Did he pop the big question? Can you believe it? You are engaged! Congratulations—and let the wedding planning begin! If you are like me, you will find the whole process a bit overwhelming at first, but we can help you through it, step by step. Best part is you’re going to have a blast.
Here is our informal wedding planning checklist:
- You will need to pick a date. Are you and your fiancé spring/summer lovers? Or do you adore the fall colors? A winter wedding in a warm destination, perhaps?
- Speaking of which, will it be a destination wedding or a hometown affair? The location is probably one of the first decisions you’ll need to make, since popular reception locations are often booked a year or more in advance.
- Start making a guest list – are you thinking small or big wedding? Do you want to invite the entire office or keep it more intimate? Knowing the size of the party may help you choose the venue.
- Call the wedding hall, church, synagogue or wherever you plan on getting married, and make sure it is available for your date.
- Call around and get available dates and prices on a reception hall. Many offer in-house catering, decorations, entertainment, etc., while at other locations you will have to hire these services separately.
- Once you have confirmed the date, the guest list, and the wedding and reception locations you can pick out your save the date cards—or the newest way to keep your event top-of-mind, save the date magnets!
- Choose the colors for your wedding. Theme or no theme?
- Choose the bridesmaids, maid of honor, groomsmen, best man and ushers for your wedding party. Most people are honored to be asked, so don’t be casual about it, or wait until the last minute—remind your fiancé to take care of this early.
- Dress shopping!! Ideally, you should order your dress about 6 months before the wedding, since it can take a few months to arrive, and you’ll need at least 2 fittings. If you don’t have that much time, look for off-the-rack options or be prepared to pay rush charges.
- Decide what type of food you will serve. Brunch? Appetizers? Buffet? Sit-down meal? Decide whether you’d like to give your guests a menu choice on the wedding response cards.
- Do you want a live band or DJ for the reception?
- Book your wedding photographer and/or videographer
- Choose your flowers. What flowers are in season? What flowers are available in your colors? Formal or informal arrangements? Would you consider artificial flowers? Do you need flowers for the wedding location or centerpieces for the reception?
- Think about decorations. Who is going to decorate the reception hall? Do you want to hire a decorator, or can you put your family or bridal party to work and ask for their help?
- Reserve several hotel rooms for out-of-town guests and include location and contact information in your wedding invitations.
- Time to order wedding invitations! Incorporate your colors or theme. You will need wedding invitations, reception cards and response cards. Wedding address labels make the mailing process much easier. And don’t forget to order coordinating wedding thank you cards.
- Select tuxes. Groomsmen will need to be fitted.
- Do you know someone who will do hair and make-up the morning of the wedding?
- Last, but most important – ENJOY EVERY MOMENT!
Hope this informal wedding planning checklist helps. If you’re looking for tips, check out our blog for more wedding ideas. Congrats again!
Dani manages social media at Pear Tree Greetings, which means she actively shares, tweets, pins and posts from her laptop or phone all day long, always stressing the importance of a handwritten note.