for some couples, their engagement photoshoot is the first time they get professional photos taken of themselves together – and the last time they get to document their pre-marriage love.
But there’s another – often overlooked – benefit of planning an engagement photoshoot. An engagement photoshoot is your rehearsal photoshoot for your wedding.
It’s your chance to have a no-risk trial-run with your wedding photographer, and see them in action. You can see if they’re the right fit for you in communication, attitude, style, and enthusiasm. You receive the results of their work – and can ask them to fine-tune a few things for your wedding. You can also see how they make you feel – do they help you feel confident & comfortable in front of the camera?
You can also play around with different poses and angles to find the ones that help you bring forward your best side. You can start gaining confidence (and experience) in front of the camera to guarantee you’ll nail it at your wedding!
5. Start dreaming about your wedding together
I’m not saying you have to start planning your wedding right away. Some people like being engaged – and you shouldn’t rush anything for any reason other than you want to.
Still, it’s worth at least weaving shared dreams about how your wedding day will be. A good place to start might be the type of wedding you both want. Do you want a big wedding with hundreds of guests? Maybe a small & intimate ceremony? Or an elopement?
Afterwards, you can start discussing your guest list, wedding date, and budget. You don’t have to get down to the specifics just yet – but it’s nice to know you’re both playing in the same ballpark.
Finally, start looking at venues, themes, decorations, and vendors. Pinterest and Instagram are your best friends here, so use them to gain some inspiration on what you want for your own wedding. Make sure you have the same – or at least a similar – vision for your big day to avoid any confusion or conflicts down the road.
And once you’re settled on all the “big picture” stuff, start planning your wedding well in advance! Many venues and vendors (eg in order of priority to book wedding venues, wedding photographers, wedding videographers, celebrants, and so on) book out 12-24 months in advance, so make sure to lock them in well before your wedding date.
And there you have it, the top 5 things you need to do right after you get engaged. Remember though that this is your love story, and nothing is set in stone. So while these are my top suggestions as a wedding photographer, feel free to do what feels right for you.
Also, if you’re ready to take my advice and schedule an engagement photoshoot (or lock in your wedding photographer), I’d be happy to hear from you! Reach out to have a no-strings-attached chat about what I can do for you – and how we can bring your dreams to life.