10 Things To Do After Getting Engaged

Our event specialists share their expertise for kick starting your wedding planning!

Engagement Shoot at Canoe

First of all, congratulations! Getting engaged is a huge milestone, and one worth savouring. After sharing the exciting news with your nearest and dearest family and friends (oh, and posting an #isaidyes selfie on Insta), you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed about what to do next. We checked in with our team of event specialists for their advice on which wedding planning steps to tackle first.

1. Find a Venue

Whether you’ve always dreamed of a rustic vineyard wedding or a chic urban affair, your venue will influence almost everything else on your big day. “First and foremost, selecting your venue (and date) are number one on the checklist,” says Natalie Stanbra-Ho, National Director, Event Sales. “If you are booking somewhere where you need to bring in an outside caterer, make sure to book this right away too!”.

2. Pick a Date

If you’re hoping to tie the knot within the next year or two, it’s best to nail down the date sooner rather than later! It’s good to have two or three potential dates in mind, as these tend to book up quickly at desirable venues. Be sure to also check in with your immediate family and closest friends to make sure there aren’t any direct conflicts.

3. Budget, Budget, Budget

In order to get a sense of what your wedding will cost, you need to do your homework and then hash out all that uncomfortable money talk with your partner. “Prioritize what’s really important to you both – and decide to spend the money there! When it comes to budgeting for a wedding, it’s a definite give and take.”

Courtney & Matt's Wedding at Canoe in Toronto
4. Book Your Top Vendors

If there’s a band you’ve always had your heart set on, why wait? The earlier you get started, the better. Take it from our event specialists, good vendors can book up fast! Key vendors include your photographer, DJ or entertainment, and officiant. Check out O&B’s list of preferred suppliers for a little extra inspiration!

5. Draft Your Guest List

Whether you’re planning a big blowout wedding or an intimate ceremony, you need to get a handle on your head count. Give yourself lots of time for this step, as balancing your numbers to fit your wedding budget and venue capacity is no easy feat. It will also take time to collect your guests’ mailing address (or email addresses!) for Save the Date invitations.

6. Organize An Engagement Party

This is a great way to kick off your celebrations, but it’s not always 100% necessary. “Deciding whether you and your fiancé should have an engagement party depends on what you both want,” says Natalie. From a small gathering at someone’s home to lively cocktail party at a restaurant, you can customize your engagement party to suit your taste, style, and budget.

Courtney & Matt's Wedding at Canoe in Toronto
7. Schedule Engagement Shoot

While this is another completely optional step, engagement photos can be a great accompaniment to your Save the Date invitations, or your wedding website. “The engagement session is also the perfect opportunity to spend some time with your photographer before the wedding day,” says Natalie. “Your photographer also gets to see how you and your fiancé interact with each other, and can better direct you two.”

8. Start Dress Shopping

It will take months of alterations to get your wedding dress to fit perfectly, so better get crackin’! To start, do your research and create a budget. When it comes time to start shopping, ensure you are trying on dresses that realistically fit within in your budget to avoid any disappointment.

9. Get Inspired

This could be as simple as starting your own Pinterest board, scrolling through Instagram, or flipping through bridal magazines.

10. Check Out a Wedding Show

There’s no better way to immerse yourself in all things weddings. From gorgeous stationary ideas to floral trends, a wedding show will get you dreaming and scheming about the big day. Check out your local event listings, grab lunch with a couple of friends and make an afternoon of it! It’s a great way to take in trends, make connections and see what resonates with your vision.

Engagement Photo credit: Mango Studios
Wedding Photo credit: Whim & Willow Photography