As the initial engagement excitement slowly subsides, you might begin to transition to the “Now what?” phase of being engaged. But don’t panic! Take a deep breath and break out your best planner.
First Things First:
Call your family, friends, and loved ones. Nothing will excite you more than your network of friends and family gushing over you and your fiancé. In crucial wedding planning times, these people will be your support system.
If you haven’t taken the perfect an engagement ring selfie, get a manicure and a camera. Post your engagement selfie to social media and let the rest of the world know you’re taken.
Get your ring fitted and insured. This isn’t something fun, but it is important – and could save you lots of stress in the future.
The Wedding Book
Think about if you want to do more of a traditional or theme wedding and start planning from there! Create your vision board for inspiration and put it at the beginning of your wedding book.
Among the first pages of your wedding book should also be your budget. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize! Take the top three things that you MUST have for you to have the wedding of your dreams and begin to budget from there.
Choose a Date by Working With Your Venue
Have a general idea about a date. Here’s where the stress starts to come in. Take a deep breath and start by thinking big to small:
- What’s the optimal weather conditions you want for your wedding?
- What season do you want your wedding to be in?
- Indoor or outdoor wedding?
Once you answer those big questions, finding a date should become a little easier:
- Narrow down your month according to your preferred season and weather conditions.
- Is there a specific date that means a lot to you and your fiancé?
Now to the venue – you can’t plan the rest of your wedding if you don’t have a place to be wed! Choosing the venue is a very crucial and important first step. Many DIY wedding planners have placed booking a venue at the top of their to-do list.
Talk to your venue and work out a couple of dates that could work for your wedding. Remember to consider all dates – even ones in the colder seasons. This could mean that you get your dream wedding at a fraction of the cost, and that most of your guests won’t be too wedding-ed out from going to wedding after wedding after wedding in the warm months. You can get great rates from vendors and more time alone with your wedding coordinator. Talk to your support group to see if there’s any date conflicts. Confirm your date and get ready for some planning!
Get a Wedding Coordinator
Once you choose your venue – begin working with the wedding coordinator there. The wedding coordinator works hand in hand with you and is with you every step of the way. The wedding coordinator helps make your dreams come to life. From hiring and organizing vendors, to helping you make a day-of schedule, to getting you into your wedding dress. Wedding coordinators do it all and are vital pieces to your wedding puzzle.
More Things To Do:
- Pick your wedding party
- Start putting together a preliminary guest list
- Book and confirm your officiant for your wedding date
Eight Months till Wedding
Sean Gallery Photography
Get your support group ready for their first assignment – finding the perfect dress. Maybe you have a hand-me-down heirloom dress, in which case, great! Make sure to get it altered if necessary. If you’re shopping for a dress, think if you want a more traditional or modern looking dress. Try to find a dress that not only makes you feel like a bride, but one that goes with your wedding theme.
Talk to your venue about what vendors they recommend – venues have amazing connections with lots of vendors. Going with a venue recommended vendor ensures a great quality of service. Not only that, your venue knows the type of wedding you want to have – therefore they know exactly what vendors to use to make your dreams a reality.
Registry and Wedding Website
When creating your wedding website, keep in mind you are creating a central site for your guests to reference. This will avoid calls and texts throughout the duration of your engagement about questions that can easily be answered by putting it on a website. Your registry can be linked to your wedding website and can be made active in a later time of your engagement.
More Things To Do:
- Hire the photographer and videographer
- Book the entertainment
- Book the florist
- Meet with caterers if your venue doesn’t have on-premise catering
- Reserve hotel rooms for you, your wedding party, and guests.
Seven to Six Months till Wedding
Here’s a halfway point pick me up! While honeymoon planning can be stressful in and of itself this task is also an event that you and your fiancé can do together. Think of this trip as a small treat yourself gift after accomplishing putting together an entire wedding!
JR Photo NY
Start Making Your Wedding Day Timeline
This is crucial to everything going smoothly. Have a rough outline to final draft of how you want to plan out your wedding day – you may need to coordinate this with your venue and vendors to see if the times you are thinking of placing them will work.
More Things to Do:
- Send out your Save the Date cards
- Shop or rent bridesmaid’s dresses
- Arrange transportation to and from your hotel to your wedding venue
Five to Four Months till Wedding
Choose Your Music
Choosing your first dance song is a small but special thing that you and your future spouse will treasure forever. Take some time and really think about what songs are memorable and unique about you and your fiancé’s love. Other important song choices are the dances you do with your parents – be sure to include them in the conversation as well.
Dean Michaels Photography
More Things to Do:
- Order unique wedding favors for guests
- Book a rehearsal space if your venue doesn’t have one
- Finalize the guest list and menu
- Book hair and makeup
- Get a cake if your venue doesn’t offer it
Two Months till Wedding
Meet with the Photographer
Spend some time talking with your future spouse as well as your support team about specific shots you want your photographer to take the day of your wedding. Dancing shots? The “I Do’s”? Pre-Ceremony photography? There’s lots of options, but use your network of friends and family to help you decide which moments you want to have forever.
Drew Noel Photography
More Things to Do:
- Purchase Rings
- Print Programs
- Send your Event schedule to your vendors
One Month till Wedding
Maybe you’re having some nervousness about the wedding at this point. Now is a good time to write your vows and remember not only how much you love your fiancé, but why you love them. Sit down alone, try to clear your mind, and write whenever is in your heart.
More Things To Do:
- Send confirmations to all your vendors as well as your final payments
- Assign seating
- Get your marriage license
Week of Wedding
Paul Francis Photography
It’s finally here! Because you did such a great job planning, this week should be a breeze! Remember that you don’t have to be in charge of everything by yourself. It’s ok to delegate! Use your trusted support group to get all our guests in their correct assigned seating or to make sure the band arrives on time. Now all that’s left is for you to get married!
Last Things To Do:
- Pick up your dress
- Pack for honeymoon
- Get some spa time, you deserve it
Header Photo by Rafal Ostrowski Photography.