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so, you just got engaged! now what?

 

This is our starting point.

 

{ } Take a moment to be happy you're engaged and hide away from social media with your fiancé before announcing it to the world!

{ } Discuss your dream wedding expectations with your fiancé and make sure you're on the same page.

{ } Discuss a budget. Stick to this. This may involve reaching out to one or both sets of parents and asking them if they planned on contributing anything to the wedding.

{ } Pick a date. You might wanna check with your most important peeps and see if they are available before settling on one.

{ } Start researching venues. Most book prime months 1-1.5 years in advance

{ } Start researching videographers/photographers. Most book prime months 1-1.5 years in advance

{ } Book engagement photos. You have to do this ASAP because you need them for Save the Dates.

{ } Look into wedding insurance (military couples, USAA is really good)

{ } Discuss a wedding planner. I definitely couldn't afford one. Another option, is reach out to a close friend that is not in the bridal party, or a coworker that didn't make the invite list and ask them to be your day of coordinator.

{ } Reach out to both sets of parents and begin compiling family addresses. This takes a while.

{ } Choose Bridal Party and ask them.

{ } Make an invite list with your fiancé. You need this to send Save the Dates.

{ } Begin saving wedding dress styles on Pinterest.

{ } Book ceremony venue

{ } Book reception venue

{ } Book wedding photographer (if you like my style, check me out here!)

{ } Book wedding videographer.

{ } Send Save the Dates.

{ } Lookup local dress stores that have the designers you like.

{ } Book dress appointments. Many designers have a 6-8 month dress ship time without rush fees. Some of my favorites to look up are:

 

- Lower End:

Willowby

WTOO

 

- Middle End:

Maggie Sottero

Essence of Australia

Ti Adora

 

- High End:

Monique Lhullier

Haley Paige

 

{ } Buy a dress!

{ } Research caterer, florist, rentals, invitations places, calligraphers, bridesmaid dress companies, hair stylists, makeup artists, etc.

{ } Coordinate with groom's family regarding booking rehearsal dinner and headcount.

{ } Begin premarital counseling -- if you are getting married at church this might be simple because they often require it!

{ } Decide on color scheme.

{ } Consider cost and inclusive packages from caterers. Some caterers include linens, plates, flatware, etc. Others only include the food.

{ } Book wedding blocks for out of town guests.

{ } Build wedding website -- check out theknot, weddingwire, and zola.

{ } Make wedding registries -- Bed Bath and Beyond is the best for their coupons and return policy!

{ } Taste test wedding cake and caterer options.

{ } Book caterer.

{ } Book wedding cake bakery.

{ } Cocktail hour? YAY or NAY.

{ } Alcohol? Open Bar, Cash Bar, Wine & Beer? Make these decisions now.

{ } Buy wedding bands!

{ } Decide on bridesmaid dress colors and dress company. I went with Azazie because they are affordable and great quality -- some of my actual favorites are WTOO and Watters Bridesmaids, as well as BHLDN.

{ } Decide on wedding band or DJ for reception. Book them!

{ } Determine necessary ceremony musicians. Book them!

{ } Book wedding florist. Send bouquet ideas/flower preferences to florist.

{ } Determine # of bouquets, # of boutoinnieres, # of corsages, flower petals for flower girls, flower arch, swag for welcome signs, centerpieces for reception vs. greenery, etc.

{ } Design invitation suites

Check out minted.com they have some ADORABLE options

{ } Send invitations

{ } Begin researching honeymoon.

{ } Find wedding shoes -- if you can afford them, Bella Belle shoes are THE CUTEST!

{ } Buy veil

{ } Buy wedding lingerie for your dress -- do you need a sticky bra, a spanx, a corset?

check out BHLDN.com they always have the most romantic and innocent lingerie

{ } Buy additional accessories: belt, hair clip, tiara, bracelet, necklace, etc.

{ } Buy getting ready clothes -- robe, matching PJs, etc.

{ } Book airbnb or wedding suite where the girls can get ready

{ } Book rentals: tables, chairs, flatware, dinner plate, desert plate, wine glasses, water glasses, table linens, napkins, table centerpieces, etc.

{ } Determine any needs for extra power, generators, bathrooms, etc.

{ } Look into menswear -- we did the whole military wedding thing, but I know some friends that did Mens Warehouse and The Black Tux

{ } Book hair trial

{ } Book makeup trial

{ } Order guest book.

{ } Book food/catered if needed for bridesmaids while getting ready -- you need to EAT

{ } Get headcount of bridesmaids that want hair and makeup done

{ } Book wedding hair and makeup

{ } Figure out whether or not bad weather may effect your plans -- do you need to book a backup tent or order umbrellas, or change the entire plan to inside? if so these things need to be planned for in advance.

{ } Determine whether or not you want to do a formal exit. Sparklers, balloons, rice? Order these.

{ } Do you need transportation? Book it.

{ } Wedding night hotel? Book it.

{ } Start determining wedding program. Pick verses, choose readers, pick music.

{ } Design wedding program.

{ } Order wedding programs, menus, and any other printed materials for wedding day.

{ } When your dress comes in schedule several fittings. Make sure you bring your shoes to your fittings.

{ } Start working on playlists for wedding reception, rehearsal dinner, getting ready, cocktail hour, etc.

{ } First dance song, Mother and Son, Father Daughter dance songs, etc.

{ } Order gifts for bridesmaids, groomsmen, MOB, MOG, etc.

{ } Order ring bearer pillow, flower girl baskets, etc. where applicable

{ } Make hotel bags for out of town guests.

{ } Do you have vendors? Photographer, Videographer, etc. Make sure you account for vendor meals with the caterer/ordering.

{ } Put together a bridal emergency kit. Don't know what to include? Check out my blog post.

{ } Make sure you bring a guestbook pen and lighters for sparkler exit.

 

NOW THE FUN STARTS!

 

{ } Determine what DIY items you want to make or have made by friends.

{ } Make welcome sign.

{ } As RSVPs flow in make seating plan.

{ } Make seating chart.

{ } Buy easel or stand for welcome sign.

{ } Make/buy cards/gift table sign.

{ } Buy cake topper.

{ } Buy cake cutting set (almost always forgotten).

{ } Make/buy wedding favors.

{ } Make timeline -- go over key people and roles(e.g. someone needs to collect your DIY signs at the end of the night/set them up...assign these roles).

{ } Give list of must have shots to photographer and touch base regard timeline

{ } Get marriage license (check dates and timeline for when this needs to be gotten by both of you).

{ } Write speeches for rehearsal dinner.

{ } Book appt. to have manicure done week of the wedding.

{ } Pack wedding night bag.

{ } Drop off wedding bags for out of town guests at hotel.

{ } Bring guestbook, signs, pen for guestbook, seating chart, etc. to venue

{ } Distribute day of timeline to bridal party/groomsmen/parents

{ } GET MARRIED!