Getting engaged is a big deal for any couple \u2014 it means that you and your partner are willing to commit to one another for the rest of your lives, that two families are about to come together. You bet it's a big deal! Though the proposal itself might be a surprise, the fact that the two of you are getting engaged should not be; if you're at the point that you're thinking about marriage, the two of you should have already discussed your future plans and willingness to get married one day. If you're on the same page and agree that this is what the next step is in your relationship, what should you know before the big question is actually asked? The Ring Will Be Everywhere \u2014 Yes, Everywhere Two silver wedding rings linked together The moment you two make it official on social media, the requests to see the engagement ring will start rolling in. This means that between you and your partner, your moms, Great Aunt Iris and your nosy neighbor Carla, pictures of the ring will dominate your loved ones' social media pages for a hot minute. That being said, ensure that when you decide on a ring, you talk about styles together. No matter how traditional you are (the groom picks out the ring alone) or how modern you are (the couple chooses one together), there needs to be some discussion at least about what the bride's preferences are so that she gets something she will love for the rest of your lives together. This means questions like: What styles do you like? What styles do you not like?Do you want to try setting a diamond or do you prefer colored gemstones?Are there any metals you prefer? Are you allergic to any kinds? Expect A Lot of Advice (Warranted or Otherwise) Well-wishers will be everywhere to tell you their words of wisdom the moment you announce your engagement. This is an endearing way for people who care about you to tell you what they've learned over their marriages and a way to pass on knowledge. It might get a little tiresome at times, especially when Uncle Mike has been telling you the same story for the last hour, but remember to take it for what it's worth. Everybody has a story to tell, and if you listen closely you might hear a nugget of wisdom that ends up sticking with you. Planning Starts Quickly If you're going to be throwing a wedding, then you're in for quite a journey ahead. Even small, intimate weddings need thoughtful planning to go off without a hitch. Even if you don't plan on getting married for another year or two, it all starts much more quickly than you realize. The venue needs to be booked well in advance, you need to start thinking about dates and locations for parties, etc. Once you two decide it's going to happen, it sneaks up on you. The Bridal Party Doesn't Have to Be Huge If you're already stressing about planning and paying for a wedding, having a large bridal party is already a cost unto itself. Here's a gentle reminder: It's okay to have very few, if any, attendants in your wedding. Having, for example, six bridesmaids and as many groomsmen is a huge expense, and if you can't afford to ask everybody to be in your wedding with you then it's all right. If they're truly happy for you and love you then they will understand. Start thinking about the size of your wedding party and whether you should have a large one or not. Things will change for the pair of you the moment that ring is on the fourth finger of her left hand. Most of these changes are happy and exciting, some can be a tad bit overwhelming. Know what to expect before you get engaged to prepare yourself for the realities of wedding planning and getting your life together begun.