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  • Writer's pictureKim Morril

You’re Engaged! Now what?

Here's what do to after you get engaged and before you deep dive into wedding planning.

A couple's hands and their wedding bands and engagement rings. The woman wears a black stone surrounded by diamonds on a small gold band and the man wears a thick gold wedding band.
Photo by Aaron Courter Photography

You're engaged!

We love a good love story, we also know very well that there are a lot of steps in between popping the question and your wedding day.

The end of November not only kicks off the holiday season, but it launches the engagement season (with full force). During the winter holiday wave, thousands of couples declare their love for one another and promise to spend their lives together. You might be one of them, or maybe you have a hunch that it’s happening soon. If so, this is for you!

Should you find yourself saying "hell yes" to the partner of your dreams this engagement season, here are my recommended steps as a wedding planner and owner of a Washington and Oregon wedding planning team.

The Guide To Your Engagement and Planning Your Wedding

1. Take a moment!

Finding your person will understandably make you want to announce your engagement to the whole world. But I highly encourage to press pause on the phone calls/texts/Instagram posts and instead revel in the moment with your partner for just a little longer. Pop some bubbles and savor each emotional second with just the two of you. Laugh, cry, stare at the ring. The world can wait. Remember, once you step outside that euphoric engagement bubble and share it with the world, the wedding planning circus begins. Don't rush it. Enjoy your moment!

2. Share the news - VIP's first.

Once you are ready to shout from the rooftops, make a few calls first. Your parents, siblings and BFF's are not going to want to hear about this from social media. If you are close, head over and spread the news in person. If not, pick up the phone. This is a big thing for them too.

A couple in a suit and wedding dress holding hands and showing off a diamond band engagement ring with an oval diamond.
Photo by Sullivan and Sullivan Studios

3. Insure the ring!

I know doing boring crap like calling your insurance company is the last thing you want to do now, but it's important. You would be surprised at how often engagement rings go missing before the wedding. It's new, and you aren't used to wearing it. I once had a good friend lose her ring at the nail salon, getting a mani for those killer ring photos… Needless to say it didn’t happen that day. Please, please, please get this ring insured.

Insider tid bit, the person proposing can get it insured before the question is even popped. Our friends over at BRIDES did a great article guiding you through the best place to insure the ring.

4. Social shout out.

It's time for the ring to make its public debut. Before posting that ring shot, ensure your fingers are ready for their close up. Treat yourself to a wonderful manicure (but don’t lose that ring). Because the wedding industry is well.....the wedding industry there is actually guidance out there for what nail color will compliment your ring if you want a killer photo. But if that’s not your jam, everyone will be excited to know however you wish to share the news. P.S. while you are on Instagram posting that ring selfie, give us a follow to at @yourperfectbridesmaid

5. Take a breather.

I know it's tempting to dive into the big stuff wedding planning wise, but I also think it is important to enjoy just being engaged. Whether you take a weekend, a month or 6 months, try to slow down, be preset and enjoy this stage. Remember, you only call each other “fiancé” for so long. This is the easy part, don't rush through it. What comes next is talking about important topics.

6. Discuss the Big Stuff.

In other words, when, where, how many, and how much. When you are ready to start tackling wedding planning there are a few things to discuss first.

Talk about “when”
Talk about "where"
Talk about “how many”
Talk about “how much”

A silver tray with an silver diamond engagement ring, a gold diamond wedding band and a men's black and gold  wedding band.
Photo by Wiley Putnam Photography

7. Set up for financial and organizational success.

Now that you’ve had the talk about the big things, it’s time to prepare. Before stepping full force into the wide world of wedding planning I highly recommend getting two wedding specific accounts.

  1. A wedding bank account or wedding credit card: I find having a separate, shared account for wedding related expenses crucial. It gives everyone oversight and it really helps you stay on budget because your expenses are getting muddled with your normal life expenses. You may also consider putting all your wedding expenses on a credit card where you and your partner get rewards you can use together (i.e. an airline credit card). You may find you’ll be spending a decent amount, so you might as well reap any benefits you can! Keep in mind, not every vendor allows online payments, or some may have credit card or online payment fees.

  2. A wedding email account: Having a shared wedding account allows you to keep your wedding emails in one area. You both will have access to it and things aren’t getting lost in the sea of your life emails. But, you can always set up a forwarding address to your personal account if you find that helpful to see notifications.

8. Hire a wedding planner.

We do what we do for a reason. Deep down in my core, I believe in the importance of a planner because wedding planning can be stressful and full of surprises, and you deserve someone who gives their full attention to helping you tackle all that it can be. Regardless of who you choose to work with, I highly, highly, highly recommend that a wedding planner be the first official vendor you reach out to.

A planner can do a lot of things for you, such as:

  • Pencil out a budget

  • Help you find the best venue

  • Provide a curated list of vendors

  • Take care of logistical details such as timelines and floor plans

  • Communicate to vendors on your behalf if you have a busy life

  • Curate a unique and realistic design

  • And manage all the details so nothing falls through the cracks

Now that all was what we “do”... But the real benefits to hiring a wedding planner are:

  • Peace of mind

  • Time savings

  • Problem prevention (and solving when necessary)

  • Cost savings

  • and assurance that nothing is being forgotten about or missed.

If you are interested in having some help through this process for your Washington or Oregon wedding - reach out! We offer a complimentary consultation and we would love to learn more about your ideas and share how we can help make them happen!

A gold wedding ring and engagement ring in a cream felt box, surrounded with romantic blush and white wedding flowers.
Photo by Jenna Rose Photography

9. Build your budget.

If you decide to not hire a planner, I definitely recommend penciling out a very detailed budget before moving forward. You want to make sure that the venue and every vendor hired is in support of your budget. Splurging early is going to make everything else that much more difficult. Budgets are tricky - that’s why it’s always the first thing we touch on with our couples and have a handy-dandy customized spreadsheet to build couples’ personalized budgets.

Here are tips to help with finding the budget that works best for you (beyond what the overall number is):

  • Determine what is in and out of the budget. Are you including the cost of the wedding dress, hair and makeup, wedding bands, honeymoon, or rehearsal dinner into the budget? Make a list of what is and isn’t in the budget. This will be an essential step to avoiding miscommunication.

  • Do some research on wedding costs. You don’t want national or even state averages. You really are looking at what the things you want in your region cost. A planner can for sure help with this, but if you have friends who very recently got married, they too can give you some context. Keep in mind, inflation is impacting the wedding industry as well, so if you are building your budget based on data from friends, add about 15% to it. If you do want some professional help creating your budget, check out our Ask a Planner service. We have an a la carte budget creation service to help you create a custom budget for you.

10. Find a venue!

Unique white stone engagement ring on a delicate gold band, surrounded by neutral and dried flowers.
Photo by Simply Splendid

Once you have completed steps 1-9, it's time to tackle the venue hunt. Your search for the perfect venue is going to be stressful. To help with expectations I recommend:

  1. Consider having a planner help you with this step (we offer this as an add-on to our planning packages or as an a-la-cart Ask A Planner consultation service)

  2. Research options - you can start by looking at our map of venues we’ve worked at and loved in Oregon or Washington.

  3. Email and check availability and updated pricing

  4. Schedule a tour and visit in person.

  5. Narrow down your favorites and consult the budget.

  6. Email your favs and request a contract


We are so excited for you and the life you’ll get to spend together. I believe that wedding planning should be fun, not stressful, and that starts with the right conversations, the right plan, and the right resources. We’d love to be a part of your wedding story - reach out and schedule a consultation to talk about what kind of assistance you’d like during the planning process!

With Love,

Kim Morrill


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