We know it’s hard to take your eyes off your new engagement ring, but you’ve got planning to do, and the longer you wait the fewer options you’ll have. Since the holiday season is prime engagement season, there are countless other couples starting to plan their big day. Don’t risk missing out on some of the top vendors by waiting too long to make those initial first contacts and contracts.

To help you, we’ve created an engagement checklist to ensure your big day gets off to a great start. To keep you in the spirit of the season, we’re calling this the 12 Days of Your Engagement:

On the First Day of Your Engagement: Spread the news! Post, share, snap, text, however you operate, let your family and friends know. A few personal visits to parents and relatives who live nearby is a wonderful gesture the older generations will appreciate.

On the Second Day of Your Engagement: Call your insurance agent. It’s important to protect your new investment by insuring your ring. If the retailer didn’t offer insurance at the point of purchase, policies will be available through your home insurance agency.

On the Third Day of Your Engagement: Start a vision board. Begin to gather magazines and pin images on popular social and wedding sites to help inspire your theme. Talk about the things that matter most to each of you on your wedding day.  This is also the time to think about available dates or narrow down the season for your wedding.

On the Fourth Day of Your Engagement: Get organized. There are many online resources to help you track your planning progress or start a wedding journal to gather your ideas and make notes and lists.

On the Fifth Day of Your Engagement: Talk guest list. The first question any potential venue manager will ask you is how many guests will be attending your wedding, so you’ll need an approximate number to begin narrowing down your options. This is also a good time to establish a policy for children and plus-ones.

On the Sixth Day of Your Engagement: Crunch some numbers. The budget conversation is never enjoyable but it’s inevitable and necessary. It’s important to set restrictions and consider where you want to save and where you can afford to splurge.

On the Seventh Day of Your Engagement: Considering hiring help. If you’re thinking about hiring a wedding planner it’s best to do so early in the planning stage. Like all vendors in the wedding industry, the best professionals are booked quickly so act fast.

On the Eighth Day of Your Engagement: Schedule venue visits. The premier venues book more than one year in advance so there’s no time to waste in securing your memorable venue. Make a shortlist of your favorites and get on the phone as soon as possible.

On the Ninth Day of Your Engagement: Select your wedding party. It’s important to carefully consider who you’d like standing beside you on your wedding day. Then, find a special way to invite these honored guests to the wedding party.

On the Tenth Day of Your Engagement: Secure key vendors. Many professional services are available to make your wedding day special. Make a list of services you’ll need for your wedding and schedule interviews with photographers, DJs or other live entertainers.

On the Eleventh Day of Your Engagement: It’s all about the dress. If you already have a vision for your wedding dress you’re one step ahead. If not, it’s time to start looking for inspiration.

On the Twelfth Day of Your Engagement: Enjoy the moment. We’ve thrown a lot into those first eleven days. Take today off from planning to enjoy this exciting time in your life.

Twelve days might be an aggressive timeline to accomplish all of these items, but the point is it’s never too early to begin planning the important details that will make your wedding day special. You have a long road ahead, but it’s important to start off on the right foot.