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1000 Stories Events

You Got a Ring for Christmas


What now?! Feeling overwhelmed already? Take a breath and read on. It’s a step by step process, so tackle the tasks one by one.

Here are the First Steps you should take

First, tell your family members (they should know before anyone else that wasn’t there when it happened). After your family, then you can tell your friends! Tell them in person if possible or over the phone, but not via text or social media. After your family and close friends know you can change your Facebook status!

I understand that most of you have never planned a wedding. Luckily I’ve been involved in the wedding business for many years and have been an assistant to a wedding photographer. I can share tips to get and keep you organized.

Size matters!

Discuss the size of the wedding – how many family members can be expected on each side, make a list of friends and co-workers you would consider inviting. Is your count small like 30-50 people in total? Or is your list 60-100 people? Or is you list more than 100 names long and growing? Who do you envision in your bridal party? Remember the # of groomsmen usually matches the # of bridesmaids (but it’s your wedding so really YOU make the rules). The average cost of a wedding in the greater Portland area and Clark County in 2016 was nearly $32,000 with typical guest count approximately 130 people, but many beautiful weddings have a budget under $15,000. Use a tool, like The Knot budget calculator.

Budget is not a 4-Letter Word

A basic budget can be split like so: Venue (reception food & drink) 48%, Photography 10%, Dress/Attire 10%, Flowers 8%, Music/Entertainment 7%, Stationery 3%, Travel (hotel & transportation) 3%, Ceremony 3%, Rings 2%, Cake 2%, Gifts 2%, 2% padding/misc., but think about making a small investment in getting assistance from a planner.

Ask your married friends for advice and recommendations on vendors. Read my blog about meeting your important vendors you’ll be working with for the next year! Check online for reviews. But before you make any decisions, meet them in person to see if you click.
As a certified wedding planner, I can help you research and edit all these vendor choices, keep you within your budget and, maybe most importantly, direct your wedding day so you can enjoy it!

Meet some photographers and plan to take engagement photos. You can use the session to see if you connect with the photographer and like their work before you hire them. You can use the photos for announcements in the paper or on your Save-the-Date cards, frame them for the sign-in table at your wedding, or just frame and enjoy new pictures of you two together (maybe with your dog, or in the spot he proposed or just at your favorite park).

Setting the date…or choosing the season

Although you don’t have to set a date immediately, consider the time of year you’d like to get married – spring, summer, autumn or winter.

Now that you have an estimation of how big your wedding will be and what time of year, start researching venues! Do you want a church wedding? Where will your reception be (and how will guests get from place to place)? Do you envision your ceremony to be inside or outside? Do you love the beach or the mountains (think about the time of year you want to get married then consider the weather)? Use a directory like the Wedding Spot to find all the options in your area. Read more about how to select the Perfect Pacific NW Wedding Venue.

Protect Your Bling

You should have your engagement ring appraised and insured for damage, loss or theft.



When you’re ready to move on to the next steps, I’ll be here for you!

I offer free, no-obligation consultations. My goal is to help you enjoy your big day through thoughtful and thorough planning and event day coordination.