He popped the question. You said yes. Now what? These 11 things will help you figure out what to do first—and how to enjoy every second of the wedding planning process.

engagement photography, kissing her hand

Planning a wedding is a huge task. We’re going to try to take some of the craziness out of it. Be sure to check back every Monday for helpful information from our guest bloggers about cakes, DJ’s, flowers, venues, planners and more!

1. Call your VIPs :: Share the big news with your inner circle before updating your status on Facebook. It’s not cool for your acupuncturist to find out before Grandma.
2. Get your engagement ring insured :: It may not be the most thrilling task in the world, but if your engagement ring falls down the garbage disposal, flies off a rollercoaster, or sheds a diamond or two, you’ll be ever-so-glad you got that precious stone insured.
3. Get a manicure :: Everyone’s eyes will be on your hand, so grab your BFF, splurge on a professional mani, and start showing off that sparkler!
4. Enjoy the moment :: Being engaged means you get to plan the wedding of your dreams. But it also means that you just committed to spending the rest of your life with your soul mate. Take some time (at least a couple of weeks) to savor how epically romantic that is before you dive into logistics.
5. Start dreaming :: This is the fun part: brainstorming with your guy about the big day. Compare fantasies (tequila tastings! beach vows!), and sign up for a Pinterest account to create an online inspiration board. Go crazy—you can refine things after you’ve picked your venue.
6. Add up your wedding budget :: Ready to get down to the nitty-gritty? Settle on a rough guest list and budget. “Without them, you can’t book the right venue and vendors for your price point,” says wedding planner Tracy Taylor Ward.
7. Get out your calendar :: Have a range of dates in mind before you tour venues. Are you envisioning a spring garden wedding, or fall I do’s in the woods? Do you want to honeymoon in Yosemite, or cruise the Caribbean? The answers will help steer you toward your ideal time of year. Tip: Ask engaged friends when they’re getting hitched, so you can avoid those dates.
8. Hire a wedding planning pro :: If you want to work with a wedding planner, book her before you choose your venue.
9. Find a wedding venue :: Your venue will influence every decision you make, from your color scheme to the style of your dress, so lock it down early. The key is finding one that meshes with your vision (black-tie ballroom, modern minimalist, etc.). And don’t be afraid to think beyond the banquet hall.
10. Stay organized :: This is not the kind of party you can throw together at the last minute. Stay on track by creating a comprehensive timeline of your wedding to-dos.
11. Book in-demand vendors :: Once you’ve secured a venue and date, start hunting for your officiant, photographer, and band or DJ. Because these vendors typically book just one event per day, they get scooped up very quickly. Many have schedules that rival the president’s.

Please follow, like and share: