We all know that planning a wedding takes a lot of time and effort. There are so many moving parts while planning that sometimes we forget about things. Here are some tips on things to remember for your big day!
1. The BIG Stuff
The first part of planning is narrowing down what I like to call "The Big Stuff". This includes selecting a date, decide on a guest count, and determining a budget. Once you have those details, then it's time to start searching for a venue. The budget is what will drive you to determine if you should even go visit a venue. If you know you cannot afford it, I would suggest not even going to look at it. You don't want to fall in love with a venue you cannot afford! The date and guest count are going to be the first things that a venue asks you when you go to visit so be sure you have an idea on both.
2. Choose your Wedding Party
Take time to sit down with your fiance and discuss your wedding party. How many people will you have? Is it going to be all family or friends or a mixture of both? Will it be even numbers on both sides? These are a few things to think about when selecting your wedding party. Some like to keep it small while others have a wedding party of 20+!
3. Book your Vendors
Once a date has been chosen, you can start researching other vendors such as a DJ, Photographer, Videographer, Florist, Bakery, etc. All of these vendors are pieces of the puzzle that creates your wedding day!
4. Purchase a Dress
One of the most important details on the wedding day for the bride is the dress! Be sure you give yourself enough time to search for that perfect dress. Once ordered, dresses typically take nine months to come into the store. Save yourself the stress and start shopping early! You will also want to give yourself enough time for alterations to be completed if necessary. And a word to the wise....when you find your dress, stop looking!
5. Reserve a hotel room block
I feel as though sometimes the hotel room block is forgotten. This is a very important part of the planning process as you will likely have guests coming from all parts of town and possibly from out of state. Selecting a hotel for a room block will give you a lower rate for your guests. Also, many hotels now offer complimentary shuttle service so you should not have to worry about transportation for your guests! If your hotel does offer shuttle service, be sure to ask how many rides your event is allowed and what time the shuttle will run until.
6. Schedule Hair & Makeup Artists
Be sure you choose your hair and makeup artist in advance. Many brides opt to have a trial before the wedding day to nail down the look they want and so there are no surprises the day of. When booking hair and makeup, be sure to ask if a trial is included in the price.
7. Purchase the rings
Be sure you visit a jeweler at least six months in advance to purchase your rings. This will give enough time to resize if necessary.
8. Get your Marriage License
Head to the County Clerk's office at least a month before your wedding. Be sure that you and your spouse go together and bring proper identification. The fee varies by county so be sure to call before to find out the fee and payment methods accepted or bring cash and a card with you so you have multiple payment options. Your Marriage License will be valid for 60 days. Make sure that you have your license on your wedding day and your officiant signs off on it. Click here to see frequently asked questions on the Illinois Marriage Law.
9. Break in your Shoes
The last thing you want on your wedding day is blisters or achy feet! If you are purchasing a new pair of shoes for your wedding day make sure that you break them in beforehand. Wear them around your house while your cleaning on the weekends so they stay nice and clean!
10. "Should I hire a Coordinator?"
I say this is one of the most important things not just because I blog for a Coordination company but I see this question asked SO many times. This is one of the easiest questions for me to answer...YES! You spend months, sometimes years planning your wedding day. You should be able to enjoy yourself to the fullest and just be able to enjoy the fact that you are finally married! A Coordinator will take all the stress off of you. At Day of Divas, we start working with couples 30 days out from their wedding. We contact all of your vendors to confirm services and begin making a "Big Picture" timeline of the day. We assure all loose ends are tied up and handle anything that may come up the day of. A Coordinator truly is the brains behind the scenes on the day of your wedding. When making a budget, please consider accounting for a Coordinator cost, you will not regret it!