Your ULTIMATE Engagement Checklist!

In this week’s episode of the Wedding Planning Podcast, I’m sharing an ULTIMATE ENGAGEMENT CHECKLIST, including 10 key “to-do’s” to launch your wedding planning journey into action:

Missed it?  LISTEN NOW! 

Your Ultimate Engagement Checklist | episode dated 12.20.23


The days & weeks after saying “YES!” are a whirlwind of fun & excitement …

From sharing the news with your loved ones, flashing that ring every chance you get, and dreaming of cakes and dresses – you’re definitely at the start of an unforgettable time in your lives.

I’ve worked with thousands of engaged couples over the past 7 years of producing this podcast, and most of them are in autopilot mode already at this point in the planning process.

And unfortunately, those couples miss a much larger opportunity.

An opportunity to wait patiently for their ideal wedding vision to unfold BEFORE going out and making big, irreversible decisions that end up really limiting what’s possible for them … and I don’t want that for you.

SO MUCH MORE inside today’s free audio meeting, Your Ultimate Engagement Checklist!

Click the player above to tune in for FREE, and read along below …

And also be sure to follow the Wedding Planning Podcast in your fave podcast player for brand new episodes each week.

Engagement Checklist Step #1| ANNOUNCE IT!

Share the amazing news with your loved ones ASAP!  Start with your closest family & friends first, and fan out from there.  Yes, your future mother-in-law will likely have hurt feelings if she finds out on Instagram rather than directly from the two of you.

Once all of your close family & friends are in the know – then you can go ahead, get a manicure & post that ring selfie to all of your social networks.

Engagement Party

Please be assured, an engagement party to celebrate the news with your loved ones is totally optional.  You do not need to host an engagement party, or any other event for that matter, that doesn’t feel aligned with your top priorities or comfort level.

With that said – if you’re game, an engagement party is an incredibly exciting and memorable way to celebrate the beginning of this season of your lives!


Do You Need Engagement Ring Insurance?

That beautiful ring on your finger is probably your most prized possession these days, and insuring it may be a smart option for you.  You may have heard that you can add jewelry on to your home or renters insurance, and there are also lots of reputable companies that specialize in jewelry coverage.

Much more detailed information on engagement ring insurance can be found in this article.  Use it as a guide to help decide what’s the best option for you.

Get Your Engagement Ring Sized

It’s CRITICAL to have your ring fit properly!   If you have any doubts about the way your ring fits, start with where you bought the ring.  Many jewelers can do sizing in-house, or at the very least give you a referral to a reputable jewelry sizing professional.

#3 | Book an Engagement Photo Shoot

Booking an engagement photo shoot with a professional photographer will yield high quality images that you will cherish for years & years to come.  Not to mention, having professional photos of the two of you will come in handy as you create a wedding website (more on this in a second).

Other fun uses for your engagement photos?

  • Designing save the dates,

  • Sharing announcements on social media,

  • Your future holiday cards,

  • Your engagement photos can even be displayed throughout your wedding celebration as a meaningful, personalized decor item!

You’ll find a full length episode dedicated to Maximizing your Engagement Photo Shoot here.

So if you’re looking to save yourselves $500 – $1000 or more hiring a professional to do it for you, I outline exactly how to set up your own engagement photo shoot in that bonus meeting!

#4 | THE TALK.  Talk About Your Wedding Budget

Setting and sticking to a wedding budget that makes sense for you is an essential to-do item before you launch into ANY big wedding decisions, and it’s literally a topic we could spend hours on,

but in the interest of time today, I’m just going to plant this seed of a reminder for what an incredibly important and incredibly humongous topic this really is

Your budget and finances are topics we prioritize big time here on the WPP, and members of my online planning service, The VAULT have access to an entire series of meetings dedicated to often-overlooked money-saving tips, making the most of a small budget, money mindset coaching, smart financial habits of engaged couples, and so much more.

#5 | Brainstorm Wedding Venue Ideas

Sadly there are way too many engaged couples who get completely overwhelmed by the pressure and expense of venue shopping, and wind up settling on a mediocre venue just because it’s available and it seems like the easiest option.

In my humble opinion, your venue is the most important wedding decision you’ll make – last week I shared the story of my engagement and the months that followed, and trust me, we spent months looking at properties that would be the 100% perfect fit for our vision.

If you missed that episode, make sure to have a listen here – it goes so far beyond our search for the perfect venue.

Back to the topic of venue, it’s literally the centerpiece of your wedding celebration, so mentally prepare for a lot of your research, time, and overall investment to be spent here.

#6 | Discuss Potential Wedding Dates

Hand-in-hand with researching your venue, you’ll also want to look at a calendar and choose some wedding dates that work for you and your top venue selections.

Not every venue may be available for your preferred dates, so it’s important to have a spirit of flexibility as you look at the calendar and start to narrow down a timeframe.

#7 | Make a Rough Draft of Your Guest List

Your BUDGET, your VENUE, and your overall WEDDING VISION must also accommodate your guest list.  This is why it’s critically important to thoughtfully create at least a rough draft of your guest list early on to be sure that it’s compatible with your overall vision, budget & priorities that you’ve identified up to this point.

I’ll pause here to say that I’ve just summarized 4 huge planning topics within just a few minutes – that is not to minimize the importance of your budget, your date, your venue, and your guest list, quite the opposite.

These four planning items are really tricky because they all go hand-in-hand and are interdependent on one another, in other words, you can’t decide one without a handle on the other 3.

The venue you choose is going to ultimately influence your wedding vision almost entirely, but it’s very dependent on your budget and your guest list size.

Your budget will have completely different meaning if you’re working with $12,000 and hosting 200 people versus 40 people.

You could increase your overall spending power by 30% or more by selecting a strategic date or hosting format, and unfortunately, you can also dramatically DECREASE your spending power by rushing into decisions based on feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or pressured by other people’s expectations.

I’ve worked with thousands of engaged couples over the past 7 years of producing this podcast, and most of them are in autopilot mode already at this point in the planning process.

I don’t say this to overwhelm you or freak you out, but it’s where so many couples miss a much larger opportunity to patiently wait for their ideal wedding vision to unfold before going out and making big, irreversible decisions that end up really limiting what’s possible, and I don’t want that for you.

#8 | Prioritize

Ahhhhhh, priorities, SUCH an important part of the planning process!!  I really hammered on your budget, venue, guest list , but identifying your top priorities is right up there as, well, a BIG PRIORITY!

Prioritize your priorities and get ready for me to say priority like 30 times in the next 2 minutes.

OK, so YOUR PRIORITIES is a buzz phrase that gets thrown around when we talk about wedding planning, and in my experience it almost gets tuned out and loses meaning, so come back to me if you’re multitasking because this is really important.


And when it comes down to the list of things that are most important to you & your partner, the two of you are the only people on earth who can make that list, and more importantly, you’re the only people who can commit to honoring that list.

And it’s a huge commitment that takes ongoing discipline, support, and encouragement.

Unless you have a billion dollars in your bank account, parents who are going to pay for everything, and/ or a money tree in your backyard, you’re going to have to take the time to identify your various priorities and draw a fat line between what makes the cut and what has to go.

The couples who make the most of their set wedding budget in terms of ultimate value and experience are the couples who set unwavering personal, strategic, and moral priorities at the very beginning of their engagement, and have the confidence and personal power to be consistent with their decisions.

I’ve seen so many weddings unfold, and a timeless example is 2 couples, same exact budget, same exact dollar amount, and one couple will go on to plan a super fun, super unique wedding that’s full of unforgettable elements and twists, and the other couple will do a cookie-cutter reception that’s over and done with in 4 hours.  The first example is always a couple who identifies their priorities, a really solid and meaningful vision, and sticks to it.  The second example is usually a couple who follows a cookie-cutter checklist they found on the internet, and included a bunch of extra crap that wasn’t even important to them in the first place.

There are endless ways to plan a $20,000 wedding, millions of variables, and the most successful wedding celebrations happen when a couple takes the time now to press pause, and have really thoughtful conversations about what matters the most to the two of them, and how to make that overall vision come to life.  IDENTIFY YOUR PRIORITIES.  Critically important.

#9 | Create Your Wedding Website

There are tons of “plug and play” wedding website templates that are FREE and super easy to use.  My favorite websites are with Minted – they are beautiful and unique, and have really affordable matching stationary that you can use for everything from Save the Dates to your invitations.

I really love wedding websites because they are a personalized, central spot for you to make announcements and connect with your guests throughout your engagement.

I do have a detailed episode dedicated to Designing Your Wedding Website right here.

#10 | Choose Your Wedding Parties

Last but certainly not least, choosing your wedding parties is a really fun milestone.

From best maids, to Man of Honor, I’ve seen wedding parties of 20+ people, I’ve seen couples chose one person each, and I’ve seen countless other couples ditch this tradition entirely!

Check out Emma’s story here … she just might sell you on NOT having a wedding party at all!

I chose my sister and two best friends from grade school to stand up with me, and we are still as close as ever, nearly 13 years later.  These women are my lifers, and I wouldn’t have chosen any other way.  My husband John had double as many guys on his side, making our photos totally lopsided, which is a complete non-issue.  We were both surrounded by our very closest friends, and that’s all that matters –

I know for many of us, this is “easier said than done”, relationships are complicated, and I totally get that.

The best, most simplest way I’ve ever found to guide your decision in who to include in your wedding party is to choose people who you see in your life for the next 20, 30, 40+ years.  

Just last month, we celebrated my mom & dad’s 50th wedding anniversary on a big friends & family trip to Cancun, and 2 of their wedding party members and their spouses made the trip with us – literally still friends, 50 years later.

THAT’s who you want to invite to be in your wedding party!

I hope you loved this episode, and please always feel free to tap me with any questions, feedback or stories – [email protected]

Cheers until next time!

THANK YOU to this week’s show sponsors:

FREE Wedding Websites designed by independent artists?  Yes please!  Get started building your wedding website today with Minted Weddings & take advantage of exclusive listener perks on save the dates, invitations & more.

Get professional help planning your dream honeymoon when you email [email protected] . Don’t forget to mention the Wedding Planning Podcast for $50 off your honeymoon OR $200 off your destination wedding!