Expert Advice: 8 Things to Do After You Get Engaged

Tampa Wedding Planning Bridal Show January 2019 | Marry Me Tampa Bay

Getting engaged is one of the most exciting times in your life. Though, with the celebration comes big responsibility. Your wedding day is a milestone and one of the most memorable days of your life.

The first set of decisions you make over the next few weeks will set the tone of your wedding: budget, venue, date, etc., so we asked our Marry Me Tampa Bay preferred wedding pros to share their expertise on the 8 Things to Do After You Get Engaged.

Tampa Bay Wedding Planning Advice: 8 Things to Do After You Get Engaged


Tampa Bay Wedding Planning Advice | Marry Me Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Wedding Planning Advice | Marry Me Tampa Bay

1. Enjoy the Excitement

Christina Barrett of Luxe Light Photography shares:

“Enjoy the moment before you start a planning frenzy. So many couples get lost in over-planning and obsessing about the wedding that they forget to truly enjoy the engagement and the excitement. Just remember to take a little break to soak it all in and celebrate that you found the love of your life!”

Tia Lawton, owner of Fifth Sign Yogi adds:

“Relax. After the delirious, happy vibe from the engagement turns to the anxiety of beginning to plan your dream wedding, take a moment to relax and really enjoy the process of planning your big day. Often time couples become overwhelmed with all the details and forget to take in the little moments. So just relax, take a breath and enjoy the ride!”

Lela Haas owner of Truly Forever Bridal provides an interesting outlook:

“The first thing couples should do after they are engaged is to look for a premarital counselor. I can’t stress the importance of having those harder conversations at the beginning enough! The engagement is such an exciting time, but I want each bride that we come in contact with to have a long and successful marriage! Take the time to nourish your relationship in the midst of wedding planning chaos!”

2. Choose a Date

Brandon Wheeler, owner of Gulf Beach Weddings shares:

“Pick a date, and have a backup. The reason having a date is so important is to confirm availability. You may go back and forth with a certain vendor for weeks, only to find out they are already booked for your date. There are a ton of great venues, vendors, and professionals in the industry – however, you cannot reserve your favorites without confirming availability of a date on the front end.”

Outdoor Tropical Garden Wedding Ceremony Portrait | Outdoor St. Petersburg Wedding Venue Sunken Gardens | Planner Southern Glam Events and Weddings

Everence Photography | Southern Glam Wedding & Events | Tropical Pink, Green and Gold Destination St. Pete Wedding

3. Set a Budget

Meagan Phillips of Southern Glam Wedding & Events says:

“Before diving into wedding planning, it’s crucial to prioritize your budget and align expectations. Every wedding has a budget and sticking to that budget can be a feat. Once establishing a realistic budget that works for you, then it’s time to research and educate yourself. What does a photographer actually cost in your area? How about entertainment, wedding planners, caterers, and florists? Sure, you will get varying degrees of pricing and experience, but generally, the more experience and quality, the higher the fee. If a price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Prioritize your budget, align your expectations, and be confident in your vendor decisions.”

Staci Mandikas, owner of UNIQUE Weddings + Events adds:

“One of the most important things to do, once you get engaged, is to have that awkward conversation with both sets of parents to determine if they will contribute to the wedding and if so, what they are willing to contribute. It could be financial assistance, helping with a specific vendor or with a specific project; you need to be open to their assistance. Your parents have been looking forward to this day (much longer than you), so be open to hearing their thoughts. At the end of the day, it’s your wedding and it should reflect you, but it’s also a celebration for two families coming together. Before you spend a single penny on your wedding, you should have a mutually accepted budget breakdown. Not just a large number, but a breakdown of all of the expenses of your wedding with budgeted dollar amounts next to them. Your budget breakdown is your “Wedding GPS.” You wouldn’t get in the car and just start driving. But rather, you would have a destination and route to get there. This is how you should think of your budget breakdown. Your overall wedding budget is your destination and your budget breakdown is your route to get there.”

MORE: How to Set a Wedding Budget in Tampa Bay

4. Find your Style

Jessie Soplinksi of Breezin’ Weddings shares:

“In the new age of social media and Pinterest boards weddings have taken a life of their own. Before making a single decision on venues and guest lists make sure you both agree on what you envision your day to look like. Ask yourself questions like “Do you want a large wedding?” “Do you want an outdoor wedding?” “Do you want a springtime beach wedding or a fall, garden wedding?” All of these questions are important to ask yourself in order to ensure that you both agree of what you would like your day to look like, and then you are both on the same page at the very beginning of the planning process.”

Carrie Wildes of Carrie Wildes Photography adds in:

“Take some time to celebrate, let your friends and family know and soak it in because it’s such an exciting time. Then, start planning, but really take some time with your fiancé and cast a vision for the type of wedding, feel, style, and time of year you want to get married. Here in Tampa Bay, there are so many styles of venues from beachfront to rustic barn, to downtown. It will save you a ton of time when you start the venue search if you can have a vision for what you want your wedding to be.”

5. Think about Venues

Lydia Spriggs of Yacht StarShip says:

“First, sit down together and chat about what your expectations are for the wedding. Usually, the venue is one of the first things couples secure. What do you want your day to look like: indoors, outdoors, waterviews, or something unique? Do you want a small intimate wedding with 25 guests or a bit larger and more elaborate wedding with 100+? What do you want to include for your guests? Is the food important, is including drinks important, do you want all-inclusive? What is a budget range and what is important to purchase in that budget range? All of these steps will help you narrow down a few select venues instead of just reaching out to so many where many couples get overwhelmed. Once you have a few narrowed down, breathe and know once you get your date and location secured everything else will soon fall into place.”

6. Hire Professionals

Marc Edwards of Marc Edwards Photographs shares:

“Consider hiring a wedding planner/coordinator. If you really enjoy the work and hours of research involved planning on your own then you could certainly handle this part yourself, but that being said, a professional wedding planner will make this process far easier and realistic to your expectations. Your wedding is a happy occasion and hiring a planner will be worth every cent as well as your sanity!”

MORE: 5 Things You Should Know About Hiring a Seasoned Wedding Planner

Jessie Soplinski of Breezin’ Weddings add:

“Many couples turn to a wedding consultant to help them every step of the way in the planning process. However, with technology today many couples are capable of planning a beautiful wedding by themselves, but who will be there to ensure it’s executed properly? Do not rely your thousands of dollars and months of planning in the hands of a bridesmaid who planned events for her sorority in college or your Aunt Sally who loves throwing dinner parties and is self-proclaimed “crafty.” Give yourself the peace of mind that not only will your wedding run smoothly, and you are able to relax and enjoy your day because your day of coordinator/wedding planner will also put out the fires that will occur without you ever even knowing!”

Modern, Red and White Hotel Ballroom Wedding Reception with Extra Tall Red and White Floral with Greenery Centerpiece and Brown Wood Chiavari Chairs | Hotel Wedding Venue Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning

Brandi Image Photography | Special Moments Event Planning | Modern, Red and White Destination Clearwater Beach Wedding | Hyatt Regency

7. Think About Your Guest List

Tammy Waterman, owner of Special Moments Event Planning explains:

“Start working on the guest list with parents and collecting addresses so you can determine the number of anticipated guests, which helps with the venue selection process. There’s nothing worse than booking a venue that is not large enough for the number of guests or is too large for the number of anticipated guests.”

8. Insure your ring

Staci Mandikas of UNIQUE Weddings + Events shares another important tip:

“If you haven’t done it already, be sure to insure your engagement ring. It’s easy to get swept up with the Pinterest pins, glasses of champagne and constant eye googling of your new sparkle, but to bring you back to reality…you need to make sure that your paperwork is in line.”


Marry Me Tampa Bay editor, Anna Coats, created Marry Me Tampa Bay in 2012 to showcase the area's best local weddings and vendors. She has been featured as a wedding expert on the national talkshow Daytime, Fox13, ABC Action News, Great Day Tampa Bay, and Bay News 9 (now Spectrum).

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