Photo credit Camille Wilson Photography
In our first post in the series (which you can find here), we covered the initial steps in wedding planning - most of which are exciting to work on. We can only warn you that this most may not be as "fun" but they are definitely critical items to work on. Just keep your focus on the wedding day and you can make it through it!
1. Select your bridal party. Bridal parties can range from one important person on each side to 10, 12, etc. Consider brothers and sisters on each side and if they will be included in the bridal party. Who are your closest friends? These may be friends you've known since grade school and kept in touch with, or more recent friends that you can't imagine your life without. Talk with your fiance about who they will have on their side. Good news - you don't have to place equal numbers on each side!
After you have determined the list, make sure you ask them! You can go with a simple heartfelt conversation or a handwritten note to let them know you want them next to you on your big day. Or have fun with personalized gifts, small parties or cute cookies like the ones below from Be Sweet Omaha.
2. Gather addresses for all your guest. This can be one of the more daunting tasks (especially if your guest list has edged up to 200, 300 or more guests). You will need these for Save the Dates and Invitations. Work with your fiance and parents to split up the list and start calling, texting, emailing to get the addresses. You can also check out services such as Postable that will create a link which you can email everyone, they fill out their address and it compiles it into one list for you!
P.S. Don't forget to send invitations to your bridal party, officiant, vendors, etc. This makes sure you have them in your final guest count!
3. Start reviewing invitations, save the dates and other stationery needs. Save the Dates should be sent 4 - 6 months before your wedding date and invitations 8 - 12 weeks before your wedding. Your invitations are the first introduction to your wedding style, so keep them consistent with the style decisions you made earlier. Your choices for invitations can seem endless. You can go through a big supplier like Minted, design your own or go fully custom with artists like Typo Boutique, or Yonder Design.
P.S. If you are choosing your invitation with Minted, drop your email in the comments below and we'll send you a promo code to save on your invitations!
Photo credit Ben Brinker Photography
4. Go wedding dress shopping. Ok, now we're getting to some fun stuff! You can find details on some of our favorite boutiques here. Be sure to try on several different styles - you may be surprised at one that fits you perfectly. It's great to have someone with you to help you with your decision, but be careful about making it too big of an outing (we've all seen how that can turn out on Say Yes to the Dress!)
5. Start your wedding registry. Here's another fun item that has several options for you. Many couples already have the basic home essentials and may not need to start from scratch like our parents may have. My husband and I both had a full set of household items when we got married. We used it as an opportunity to replace items we'd had for a few years, upgrade some things and come up with cohesive sets of silverware, etc. You can choose to visit brick and mortar stores to create your list or create it online.
Feel free to get creative on registries - honeymoon funds, furniture or tool registries are great ideas!
Photo credit Cynthia Sparks Photography
6. Book your photographer and videographer. Photographers book up quickly as they typically only do one wedding a day. When choosing your photographer, look through their editing style and the types of pictures they take. Make sure you meet with them before booking to make sure your personalities click! Find out more on how to work with your photographer to get wedding photos you dream of at our post here.
7. Book your florist. Your florist can play a large part in the overall design of your wedding day. The sooner you have them onboard the more they can help you create a cohesive design.
Photo credit Camille Wilson Photography
8. Research guest accommodations and transportation. Ok, one last guest related task. Research accommodations for your out of town guests. Your venue can often help with recommendations. Think outside of the typical hotel and consider if there are cabins or guest houses near by. This makes it easier for guests to spend time together outside of the wedding not crammed into hotel rooms or lobbies!
Check into shuttles if you have large groups of out of town guests. This makes sure everyone arrives on time, removes the stress of finding a new place in an unfamiliar area and lets them get back safely after enjoying the party!
We know we gave you quite a few tasks this time! Work on it in small pieces and mix in the fun with the "not so fun" items to get you through it. Leave us a comment below if you have any questions we can help with! (And don't forget to leave your email address if you are interested in our savings code for Minted)
Next steps for 6 months before your wedding.
Previous post for first steps to planning your wedding.
Pleasant Union Farm is a family owned wedding venue in North Georgia, about an hour north of Atlanta.