Getting engaged is arguably one of the most exciting moments in many people’s lives. But with all the buildup and stress, it’s easy to be a little lost when it comes to what happens next.

Whether you’re getting ready to pop the question or are recently betrothed, here are a few do’s and don’ts from wedding professionals to help you navigate the post-proposal period:

DO enjoy the moment

Before you jump straight into event planning mode, take a beat to breathe, advises Allison Foley, lead event planner and designer for Allison Foley Event Design.

“I recommend taking some time after you get engaged to fully bask in the love and anticipation that you feel. Why not take a weekend away as a couple before making your announcement or calling venues? Give yourselves a little time to wrap your head around the fact that you are engaged!” she says. 

DON’T immediately post on social media

Before you hit "post" to show off your new shiny piece of jewelry to the world, be sure to tell your nearest and dearest first. 

“There are very few surprises in life these days with the instant newsfeed and notifications that are at our fingertips. Take time to make a personal connection with your people and share the old-fashioned way, in-person or with a phone call,” says Carolyn C. Cox, Owner of Carolyn Celeste Weddings. “Then, blast your left hand – with fresh manicure – and love all over social media!”

DO start sketching out ideas

Once you’re ready to dip your toes into wedding planning, start with the hardest thing first: money. 

“The absolute first thing you must do is determine a budget and figure out how much flexibility exists there. Talk to all contributing members. Even though this can be an awkward conversation to have, it must be done,” says Foley.

Then, move onto other basic building blocks, like making a guest list, hiring a wedding planner, booking a venue and, of course, setting the date. 

“Unless you are planning on getting married on an anniversary or another significant date, I encourage you to keep your date flexible. Many venues are booking up two or three years in advance, so staying open-minded about your date will give you more options,” adds Foley.

DON’T go on a shopping spree

One common mistake newly engaged couples make is purchasing design elements before solidifying their overall event look.

“I promise you will find 10 different card boxes you love, the one that looks like a vintage trunk will end up just being a waste of money if you do a 180 and decide to host your event in an upscale, modern art gallery,” says Foley.

If you absolutely can’t resist temptation, Foley recommends sticking to non-décor items like your wedding bands, wedding planning books or luggage for your honeymoon. 

DON’T make promises right away

Understandably, everyone wants to get in on the wedding excitement. However, you should be careful to avoid making impromptu commitments, like promising to invite your mom’s best friend or saying your aunt can do the flowers before consulting your partner, says Cox.

Otherwise, you could be facing a very awkward conversation and hurt feelings down the road if you have to take it back.

DO make time for non-wedding things

There’s no doubt that wedding planning is stressful, but don’t let it consume your life or your relationship.

“Take care of yourself! Schedule a time to paint your nails, sign-up for a yoga class, journal or read before bed, and carve out time for date nights. You and your partner will begin to resent wedding planning if you do not actively plan time for each other and the things you love,” recommends Foley.

Ultimately, the time between getting engaged and tying the knot is a chance for the two of you to practice the compromising, communicating and collaborating required for a successful marriage – so make the most of it.

©CTW Features