Newly engaged....now what? Maybe you're still lightheaded from his
Wedding Planning, 10 to 12 Months
Have a Sit Down with Groom to Be. Get out your umbrella, it's time to brainstorm. Before you craft a budget or jet off to a bridal shop, talk to your groom-to-be. Do you picture a small back-yard barbecue wedding or a large formal affair? Jot down a few ideas. Make sure you're on the same page with major issues like big or small, where and when.
Budget Baby! How much do you expect to spend on this shindig? And who is going to contribute? Budget for the big things like reception venue, honeymoon, and photographer first. Worry about little things like the bridesmaid gifts later.
Pick wedding dates. What month calls to you? Do you want a winter wedding or a summer wedding? Seasons set the tone for your wedding, so choose carefully. Check with important guests and officiants to make sure they won't be out-of-town.
Hire a Wedding Consultant/Ask Friends for Ideas. (Optional) Search for the best even planner in town. Or talk to family and friends about local vendors and use their advice before you hire anyone.
Begin a Preliminary Guest List. Decide the approximate size of your wedding.
Interview Caterers/Scout Reception and Ceremony Sites. One of the most enjoyable steps in the wedding planning process. Stray beyond the standard: Look at mansions, castles, even bowling alleys. Once you have a venue you love and it's available on your date, book it! But choose carefully. Many places require nonrefundable deposits.
Wedding Planning 6 to 9 Months
Dress Shopping. Start wedding dress shopping early. You'll need time for fittings, alterations, plus it can take months to find the perfect dress. Find out what dress will flatter your figure. Don't go dress shopping without doing research.
Choose Your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen. Choose wisely. But don't pick too many, remember you'll have to buy bridesmaid gifts and groomsmen gifts for your entire wedding party. When you finalize your wedding party list, propose to your girls with Will you be my bridesmaid cards.
Pick a Color Scheme. From the conventional to the trendy, a rainbow of wedding colors awaits. Take the season and wedding venue into account. Paint your wedding with your personality.
Audition the Band or DJ. Whether you want a hip DJ or a classic string quartet, make sure you book early and get the best. Music and food make or break a wedding.
Find a Florist. Pick a reputable florist. Ask to see photos of their previous work and show them photos of what you want your flowers to look like. If your bridesmaid has a nose for floral design, bring her along and get her an extra special bridesmaid gift.
Find a Photographer. Photographs make precious keepsakes of your wedding. Your favorite wedding photo frame will be displayed on your mantel for years. Photojournalism or posed shots of relatives? Find a photographer or videographer that specializes in your preferred style. And definitely get recommendations from others.
Come back for our next wedding checklist and personalized bridesmaid gifts. Find out when to buy gifts for bridesmaids and the rest of the wedding party, schedule the rehearsal dinner, and find a stylist. Happy planning!