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 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. 

Wedding Planning Checklist - Eight To Six Months Before Your Wedding | Niceties & Nuptials Boutique | Vermont Bride Magazine

The first of our series of Wedding Planning Checklists covered the periods of “Sixteen-to-Twelve Months” and “Eleven-to-Nine Months” in Advance of Your Wedding. 

This blog posting will address the periods of “Eight-to-Six Months” and Five-to-Four Months” in Advance of Your Wedding.

EIGHT-TO-SIX MONTHS IN ADVANCE OF YOUR WEDDING:

  • Review Wedding Guest List: Review your guest list; reducing final head count as necessary based upon your budget.
  • Save-the-Date Mailing: Mail your Save-the-Date Notifications to wedding party and guests.
  • Officiator Meeting: Schedule a meeting with the officiator to discuss ceremony plans; outlining plans as agreed upon.  Establish that you have all official wedding documents required as they differ from religion and location.
  • Wedding Invitations/Stationery: Select and purchase your wedding invitations and matching stationery; including wedding invitations and response cards, save-the-date cards, reception menus, table placement cards, thank you cards and location direction cards.  Prior to order completion, request that samples be provided for your review and revision if necessary.   If desired, arrange for or hire a calligrapher to handle invitations; handling yourself can be very time consuming.
  • Bridal Shoes and Accessories: Order your chosen bridal shoes and accessories.  NOTE:  Be sure to browse Nuptials & Niceties Boutique’s website (nuptialsandnicetiesboutique.com) for a wide assortment of veils and bridal accessories in addition to a broad arrangements of personalized gifts for the bridal party, family and friends.
  • Order Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Order bridesmaids’ dresses; allowing up to at least six months for their arrival and required time for fittings and alterations if necessary.  Obtain color swatches to coordinate with groomsmen’s attire.  As with the bride’s wedding dress, it is important to bring along your wedding undergarment and shoes in order to assure a perfect fit and proper gown length; especially if a floor-length gown.   Also be aware, that getting in and out of vehicles can be difficult if wearing a straight-length gown.
  • Groomsmen Attire: Purchase or rent groomsmen tuxedos/suits; coordinated with bridesmaids gowns.
  • Name Change: Arrange for your name change if applicable on all appropriate documents.
  • Rental Reservations: If required, make and confirm rental reservations for decorations, tables, chairs, linens, lighting, fixtures, portable toilets, etc.  Obtain rental contracts and assure that everything is included as requested.  Establish the exact times and dates for pick-up/delivery and returns in order to avoid additional rental charges. 
  • Transportation Booking: Contract for necessary transportation to and from venues with back-up arrangements; be it by limos, minibuses, antique/town cars, trolley cars or horse-and-carriages. 
  • Wedding Day Events Scheduling: Begin outlining your choice of wedding day events; i.e., time of wedding, bridal party reception, wedding party photography to follow, guest versus wedding party arrival times, reception bridal party introductions, the first dance request, cake-cutting ceremony, etc. 
  • Hair/Makeup Styles: Explore wedding day hair and makeup styles for both bride and bridesmaids.
  • Early Gifts: Upon receiving early gifts, be sure to mail thank you cards on a timely basis.

FIVE-TO-FOUR MONTHS IN ADVANCE OF YOUR WEDDING:

  • Bride’s Wedding Accessories: Purchase your wedding veil, undergarment, shoes and accessories.  NOTE:  Be sure to browse Nuptials & Niceties Boutique Website (nuptialsboutique.com or nuptialsandnicetiesboutique.com) for a great selection of wedding veils and accessories as well as wonderful personalized gifts for your bridal party, family members and friends.
  • Bride’s Wedding Dress Fittings: Schedule your wedding dress fittings.  Be sure to bring along your wedding undergarment and shoes in order to attain an accurate fitting and proper gown length.
  • Wedding Night Accommodations: Be sure that a room accommodation has been made for your wedding night at either the Make a hotel reservation for your wedding night; preferably at same location of your reception.
  • Honey Moon Flights/Hotels: Make your honey moon flights and hotels reservations.
  • Wedding Cake Selection: Confirm your wedding cake choice with your contracted baker(s).  Be assured of sufficient cake for all invitees.  Also include a one-year anniversary cake with your order if desired.
  • Rehearsal Dinner Invitees: Decide upon and assemble your rehearsal dinner guest list.  Be sure to include entire wedding party along with family members and close friends of choice.  Consider inviting the wedding officiant as well as out-of-town guests who have traveled a long way to attend your wedding.
  • Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Book or request that rehearsal dinner reservations are made.  Select the menu and be sure to negotiate the per person cost; obtaining an agreed upon written contract.  Assure that appropriate arrangements are made for all invitees.  NOTE:  If hosting a day-after brunch for guests, consider booking at same location as well.
  • Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: Order your rehearsal dinner invitations.
  • Welcome Baskets: Arrange for welcome baskets at selected hotels for your out-of-town guests.
  • Music List: Prepare a DJ/band “play/do not play” music list for both your ceremony and reception.  Provide directions as to what you want played for introduction of the wedding party, during dinner, for the bride/groom’s first dance, for the bride/father’s dance, and throughout the evening.  Consider obtaining song requests from your guests.  And request that the music be kept at a reasonable level.
  • Check Wedding Invitations: Request the stationer for a sample of your ordered invitations; allowing you to revise as needed.
  • Hair/Makeup Artists: Schedule a few appointments with local hair and makeup artists to try them out.  Take photo of results to aid in your selection.  Upon making a decision, contract for wedding day appointments for yourself and bridesmaids.  Be sure to allow sufficient time for appointments.
  • Bridal Shower: If aware of your bridal shower, provide a suggested guest list to the host of it.
  • Rehearsal Dinner: Book your rehearsal and rehearsal-dinner venues.  Consider hosting post wedding brunch at same location.  Be sure to negotiate costs for both rehearsal dinner and day after wedding brunch.
  • Wedding Cake: Order decided upon wedding cake.
  • Flower Order: Order decided upon flowers for entire wedding party, attendants, decorations, venues and cake, etc.
  • Honeymoon: Finalize your honeymoon plans and ensure that flights, hotels and all documents are in order.
  • Out-of-town Wedding Guest: Order/make up wedding baskets for out-of-town wedding guests.
  • Music List: Prepare and provide Musician/Band/DJ your list of selected music to be played at ceremony and reception; at start of ceremony, during ceremony, for wedding party announcement, for first dance, during dinner, after dinner, etc.
  • Honeymoon: Finalize your honeymoon plans and ensure that flights, hotels and all documents are in order.
  • Rehearsal Dinner: Finalize rehearsal dinner guest list and order rehearsal dinner invitations.
  • Rehearsal Dinner Menu: Establish that the rehearsal dinner menu has been arranged with venue or caterer.  Usually the groom’s parents take responsibility for the rehearsal dinner.  If not the case, it will be up to you to handle. 
  • Finalize Wedding Guest List: Finalized your wedding guest list; hoping to be within your budget allowance.

In our next blog posting, we will address the Checkpoint Periods of “Three-to-Two Months” and “One Month” in Advance of Your Wedding.

 

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. 

Wedding Planning Checklist - Sixteen to Twelve Months in Advance | Niceties & Nuptials Boutique | Vermont Bride Magazine

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.

 

Julie & Brian Real Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Mountain Top Inn and Resort Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine | Rustic Elegant Purple and Gray Wedding

Although both had been married before, Julie and Brian both knew that this time was different, and they wanted to celebrate the joy of finding a love that is also built on friendship. Thus their “It is never too late for Happily Ever After” theme was born! The couple has spent many holidays and special occasions at The Mountain Top Inn and Resort and knew it would be the prefect spot to say “I do”. It even overlooks the Chittenden Reservoir, where Julie and Brian went kayaking on their very first date.

Their color palette was gray, neutrals, and touches of purple. They also incorporated birch candle holders that were hand cut from family property in New York. There were lots of handmade touches- Julie’s best friend Tracie hand crafted the silk flowers that were in the bouquets and center pieces, and Brian made his famous handmade fudge for favors. The hair piece Julie wore closely resembled the one her mother had worn at her own wedding, 50 years prior, and the rose petals guests tossed had been saved from roses Julie received from Brian throughout their relationship. The kayak oar guest book also has special meaning, as both Julie and Brian love to kayak and it was how they connected on their first date.

Julie & Brian Real Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Mountain Top Inn and Resort Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine | Rustic Elegant Purple and Gray Wedding

Julie & Brian Real Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Mountain Top Inn and Resort Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine | Rustic Elegant Purple and Gray Wedding

Julie & Brian Real Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Mountain Top Inn and Resort Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine | Rustic Elegant Purple and Gray Wedding

Julie & Brian Real Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Mountain Top Inn and Resort Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine | Rustic Elegant Purple and Gray Wedding

Family is number one to both Julie and Brian, so they wanted to involve their family as much as possible. The wedding party consisted of their children and grandchildren. Brian’s son, Kristopher, gave a heartfelt and humorous speech, while Julie’s three daughters, Alaura, Alyssa, and Aimee, put together a speech that went along with the Fresh Price of Bel-Air rap. Their friend Lauren, who first introduced the couple, officiated at the ceremony and was able to tell guests how the couple first met.

Some of Julie and Brain’s favorite moments included the final sendoff where guests made an arch of sparklers the couple went through as they cheered, Tracie and her son Chase, did a reading from Dr. Seuss “Oh the Places You Will Go!”, Julie’s niece, Kelly, also did a reading, and Molly Quinn did an amazing rendition of “I Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Their advice for other couples planning a wedding; “Enjoy every moment of your engagement!”

Julie & Brian Real Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Mountain Top Inn and Resort Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine | Rustic Elegant Purple and Gray Wedding

Julie & Brian Real Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Mountain Top Inn and Resort Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine | Rustic Elegant Purple and Gray Wedding

Julie & Brian Real Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Mountain Top Inn and Resort Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine | Rustic Elegant Purple and Gray Wedding

Julie & Brian Real Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Mountain Top Inn and Resort Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine | Rustic Elegant Purple and Gray Wedding

Julie & Brian Real Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Mountain Top Inn and Resort Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine | Rustic Elegant Purple and Gray Wedding

Julie & Brian Real Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Mountain Top Inn and Resort Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine | Rustic Elegant Purple and Gray Wedding

Julie & Brian Real Vermont Wedding Inspiration | Mountain Top Inn and Resort Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine | Rustic Elegant Purple and Gray Wedding

featured professionalsVENUE, CATERER, & ACCOMMODATIONS: Mountain Top Inn & ResortWEDDING PLANNER: Chelsea Howe from Mountain Top Inn & Resort | PHOTOGRAPHER: Aspiring Photography by Jessica ThompsonFLORIST: Silk flowers handcrafted by bride’s best friend Tracie Irwin | DJ: Michael Coppinger | VOCALIST: Molly Quinn | CAKE: Centerpiece Cakes by StephWEDDING GOWN: Trace of Lace | ALTERATIONS: Make It SewTUX/FORMAL WEAR: McNeil and ReedyHAIR STYLIST: Seguin Ragosta | MAKEUP ARTIST: Cassie LafasoINVITATIONS: MixpicJEWELRY: EtsyFAVORS: Fudge homemade by the groom | WEDDING OFFICIANT: Lauren Sullivan | WEDDING REGISTRY: Bed, Bath and BeyondGIFT TO GROOM FROM BRIDE: A compass engraved “For Our Adventures.”

 

Ceremony Music Tips | Paint Your Ceremony Your Way | Vermont Bride Magazine
photo by Letter10 Creative

Classical music wafting through the air, elegantly winding through the gathered group of family and friends – or would you prefer a little Celtic lilt to put a spring in your step on your special day? Or what about that special hymn grandma always used to sing? Or that pop tune or show tune you always sang as a kid - or first danced to as a couple? Or what about something totally different - something composed just for your special day?

When most people think of “wedding music” what pops to mind is often Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” (“Here comes the bride…”) or Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March,” or perhaps Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” You might imagine a church organ or perhaps a classical quartet. Many couples do choose some variation on the above for their wedding music - and why not? Classic, elegant choices that are easy to walk to, and that are tested by time, will never go out of style. Would a bride avoid wearing a long gown and decide not to exchange rings simply because everyone else does? Traditional choices can say as much about you as non-traditional choices, if chosen from the heart.  This type of connection with tradition and the past can be comforting, sentimental, and certainly can make your decision-making simpler!

 But sometimes couples choose music that’s a little different - and again, why not? It’s your day to paint the town - the music will paint the atmosphere and color the feeling of your celebration - why not choose music that has significance for you personally? That touch of you in the music will touch your guests as well as bringing you smiles - or tears - or a lift in your every move. Again, if the tunes that are significant for you are also popular with others, then go for it! If not, the sky’s the limit!

I had the honor of playing for a wedding where the bride had arranged or composed the music for her own wedding - including a special song performed by a friend. At another, the bride commissioned a friend to create medleys of a series of special songs - primarily Broadway songs and hymns, and chose popular but non-traditional classical music for the prelude. Many couples wish to have entirely classical music for their weddings, but prefer to completely avoid the traditional wedding standards. There are too many options to list here, but you may wish to look into music by Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, for the classic sound that’s not “wedding standard.” And by the way - don’t think of these composers as the stodgy old men you often see in pictures - if Bach really were the person we think of when we see his stiff representation in portrait, do you honestly believe he would have fathered 20 children? Or composed the intensely energetic music he did? Bach, in particular, composed some of the most versatile and awe-inspiring music ever heard - and a great deal of his music has been arranged for many different combinations of instruments, and is often heard at weddings, though never as the standards that could be considered “over-used” - so check him out! I’ve also recently played as recessionals:  “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles and “Landler” from Sound of Music; as processionals: “Til’ There Was You” and “Fanny Power.” I’ve played two weddings where the request was for music throughout the ceremony – essentially a soundtrack - a mix of styles, in one case with music continuing even as background for the vows, and the entire ceremony built on musical selections that were particularly special for the couple.

Want to get even more unique? Vermont boasts a huge variety of composers and song writers. If this is of interest, you may wish to contact Steve Klimowski, clarinetist from  the ”Classic Consort” - also director of the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble – for names of Vermont composers who might suit your style. Why not consider having a special song composed just for your special day? It would lend a whole new meaning to the phrase “playing our song!”

Lisa Carlson is a freelance flutist, performing for weddings and other occasions throughout Vermont and beyond, with musical offerings ranging from a quartet of flute with violin, viola and cello, to solo flute, to duos and trios of flute with harp, violin, piano, cello, oboe, and more. She also teaches flute in Montpelier, Vermont and online to students worldwide.

October 3, 2016  TAGS:  LAKE  PINK  COPPER

Camila & John | Barton, Vermont

 

Camila & John Real Vermont Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine

John grew up in Vermont, and his family still lives there, but Camila did not visit until 2014. She immediately fell in love with the warm hospitality of the people and the beauty of the area. When John and Camila became engaged they knew it was the place they wanted to have an outdoor wedding. After viewing several venues and not feeling that they were a right fit, the couple came across the Notch House online and were so impressed with the video tour of the property that they booked it without seeing it in person. When they were finally able to visit they were blown away with the beauty of Lake Willoughby and the surrounding town of Barton.

They chose a light pink with copper accents for a soft and romantic theme, and it was a priority that they involved their fur babies as part of the special day. It was a small and personal celebration with a focus on their families having fun and getting to know each other. With many family members traveling from out of state and even from other countries, it was truly a destination wedding!

Camila and John’s advice for other couples is; “Enjoy the day as much as possible because it goes by so fast!  Also, don’t sweat the small stuff.  Something will always go wrong in a wedding but as long as your significant other says “I do,” everything else doesn’t matter.  We often reminisce about our wedding and think it was the most amazing day ever!”

Camila & John Real Vermont Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine

Camila & John Real Vermont Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine

Camila & John Real Vermont Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine

Camila & John Real Vermont Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine

Camila & John Real Vermont Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine

Camila & John Real Vermont Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine

Camila & John Real Vermont Wedding | Vermont Bride Magazine

featured professionalsPHOTOGRAPHER: Letter10 Creative |TENT RENTALS: Northern Vermont Tent Rental | DJ: SuperSounds DJ Co. | VENUE: The Notch House | CATERER: The Farmhouse Catering | FLORIST: Spates Florist | ACCOMMODATIONS: Willoughvale | CAKE TOPPER: Anna Crafts | WEDDING GOWN: Love Couture Bridal | FORMAL WEAR: Men’s WearhouseHAIR & MAKEUP: Jessica Corey, Belle Lista Makeup Artist INVITATIONS: Sofia Invitations