Previously on “You’re Engaged! Now What?” we covered the first 5 steps of wedding planning:
*Ideally 10-12 months out*
- Book a Venue
- Hire a Coordinator/Planner
- Purchase your Wedding Dress
- Hire a Photographer
- Book a Videographer
So now we’re back for the next 5!
Like I mentioned last time, most couples feel wedding planning stress when they are staring at a list of 500 “To-Do’s”, so my advice is to break it down and tackle your list in chunks. The super time sensitive tasks that need to be completed at least 10-12 months out from the wedding were covered in Part 1 of this series, so let’s jump into The Next 5 Steps of Wedding Planning!
*Ideally 9-11 months out*
#6: “Propose” to your Bridal Party
This is a fun one. Asking your very best friends and closest family members to stand beside you on your big day? It’s such a happy time! It’s also really great to do this early on so you can have your gals and guys there to help you out with wedding to-do’s and celebrations!
TIP: Do NOT worry about the numbers. I remember stressing BIG TIME over the amount of people we were going to ask to be in our wedding party. We went back and forth trying to even out the number of guys versus girls and worrying that we had too many or too few people. I even had two of my gals be “honorary” bridesmaids so our numbers would be the same on both sides. I’m here to tell you this is dumb. Utterly dumb. Towards the end I was like “OMG y’all are so not honorary- you are bridesmaids and I don’t give a hoot if it makes our side uneven with the guys!”
Moral of the story: if you want 17 people standing beside you on your wedding day, you have those 17 people stand beside you! If you only want one, ask the one! We focus WAYYYYY too much on what our photos will look like instead of focusing on what really matters – your favorite people being a part of your wedding day. And let me tell ya, the picture of our 11 bridesmaids and 9 groomsmen that is framed in our room makes me smile every single time I walk by it.
#7: Start your Guest List & Gathering Addresses
This is a not-so-fun one, but it takes FOREVER so you need to start early! If you need help, check out my advice on creating and organizing your guest list here! I’ve also found the best way to gather addresses from family members is to send your mom or dad your master guest list and have them fill in the missing family member addresses. This will annoy them way less than texting them every time you need to know where to send a great aunt or long-lost cousin’s invitation. Having a master list will also help you keep track of RSVP’s and Thank You notes!
#8: Book a Caterer
Ok, back to the fun stuff. Hiring a caterer is super fun, but needs to be done pretty early since it takes a little bit of searching/tasting. Make a list of caterers in your area and schedule a series of tastings! I say stick to 2-3 tastings – you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too many choices or draw the process out longer than it needs to be. After you’ve decided which caterer has the best food and is within your budget, book them! This is a huge To-Do marked off the list!
TIP: Don’t eat right before you go to a tasting. We made that mistake. *Face palm*
#9: Hire a Florist
Your florist is a big one. They book up quickly and you DEFINITELY want a good one. Start scouring Pinterest to see what types of flowers you are drawn to, then check out the portfolios of florists in your area. Contact 3 that match your style and your budget to see who is available!
10. Decide on & book a DJ or Band
Music is basically the life of your reception, so it’s best to snag a good one early! If you and your fiance are anything like me and Alex, you love music and can’t decide between a live band or a DJ. If that’s the case, here are some pros and cons for both to help you decide.
And there you have it, with these 5 steps (along with Part 1’s 5 five steps) your core wedding vendor team is almost complete! Easy peasy right? Remember to break things down and tackle the big-ticket items a few at a time and before you know it, your wedding will be planned!
Stay tuned for Part 3! Sign up for our newsletter here so you don’t miss it!
Happy Wedding Planning!