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Now that you are engaged

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Congratulations! You are recently engaged, and understandably, you're elated. As your excitement subsides just enough to co-exist with reality, you are eager to start planning your perfect wedding. Perhaps you have been planning this day for as long as you can remember, or maybe, you feel completely clueless as you are swamped with questions from curious family and friends about the big day. Whatever you do, do not let the planning process overwhelm you. Take a deep breath and start with these five wedding planning tasks.

(1) Miscellaneous post-proposal tasks. These include, but are not limited to, announcing your engagement to your family and friends and getting your engagement ring sized.

(2) Get organized. As tempting as it may be to jump into the wedding planning process, take the time to get yourself organized. You will thank yourself later. Start a wedding binder, or purchase a wedding planning book, and create a wedding folder in your inbox and perhaps a wedding folder on your desktop or a Pinterest board.

(3) Set a budget. You may not know the date or location, who your bridesmaids will be, or the number of guests you are going to invite, but you should be aware of your finances. Determine your wedding budget early. Your wedding budget will be particularly useful throughout the rest of the planning process. This would be a good time to determine who else, if anyone, will be contributing financially to your wedding.

(4) Choose a couple of dates. To a certain extent, your wedding date is paramount to several other tasks on your wedding planning to-do list. Be sure to have a couple of alternate dates in case your first choice is already booked.

(5) Start envisioning aspects of your wedding. While you may have some time before you have to make these decisions, it is never too early to start thinking about your wedding theme or style, as well as your wedding colors and who you would like to invite.

As you begin the wedding planning process remember to not only set aside some wedding-free time for yourself, but for yourself and your future husband as well. And best of luck in this exciting chapter of your life.

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