Pick Invitations And Save The Dates
Start planning your wedding stationary as soon as you know your wedding style and have confirmed the venue. Save-the-date cards typically go out nine months before the wedding date for a destination wedding and four to six months prior for local nuptials. Invitation suites follow at six to eight weeks before the big day. You should request that RSVPs be returned no later than one month before the celebration so there are no last-minute hiccups.
Juan Manuel Núñez Méndez Photography
Finding the right officiant to preside over your nuptials can be a deeply personal journey for couples. Whomever you choose will not only dictate the event but also usher you into your union, setting the tone for the rest of your lives together. If booking a clergy member or justice of the peace , it’s important to thoroughly do your research, obtain reviews or recommendations, and ask the right questions like if personalizations are allowed, how disruptions would be handled, and if they are involved in obtaining a marriage license.
Obtain A Marriage License:
Every city and county has specific guidelines in place for obtaining a marriage license, but the universal rule is, generally, that you cant officially get married without one. Do a quick Google search for your area, and visit your city or countys website in order to learn more. For the most part, you will want to obtain a license 14-30 days prior to your wedding. And, make sure to note there is typically a cost for a marriage license! Be prepared to pay $100 in some areas .
Grab Your Diy Wedding Planning Spreadsheet
I know the real reason youre here. Am I right or am I right? You want the freebie.
In all seriousness, my free DIY spreadsheet is awesome if I do say so myself. It has a place for every single wedding project, a place to cost it out, work out how long its going to take, whos making it and the deadline. Plus more!
Youre very welcome
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For Finding A Versailles
With “reporters” who research the latest event spaces, this directory has the hottest hotels and party pads, plus off-the-beaten-path locales like a glamping venue in Montana that can accommodate 250 guests. The experience is seamless: Filter results by region, price, and capacity, review essentials like site fees and curfews, and contact venues directly.
Determine Your Bridal Style
Find a few resources of bridal inspiration you like bestPinterest, Instagram, magazines, trusty bridal sites and start researching. Having a good sense of the type of wedding style you want helps immensely once you start meeting with potential vendors. Dont overwhelm yourself with all the wedding inspiration thats out there. Creating one or more Pinterest boardsor even a visual collage on a cork or poster boardwill help you to figure out what sort of look and feel you really want and keep you aligned with your larger vision.
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Start Looking At Invitations
The wedding invitation is a guests first impression of your big day. Thats why you want to put your best foot forward with a personalized preview. If you’re going custom, start working with a graphic designer or stationer now to create your dream suite. If you’re going for a less involved route, you can wait until the six-month mark. Here are 12 of our favorite sites to look for invites.
How To Start Planning A Wedding: The First 10 Steps
Being engaged is an amazing and exciting time youre in the midst of preparing to spend the rest of your life with your best friend, and such a monumental decision and joyous occasion deserves the most heartfelt and ultimate celebration!
Ive talked to many excited brides who are ecstatic to be planning a wedding, but with that, they find themselves scared at the prospect of such a big undertaking. Many brides ask, How and where do I even start planning my wedding?
This is a great question and it has an answer! Knowing what to do and where to start will give you the confidence you need to enjoy your wedding planning process, so lets take a look at this step-by-step guide!
What are the first steps to planning a wedding?
Now lets take a closer look at each of these so you know exactly what to do and have fun doing it!
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Choose Your Wedding Party
Now it’s your turn to propose to your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Remember, the earlier you ask, the sooner you can enlist their help. And keep in mind that your wedding party is agreeing to spend their money and donate their timebe considerate and kind by informing everyone about all your plans , showing them a good time and making sure they know how much you appreciate them.
Think Outside The Box
You are a unique couple and your wedding should be a reflecting of the two of you and your relationship, so you dont have to follow what is on trend if you have always been trend disruptors .
Be sure to meet the expectations wedding guests secretly have, like being entertained, fed and watered, but other than that the way in which your day unfolds is completely up to you.
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Find Your Perfect Wedding Venue
Your choice of wedding venue is one of the most important wedding decisions, shortly after the one youre marrying of course! But, seriously the place you say I Do shapes your entire wedding, if you get this right your big day is set to be one of the most momentous ones in your life.
It all starts with the type of ceremony you want religious, a civil ceremony or a blessing. You can then consider important options such as location, guest numbers and finer details such as onsite accomodation, pet friendly and catering options.
Our designer Wedding Venue Finder allows you to easily search through desirable styles whilst selecting specific requirements and adding a location. You can even add your postcode and refine the proximity radius as you wish. Plus our portfolio contains the most inspiring, diverse collection of wedding spaces from around the world!
Viewing potential wedding venues is highly recommended, shortlist a handful of your favourites and book a time to have a good look around. Theres so much more you can get out of a visit compared to photographs and many a bride has told us as soon as you walk in your venue, you just know its the one!
To easily compare venues and remember key questions to ask when viewing, use our wedding venue checklist guide. Once you have found your wedding venue, set your date, get it booked and begin the count down!
A Great Party: Designing The Perfect Celebration
Bryan Rafanelli has created gorgeous events all over the world, and now he’s sharing his wisdom with couplesand anyone else who wants to throw a truly unforgettable party. This book showcases some of his most jaw-dropping creationsfrom state dinners at the White House to garden weddingsand provides tons of useful tips. Even if the event you’re planning is a considerably more modest affair than the typical Rafanelli event, you’ll come away with invaluable knowledge and inspiration to help the planning process.
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Plan Your Wedding Guest List
Where do you start with planning your guest list? The truth is, you have probably already thought about it and you know the key people you want to invite.
Despite this, you might need to a bit of time to decide who to invite to the day versus the evening and what to do about the trickier guest problems such as plus ones and colleagues.
With your wedding venue booked, you will have a rough idea of how many people your venue allows and how much budget you are now able to spend on catering. Your guest list may need to be determined by how much you want to spend per head.
Use the Hitched Guest Manager tool to start creating your guest list we would suggest adding everyone you would like to invite and then work as a couple to cut this list down if you have gone over your expected numbers.
What to Read Next
What About All Those Covid Weddings That Are Now Happening In 2021
If you couldnt already tell, I believe Am I missing all the good days and/or vendors? is an unnecessary extra stress to put on yourself during an already stressful time.
Like I mentioned above, if you have a very particular person you want to hire for your wedding and are in a place where paying that persons deposit makes sense, go for it.
It is true, in my experience, that vendors are, by and large, booking out 2021 faster than they ever have before. That said, please dont feel like you have to ratchet up your wedding planning just because my industry is topsy-turvy right now. Its just not worth it.
And if the vendor you originally contacted isnt free, ask for their advice: Im bummed to hear that youre already booked. Do you have any recommendations on other vendors who do what you do for a similar price point? Many vendors will happily provide this information if only because no one likes to be a dead end.
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Dont Be Afraid To Delegate
If a wedding planner is not in your budget, dont underestimate the willingness of your friends and family to help you out. There are so many small tasks that need to be done that you can easily delegate to those who are willing. It will help them feel more connected with your wedding and will also lighten your burden.
Construct A List Of Wedding Day Priorities
Sit down with your partner and determine what the three most important aspects of your wedding will be. Is it the venue or specific wedding date? Locking in a certain wedding photographer or live band? Prioritize those details and be willing to compromise on the rest. This will help you stay within your budget and help you focus your efforts on what really counts.
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Think About The Size And Budget
The guest list is always a bit of a tricky one, but know having a simple wedding doesnt mean it has to be a small one. In fact, simple weddings can allow you to open up the wedding to more people as you will be paying a little less overall by cutting out all of the bells and whistles.
A huge part of a simple wedding that reduces stress is to spend within your means . You dont want to start your married life in debt!
Wedding Planners Vs Wedding Coordinators: Whats Best For Me
Not every couple needs a full service planner especially for smaller weddings. Sometimes, a day-of wedding coordinator is enough to make your wedding day run smoothly.
So, whats the difference between the two?
A day-of coordinator is typically available on the day of the wedding. He or she will ensure your wedding ceremony runs smoothly and will coordinate all of the vendors for that day, instead of leaving you or your wedding party to figure it out. A full service planner does that, in addition to figuring which vendors to hire, designing the wedding and managing your invitations and RSVPs.
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What If Covid Postponed Your Original Wedding
The 2020 wedding season was a difficult one for many couples, who were forced to alter their plans, sometimes significantly, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you postponed your wedding, lean on your wedding vendors, who are the true experts here, to help you replan your eventwhether its a smaller event, like a minimony or microwedding, or a larger celebration in the future. Health and safety should be at the forefront of your mind here, as are following national, state, and local regulations. Keep an open line of communication with your guests, and try to keep things in perspective.
Kim Forrest has been writing about weddings for over a decade, specializing in etiquette and… planning advice. Kim writes and edits much of the content youll read on WeddingWire, and also manages our team of freelance writers. Kims love of the wedding space first blossomed when she was an assistant editor at Washingtonian magazine in the mid-2000s . She became WeddingWires first full-time editor in 2012. Kim is originally from Long Island, New York and currently lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and two children. She loves baking, yoga, ballet, theater, trying out the latest skincare fads, and listening to podcasts on a variety of random topics.
Don’t Forget The Rehearsal Dinner Details
Much like other pre-wedding festivities, the rehearsal dinner may or may not be hosted by someone other than you. Regardless of the fact, you will need to partake in the planning process. Much like for the wedding, the rehearsal dinner will need a venue, guest list, catering selection, and invitations. If you are having a destination wedding or wedding weekend, this can either be tied into the welcome party or remain completely separate.
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Create Or Plan Your Menu
Once youve undergone a successful tasting, youll have a good sense of your caterers style and offerings, so you’re ready to finalize your food. Maybe youre the couple whos hand-selected every hors d’oeuvres, main, side, dessert, and drink situation. Or, perhaps you just told your chef to handle it and called it a day. Either way, now is the time to stamp your approval on a completed menu that fits your budget, tastes, and timing.
Order Or Make Your Escort Cards And Place Cards
First, you should know the difference. While both place cards and escort cards designate where each guest will be seated at a wedding, place cards are more specificand also more formalthan escort cards. A place card not only directs guests to the table where each will sit during the reception, but also points each guest to his or her particular seat at the table. Whichever you choose, youll want your cards to complement the overall theme of your wedding, but again, the possibilities are unlimited.