5 Must Haves on your Engagement Planning Checklist

by Namrata Nautiyal
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Engagement Planning Checklist

Before I even begin with anything, let me tell you – guys this is everything. And I mean EVERYTHING !

When I started with the countdown to my engagement, this checklist is what came in handy. Not only did it keep me on schedule, as the time went by, I was in less danger of missing out on important aspects. So, my suggestion…take some time out for this. Sit back, relax, take a break and keep coming back to complete your checklist…Once and for all before you start with the madness…

So here goes…


Engagement Planning Checklist


  1. An Engagement To-Do Excel File

This is the BEST way out. Period. It’s the tried and tested method. You can erase, update, delete whatever you wish to do. It’s an absolute must. And the best thing…you can even use the same file further for your wedding purpose. How so, have patience…you will find out soon (in coming posts)…

Normally, I am all for the fancy stationary, it gives a certain kick to fill out the blanks and stuff using colors, stickers and everything, but keep it as a back-up. You wouldn’t want to spoil it every time with changes and updates happening round the clock. You can use it at the end to fill it up with the absolute decisions made.

I am sharing a template that I made for myself – Engagement Planning Checklist. This has really-really helped me to stay on track during some of the major stressful days. It’s in the basic format, so you will need to modify it as per your event and needs 🙂

Here’s a sneak peek to what you can find in the file:

Engagement Planning Checklist


  1. A concise Guest List

This is important. Everything from your engagement venue to budget, food etc depends on this. Make a list of all your family members and jot down all their friends they would like to invite. Unless you do this, you wouldn’t have the exact idea of the number of guests. It’s always smarter to be absolutely sure about these things from the beginning so that you know exactly how much you need to drill down.

In my case, since we were 5 of us in our family (me, my parents & grandparents) my list went up to a 100 guests! Sacchi. Add to that my Mr.-to-be’s guest list and what we had was an ideal size for any regular US wedding. Sigh, what to do…


  1. Perfect Location

Aaah. The tricky one. Do you want your function in a hotel banquet, a lawn, or in the building club house or garden (Yes! Can be a profitable option). Depending on your guest list you need to sit back and think this through with your folks (after all, they are the ones who will pay the bill).

Engagement Planning Checklist

An open garden setting can be a nice intimate option to go for. Source – Pinterest, Etsy.com

Engagement Planning Checklist

Even something as simple as lighting can spruce up any place. Source – Pinterest, ruffledblog.com

Engagement Planning Checklist

Nature as the backdrop is something that cannot be achieved in any other setting. Don’t you agree? Source – Pinterest, wildflowerlinens.com

Among the common options that I see almost everyone going for nowadays is a nice banquet. The pros is that it will have an overall nice ambiance (given, you choose correctly), yummy food and décor. All well-handled and not much of management issues. The cons apart from the huge bill and lack of creativity is that they can be rigid with time (4 hours or 8 hours…), and you can’t exactly experiment much with the options.

Engagement Planning Checklist

Source – Pinterest, balloonartistry.com

Engagement Planning Checklist

I love the idea of lights – be it any kind of lights. Don’t you think it just brings out the best out of any venue? Source – Pinterest, forums.theknot.com

As for me, I chose a beautiful temple (note, FREE) where I had my childhood memories followed by a formal lunch at a banquet hall (given my guest list and the crazy humid weather of Mumbai). Not only did this have a personal touch, it also turned out to be a nice change to the usual party option.

Engagement Planning Checklist

At the temple premises

Remember. It’s YOUR engagement. And more so, it’s going to happen just once (hopefully). Do something for you. PERSONAL.


  1. Finding that Photographer

Engagement Planning ChecklistThe crazy one. I remember I almost pulled my hair out trying to figure this one out. It can be easy and at the same time can be the hardest of the lot. For me, I think till the last few days of the ceremony, I hadn’t really been able to figure this one out. So, I don’t want you guys to go through the same.

Make sure you spend ample amount of time for this. There are a LOT of considerations one must give starting with the Budget. Do not fiddle with the amount you have in mind. Stick to it coz that’s the only way you will keep going till you find the RIGHT one. Otherwise you will end up spending insane amounts ranging from 20-30k to lakhs for a days’ event. FYI, I spent under 5k for mine.

Also consider basis the time of your event. If its morning time like mine and outdoors, you already have ample natural light. I suggest you go with any good decent photographer (freelancer, or part time) who knows how to make use of that light and he should be able to make you look fabulous.


  1. The Outfit

My favorite of the lot. Most of the times keeping track of all of the above can get quite tiresome. It’s good to mix it up with some window shopping. Yes, window shopping first. Go out and try to see what the current trends are. But if you ask me, trends is not my thing. I look for what looks good on me. So should you!

Even good designers will tell you that if an outfit appeals to you, go for it rather than design and fashion. If it’s in the trend, well and good, if not don’t shy away from still picking it up.

It’s very easy to walk into some designer store and pick something, as every single piece would look stunning. But if you want a budget friendly outfit and still look fabulous, try out some of the lesser known stores and I am sure in time you will hit gold.

Check out some of the ideas for your outfit on my Pinterest Board here.




And finally, DIY Ideas

This is not a must have as such but it’s definitely the best one. Keep this for the last. This is the fun element to the whole madness of planning. If you’re anything like me, this is the part which will keep you going. There are a lot of cool fun things that you can think of starting with making your Engagement Invites to having a DIY Personal Engagement Book for guests to fill in their good wishes. It all makes for some really happy memories.

My suggestion, no matter how crunched your timeline looks like, give this a thought.

Engagement Checklist

Source – Pinterest, somethingturquoise.com

Engagement Planning Checklist

Source – Pinterest, etsy.com

Engagement Planning Checklist

Source – Pinterest, weddingphotography.com.ph

I do hope this helps. If any of you are planning your event anytime soon, drop in a line and share your experiences. Would love to hear from you all…


My next post is going to be all about the fun, quirky Engagement Announcements I did absolutely FREE OF COST. Yes ! So stay tuned…

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