So it finally happened huh?!............
For some of us we have planned this day since we were small and use to play house with our friends. Personally, I remember taking a sweat band and kitchen towel and wrapping it around my head as the veil ( i was a child of the 80's lol ). But the times have definitely changed and it seems like so much more goes into these details then we thought when we were kids.
So who am I ???..............
My name is Wendy Brown, 35, married for 6 years, mother of 4 beautiful kids and I have been obsessed with all things bridal from as far as I can remember, I own a wedding coordination company called DAY OF DIVAS and these things and details are EXACTLY what we love and offer our couples. We specialize in a service called ''Month of '' coordination. We offer trends, tips, social groups, blogs, live feed, host bridal shows and have amazing professional preferred vendors. So ARE YOU READY?! Lets plan your wedding, I have provided a 1 year out timeline for booking your vendors and what comes next to stay on track!
12- months out..... here we go, lets count down!
Month 12- [ ] First take some time to celebrate that you have taken this step in your relationship and soak in all the ''FEELS''! Post those pics of the ring on Instagram ( you know you want to) and change that status on Face Book.
[ ] Invest in some of the wedding magazines to get some inspiration on color-scheme and newest trends for the year, some i would recommend are WEDDING GUIDE CHICAGO and THEKNOT.COM MAGAZINE ( and its not just because I am preferred vendors of theirs, WINK) they are popular and always keep up the latest trends, DIY, and much more!
[ ] Once you have some ideas start a binder to keep everything in or if you are the go and usually pressed for time start a Pinterest pin folder, easily accessible. Think about all the weddings you have been to in your life and what you liked and didn't like about them.
Month 11-[ ] Sit down and discuss what the budget will look like, how much can you spend include any contributions from family members as well ( we also will be putting out a blog on budgets) starting from the Engagement party, to the shuttle service at reception for your guess if that is an option.
[ ] Think about things like banquet halls VS venues that let you cater in your own vendors, knowing the difference can make a difference financially for you.
Month 10/9-[ ] Although you have probably already in your mind figured out whom will be in your bridal party this month takes you into action with asking them. ( We have a great bog on great DIY ways to ask your friends and family to be in your bridal party). Doing it this early gives them time to gather expenses for their dresses makeup ect, as well as arranging for sitter and who will be in charge of your shower, bachelor/bachelor parties.
[ ] Start that grueling task of the guest list, the both of you have to sit down and realistically thinking about who you will invite and gather that info together in your binder so that its ready for when you send out the shower invites, wedding invitation ect. Be aware- if you are wanting to keep your costs low the guest count will have to be shortened, this will take a while and approval on both ends who to keep and who to cut out.
[ ] Book your venue, keep in mind at this time the location of you ceremony. Is it far from the venue? Is it in the venue? All things need to be considered.
[ ] Start looking for and book your officiant, whether it is a friend, Church pastor, a agency this needs to be done and locked in. If its a matter of religious denomination there are several out here that cater to what your preference is.
[ ] talk to your bridal party and finance about that engagement party, this time wise is a great time to throw one!
[ ] Start looking into a photographers, DJ/bands, florist and caterers as this is something you will want to interview them and meet pretty quick ( what should you ask your vendors at a meeting? We have a blog for that!!) These vendors get booked up pretty quick and if you are looking right in prime wedding season it can be more difficult.
[ ] Que in that wedding planner or coordinator, these professional come with a preferred list of vendors to choose from and can make this process easier for you.
Month 8 The month of meetings- [ ] Book that photographer and get those engagement pictures done.
[ ] Book that DJ or Band, see if they have some visuals for you on their website to see or a gig to go to that is open to the public
[ ] Book the caterers or go the food tasking at the venue, make sure to arrive extra hungry. You will need the room.
[ ] Check out some bakeries and look into what kind of cake you would like. Are you cutting costs? Go cupcakes, dont cancel them out yet, they are still popular!
[ ] GET THAT DRESS!! Go to several places with family and friends, bring inspirational pics to ease the process, look into what accessories will go with the dress ( several fitting will need to be done to assure the perfect fit, over the course of the months make sure to schedule those.
[ ] Pick out your tux and the grooms men tux/ suites
[ ] Get your bridesmaid dresses picked out and ready for any fitting that might need to made over the months to pass.
[ ] Set up your wedding registrar ( try to do more than 1 store)
[ ] While your at it launch a wedding site for your guest to follow you journey and know importation information.
[ ] Block hotel rooms if necessary
Month 7/6- [ ] Start looking into those invitations and make the commitment to one, ( look into what is included in this as addressing them all can be time consuming)
[ ] Meet with your officiant, start planning what you are doing as far as the ceremony goes and if a script will be involved.
[ ] Remember those engagement pics? Send out those Save-the-date cards.
[ ] Book that florist and go over the ideas for centerpieces ( some venues will include your centerpiece decor, make sure you ask) flowers for grooms men, bridal party, parents,flower girl and of course your bouquet. Keep in mind season as flowers out of season can be pricey.
[ ] Book your transportation, take into consideration how big your dress is and bridal party if you have to look into something like a limo bus.
Month 5/4- [ ] Book the rehearsal dinner where its at the venue or at a restaurant, doing it this early will give you a better chance of availability and give your bridal party more time to schedule it in.
[ ] If you are having a show give the guest list to whomever is planning it and talk about details.
[ ] Schedule your hair and makeup trials
[ ] Choose your music for both the ceremony and the reception letting your vendor know what you have chosen
[ ] Select you cake and get it ordered, look into if the venue will cut the cake or not as that can incru an extra charge to your bill
[ ] Go to a dress fitting if you have one scheduled and look at shoes and hair pieces
[ ] Check on your wedding invitations if they are being made.
Month 3- [ ] Send all your vendor information to your planner or coordinator. If you are creating your own timeline this is what you can send them. If they are creating this for you they will need all vendor contact info as well.
[ ] Order your favors if you are doing them, candies are still very popular for your guests or a sweets table at the reception.
[ ] Have you picked out your rings yet? Time to get those!
[ ] This is a good time for anyone making a speech at the wedding or doing a reading get that all set up and picked out.
[ ] Got to the venue and finalize the menus and centerpieces as well as meeting with the florist to make sure details are done.
[ ] Finalize how you want thing at the ceremony and reception go in terms of order and who walks whom down and introduction songs ect.
[ ] Get name cards, programs and menu cards made or printed up, places like Hobby Lobby and Micheals are great for finding these.
Month 2-[ ] Meet again with the photographer to go over specific shots, either outside location or on site.
[ ] Send out your invitations
[ ] Bachelorette / Bachelor parties can be enjoyed this month
[ ] Check in on your dress, see if any more alterations need to be done to bridal party dresses.
One month before!!!! [ ] Final meeting with ''day of coordinator'' if you have one to get the timeline started.
[ ] Make sure to apply for the marriage license, always make sure that you ask when they will expire.
[ ] Mail out rehearsal dinner invites
[ ] Make sure to keep count of the RSVP'S that have been coming in the mail for the final head count at the venue.
[ ] Send out final payments to your vendors
[ ] Last dress fitting!!!
[ ] Assign the seating arrangement if you are going that route.
[ ] If the venue allows drop off all the decor for centerpieces, name cards, gift card box and what ever else you are needing at the wedding off to them,
[ ] Start beauty routine if you are tanning, getting hair done ect
[ ] Make sure that bridal party and grooms gifts are purchased.
[ ] If you are creating your own vows they should be done this month.
WEEK OF THE WEDDING!!!!! [ ] Finalize times that all vendors will be getting to the venue including the cake, decor, DJ, photographer, caterer, videographer
[ ] Create a '' day of '' timeline for the bridal party and vendors to follow
[ ] Final walk through at the venue
[ ] Give the venue the final head count
[ ] Have rehearsal dinner to go over the order that everyone is walking in the ceremony and the order that are taking place for the introductions
[ ] Have speech ready for your bridal party and family at the rehearsal dinner and give them their gifts
[ ] Give the license to the officiant at the rehearsal
[ ] Give the rings to the best man
[ ] Pack your bag for the wedding day making sure all undergarments are in there and change of shoes, tuxes should also be picked up and ready.
Hope this helps an please keep a look out for more Blogs from us!!! Photos courtesy of www.WallStreetsVision.com