Engaged What Now: 10 Engagement Tips

September 17, 2022
engagement photography, by sharyn hodges

Engagement Tips

10 Tips To Smash Post Engagement

You have found the partner you have committed to spending the rest of your life with and if you are reading this, it means that you have recently said “YES” to the person that means more to you than anyone else. 

CONGRATULATIONS! You may still be floating around on cloud nine, dreaming about your forever day, but I know you have to get to work to plan this banging day. 

I hope you find these tips to be useful and that you have the most amazing time planning your wedding, having the best day ever and a life time of laughs, adventure, CAKE, memories and above all love. 

Let the games begin!

Bridal Appointment Tips


Timeline: From Yes to getting dressed

Most bridal boutiques won’t have your dress ready to take home with you on the day of your appointment. You are most likely going to get a new dress made to order. This will usually take anything between four and eight months. Also don’t forget you will have at least 2 – 3 fittings before you have your final dress.

If your timeline is shorter than the above mention period, take a deep breathe and DO NOT STRESS. Lots of boutiques will have something on “the rack” that will most likely need a few alternations. 

To ease your nerves, ensure that you dress will be in time, phone the boutiques ahead of time to see if your dress will fit in your wedding timeline before you make an appointment.


The Budget

This isn’t set a budget and then blow it. This is really set the budget and stick to it. Wedding dresses vary so drastically in prices you could spend a couple of thousands to a couple of hundred thousands. Be firm!

If you have someone who is buying the dress for you, have this conversation with them beforehand so you both on the same page and of course to avoid disappointment. There is no bigger disappointment than finding your dream dress and then seeing that its out of the budget. It is soul crushing.

Setting the budget means that the sales consultant at the bridal boutiques will only show you those dresses within your budget.

On a PS note about budget, not forget to think about accessories like veils, jewellery, shoes and hair accessories. Be mindful that some alterations could be added. Make sure when you purchase your dress that you are aware of ANY additional cost surprises.


Research: Designers and Bridal Boutiques

My goodness this could be one of those dark rabbit holes. There are thousands of designers and bridal boutiques. Doing some easy research will help narrow down the search for the dream dress.

I would suggest searching on social media, find some photographers pages, look at the dresses, the photographer usually tag all the vendors in their posts. 

Most bridal boutiques won’t have all their dresses online but they will stock the designers. Find your preferred designers and then narrow the search to those boutiques.


Create your Mood Board

The best part! Creating your wedding dress mood board! Pinterest is easiest the easies for this, upload all the dresses you are drawn too. As you go along, the more you add the more you will see a pattern emerge of the fabrics and silhouettes that keep recurring. 


The Entourage  

Just like your wedding guest list, deciding who comes with you during your bridal appointments can really make or break this should be fun and exciting experience.

I can’t stress this enough…..bring people who’s opinions you value the MOST!

The saying too many cooks in the kitchen could not be any truer for choosing your dress. The opinions of too many people could become stressful and confusing!

Think quality over quantity. Two to four people is more than enough. 


Avoid fake tans and heavy makeup

It’s only natural that you would want to feel absolutely SMASHING and GLAMOROUS when trying on wedding dresses, please bear in mind that fake tans and heavy makeup could be easily transferred onto the dress. Lets be kind to the dress and the future brides who want to try on the samples. 

If you feel better tanned, make sure you tanning day is a few days before your appointment so that it has time to settle. And with the make up, remember, a little goes a long way.

If you know more a less how you would like your hair to be done on the day, try and get your hair to resemble that style. It doesn’t need to be done by a professional but you could for example, if you know your hair is an “undo” throw your hair in ponytail. This with give you a realistic idea of how you will look on your wedding day in that dress. Also you can tick off buying hair accessories too.


Smash a burger before you bridal appointment!

If you anything like me, HANGRY is not a good look on me. Wedding dress shopping can be draining and most likely will be the entire day! And lets face it, there is nothing worse than shopping on an empty stomach!

So make sure you schedule a lovely lunch with your entourage and pack those snacks. You have an epic day to get through!


Lastly, be opened minded.

So you have done all the research, stalked wedding photographers pages, found designers, set your budget and created your mood board. You got this!

But there is that annoying but again, be opened minded! Try something that you might not think you would like. Sometimes, just sometimes you land up with something you didn’t expect. But the only way you will know is if you try.

Your body confidence is going to need a boost during this time, wedding dress shopping could be stressful. So give yourself extra extra love during this time.

10 Engagement Tips Summary


1 – Soak It All In

2 – Share The News With Your Closest Family & Friends

3 – Let The Wedding Dream Start

4 – The Budget

5 – Take Your Engagement Photos (Pick Me!)

6 – Creating Your Guest List

7 – Set Your Date & Find Your Venue

8 – Build Your Dream Wedding Vendor Team

9 – YES To The Dress

10 – Stay On Top Of Your Wedding Planning

What To Do After Your Engagement

Soaking It All In

This might be a little difficult, but trust me, you will want to stay in this love bubble for as long as you can. We are living in a world where it’s so easy to get caught up in sharing your news on social media. Taking a few days or even weeks to share the news doesn’t mean you don’t want to share this AMAZING news with your friends and family. Soak this love drunk time in. Pop a bottle of champagne sit back and enjoy this special time.

Share The News With Your Closest Family & Friends

Let’s be honest, this is HUGE news! Your close family and friends will be so happy that you shared this exciting news with them BEFORE you have updated your social media statuses. To avoid hurting anyone’s feeling, consider making a list of everyone who needs to know before the internet does. 

Let The Wedding Dream Start

So you are either one of two brides, the first; you have been planning your dream wedding your entire day or you the one that planning has never crossed your mind.

The first suggestion, no matter which type of bride you are, I recommend you start by creating a mood board, Pinterest is really the best platform for this. 

You will quickly learn what you love the most as you keep adding, the same patterns will start to emerge. You will get a better understanding of your colour scheme, which floral arrangements keep popping up, the same type of decor will be saved more than the others.

If you struggling to nail down your wedding style or you unsure, hiring a great wedding planner will most definitely narrow your choices for you even if you don’t know what your dream looks like just yet.

The Budget

Setting your budget early on in your wedding planning quest might not sound like a lot of fun, but it’s an important step. Set the figure and be strict.  

And yes, there will be unexpected wedding expenses, plan for those early on so you won’t have to worry about taking budget out of somewhere else that is important to you.

Prioritise what is important to you and your partner.

For example:

  1. Venue
  2. Photographer 
  3. Wedding planner 
  4. Dress
  5. Live music etc etc

Take Your Engagement Photos (Pick Me!)

So between social media status updates and setting budgets, there is also fun fun and more fun. Engagement photo time! 

If it’s possible take your engagement photos early as possible, you can use a couple of these photos for your save the date invitations or setting up your wedding website.

Hiring your favourite photographer for this special time is highly recommend this is also a great exercise to see if this is the person you would want to share you special day with. Remember, a part from your partner and your new wedding ring the only tangible item/s that you take from your wedding is your wedding photos and if you choose to get a videographer. Spend time in this department, do your research and have the best shoot ever! 

Creating Your Guest List

So another potentially tricky topic, creating your guest list. It’s important to finalise the numbers before meeting with the caterers and venues. This could potentially also be a deciding factor for what type of venue fits in your budget according to your guest list.

Never feel guilty about your guest list, you don’t need to invite the family that you haven’t spoken to you years or the friend that got married before you and you were their guest. This is YOUR WEDDING DAY, surround yourself with the right people, the people that deserve to shower you with love and laughter.

Once this list is finalised, I suggest to make a spreadsheet to track everyones contact details, dietary requirements and so on.

Set Your Date & Find Your Venue

Another fun wedding planning topic, the venue. You may already know your venue of your dreams, you might have been there whilst on holiday, seen it on social media or maybe you went there for a wedding. 

Or you have no idea. If you have no idea, considering these questions:
Should we have a local or destination wedding?
Do you want your ceremony indoor or outdoors?
Will your ceremony and reception be in the same space? Example are you getting married in a church and then the reception will be help in another location.

What is the final numbers of our guest list and how much will the venue cost and is it in our budget.

Once you have narrowed down your venue search, don’t be afraid of asking the venue some questions. It’s best to know what you can expect on your wedding day.

  1. If you have chosen your date, is it available? If not, what dates around your date is still open.
  2. Is there a cancellation policy / fee.
  3. What is the booking fee and what is the payment schedule?
  4. Decor restrictions?
  5. Noise restrictions, this is a big one. You don’t want the party to die at 22h00.
  6. The number of restroom available for the guests.
  7. Can you bring your own champagne / wine

These are just to name a few. Your venue will do their utmost best to make your day a memorable one.

Build Your Dream Wedding Vendor Team

Now to build your DREAM WEDDING VENDOR TEAM. These are the people that can make or break your day. If one of these team players disappoint, this is probably what you will remember. The best professionals in their field are usually booked anything from 6 months – 2 years in advance. If you are working with a wedding planner, ask them for their preferred vendor list. 

Of course there are the “chancers” and you need to keep an eye out for any red flags that you might come across whilst searching for your dream team. These could range from poor communication, no reviews on google or Facebook, outdated website and social media platforms and the most important one, your gut instinct.

Don’t book someone cheap you might get burnt and this will ruin your entire wedding day memory. Can you imagine paying a photographer and not receiving your photographs? Or booking a live band and a DJ arrives? Paid and ordered epic floral installations and you get a bunch of flower in vase on the table? 

I would never wish any of these of your wedding day.

Here is my preferred vendor list for weddings in and around Plettenberg Bay. 

YES To The Dress

Finding your dream dress as early as possible is a must. You might have an idea of your favourite designers or the style of your dress or you have no idea. Some dress designers can take anywhere from six  – eight months to get your dress and then you might still need a few dress alterations. 

So try and get this done as soon as possible, you can check out my Bridal Appointment Tips to help you through this process.

Picking your dream wedding dress is FUN and you should feel like a million dollars whilst wearing it. A real banging bride!

Stay On Top Of Your Wedding Planning

Stay organised and stay on top of things. There is this weird lull whilst planning your wedding day. You get engaged, everything is amazing, you living in a love bubble, floating on cloud nine and receiving so much love from family and friends. Even people you don’t know, know you are engaged and if you bump into them in the shops they congratulate you. You booking your DREAM VENDOR WEDDING TEAM, you found the venue and picked the date. And then you wait. Months might pass before you look at your wedding to do list. Don’t leave thing last minute, check out my wedding planning checklist to guide you through the “lull months” whilst keeping you organised and sane. 

Don’t forget this is YOUR DAY and should be fun. Open the champagne and let’s get you planning. 

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