Five Things to Do Right When You Get Engaged

Central Park winter engagement photos wearing MacDuggal ballgown, Kendra Scott earrings
[outfit_details]On Her: Red Long-Sleeve Illusion Ball Gown (also in black), Crystal Earrings, James Allen Engagement Ring
On Him: Velvet Tux  (use code HKCUNG15 to get $15 off), Black Button Shirt, Dress Shoes[/outfit_details]

Thank you to JamesAllen.com for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

It still feels a little surreal to say we are engaged! The story behind our engagement written in Johnny’s point of view is in this post and you can watch the surprise on-ice proposal video here. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for all of the love and well wishes on all of our engagement posts! So what’s next? I want to talk about five things to do right when you get engaged. One or two of them definitely took us by surprise! Many of you have said you’re also newly engaged so I hope this is a great resource for you! If you’re still waiting for your proposal moment, be sure to bookmark this post for when your time comes.

Johnny and I are planning on a long engagement since we are closing on a house this year, which will bring our finances down. We are paying for the wedding ourselves and need to save up for it! Plus, we have been together for a decade and want our wedding to be exactly what we dream of!

Winter engagement photos shot by Stephanie Sunderland at Bow Bridge in Central Park

1. SOAK IT IN

This will most likely be one of the most exciting and important times in your lives. Soak up every moment! Both of you will most likely feel like you’re floating. Johnny and I certainly did!  Don’t forget to take pictures so you can relish in the moment years later. If you have a professional photographer there, great! If not, phone cameras are so great nowadays. Trust me, you just want pictures, even if they aren’t picture perfect.

It may feel like second-nature to want to post and share on social media, but take some time as a newly engaged couple to be together! The short time where you’re on cloud nine will never be able to be re-created so really treasure it. Call or FaceTime your family and close friends. Live in the moment with them because you’ll never get this time back.

James Allen cushion diamond engagement ring with halo shot in Central Park New York City for engagement photos

2. INSURE YOUR RING

If your new fiancé hasn’t insured your ring yet, do it right now. I think this is the most important step out of the five things to do right after you get engaged. I still can’t stop looking at my ring from JamesAllen.com and can’t imagine if something were to happen to it and we didn’t have it insured.

Whip out your phone and call your insurance agent and get your stunning ring covered. You can usually insure it with your renters’ or homeowners’ insurance under a personal articles policy. Another option is to use a jewelry insurance company such as Jewelers Mutual. Why is this important? Your new diamond engagement ring is most likely going to be one of the more expensive, if not, the most expensive item you own. You want to have peace of mind if the worst-case scenario happens and your engagement ring is damaged, lost or stolen it can be repaired or replaced.

My JamesAllen.com engagement ring Johnny designed came with appraisal papers stating which grading laboratory the diamond is from (mine is from the Gemological Institute of America), the carat, clarity, color and cut. You will need appraisal papers in order to get your ring insured for the proper amount.

The best method is for your partner to insure the ring the moment it’s in possession. Don’t wait around. My ring actually wasn’t insured until we got back from New York so I was freaking out just a little bit. Plus, Johnny accidentally put the engagement ring in his checked luggage. Yikes. He said he’s never watched the luggage conveyor belt so closely. Bless him.

3. GET YOUR RING SIZED

If your ring doesn’t fit perfectly make sure you take it to a jeweler and get it sized. JamesAllen.com lets you resize your ring once for free within the first year of its purchase. This also includes free return shipping within the U.S. and Canada. If you want your ring to stay local, James Allen is partnered with Jared – The Galleria of Jewelry to offer complimentary cleaning and resizing. Getting your ring sized is definitely at the top of the list of five things to do right after you get engaged.

Even if your ring fits, take the weather into consideration. Your fingers might contract when it’s cold outside, so your ring might feel looser. Naturally, when it’s hot out, your ring could feel tight. If you can’t bear to part with your ring right away but want to make sure it doesn’t slip off because it’s too loose, I highly recommend getting this ring size adjuster on Amazon. It’s a coil made of high-quality PVC and can reduce your ring up to 1.5 sizes.  You simply wrap it on your ring until it’s a snug fit and cut off the excess. I actually currently have this on my ring and it’s very comfortable! I definitely recommend it as something temporary until you can get your ring sized.

Jonathan Van wearing a black velvet tuxedo for Central Park engagement photos during winter Hoang-Kim Cung wearing a MacDuggal long sleeve illusion gown in red and Kendra Scott Danielle open frame crystal earrings in Central Park for engagement photos

4. GET A RING HOLDER

It’s personal preference when and if you take your ring off. I take mine off when I’m taking my makeup off and washing my face, doing my self-tanner routine or getting a spray tan. It’s not often but I couldn’t imagine misplacing my ring, even if it’s in our apartment. One of the five things to do right after you get engaged is to buy a few ring holders to leave where you take your ring off. I recommend having one by your bathroom sink, nightstand if you like taking your ring off when you sleep or near the kitchen sink. That way, if your new ring goes missing, you know exactly where to look! I have this white onyx and brass dome box by my bathroom sink. I’ll link some other options below.

It may be a little further down the road but my sweet friends Amanda Marshall and Amanda John got me a gift certificate to buy a Mrs. Box. If you haven’t heard of these boxes, you’ve probably seen them in gorgeous wedding photos where rings are present. They are stunning heirloom-style boxes made from the most exquisite velvet. Your ring will be the star of the show in these boxes.

Vietnamese couple winter engagement photos shot in Central Park New York City wearing a red lace ballgown and black velvet tuxedo

5. CELEBRATE

It’s time to party and make it official! I’m Vietnamese and Johnny is half Vietnamese and half Taiwanese. It’s very important to me to honor our culture and follow tradition. Even if there isn’t something like this in your culture, I would recommend throwing an engagement party so you can celebrate with your family and friends before you start wedding planning! Plus, you’ll have photos to remember the special time by. I couldn’t imagine this not being one of the five things to do right after you get engaged.

For Johnny and me, in both cultures, there is an engagement ceremony. This is when the engagement becomes official by both sets of parents. In Vietnamese, this is called Le Dam Ngo.  In this ceremony, the groom’s family brings betrothal gifts, usually fruit, cake, wine, tea, flowers and other items to present to the bride’s family. Then, the groom’s family asks the bride’s family for permission for the groom to marry the bride. Once that’s out of the way, both families will kneel before their ancestors (it’s traditional in Asian households to have an altar with photos of grandparents) and Buddha to ask them to bless the marriage. What I love about this ceremony is it really shows the significance of family and how in Asian cultures marriage is about the union of two families, not two people.

Photos by: Stephanie Sunderland

Hoang-Kim Cung wearing a MacDuggal long sleeve illusion lace ballgown, James Allen cushion diamond engagement ring and Kendra Scott Danielle open frame earrings for Central Park engagement photos

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