Just Got Engaged? Here Are The First Things To Do Next

You’ve just got engaged – how blummin’ wonderful! Many congratulations – the day of the proposal really is one of the happiest, most memorable days ever. If you have a ring, can you stop staring at it? Even if you weren’t really into jewellery, I bet you’re loving your engagement ring. Are you looking at your hand right now? Good!

Close up of bride with luxury ruby and diamond engagment ring and flowers


Relish or keep the momentum going? Some couples start wedding planning pretty quickly after they have told parents. If you’re a couple that prefers to keep that engagement momentum going, you’re in for such an amazing year! By starting to plan pretty much straight away, you’re keeping that excitement alive for those closest to you too. A popular plan is to set the wedding date, one year after the proposal.

engagement photograph of a couple leaping in the air
Most couples get engaged around Christmas or on holiday. What’s your engagement story?

You could relish it amongst the two of you for a wee while. We both loved being engaged from the delicious, giddy feeling of what we had just declared to each other, to telling our families and friends over pub meals, drinks out, a curry (him) and a picnic in the park (me). Of course engaged couples are not all the same. I say lap it up, soak it in because as soon as you start to tell people who know you, the questions, the advice as well as the congratulations will begin. You might feel a bit overwhelmed if you haven’t had chance to absorb it all yourself first. For some, this cosy temporary secret can be for a day or two. Others last about 20 minutes before they start to share their engagement news. It’s such a brilliant time, they want to shout it from the rooftops.

engagement photograph of a table set for an engagement celebration in yorkshireTHE ENGAGING MOMENT

If you love your photographic memories, try and find someone to take a picture of the two of you minutes after your engagement. Ideally someone good, but you can never find a good or pro-photographer when you really need one can you?!   And of course, there’s always the selfie if there’s no-one about, if that’s what you prefer or if the proposal happened over morning coffee and croissants whilst in your pyjamas.

engagement photography in Florence Italy taken by yorkshire wedding photographer
Imagine getting engaged in Florence!
engagement photograph taken on the amalfi coast Italy taken by yorkshire wedding photographer


If you’re the one proposing, you could have a pro-photographer already booked, briefed and ready to take the actual moment it all begins. This takes some planning and a whole lot of excitement.

proposal photograph in york by yorkshire wedding photographer Catherine Kerr
I photographed J’s proposal to S at The Grand Hotel in York


If you can tell those you love in person, that’s perfect – you can’t beat the joy of seeing their faces and feeling their hugs and happiness for you.

natural wedding photograph of friends hugging
You can’t beat that feeling
natural wedding photograph in yorkshire
One of my couples who consider themselves egalitarian, proposed to each other at their favourite spot in the Lake District. How romantic is that!
natural wedding photograph of friends hugging

engagement photography in york
Or if you’re far apart or you can’t wait until you see them to tell them, go live!


You could take the view that overall, the time when you’re fiancees is a very short one, and enjoy basking in that tingly engagement bubble. You will probably find that within days of your engagement, others will ask you about setting your wedding date and wedding venue. It’s people being interested but if you are relishing your engagement time, don’t be pushed into any planning conversations before you are ready. You could give a simple reply like, “Oh, we are still wanting to really enjoy this stage in our relationship before we even think about the wedding”.


This would be a good time to check with your fiancé/ fiancee that you are both more or less on the same page about when your wedding planning will start for both of you. The one who proposed is likely to have spent quite a long time and effort planning the proposal. There will have probably been some stress involved too, so waiting a while is likely to be thoughtful as well as stopping you from jumping quickly into wedding decisions you might regret later.

engagement photograph taken on the amalfi coast Italy taken by yorkshire wedding photographerCELEBRATE THE NOW

If you’re choosing to wait a while before heading into planning mode, why not have a small or a big engagement celebration like a party?  What about a close family and friends garden or local village hall party? You could hire a Prosecco and drinks van, order a pizza van for the day to save anyone having to do too much work, add live music or just have a special cake made. Again, if it’s important to you to record your engagement to wedding journey, get some good photographs! It doesn’t need to be a lot but then I’m a quality over quantity kind of gal.

Engagement party photography yorkshire
Go large with an engagement party
natural wedding photograph in yorkshire
A great excuse to enjoy a professionally made engagement cake to share with family and your closest friends
natural wedding photograph in yorkshire
Not getting married for a year or two? Make the most of a summer engagement with a garden party


Whether you opt for a relatively short local photo-session with web pictures to download or whether you go for a more deluxe afternoon wearing fab outfits with your professional photographer in your favourite, meaningful place with professional lab prints as your memento, this is a memorable experience all in itself.

engagement photograph at Shibden Hall by yorkshire wedding photographer Catherine Kerr
Pick a special or favourite spot for your engagement shoot. This is where this couple first met
ngagement photography in york by yorkshire wedding photographer Catherine Kerr
ngagement photography in york by yorkshire wedding photographer Catherine Kerr

engagement photograph in a park by yorkshire wedding photographer Catherine Kerrengagement photograph at Shibden Hall by yorkshire wedding photographer Catherine Kerr UNSOLICITED ADVICE ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT AND YOUR WEDDING

Be prepared for all sorts of unsolicited engagement and wedding advice! Sure, people mean well but their advice and ideas come from their own experiences and preferences. Some suggestions will be gems, and some you’ll immediately know are not for you at all. Again, saying something like, ” Thank you for mentioning that. I’ll bear it mind”,  should politely cover most scenarios. Then move onto a topic about them.


Great! Start with the time of year you would both like to marry. Decide on your guest numbers as the number of guests you want will affect your wedding venue decision. Big wedding/small wedding? Buffet style or quirky food vans for a big party or a cosy affair for foodies? How to prepare your guest list and who to invite is a whole other wedding advice blog post that I need to write but I have a prepared a LOCATION and WEDDING VENUE one, so walk on over to How to Choose your Wedding Venue


engagement photograph yorkshire wedding photographer Catherine Kerr