Getting engaged is overwhelming. Especially when it happens around the holidays and there's already so many other things happening. Here is my simple list of what you start to think about fairly soon. After you cover these things, you can sit back and enjoy being engaged for a bit before jumping into the thick of planning.
1. Tell important people... Trust me, your best friend doesn't want to find out your engaged via Facebook. I recommend calling close friends and family before updating your relationship status.
2. Prioritize! Go out to a nice dinner with your fiancé over a glass of wine, chat about what's most important both of you. What do you envision when you dream about your big day? What NEEDS to be there and what could you live without? Getting on the same page now will help the rest of the process go smoothly. Do you want a big wedding or small wedding (this will effect the size of venue you're looking for), are you set on using any particular photographer, videographer, coordinator, etc.? What does your budget look like?
3. Start talking dates...
-If you're looking at doing a summer wedding, try to pick a couple of dates that would work, then go with the one the majority of your vendors are available for in the end.
-Does the date (or date options) you're looking at work for all the important people who MUST attend?
-Are you set on having your wedding at a certain venue or using a certain photographer? If so, check with them for available dates before finalizing yours.
-If you're planning on a wedding during the height of wedding season but having a hard time finding available venues and vendors, consider a Friday or Sunday wedding.
4. Book your venue & hire key vendors. If you're planning to hire a wedding coordinator, this is a good time to get that squared away so you can make sure to benefit from all of their resources, advice and potential discounts they can get you throughout the entire process. From my experience as a photographer in Seattle, I can tell you that we end up booking the majority of our remaining summer dates in December and the first couple of weeks in January. Don't stress out about it, but don't put it off too long.
Once you have a few of the major things taken care of (date, place, photographer) sit back for a bit and enjoy being someone's fiancé!
Photos of Jaclyn & Christian via JKoe Photography, you can see more here.