Engaged? Remember to Buy These 14 Things

kirsten dunst engagement ring


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Here's a fun fact: I recently got engaged (!), and it quickly became apparent to me why people say that planning a wedding is such a major undertaking. I'm certainly enjoying the process, but I'll admit that it's an understatement to say there's a lot to think about, decide, and do, and those regular countdown emails from The Knot serve as a reminder that the big day is very quickly approaching. But instead of getting overwhelmed, I've opted to make a master list (which gets longer by the day) of everything I need to do between now and then, and as you might expect, it's filled with items of the sartorial nature, many of which are things I'd never thought about pre-engagement.

As you know, the all-important wedding dress gets most of the attention, but there are a slew of other accessories and outfits that need to be purchased as far in advance as possible. Accordingly, I went through my own list to help you prepare for all of those non–wedding dress purchases you may not have thought out yet. And because making a list is only half the battle, I've included pretty suggestions to shop for each item. Read on to shop the editor-approved wedding essentials you'll need (besides the dress).

Getting-Ready Outfit

It's not unusual for your photographer to start taking photos before you put the dress on, and many brides coordinate their pre-wedding lounging gear with their bridesmaids. 

Wedding Shoes 

If you're like me, your shoes are almost as important as the dress! I even plan on choosing a dress that doesn't cover them up completely. I've been on the hunt for something in a non-white hue. Who says your entire wedding look needs to be monochrome? 

Something Blue

If you're a stickler for tradition, wearing something blue is a symbol of purity, love, and fidelity in your marriage, and these delicate earrings are the perfect way to incorporate blue into your look.

Rehearsal-Dinner Outfit 

The rehearsal dinner is the perfect opportunity to wear something fun, and many brides go for a subtle bridal look via a more casual white dress or soft pink (or any other color you fancy).

Rehearsal-Dinner Shoes

Obviously, you'll also need a pair of shoes for the occasion, and given that white ones are such a trend at the moment, take advantage of that. I can guarantee you'll wear them again. 

Wedding Bands

My advice? Purchase your wedding rings from the same jeweler that made your engagement ring. They'll be able to suggest a perfect match or create something that coordinates. 

A Ring Box

Obviously this is optional, but your ring deserves a box that's worthy of its beauty!

Wedding Accessories

Don't forget to think about the accessories you want to complete your wedding-day look, including a veil, cape, a bag to carry to the reception (we love a fancy pouch), etc. 

Wedding-Day Gift

Many soon-to-be newlyweds choose to exchange gifts on their wedding day. It could be something that you make yourself, something of sentimental value, or something they'll use for years, like this investment-worthy travel essential. 

Wedding-Day Undergarments

Be sure to seek out the appropriate undergarments for your dress. We love this pretty shapewear by Spanx. 


When it comes to wedding-day jewelry, less is more, in my opinion. Borrowing jewelry from a family member is great if you have that option, but if you need to buy something, I say the simpler the better—you'll be glad you wore something timeless when you look back at the photos 30 years from now. 

Beauty Products

Even if you're having your makeup done by a professional, there may be certain beauty products that you want them to use on you, so be sure to give some advance thought to it.

Wedding-Night Attire

Keep the bridal vibe going just a little longer and choose something pretty to wear on your wedding night.

Honeymoon Gear

Don't let your honeymoon wardrobe be an afterthought. I plan on gradually purchasing a few things over time as opposed to a panicked last-minute vacay shopping spree (never a good idea). 

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