Congratulations! The love of your life just popped the question, and you said yes! Now what?! Well, this is the time you make the most of your engagement. First step, take advantage of this special moment in your life and celebrate. Trust me, it will go by quickly and getting an engaged is a big deal. Enjoy it!
Second step, is when you start planning your dream wedding! If you feel you and your fiancé are ready to start tackling the planning process you’re probably wondering where to start. Which I’m sure you probably understand how much work will go into planning the wedding (Or maybe you don’t). If not, then you better buckle up since this is going to be long ride to the finish line.
So, what is actually on the long list of to-do’s? There are invitations to send, cakes to taste, seating charts to make, decorations to pick, and a whole lot more before you throw your celebration and officially tie the knot. Don’t stress though—Winner Circle Events will be be here from start to finish and put your wedding in the Winner Circle!
Here is a preview of what’s in store and mind you, this is just a glimpse:
- Start a draft guest list (Have an A and B list). Choose those that really matter. Those you invite should not be a social obligation, but those that you love and love you in return.
- After determining an estimated guest count, it is VERY IMPORTANT to establish a budget. Politely ask if parents or other family members will be contributing. Determine whether or not you and/or your spouse will be contributing to the wedding as well. Figure out how much and what those funds will be covering.
- Number of guests and budget have been determined, so now it’s time to hire a planner. A planner will be able to use the estimated guest count and budget to find the right fit moving forward to book your venue and all other important vendors. If you don’t have the budget for hiring a planner, then the next step would be to secure your venue.
- Venue location is chosen. Every wedding venue has its pluses and minuses, so find a spot that’s convenient, exciting, and cost-effective.
- Choose a wedding party! Ask those you love and that will support you during the wedding planning process.
- Sign up for a registry.
- Order a wedding dress and wedding attire.
- Some venues don’t have a caterer so you will need to hire a caterer, DJ / Band, a photographer, and bakery.
- Many guests may need to travel for your wedding so it is a nice gesture to book a room block nearby. This is a great item to have on your wedding website. Yep, you should create a wedding website for guests.
- The first glimpse guests will have of your wedding is your wedding invitations. Make sure you order appropriate invitations so guests know how to properly dress for your wedding. If you’re having a more formal wedding then the invitation should reflect a more formal style so guests will get the vibe that they should be dressed in cocktail attire vs. a casual Summer dress.
- Hire a floral designer or florist. Naturally, you’ll want a bouquet and centerpieces (which should either be shorter than 14 inches or raised more than 24 to allow for conversation). But will you use flowers in other ways, such as for a cake topper or favors, or to decorate a chuppah? Definitely, consult with a floral designer if you’re not working with a planner to make sure you’re choosing blooms that are in season.
- 6-9 months out… you should be looking into hiring an officiant. That is if you’re not getting married in a church.
- 6-9 months out…You chose your bridal party and now it’s time to order their dresses or tuxes.
- 4 – 6 months…Not all receptions need to involve a five-course dinner and dancing. Yours could be brunch, a cocktail affair, or an intimate family-style gathering. The few musts: The food, the cake, and the music ought to reflect you as a couple.
- Start planning a reception timeline if you don’t have a planner. About 4 months out from the wedding.
- Winner Circle Events does planning and designing. If you hired a planner that only specializes in planning, you may need to hire a designer too. A designer should have a layout and what items will need to be rented. A rental order should be placed about 4-6 months out from the wedding.
- Dress fittings start about 4-6 months.
- 4 months prior a rehearsal dinner should be scheduled. Be sure to contact your planner to secure a date and time.
- 2-6 months prior to wedding invitations should be mailed. Destination weddings should send out invitations at least 6 months prior to allow enough time to schedule travel and make necessary arrangements.
- 2 months prior work with your planner to determine ceremony entrance.
- 2 months prior work with your planner to customize your service by choosing songs and readings, or by writing your vows.
- Don’t forget to hire make-up and hair artists for your special day. Usually 2-6 months prior.
- 2 months prior order any wedding party or parent gifts.
- 6 weeks out…Are you doing a garter toss? Buy the garter. Have your rings been bought? Get them now. Want a signature cocktail at the reception? Start concocting. And make sure your venue has it’s loose ends tied as well. Power, for example, is a huge thing to check on. Is there enough for your performers and décor? Where are the outlets?
- Ceremony should be finalized the last 4 weeks leading up to the wedding. Of course, there are some minor details that need to be done. Seating charts need to be completed, those that are doing readings and toasts should be aware and practicing, vows should be written, and if you have programs they should be printed.
- Secure marriage license. Check your State and County rules on when you are able to obtain.
- 2 weeks prior to wedding all details need to be confirmed. If you have a planner, these details will be confirmed by the planner.
- You should have a packing list if you don’t already. Be sure to start packing the week prior to make sure you have everything. Have a separate bag packed with all your day-of essentials, getting ready outfit, jewelry, etc.
- Day-before tasks include everything from arranging tip envelopes (for certain vendors and waitstaff) to preparing snacks for the getting-ready rooms (unless they’ve been pre-ordered through your caterer).
- Day of…hydrate and eat! Oh, and don’t rush! Try to stay calm.
- Day of and go time…enjoy it! Congratulations!
Are you ready to start planning? If so, reach out to Winner Circle Events. We would be honored to take you from start to finish and put your wedding in the Winner Circle!