You’re engaged, congratulations!! But now what?! Whether you know exactly what you want your wedding to look like, or you are lost in all the lace, were here to help you prioritize where to begin!
First things first; Enjoy your moment. The period of time from your engagement to the madness of wedding planning can be a small window so please, enjoy it while it last!
Once you and your fiancé decide its time to dive into wedding planning, give yourself plenty of time. Ideally I would suggest at least a year, but of course there are couples that plan weddings in much less time! If that’s you, just keep in mind you may need to condense the lists a little bit!
Here is where you start envisioning your wedding, (as if you haven’t your entire life) but I mean really start making sense of what you want.
· What is your budget going to look like? This is going to set the tone for everything other decision you have to make.
· Make a guest list
· Are you going to hire a wedding planner? Now would be the time to reach out to them.
· Start looking at venues and pick a date for the big day. Your date could be dependent on the venues availability so keep that in mind during your search!
· Reach out to the people you want in your wedding party! You could do this by just a simple call or text. Others make a bigger show and get personalized gifts for those involved! Do whatever feels right as a couple!
· Discuss, research, and book vendors like, florist, DJ/musical entertainment, photographer, and videographer. Have a vision and plan for everything you expect from these and take your time trying to find the right fit!
· Look into rental companies for anything you may need that the venues don’t provide. Also search the surrounding accommodations for your guests. Decide if you want to pay for a block of accommodations for anyone coming in from out of town. If not, at least have options and pricing for them!
· Register for gifts! We recommend giving your guests a variety of options, so register at a minimum of 2 stores. If you already have a home full of stuff, you go do a honey fund! It’s a creative way for people to gift money toward your honeymoon (which you WILL need after all your hard work)!
· Order your Save the Date cards! You want to give your guests enough time to plan their schedules, and make arrangements if they need to travel to you!
· Gather your girls and head to the boutique! Now is the time to order bridesmaid dresses. They could take a couple months to come in, and you’ll want to give your friends time for any alterations too!
· Start planning your honeymoon! Research flights, hotels, activities, etc. Depending on where you’re going you may need to apply for a passport or visa, too!
· Shop and order invitations! Whether it’s a custom order, or pre made design, paper good time time to be printed, cut and assembled. Again, you want to make sure your guests have plenty of time to clear their schedule and make plans to be there for your nuptials.
· Shop for wedding rings and formal wear for the grooms and groomsmen.
· For the more traditional couples, this is the time to start pre-wedding counseling!
· Book a baker for the wedding cake, cupcakes or any sweets you’re going to serve!
· Address and mail your invitations!
· If your maid of honor is throwing a bridal shower, make sure they don’t do it any later than 2-3 months before the wedding!
· Write your vows, or discuss how you want the ceremony to flow. Do you want any speakers in the ceremony?
· Book your make up artist and hair stylist. Do a trial one for both to make sure what you’ve seen online is what you want in person!
· Purchase any gifts you want to present to family and friends as a token of appreciate for all the hard work they’ve put into making your big day perfect!
· Have a final gown fitting for both you and your bridesmaids. Make sure on of your girls knows how to secure the bustle for the reception!
· Order any Day of Paper (i.e. programs, menus, welcome and find your seat signs)
· Apply for a marriage license.
· Review final RSVP lists, and reach out to anyone you haven’t heard from yet.
· Finalize the lists of songs you want (and don’t want) played, and send it to the DJ/musical entertainment. Do the same with the lists for the photographer and videographer.
· Make a stop at the salon for any touch ups or haircuts you want before the wedding. Don’t do anything out of the ordinary, you still want to look like you when you look back on these pictures 10 years later!
· Call all vendors to confirm everyone is on the same page. This includes giving the venue a final head count for everyone attending, (including entertainment, photographers, etc) and give them a schedule of all the deliveries.
· Plan a seating chart
· Attend bachelor/ bachelorette parties, if they haven’t already happened!
· Make sure the the entire wedding parties outfits are picked up, pressed, and steamed.
· Decide on the order of the wedding party during the ceremony.
· Confirm again for any last minute changes with all the vendors, and provide any Day of Paper to the ceremony and reception managers. Make sure to provide everyone with emergency numbers and of course write any final payments!
· Rehearsal/ Rehearsal dinner. Meet with your wedding party, parents and officiate to do a practice run through everything. Don’t forget to bring any ceremony accessories that you may need as well (i.e. candles, yarmulkes, marriage license). The rehearsal dinner is the perfect time to present any participate gifts.
· Give the best man the wedding bands for the ceremony and the money to pay the officiate if this already hasn’t been done!
· Introduce someone to the photographer and site manager so they have a point of contact that isn’t you, or your fiancé.
· Enjoy your day! You’ve spent so much time and money for this day, make sure you take time to experience it!
Photos provided by:
Lindy Hickman Photography
Samuel Docker Photography
Kendal + Kevin Photography