The Top 10 Things To Remember To Do For Your Wedding
Updated: Feb 8, 2019
So you just got engaged! Congrats! Now it's time to spend the next few months of your life planning your perfect day! Below are the top 10 things to put on your wedding checklist!
1) Plan out your budget
Spending money. Ew. But it obviously needs to happen. Meet with your fiancé, parents, and anyone else that will be involved in spending money on your wedding. Decide how much money you want to spend on your entire wedding. This means the dress, suit, venue, food, photographer, videographer, DJ, wedding planner, decorations, rehearsal dinner, and whatever else you know you will want/ need at your wedding. After you decide your budget, STICK TO IT.
2) Pick a date/venue ASAP
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you honestly cannot do much with your wedding details until you figure out the date. Decide what season you would like your wedding to be in and choose a specific month and year as soon as you can. Your date might depend on the venue that you have in mind, so you may need to choose your location pretty early in the planing process. You may also be able to choose a date and then find a venue that is available on that day, however you might be better off choosing your date based on the venue that you know you want. It's really up to you.
3) Choose your bridal party
Decide with your boo how many groomsmen and bridesmaids you would like to have in your wedding party. A good way to choose how many you want is to write down a list of your closest friends that have supported you as a couple. If you have 12 people and your fiancé can only think of 6, narrow down your list to six people and ask them as soon as possible to be in your wedding. You can figure out the other bridal party details later. The most important thing is to give them the date and make sure they can make it.
4) Finish your guest list
Now is the time to sit down with your fiancé and decide (together) who you would like to see on the first wave of your guest list. It's always a good idea to have some guests on a backup list just incase some of your top choices can't make it to your wedding. One of the first steps in making your guest list should be choosing the maximum amount of people you would like at your wedding. After you pick the number, write down (preferably in an Excel spread sheet) the people you know for sure will be at your wedding (family, close friends, ect.). You can then move on other people that you know you want to invite to your wedding first. Get the list solidified and start getting everyone's addresses and/or contact information to send invite (preferably e-vites to save you money).
5) Find the perfect vendors for you
1. Photographer: Do your research. Find the photographer that fits your budget AND your style. Your wedding pictures are one of the only things that last from your wedding day - make them count and invest in the perfect photographer for you. (who knows, maybe it will end up being me!)
2. DJ: Look around your area or ask recently married friends for a recommended (and not awkward) DJ. A DJ can make or break a wedding reception, so make sure you choose wisely.
3. Florist: Before you pay a lot of money for your flowers, find pictures of the florist's work from brides that they have catered to in the past. Love the flowers in your friend's wedding pictures? Ask them where they got them and if they would recommend them for your wedding.
4. Caterer: Make sure that when you are booking a caterer you are able to sample the food that you will have at your wedding. Be sure you meet in person with your caterer and carve out the details before you decide to hire this person/ company.
6) Determine your wedding style
Do you like a boho style look? Then you'll probably want your bridal party, dress, venue, and decorations to reflect that. Are you more likely to have a traditional wedding? Maybe you want your wedding to be styled according to a holiday or season (Christmas, Thanksgiving, summer?). Whatever your style, make sure you choose bridal party outfits, venue, wedding dress and everything in between that matches your look. Get inspired by making Pinterest boards for each category!
7) Decide the order of ceremony
Will your bridal party walk in together? Will your service be long? Who will officiate? Will you have a special ceremony (candle lighting? foot washing?). Will there be an opening prayer? Flesh out what you want and how long it will take to do each item.
8) Plan your ideal reception
What will your first dance song be? When will you cut the cake? Will you have games for guests to play? Will you do a bouquet toss? A great way to decide what to do at your reception is to start a Pinterest board specifically for your reception and invite people you trust (bridal party, family, ect.) to contribute to the board when they find good ideas.
9) Don't forget about the honeymoon ;)
Decide how much do you want to spend on your trip. Will it be local? Will you travel overseas? Whatever you do, make sure that you budget out every detail. Do your research on your chosen destination. Look up things to do, places to eat, hotels, cost of airfare, and anything else you can think of. Talk with your fiancé about what you want your honeymoon to look like. How long will you be gone? Do you want to be extra adventurous, or do you want to stay in to Neflix and "chill"? Whatever it is, make sure you plan it together so that you are both able to enjoy it.
10) Two words: marriage license
Don't forget to research and apply for your wedding license in time for your wedding. I feel like this is a last thought for a lot of couples, but it's literally what all the wedding planning is for!
Enjoy every single moment
Yes, weddings can and will be very stressful. But just remember: THIS IS YOUR DAY! I promise you, all of your hard work WILL pay off! Keep the big picture in mind, but also take the time to enjoy all the little moments of planning for your wedding!
// Laura Pinckard is an intimate wedding and elopement photographer in Schroon, Lake New York - right in the heart of the Adirondacks. Check out her wedding photography packages here. //
Here is some gear that I use:
Nikon D610 camera body: https://amzn.to/2MoJI1r
Lexar SD Card 64gb (very fast read/write speed): https://amzn.to/2MqZZTM
Nikon 35mm f1.8 (my favorite lens): https://amzn.to/2MoQtjY
Geekoto Tripod / Monopod (light and sturdy): https://amzn.to/2MqEG4C