Guide to Wedding Planning
Before The Proposal…
- Men- Do research and find out what kind of ring your girlfriend likes before buying! We would hate for you to spend all of the time and effort making the perfect moment and her not love the ring. Ladies- Drop hints! Show or send examples to your boyfriend of the kind of rings you like! Here is our full selection of Engagement Rings and Bridal Sets!
- Congratulations she said "YES!"
12–10 Months To Go…
- Sit down and establish a budget and figure out what each of your top priorities are. You can find out where you may want to splurge or save!
- Get your creative juices flowing and visit the holy land of wedding planning: Pinterest. Start browsing Wedding Themes, Cakes, Dresses, Suits, Decorations, EVERYTHING! The big things to check off first are to identify your wedding style and color palette. The rest will be based off of these!
- Figure out who you want at the wedding and start making a list! P.S You don’t have to invite anyone you don’t want to. It is your special day, not theirs!
- Choose your wedding party! Who will be by your side… and can plan a good bachelorette/bachelor party? ;)
- Browse venues online, pick 5-10 you really like and visit them to find out which one is perfect for you and reserve your date! Know what questions to ask when evaluating a wedding venue.
Do you need wedding insurance? It’s something to think about. Check with your venue about Liability Insurance and consider other options, like cancellation insurance.
- Spread the word! Save the date! For destination weddings or weddings around a holiday, consider sending out Save-the-Date cards or emails early to get adequate time for your guests to plan! Or create your own wedding website, and let your invitees know about it. There are many free options available!
- Say yes to your wedding dress (or tux!) and begin assembling the perfect accessories.
- Already feeling overwhelmed? We get it. Consider hiring a Wedding Planner to take some of the stress off of your shoulders!
- Find a Vendor. Assemble an all-star vendor team. We'd start with:
When you hire a vendor, get all the details in writing!
- Breathe. You can do this. Take a break from all of the stress and start planning your honeymoon!
9–6 Months To Go…
- Continue researching, interviewing and booking vendors:
- Create your gift registry (Update the website along the way!).
- Arrange hotel room blocks for out-of-town guests and book your own suite for the wedding night. Let people know when and where they can reserve a spot.
- Find a day where all the girls can go out and shop for bridesmaid/flower girl dresses! Give your attendants clear instructions on how to place their orders. Take into consideration the budget that everyone in your wedding party might have when picking dresses. You don’t want anyone to feel left out over a few hundred bucks.
- Arrange and book any necessary transportation. Party bus? Limo? Golf Cart? Whatever floats your boat! (A boat would also be pretty cool)
- Go over bridal shower/bachelorette and bachelor details and the guest list with the person(s) hosting your parties.
5–3 Months To Go…
- It’s time to start thinking about the rehearsal dinner! Browse around to find a location you like. Book the rehearsal and if you're including entertainment or specialty details like a groom's cake, now's the time to lock in these elements.
- Come up with your rehearsal dinner guest list.
- Reserve all necessary party rentals.
- Order wedding favors for your guests. Get creative there are so many cheap and interesting ideas out there! Here are some options we love!
- Shop for and reserve men's formalwear.
- Concentrate on finalizing the following:
- Guest list. Get everyone's mailing address.
- Invitation wording. Confirm your invitation text with the Stationer, and consider additional stationery (programs, menu cards, place cards, thank-you cards, etc.). Schedule a pickup date for your invites.
- Ceremony readings and vows.
- Menu, beverage and catering details.
- Timeline of the reception formalities.
- Do a Makeup & Hair trial and book your stylists. While you're at it, come up with your own beauty and fitness regimen to be camera-ready for the big day.
- Shop for and purchase your wedding bands. Women | Men
- Finalize honeymoon plans and obtain all necessary documents (are you sure your passports are up to date?).
8–6 Weeks To Go…
- You're getting close…. Mail out those invitations! Have a game plan for recording the RSVPs and meal choices. Some couples have it so you can rsvp and give meal choice on their website which makes keeping track easy!
- Touch base with your vendors to confirm date, deposits and details.
- Start researching marriage license requirements and name-change paperwork.
- Begin your dress fittings. Be sure to buy the appropriate undergarments beforehand.
- Do you have two left feet? Consider taking a dance lesson with your fiancé—a good way to break in your bridal shoes and avoid breaking anything on the dance floor!
- Everyone has their own lives with a lot of stuff going on so give the wedding party a nudge—make sure they've ordered all necessary attire. Make a list of who has or hasn’t to make sure you know who you have to follow up with again.
- Write thank-you cards for shower gifts and any early wedding gifts received.
5–3 Weeks To Go…
- Send out rehearsal dinner invitations. If your get-together will be informal, feel free to send an Evite.
- Finalize and confirm:
- Wedding vows and readings with your Officiant.
- Shot list with your Photographer/Videographer.
- Song list for ceremony, cocktail hour and reception with your DJ and/or Band/Musicians.
- Timeline for the reception and who's giving the toasts.
- Wedding night and honeymoon accommodations.
- Obtain marriage license and complete name-change documents, if applicable.
- Pick up your wedding rings and proofread any engraving!
- If you're the traditional type, do you have something old, new, borrowed and blue!
- Purchase your guest book, toasting flutes, cake servers, unity candle, and all that good stuff.
- Buy gifts (optional) for the wedding party and parents of the wedding couple. It is a nice thank you for all that they have helped you with over the last few months. For bridesmaids/mothers look at our fabulous Gifts That Rock selection as they are all under $200! For guys we have a wonderful selection of watches!
- Have your final dress fitting. Bring your shoes and accessories for the full impact.
- Hunt down whoever hasn't RSVP'd yet.
2–1 Weeks To Go…
- Now that you hunted down everyone to see who is attending or not. Give your caterer/venue the final guest count.
- Arrange seating and create the seating chart and/or place cards.
- Pick up your gown. Swoon. Cry. All that good stuff.
- Confirm arrival times and finalize the wedding timeline with vendors and the wedding party—make sure your MOH has a copy, too.
- Make a check list of ANYTHING you might need the day of that you could forget. Check them off as you gather them together leading up to the big day!
- Speaking of emergencies: Check the weather report, even if it isn’t an outdoor wedding if things look iffy contact your venue to make sure a contingency plan is in place.
- Start packing for your honeymoon. (See "weather report" above.)
- In desperate need of a facial or massage? Now's the time to squeeze one in.
The Day Before…
- Make sure all wedding-day items are packed/laid out and ready to go and your check list from earlier has every box checked! (Don't forget the rings and marriage license!)
- Figure out tips and final payments for vendors. Put them in clearly marked envelopes and give them to the Best Man or another person you trust to hand out at the reception.
- Assign someone to pack up your gifts/belongings after the reception (don't forget the top tier of your cake!).
- Thank your BFF for agreeing to return your groom's tux and other rental items the day after the wedding.
- Enjoy a mani-pedi.
- Attend the rehearsal and dinner. Now's the time to give out wedding party gifts.
- Try to go to bed early…you need your beauty sleep tonight.
- Allow plenty of time to get ready.
- Do the rounds at your wedding—greet everyone and thank them for coming.
- Take a deep breath. Stop to appreciate your new spouse and the day that you spent so much time planning!
After the Honeymoon/Back to Reality…
- Write and send thank-you cards.
- Complete your registry and exchange any unwanted or duplicate gifts.
- Have your wedding dress cleaned and preserved by a reputable company.
- Track the progress your Photographer/Videographer is making on albums, DVDs, etc.
- Enjoy the beginning of your life together!
General Template altered from www.herecomestheguide.com