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You're Engaged!...What To Do Now That You're Planning A New Jersey Wedding

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

Congratulations! 😍 You've decided to spend the rest of your life with YOUR person! Whether it was a complete surprise, or you suspected a little something, there's no feeling like your significant other professing their love for you and asking you to marry them.

You're probably thinking - after everything registers and you catch your breath - "Ok, what next?" "What do we do from here?"

Well, you start the process of planning your wedding.

"But what does that look like, Danielle?", you may ask. Let's go over some tips that will help you on this journey.

Engagement Shoot at Liberty State Park
Engagement Shoot at Liberty State Park

Here are some tips to help you begin planning your wedding:

Bask in the excitement

You're going to be a whole MRS or MR! Who doesn't love the sound of that? Planning your life together - is really a dream. Enjoy this precious time together. Your engagement is a very unique and special time. You have elevated from dating and are now preparing to be life partners. Don't forget to date one another - you will need a break from wedding planning from time to time.

Tell the rest of your family

Whether you had a very intimate or elaborate proposal, I'm sure there were still some family members that weren't present. Make sure you take the time to tell everyone about your unforgettable moment. Share the excitement, relive the moment, the surprise, the ugly cry, the happy tears, all the things!

Announce it on social media - if you'd like

Who doesn't love a good Instagram love story? Or Facebook or TikTok? Maybe all three. Everyone loves a cute video or carousel post to see the setup/surprise, the reaction, and of course - THE RING! 💍

Protect your investment

Get your engagement ring appraised and insured. Make sure you ask the jeweler for their credentials. They should be listed in the American Gem Society, Gemological Institute of America, or the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. This will ensure that your ring is valued at the correct amount and is insured for the appropriate value.

Some locations in New Jersey are - Blue Nile in Short Hills Mall, George Press in Livingston, and Braunschweiger Jewelers in New Providence.

Decide on a budget

This can be a scary and uncomfortable discussion, but it is absolutely necessary. There are various aspects that should be factored into your budget, such as the time of year, day of the week, location, number of guests, and who is contributing to the budget. Have some questions about figuring out your budget - feel free to contact us to set up a consultation.

Decide on a date and/or a venue

Which comes first - the date or the venue? It really depends on which one is more important to you. If you are set on a specific date that is special to you - maybe your anniversary date or the date you met - then getting that date will take preference over a particular venue. However, if you have been envisioning your dream venue then you will most likely be a bit more flexible on the date.

Include your partner in the planning

I always advise my couples to come up with a "Top 3" list of the most important aspects of the wedding for them, as individuals. Then communicate and explain your answers to each other. Some or all of your answers may be the same - for instance, photography/videography, music, and food. If your answers differ, it is always essential to express why certain areas mean so much to you. Clear communication will help you come up with a plan on how to effectively conquer the planning process. This will aid in deciding what you should focus on from the beginning. You can then come up with a plan to divide and conquer. One marrier can be very familiar with flowers and take that as their project, while the other marrier loves music is focused on setting the right vibe. Keep an open mind and be flexible regarding your wants, you may have to compromise on your date, type of entertainment or even your guest count to achieve your goals and stay within budget. As with anything, you want to make sure no one feels left out during the planning process. It is your wedding day - both of you - so you want to act like a team when making your decisions.

Start your guest list

Your guestlist will directly affect your budget. The more guests you plan on hosting the larger your venue needs to be, the more catering you will need, etc. If you are having a destination wedding, you may have a smaller guest list. However, this typically becomes a wedding weekend inclusive of airfare, accommodations, and guest welcome bags, in addition to pre- and post-wedding activities you may host.

Hire a wedding planner

You probably don't know but there are close to 5,000 details involved in planning your wedding day or weekend. A Certified Wedding Planner equates to years of experience in the wedding industry, countless partnerships with other amazing vendors, and the ability to relieve stress throughout the planning process - to name a few. Therefore, a professional, reputable, and trustworthy wedding planner should be first on your list for your wedding VIP team. Is it worth it? The answer is without a doubt! If for no other reason than their organizational skills, listening ear, and saving you time during the process. For many couples, planning a wedding can be a daunting task. Did you know the average hours of planning a wedding is between 200 – 500 hours? Most couples don't have that "extra time" to comb through all the details. Which is why we are here to help!

Plan an Engagement Shoot

Now, time to plan your engagement shoot. However, you don't want to do this right away. Within the first few months, once you have chosen your wedding photographer plan an engagement shoot with them. If you can avoid it, you don't want your wedding day to be the first time your photographer shoots you two. Check out and save one of our previous blogs - 5 Popular Locations for Engagement Shoots in NJ - for great shoot locations.

Pro Tip✨: This is helpful for you and your photographer. Often times couples have never taken formal or posed photographs with each other. The engagement shoot is great practice before the wedding day. You will learn how to become comfortable posing with each other, and your photographer will learn which poses work well.

Decide who will be in your wedding party

Choosing your wedding party is a little more complex than you'd think. Naturally, you'd want to start with your siblings (as long as they aren't too young) or your closest friends for the roles of maid/matron of honor and/or best man. Next, you want to consider other immediate family members, best friends, and longstanding/childhood friends for your bridesmaids and groomsmen. However, it's not about looking pretty in a gorgeous dress or looking sharp in a new suit. You want to make sure all parties understand that there are certain financial, physical, and emotional responsibilities that come with being in someone's wedding - we will break down the roles in a future blog post.

Many couples are doing wedding party proposals; where they are asking their loved ones to be a part of their wedding day in a fun and creative way. A fun gift coupled with a handwritten or personalized message is certainly the way to go. For example, these "Light up the aisle with me" candles from Evlove Candle Co. are the perfect unisex gift to give to any potential member of your wedding party.

Plan a wedding that represents YOU

Your guests should walk into your ceremony and reception and feel like they are in your world. The colors, the theme, the music, the culture, the menu - everything should tie together for a cohesive, immersive, and memorable experience for your guests.

Congrats again and time to get started! 🎉

If you have any questions on how to start planning your wedding or would like to invest in a certified event/wedding planner, contact me for a free consultation.

Disclosure: I only endorse products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

Happy Planning!


~Danie Marie


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