December is the most popular times of year to get engaged. Could be that lots of families are together at Christmas to share the news, or that a partner wants to literally "ring" in the New Year. Whatever the reasons, there are lots of future spouses getting down on one knee this season. But just as soon as they get down it's time to get up and start the initial planning. There's a wedding to plan after all! Many details can wait, but you will want to read on for the top five things that you should tend to soon after you've gotten engaged.
1. Tell family and friends. If you are not together with everyone for the holidays, be sure to call your most important people, like both sets of parents, siblings, any extended family you are particularly close with and good friends. Make a list so that in all the excitement you don't leave anybody out who you would not want to hear your news from someone else.
2. Announce your engagement in your local newspapers. Traditionally the bride's parents put the announcement in their local paper (often in the town where she grew up) but in these modern times, the groom's parents as well as the couple themselves can send in the info.
3. Discuss a budget and a guest list size. It used to be that the bride's family paid for the majority of the wedding , with the groom's parents chipping in for the honeymoon and maybe some of the flowers. Nowadays, families often split the expense or couples who are a bit older have money of their own saved to pay for part if not all of the affair. Determining a budget early on makes the planning easier as you will know what you have to spend.
4. Discuss a date. Almost all the details will revolve around the date -- from the budget to the venue, setting a theme to travel arrangements and even your honeymoon. Discuss dates that work for the two of you and for your families. Consider any work schedules as well as out of town guests who will have to travel and the expense that brings more so at some times of the year than at others.
5. Book a venue. Once you have decided upon a date, pick a place. You will be competing with other couples for certain spots as well as other people planning occasions and special events. You will want to make appointments to see several places just to be able to compare the setting as well as the people who you will be interacting with.
Oh, and congratulations!