12 Months Out
It’s Time to get Started
Your true love got down on one knee and asked you to spend forever with them. After calling everyone in your contact list and taking a mass amount of selfies you can’t help but feel a little stressed and lost about planning your big day. We are here to tell you we’ve got you covered. No need to worry, we have composed the perfect checklist to make your wedding straight out of a fairytale!
Pick a Date
Do you want a December wedding with snowflakes dancing around as you say ‘I do’? What about a springtime outdoor wedding surrounded by tulips and daisies? Or does a summer wedding in Aruba on a beach sound more like your style? No matter the theme you envision, the goal remains the same and twelve months before your wedding is when you and your partner should decide on the date! Narrowing down your choices by season always helps to reduce some of the stress of picking a date. Remember, this foundational decision is one that helps you make more stylized choices later in the process such as choosing wedding dress styles and colors. For example, destination weddings in a tropical location usually call for more beach friendly and casual wedding styles. Additionally, winter weddings tend to gravitate towards darker tones like burgundy and burnt orange. Spring weddings are usually based on pastel color palettes and floral prints.
Set a Workable Budget
The beginning of the wedding planning process is the best time to set your budget. You might not have a wedding that resembles the luxurious and over the top nature of celebrity weddings, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it beautiful. Setting a budget helps narrow down your options, but it can also open up an avenue of creativity and innovation. With the help of the internet, you can discover a multitude of different DIY centerpieces and placeholders that are just a click away. Nobody wants to break the bank, going in with a price point in mind will ensure you aren’t putting yourself under unnecessary financial stress.
Find a Wedding Venue
Next up is finding a wedding venue, your choices can range depending on whatever fits your personal aesthetic. From barns to churches, there are many different locations for the perfect wedding. Finding a wedding venue also directly relates to what season you have chosen for your wedding date. You need to think about how the location will impact your guests and what makes sense according to the season. For instance, picking a barn as your location would be a great option for summer or spring weddings since guests can enjoy the weather in a more rural setting. However, if you are planning on having a winter wedding you might not want to have an open venue. It’s vital to think about budgeting when picking a wedding venue, ask yourself what is most important to you and what you want to splurge on. Do you want there to be more of an emphasis on location or on the delicious menu from a fancy steak restaurant?
Create a Guest List
Do you want to invite all of your extended family and friends or do you want a smaller, more close-knit gathering?Picking who comes and who doesn’t is a central piece of planning a wedding. Don’t feel forced to invite your third aunt twice removed from your mother’s side that you have only met once when you were a young girl, this is your wedding and it’s about you, not everyone can go. Make sure to talk to your partner about this as there are often disagreements upon who to invite and who not to invite. It is wise to create a mass guest list and then narrow down who is of vital importance and who isn’t to get a better sense of the size of the wedding. Size of the guest list will also dictate size of the budget. You might want Beyonce, Jay-Z and Blue Ivy to make a star appearance at your wedding, but it is important to be realistic!
Research the Pros (Photographers/Band)
Make sure to research the pros carefully to ensure that you find a photographer that takes quality photos and a band that will get everyone on the dance floor. The kind of music you play has a huge impact on your guests. No one wants to go to a wedding that just plays the chicken dance over and over, you want to be able to showcase your sick dance moves! This goes back to knowing your audience, ask friends and family what music they like or let the DJ take musical requests from your guests. Pick a song for the first dance, the father and daughter dance, and the first song that you dance to as a married couple. These songs will be extremely sentimental to you and remind you of the most magical day of your life so choose wisely!
Research your photographer ahead of time as photos taken can be put into a scrapbook full of memories. You want a quality photographer that can capture the highlights of your big day beautifully as this is a once in a lifetime event! Ask to see some of the photographs previous wedding jobs. This may help get a sense of what your photos will look like and if they are professional enough for you.
Research Vendors (We’d like to be on your list) for Flowers, Cake, Caterer, and Rentals
Start researching local vendors that can supply you with the necessary tools to make your special day one you will never forget. This comes down to taste and personal aesthetic. Do you want roses as your centerpieces? Tigerlilies? How many tiers high do you want your cake and what flavor? You are probably starting to realize, if you haven’t already, that there are quite a few questions you need to ask yourself. Take some time with your partner to go through your options and see what will work best.
Hire a Wedding Planner
This option is not for everyone as many people love planning there own wedding. However, if you have the money and want to avoid the stress, a wedding planner may be a good fit for you. When researching, keep your budget in mind. Schedule a meeting with them to make sure that you are a good fit.