Sometimes planning can be overwhelming, but if you spread it out over a year or, at least several months, planning can seem sincerely less daunting. So sit back, relax, and enjoy our fun points that can turn a task into something actually enjoyable and bonding for you and your new fiancé!
12 Months Before:
Discuss your budget. No one loves this talk, but you need to know how much you are spending, where it is coming from, and who will have say in your wedding because of their financial involvement. Get on the same page.
Book your venue and choose your most important vendor. Maybe it is your photographer who you have been stalking on Facebook since they shot your coworkers wedding. All you can think of is “How did they get that shot on the cliff?”. Contact them, reach out and find out what their packages start at, what dates they have available, and any other details necessary. When you enter your venue of choice, see if those dates are available right from the start. If not, it is time for a decision – which is more important to you, the venue or the photographer? Talk with your fiancé! This is important.
Register for all your wedding gifts! This is a dream. You and your fiancé get what could be considered a laser gun and get to run around a store looking at things that you want in your home, not having to pay for them, and zapping them with your gun. Dream. Think outside the box. Do you love camping – find that two room tent that will comfortably fit you two and your German Shepherd during a storm. Don’t be afraid to mix large and small items. Spatulas and mixing bowls can be tossed together and wrapped for a fun themed wedding gift. Also think of what will be useful. At 8 am would you rather have a quesadilla maker or a fabulous coffee maker. I know which one I would choose!
Engagement Party. Remember when I said that this could be fun? Enjoy your engagement party. Make it feel like the two of you or the idea behind your wedding. Have something fun and flashy on a boat or throw the poshest picnic your friends have ever seen. Whatever it is – have fun and show off that ring!
10 Months Before:
Choose your vendors! The good ones go fast so snag them when you can. Prime dates in June or September leave brides high and dry with their B-list vendors all the time. Get on top of the issue and book the most important first! Sounds terrible, right? It isn’t. Choose your favorite vendor and talk with them about who they love in the industry. Get the inside scoop. Vendors always chat with other vendors and they know the quirks of each.
Select your bridal party. It can be as cute as a Pinterest pin or as simple as taking the girls to dinner and letting them know that they are going to be dancing the night away as your bridesmaids. Talk over the basic duties and have your closest (and most responsible) member be your Maid of Honor! She will have to wrangle this crew so make sure that she is up for the task and has all their contact information.
Take your engagement photos. This doesn’t have to be so early out. If your ten month is in February and you hate snow with a passion, wait a couple months. It won’t hurt. You would rather have great photos than photos where you like you are miserable the whole time. This is the perfect time to get to know your photographer. Is he making you relaxed and keeping you laughing or are you finding yourselves laying on the ground next to each other with your hands in your heads like a 10 year old’s Sears Portraits photo? Remember, you can change vendors (all vendors) if you aren’t happy or comfortable with their products, services, or communication, but READ YOUR CONTRACTS FIRST!
8 Months Before:
Order your dress. So important, right? Maybe, maybe not. Some women are obsessed with the dress and some women are without dress dreams. Regardless, order quickly and give yourself plenty of time for alterations.
Taste that cake. Oh, fun again. You get to go to different bakers, sit in delicious smelling rooms while people rush in with cake samples describing them to you as “soft” “aromatic” “moist” and “fragrant”. Enjoy. It is a fun experience that even your fiancé will make time for!
Do your first hair and makeup run. As suggested in a previous blog by the amazing Stephanie Peterson, make sure that you have some ideas about your look, bring pictures, but also be flexible. Maybe now you are dying for a dramatic cat eye with glitter, but your laid back country themed wedding may not work with that. Listen to the experts and try a couple looks to see what works perfectly with your features!
6 Months Before:
Order your bridesmaids dresses that all, or at least most, of the ladies can agree on. Hopefully the body types aren’t too dramatically different, but if they are or preferences are varied, consider letting the bridesmaids wear different dresses in one color or similar dresses in a certain color palette. Matching is not a requirement lately and some tones work beautifully on some skin, but not on others.
Purchase your wedding bands. More jewelry to choose. Speak with your jeweler about having your rings soldered together or apart.
Send your save the dates out. Remember those adorable engagement photos you took with that photographer that you love? Use one of those shots to let the world know which day, this year, is going to be the best day ever. They should have time to plan this. If your wedding is destination, do this much earlier. People require proper notice for such things.