Congrats! You’re engaged! Now what?
Here’s our 10 step guide to get started planning your big day:
18 Months in Advance
1. Establish a Budget
Before you start choosing your different vendors, you want to go in with a game plan. Make sure you set yourself a budget as a whole that you can afford and separate your costs (venue, dress, decor, etc). Do your research and be realistic as to what your vision is versus what you can get with the amount you’ve put aside.
2. Amount of Guests at the Wedding
Figuring out the number of people that you would invite to the wedding will determine your venue choice. Almost all venues have a capacity or max amount of guests allowed to accommodate a space.
3. Choose Your Wedding Party
Traditionally, this would include close friends, family members such as sisters, brothers, etc. The wedding party would also include any little ones if desired such as flower-girls, juniors or ring-bearers. There is no limit or rules to the amount in your wedding party, but on average there are 4-6 bridesmaids/groomsmen on each side.
1 Year in Advance
4. Pick a Wedding Date and Venue
Most venues prefer you book them a year and a half to sometimes two years in advance- depending on how popular the venue is. Make sure you have plenty of time for all fo the details in between.
5. Choose Your Wedding Vendors
If you’re not sure who to choose, some venues have referral lists of various vendors they have used in the past. Vendors like photographers, DJs and florists need to be booked sooner to make sure they have your wedding date open and available.
6. Buy a Wedding Dress
This is the fun part- for the women of course! Find out your style and get some ideas of what you like prior to booking an appointment at a dress shop. This allows the consultant to better assist you in selecting your perfect bridal gown and to help get some ideas. Dresses can take 6-8 months to order and you need time for accessories and the alteration process as well.
6-8 Months in Advance
7. Start Bridesmaid Shopping and Buy Bridesmaid Dresses
Do your research and have a color or style pre-chosen to prepare yourself for your appointment. Try to get all of your girls to come at once, if possible, to avoid any delay in the ordering. These dresses can take 3-4 months to come in and you want to allow time for any alterations they may need.
8. Shop for Groom/Groomsmen Attire
You can either purchase or rent a suit, per your preference. Most people choose to rent, but some men opt to buy so they can alter their attire. You may be able to get more uses out of the suit once it’s altered.
9. Take Engagement Photos with Your Photographer
This is always a good idea because it helps establish a bond between you and your photographer. Having someone photograph you that you don’t know can be intimidating, especially if you’re not a picture person. With that being said, the engagement shoot is a nice preview of how your photographer will be with you on your wedding day.
10. Send Out Save-the-Dates
Doing this will help remind all of your guests in advance that you’re getting married! It will help them not to forget and mark it on their calendar. Don’t forget to incorporate your favorite engagement photos on your save-the-dates!