valley & co. tips :: what to do when you’re newly engaged! 2022 edition

‘Tis the season to be engaged – winter is such a cozy and festive time of the year and comes with good news all around with the greatest number of couples across the country becoming engaged! Each season we pen our top tips for what to do when you’re newly engaged and our #1 tip always remains the same. With a new landscape for event planning, we have new ways to communicate with guests – following our guide for getting started will set you off on the right foot!

Soak it in and daydream! We always say that it’s impossible to find a date or venue(s) or a budget understanding without having a vision and it’s impossible to have a vision without taking a weekend to cozy up and envision what your ideal wedding weekend looks like together. It’s so paramount to be on the same page – think about 3 ideal and different scenarios (including location, season, and style of venue) when honing in on your vision. Think about what experience you’d like to give your guests and how many you’d like to celebrate with. Coming up with your wish list and 3 ideal scenarios is our tried-and-true tip for getting the vision in motion – the most important thing: have FUN together while daydreaming about your wedding!

Photo: Katie Parra Photography

Spread the news! Share the news with your nearest and dearest and (naturally) on your social accounts! We suggest sharing the news with the masses after you have a better idea of vision as you know people will want to hear all about your plans! Give ’em something fun to talk about! Even better, throw a casual and intimate dinner party to make your formal announcement to your families and friends! *Of course, calling your parents or your best friend first thing is important!

Photo: Katie Parra Photography

Peruse wedding inspiration! What’s more fun that checking out top wedding blogs (we love Over the Moon, Martha Stewart, and Brides!) and looking for inspiration in gardens, architecture, and in your own neighborhood? We tell our couples to visit their favorite hotel lobbies or look back on photos they’ve taken on trips to Lake Como or Paris for inspiration. Inspiration is everywhere – and getting excited with print magazines, blogs, and real life inspiration is the best place to start!

(Oh, our own book is also something we’d bashfully recommend! – Created for couples planning their weddings, you can find Storied Weddings at your local bookstore or here!)

Photo: Katie Parra Photography

Insure your ring. Take photos of your ring, get it appraised, and sent to your insurance broker immediately. Also, invest in a beautiful ring box like The Mrs. Box to keep it safe while you’re sleeping!Photo: Jen Fariello 

Start to onboard your creative team and choose your date. Again, it’s also impossible to budget without having a strong understanding of the costs of creative partners in different calibers and regions. Make sure your vision is strong (do you have those 3 ideal scenarios for locale, season and style of venue ready?) before you start to reach out. Starting with a planning team is naturally the first step – your team will be in the know for the top properties, have relationships with the very best photographers, musicians, and stationery designers, and help you navigate the process. The venue search will be supported by your team and you can seamlessly choose a date and jump into the next steps.Photo: Katie Parra | Flowers: Valley & Co.

Send out early save the dates! While strong guest communication isn’t new to us, sending out digital save the dates is a rather new notion we’ve suggested more frequently during the pandemic. Why? The number of competing dates between friends is present, so coming up with a styling and fun video save the date is a darling idea to capture your guests early on and get on their calendar very early on. You can also still send out a proper paper save the date as well once you’ve zeroed in on a stationery design direction.

Happy planning!