So you've been dating each other for awhile and now he has finally popped the question. You've shown off your beautiful ring and all your family and friends are excited to see you walk down the aisle. It's so easy for your mind to fast forward to the D-day when all your décor and vendors are already organized and you're walking down the aisle to meet your heartthrob. Sorry to cut your day dreaming short, the truth is there's a lot of work to be done. The BIG question now is, "where do I start?".
Though there's no strict rule as to when to start but you sure want to start early enough, preferably as soon as you get engaged. I'm going to give you a guide that will help give you room for ample planning. Don't be surprised sometimes it takes 2 years to plan things just right. I have clients who have booked my photography services for their wedding 2 years in advance. The good thing about booking a wedding photographer in advance is that you get to benefit from their current pricing. Most photographers, myself included review their pricing every year so if you want to take advantage of their pricing it might not be a bad idea to book early.
The Wedding Day Planning Checklist
From the day you get engaged till 10months before your wedding you need to check these off your list
Agree on a budget
Book wedding ceremony & reception venue
Create wedding website & registry
Book wedding photographer
Choose MOH & bridesmaid
Schedule engagement photoshoot
Organize the guest list
9month before the wedding checklist
Book honeymoon getaway
Choose bridesmaid & MOH dresses and accessories
Get dress shopping
Mail out save the date
Make a list of what kind of food and drinks to serve.
6-7months before the wedding checklist
Book hair and make up artist
Schedule wedding dress Alterations
Decide on cake and wedding décor
Get familiar with your officiant and discuss what kind of ceremony you want
Finalize groom's & groomsmen outfit and style
Finalize food details with the caterer
Finalize wedding invitations designs
Book the wedding rehearsal venue [discuss with your photographer if you want this day captured as well. It might be a good way to get comfy with your photographer before the wedding day, bear in mind this might have ab extra cost separate from the wedding day photos]
This is a good time to buy the wedding bands
3-5months before the wedding checklist
Create a wedding playlist and hire a DJ to jazz things up on the wedding day.
Order the wedding favors
Finalize the wedding timeline for the ceremony and reception [be sure to hand this list to your photographer as well. I'd highly recommend you listen to your photographer in regards to your timeline, if they say the timeline gives little time for specific photos, do listen and make adjustments, if you want good photos]
This is a great time to start ordering gifts for your heartthrob, parents and the bridal party. I think giving gifts is a nice gesture that they will all appreciate. A nice thank you goes a long way, especially with all the efforts they put in.
Book where you and your heartthrob will be spending the night
A month before the wedding day checklist
Apply for marriage license [ your officiant cannot wed you without a marriage license]
Mail out wedding invitations
Write your wedding vows and have it tucked away
Finalize loose ends with the vendors and ensure they have the schedule for the day
Order thank you notes to appreciate everyone's effort
Pick up your dress from alterations
2weeks before wedding day checklist
Make sure your photographer has the "must-have" shot list and there are no complaint about the wedding timeline allocated for shots.
Send out reminders for guest who haven't RSVP'd
This is a good time to finalize any special seating arrangements you might have.
If you're considering doing any spray tanning this is the time to do it. It'll give the spray tan enough time to look natural on your wedding day.
1week before the wedding day checklist
Ensure that any contracts that stipulates payments before the wedding day has been paid. [It's not surprising to forget to pay vendors with specific payment stipulations before the day, especially your photographer. You don't want to have everything ready to go and the Photographer doesn't show up because they were not paid, talk about a wedding day disaster! ]
Finalize headcount with the caterer. [At this point anyone who hasn't RSVP'd isn't coming to the wedding.]
The day before the wedding checklist
Ensure that everything needed for the wedding is packed. Most importantly the dress, veil & shoes,
Get a manicure /pedicure add a massage too, it does wonders!
Attend your rehearsal dinner if you're hosting one
Sleep early, you don't want to wake up with dark circles under your eyes on your wedding day.
Remember these checklist serves as a guide. You will be well on your way to the start of a good wedding planning. No wedding day ever goes perfectly as planned but you can plan for a good day by getting more organized in your wedding day planning. It's your day! No matter what happens, your love for each other will shine through.
Don't forget no matter how beautiful your day is, the dress, décor, food and all; without a skilled photographer to capture the details of this special day, you won't have any memories you can reminisce on. It will only be in your head. It would be great to have photos you can share with friends and family when you start to rave about how gorgeous your day was.
Book us today to cover your special day, we travel wherever love takes us