CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement! I am thrilled to be celebrating this special day with you and your partner. I know we will make a truly memorable and beautiful reflection of the love you have for one another.
Now time to get planning! Below you will find an outline of to-dos before your big day! Please note that these are rough estimates of time and each celebration and location may require more lead time or attention.
- Announcements to family and selecting your bridal party
- Determining budget, theme, date and location
- Shop for and select all your vendors:
- Ceremony/ Reception location
- Photographer/ Videographer
- DJ/ Band / PA Set Up
- Shop for wedding attire.
- Create guest list and collect all addresses for invitations (whether you will be sending mailed invitations or electronic).
- Make initial contact with any friends or family members you plan on borrowing any items from (this is for DIY inspired weddings).
- Choose your officiant. If you are selecting a close friend or family member, be sure to give them enough time to get ordained and begin writing the ceremony.
- Determine wedding theme and colors, fun stuff!
4 - 6 MONTHS BEFORE
- Engagement photos. As soon as you have locked in your photographer, get these printed if you plan on including them with your Save the Date cards.
- Save the Date cards should be sent out 5 to 6 months before wedding date to give guests plenty of time to prepare for their travel.
- Purchase your wedding dress and begin alterations if needed.
- Secure all rentals you may need with deposits
- Sign vendor contracts
- Begin researching your honeymoon.
- Reserve or request room blocks for out of town guests.
- Purchase wedding rings
- Meet with caterer to decide on reception meal and have tasting.
- Select wedding stationary and request any 'test prints' you may want to run.
2 - 3 MONTHS BEFORE
- Mail out wedding invitations 6 to 8 weeks before wedding date. If you did not send out a Save the Date, send out invitations 10 weeks prior to event.
- Choose a Wedding Shower date. Showers are typically planned and hosted by the mother of the bride or maid of honor and take place 1 to 2 months before the wedding. Begin planning and mail out invites 3 to 4 weeks before the shower.
- Purchase any day of gifts you plan to give your bridesmaids and groomsmen.
- Decide on a date and plan for your Bachelor and Bachelorette parties. Consider who you want to be there and if you plan on having it out of town. Some couples choose to have these on the same day/ weekend, while others space them apart.
- Look into county requirements and get your marriage license (at least 30 days in advance).
- Determine wedding playlist and select special dance songs.
- Meet with your photographer to go over timeline they have for you to cover all shots and details. Please be sure to have them send me a copy of any schedules you make.
- Meet with your officiate to over expectations, decide on vows and if you will be writing your own.
AT LEAST 1 MONTH BEFORE
- Go through RSVP's and confirm head count with all vendors and rental services.
- Finalize seating for ceremony and reception.
- Purchase wedding favors.
- Finalize details for rehearsal dinner.
- Have the final fitting of your wedding attire.
- Have hair and make up trials.
- Make sure all members of the wedding party have proper attire.
- Finalize all outstanding details with vendors:
- DJ/ Band/ PA Set Up
- Photography/ Videography
- Caterer/ Venue
- Complete all DYI elements:
- wedding programs
- personalized menus or signs
- decor details
Please feel comfortable reaching out with any questions throughout this process. Remember that there is enough time to complete it all and not to get caught up in what you cannot control. This ultimately is day about you two and should represent that.