This is a four part series of posts courtesy of Niceties & Nuptials Boutique on being organized and planning checklists in the months leading up to your wedding.
This blog emphasizes the importance of working with Wedding Planning Checklists in order to simplify and assure an organized, stress free, and memorable wedding experience. You may wish to use our provided checklists or create your own. As the average length of a U.S. engagement is 16 months, Nuptials & Niceties Boutique’s Checklist Blogs begin at the sixteen month period.
SIXTEEN TO TWELVE MONTHS IN ADVANCE OF YOUR WEDDING:
- Wedding Dates: Plan 2-3 wedding dates for flexibility.
- Become Organized: Maintain important records and magazine articles of interest pertaining to all aspects of planning a wedding; compiling in your Wedding Planner Manual.
- Purchase Insurance: Insure your engagement ring and obtain wedding insurance. Cancellation/Postponement Insurance is recommended to cover unpredictable illness, emergencies, inclement weather, vendor problems, wedding dress damage, etc. Venues typically require Wedding Liability Insurance for protection in events of injuries, property damage or alcohol related accidents.
- Wedding Budget: Establish your budget – What you can afford along with family contributions if applicable. (To be addressed in detail in a subsequent blog.)
- Wedding Discounts/Promotions: Look for wedding promotions/discounts in craft stores, wedding magazines and on line.
- Wedding Dress/Veil Styles: Research wedding dress/veil styles in bridal magazines and on line.
- Style Boards: Create wedding fashion style boards using Social Media Sites to aid in your decision making.
- Wedding Party: Choose your wedding party; Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids, Best Man and Groomsmen, Flower Girl and Ring Bearer. Also, consider who you wish to sing/do readings at the ceremony and give toasts at the reception; requesting of individuals as soon as possible.
- Guest List: Create a guest list worksheet to include columns for save-the-date mailings, wedding invitation mailings, RSVPs, early gifts, and sent thank you notes; using a database for this purpose is recommended. Working within your budget may require cutting head count.
- Wedding Planner: Hire a Wedding Planner if desired for overall assistance in handling all aspects of your wedding. In so doing, however, maintain a close relationship; attending all venue meetings and keeping your own on-going records as well as venue contracts. Review with your Wedding Planner on a regular basis to assure that everything is being planned according to your desires.
- Ceremony/Reception Venues: Research ceremony and reception venues based upon your 2-3 possible wedding dates. If to occur at different locations, take into account travel time and distance between both places. There are many questions to be asked prior to determining which venues to select. (To be addressed in detail in a subsequent blog.)
- Wedding Dress Order: Order your wedding dress; allowing for up to three scheduled fittings. The veil, undergarment, shoes and accessories can be purchased later. However, it’s imperative to have and bring along your undergarment and shoes for your dress fittings to assure a perfect fit and proper gown length; especially important if a floor-length gown.
- Ceremony/Reception Selections: Select your ceremony and reception venues. Obtain written rental contracts specifying in detail what is included in rentals and what requires additional charge. It is strongly recommended that arrangements be made for alternative venues with the latest cancellation possible. Many weddings have been ruined due to venue catastrophes such as fires/floods with no other options available. Also, provide coordinators your vendor names and phone numbers for contact purposes if necessary.
- Wedding Date: Confirm your wedding date now that your ceremony and reception venues have been decided upon.
- Vendor Selections: Research and select your photographer, videographer, musicians, DJ, florist, and baker as well as caterer if required. In advance of making selections, request to see photographers’ and florists’ wedding photo albums and videographers’ videos. Attend performances of potential bands, musicians and DJs. Meet with several bakers and caterers; sampling assortments of cakes/food dishes. Obtain business cards and request references from each vendor. (To be addressed in detail in a subsequent blog.)
- Wedding Officiant: Book with your wedding officiant with plans of meeting at a later time.
ELEVEN-TO-NINE MONTHS IN ADVANCE OF YOUR WEDDING:
Engagement Photograph: Get engagement photos taken and publish in desired newspaper(s).
- Save the Date Notifications: Order and mail the Save-the-Date Notifications.
- Bridal Party Attire: It’s time to choose and order your bridal party attire and accessories; allowing for a couple fittings. As with the bride’s wedding dress, undergarment and shoes should be brought along for fitting to allow for a perfect fit and proper gown length. Also be aware, it can be difficult getting in and out of vehicles if wearing a straight-long gown. NOTE: Be sure to browse Nuptials & Niceties Boutique Website (nuptialsandnicetiesboutique.com) for a great selection of wedding veils and accessories as well as wonderful personalized gifts for the bridal party, family members and friends.
- Engagement Party: Throw an engagement party, if desire. Be sure that all invitees are also on your wedding guest list.
- Honeymoon Plans: Begin planning your honeymoon; working within your budget. Obtain or update your passports. Determine if shots are required and get those recommended.
- Fitness Program: Establish a regular fitness program and skin care/beauty routine.
- Wedding Registries: Sign up to at least three national retailers for wedding registries.
- Hotel Room Bookings: Research and select a block of hotel rooms at three hotels located close to the reception facility for out-of-town guests; offering a range of prices. Only book for those needed to avoid charges for unused rooms. Ask if a guest room list is required or can guests make their own reservations. Determine if special needs/handicapped accommodations are provided. Remember to reserve rooms for the wedding party the night prior to the wedding if not provided for by the reception facility. Ask if the hotel will provide a room for the bride and groom’s first night or provide other incentives. If giving guest baskets, confirm if hotel will deliver them to assigned rooms or hand out at front desk and if a fee will be charged for service. Otherwise, you may wish to consider handing them out at the reception.
- Paid Hotel Reservations: If paying for guest rooms in advance, confirm ahead in writing exactly what you are paying for and understand what guests will be responsible for if anything. Be sure to inform guests of such arrangements.
- Wedding Website: You can create a personal wedding page by using a free website; just search on free website creations. Be sure to list your wedding date, wedding registries, ceremony and reception locations, hotel accommodations and other pertinent wedding information. Send your website link to your wedding party and all invitees.
- Wedding Invitations/Stationery: Browse wedding invitation designs and matching stationery; including wedding programs, menu cards, RSVPs, direction cards and thank you cards.
In our next posting, the Checkpoints of “Eight-to-Six Months” and Five-to-Four Months” in Advance of Your Wedding will be addressed.