I Dos and Dont's: Wedding Education for the Modern Bride + Groom | 3 First Steps After Getting Engaged



Andi Compton, our Public Relations + Vendor Outreach Director, planned her own birthday parties as a girl, spent hours making wedding collages as a teenager, and worked at the largest bridal store on the West Coast during college. She eventually answered the call to turn her organization and creativity into a business, Now That’s a Party, wherein she coordinates weddings primarily for Catholic couples. Over the upcoming months, Andi will be here to guide you through your planning and share her insights from the wedding industry, from engagement all the way through newlywed life.

So you've given your Yes, your fiat, to your beloved. You may have a million ideas going through your mind, you might have no idea what you're supposed to do to plan a wedding, or you might be somewhere in between. Here's a game plan to give you some direction during these first weeks and months as a bride-to-be.

Instead of creating a timeline based on a calendar, I like to divide wedding planning into phases: Engagement, Planning, Booking, Details, The Month Of, and After the Wedding. Today, I’ll start this series with first steps to take after getting engaged; simple but significant, practical ways to soak in this precious time and prepare for the months ahead.


Stop and thank God for the incredible gift of your fiance and for your call to the vocation of marriage. A list of prayers and patrons for your engagement can be found here. Another way to bring Christ to the center of your engagement is to consider holding a formal betrothal ceremony at your Parish.

Tell the world!

First, immediate family and friends are sometimes right there during or right after your proposal, but if not, they’ll be delighted to hear the good news directly from you.

Second, snap a picture and share the news on social media! Tag us with #SBHowHeAsked and #SpokenBride so we can share in your joy!

Third, some families like to send formal announcements, often with a photo. If that’s your plan, either have a friend or your wedding photographer take engagement pictures and order your cards. Another tradition that makes for a special keepsake is a newspaper announcement. Traditionally, these are published in the bride’s hometown paper. Other options include making a print announcement via the groom's family or in publications from your current town or your alma mater.

Meet the Parents.

If your parents aren't already acquainted, this is the perfect time for them to meet--they could all end up grandparents to your children one day! A face-to-face meeting or family meal is ideal, but if that’s logistically impossible, ensure everyone has contact information (names, addresses, emails, phone numbers) and try to set up a video chat so they can get to know one another.

Some couples opt to celebrate their engagement with a quiet picnic or dinner, just the two of them, and some with opulent engagement parties. No matter how you choose to remember the start of this time in your life, know we’re overjoyed for you and hold you in prayer every day.

Even as you enter into these next months of intense planning and spiritual preparation, know that it’s perfectly alright--important even--to just stop and savor this short season of engagement with joyful anticipation before diving in. Even the shortest of engagements benefits from a few days of rest, peace, and celebration.

We love hearing your stories and praying for you by name! If you’re newly engaged, introduce yourself in the comments or on social media. And tell us, how did you celebrate your engagement?

About the Author: Andi Compton is Spoken Bride's Business Director. She is the owner of Now That's a Party where she coordinates weddings, fundraising galas, and social events. Read more