Month Before Your Wedding Day
Just one more month to go and everything by this point is good to go, just a few more things are left to get in order.
- Have a final dress fitting
- Book a spa day for you and your bridal party splurge and have some fun!
- Book test makeup and hair appointments so you know what you want
- Finalize vows
- Check in and confirm with vendors
Set Your Wedding Budget & Stick To It:
Before you get into the fun stuff, you need to tackle your finances first. Thats why this is our #1 Wedding Budget Tip! Your wedding budget will guide all of your decisions about your wedding. Setting a wedding budget that makes you feel comfortable will only help to guide you to make the best decisions you can make, while also not going into debt. Make the time to crunch those numbers and get a realistic figure before you move into any further planning.
Send Out Your Invitations
This is an exciting moment in the planning process. Once those invites are in the mail, or you pressed send on your digital invites, the big day starts to feel more real.
Pro tip: Artist and owner of Invitations by Dawn has this to say about wedding invitation etiquette on her blog:
Tip 1. Everyone invited should receive an invitation. Don’t overlook people you know will be attending .
Tip 2. Clearly print the names of all invited on the inner envelope. This is your chance to state each person by name .
Tip 3. Only one invitation per married couple.
Tip 4. Indicate a plus one is welcome by writing and guest after the recipients name on the inner envelope.
Tip 5. Invitations to unmarried couples should be sent to the closest friend but each persons name should appear on the inner envelope.
Write Thank You Cards
Wedding thank you cards are almost as important as your wedding invitations. After guests have taken the time and effort to attend your wedding, its only polite to say thank you. You can also thank them for any wedding gift they might have treated you to at the same time. Handwrite the notes, ensure the message is personal and put as much effort into the cards as you did with planning your wedding.
Set Your Wedding Budget
The single most important wedding checklist task to complete first is setting your budget, because this number will influence every subsequent planning decision. If you and your S.O. will be paying for your nuptials on your own, think about a number that’s feasible for you. Or, if you’d like to ask your parents to contribute, have that conversation to nail down what they’re able to pay.
As you begin to set your budget, this will require you to think about the potential size of your wedding too. The guest list count will influence the overall cost, as well as the venue you book. Now’s the time to determine whether you want something small and intimate or large and lavish, because this will have a direct impact on the cost of your wedding. “Brainstorming your guest list and talking about an overall budget are the first tasks you should do,” advises Ashley Tangerini, wedding planner for Mavinhouse Events. “These two go hand in hand and will help shape the venues and vendors you procure. It’s important to know the financial limits you may be working with, as well as who are your key contributors.”
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Narrow Down The Dates
You wont officially set a date until you book your venue. But, we recommend choosing a few potential wedding dates before you start looking at venues. First, think about the season in which youd like to wedand if a Saturday night wedding is a must or if youre open to a wedding on a different day. Then, take a look at the calendar, taking into account work schedules, holidays, family conflicts, etc., and narrow things down to a few choice dates. Having some potential wedding dates in mind will be very helpful during the venue selection process.
About The Whole Best Day Of Your Life Thing
Can we get real for a minute? Ultimately, a wedding is an expensive party. We’re not saying it’s not meaningfulit’s incredibly special when family and friends come together to celebrate the commitment the two of you are making. But as good and as sweet and as significant as a wedding day is, it only lasts 24 hours. A marriage is meant to last a lifetime. This guide doesn’t ignore that fact and encourages you to invest your time, energy, and emotions accordingly. As you read you’ll be encouraged to have fun with the planning process, to listen to each other, to work as a team, and to use your engagement to build a stronger relationship with your spouse-to-be.
Spend your energy where you want to during your engagement, and let this guide help you tackle those tedious details. This is custom-tailored, written-from-experience, tried-and-tested material, friends. I learned how to plan a wedding in six months or less the hard way so that you don’t have to. We can’t WAIT for you to get your hands on this!
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Choose Your Wedding Venue
This often goes hand-in-hand with Tip No. 7 but since not all venues offer both ceremony and reception services, lets dive a little deeper. Wedding Spot lets you explore venues by location, style, budget, number of guests, and services offered by the site. Popular wedding venue types include:
Once youve settled on your top three or four venues, its time to find out if theyre available on your wedding date. If they are, the next step is a site visit, either with your wedding planner or with your partner or both.
Pro tip: Narrow down your search by budget first, then aesthetic and scenery. Choose several related aesthetics and scenery such as outdoor, beach, and waterfront to get the most options for your chosen area. Also, use a tool such as Farmers Almanac to estimate what the weather will be like on your wedding day and let that influence your venue decision.
Confirm Wedding Details With Vendors
In all likelihood, youve been in close contact with all of your wedding vendors in the days and weeks leading up to your big day. Make sure that youve tied up any loose ends and all of your vendors have all the information they need . Wedding planners are super-helpful in this regard, and will assist you in making sure your vendors know where and when to be present for your wedding ceremony and reception.
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Buy Your Wedding Rings
With six months to go, youll want to purchase your wedding rings. Take your time to make the decision, because youll be wearing it every day forever! Also, make sure you choose something which complements your engagement ring , and set a firm budget. Designing a bespoke ring is a lovely alternative idea to choosing something in a ready-to-wear collection, but it might take a little longer. Wed recommended starting the process a little earlier on if this is the route you choose to go down.
Find Your Wedding Vision
Before you try on a single wedding dress or tuxedo, book a reception band or sample a bite of wedding cake, determine the vision for your wedding. While you’ve already done some big picture ideating, now’s the time to really narrow down what you want your day to look like. Is it a candlelit evening in a mansion or a barefoot ceremony on a tropical beach? While you’re picturing your perfect wedding, here are some key questions to answer now: Will you have a big or small wedding? Will your party be outdoors or inside? Will it take place at home or at a special destination? Will you choose a specific theme, or are you inspired by a certain wedding style, like modern, classic, romantic, vintage, rustic or all-out glam?
To help you get a better idea of what you want , take our fun Style Quiz that takes all the guesswork out of creating your dream wedding vision, then matches you with beautiful venues and pros that fit your style. When you start hiring vendors, it can be extremely helpful to have a mood board or a few saved Instagram posts that highlight your favorite wedding ideas, as well as the aesthetic you’d like to hone in on. After all, having a clear wedding vision will make your big day much more memorable to guests. “The aesthetic of your wedding is everything,” says Holloway. “As we always say, the beauty is in the details.”
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Look At Wedding Venues
Once you know your vision, how many guests you would like to invite, and what your budget is, you can start to look at wedding venues. For each of my daughters weddings, we had about 100 people and rented a beautiful lodge in one of our countys parks. We were very lucky to get them on the date we wanted since they get booked out quite early. Looking for a venue should be one of your top priorities in order to get your date reserved.
Here are some questions to consider asking when inquiring about a venue for your wedding.
- What does this facility accommodate?
- What is the seating capacity?
- How many tables and chairs are included?
- What is the fire code limit?
- Does the facility have heating/cooling?
- What decorations are included?
- Are we allowed to bring our own decorations?
- What are the rules about hanging decor?
- What forms of payment do they accept?
- How much deposit is required and when?
- What is the cancellation fee?
- Do they provide in-house catering?
- Do they have a liquor license/bar service included?
- Is there a kitchen area available?
- Is this a public or private location?
- Is a coat check/area provided?
- Is a kids area available if needed?
- Is a sound system available?
- Is it wheel-chair accessible?
- Where are the bathrooms located?
- Are there dressing rooms available?
- Do you have a dance area and room for a DJ or band?
- Is it possible to rehearse at the venue?
- What is the total fee?
Meet With Potential Florists
Much like hiring your other vendors, you want to be simpatico with your florist, as well. In order to do that, we suggest polling friends for recs, scrolling through Instagram inspo, and asking your planner/venue coordinator who they recommend in the area. It’s important that you find someone who is able to deliver on your vision and budget.
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Hire A Wedding Planner
Again, this will depend on your budget. But if your funds allowor if your peace of mind depends on itnow is the time to tap the manager of your big day. This person will be your right-hand woman and will guide you in all decisions, from selecting a venue to tracking your budget and handling all the logistics.
Take Time To Not Plan
Before your wedding, take time as a couple to do anything but wedding planning. Have regular date nights with no wedding talk allowed. It’s more important than ever to prioritize your relationship and continue dating each other. It will help you remember why you’re doing all of this in the first place. “You have already done the hard part, which is finding your life partner,” Thornton advises. “This is the celebration of your love with the people closest to you. Don’t forget that and how special your wedding day is… and enjoy yourself!”
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Purchase Your Outfit Accessories
Since you’ll have chosen your wedding outfit now or know what you’re planning to wear, you can start purchasing your accessories, like shoes, hair accessories, and lingerie. Grooms can buy shoes to start wearing them in, and pick things like their tie and cufflinks. This is such a fun step in your wedding planning checklist!
Why Have A Small Wedding
Before you even get to I do, understand what appeals to you in an intimate wedding. Is it the privacy and exclusivity it offers? Maybe its the preference of a more meaningful wedding that can be personalised? Or perhaps is it to do with your wedding budget, or because you want to marry abroad?
- Reduces your overall wedding cost and budget
- A more perusal and intimate feel
- Less guests mean you have have more food and drink
- Less guests means you can spend more time with the ones that are there
- Less people, less stress, can enjoy every moment
- More relaxed
Once you have established your motivation, prioritise this as your inspiration for the big day.
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How Much Does A Wedding Cost
The amount you will spend on a wedding can vary greatly, depending on how big you decide to go. Comparing some numbers for average wedding costs can help put your potential outlay in perspective.
According to WeddingWire.com, for example, the average wedding cost $38,700 in 2019, with the majority of those costs associated with the ceremony and reception.
Wedding-ceremony costs dropped drastically in 2020 due to the crisis and shutdown, dropping to an average of $19,000, but are already on the rebound to pre-pandemic figures in 2021.
The average wedding spend also includes things like the officiant, wedding cake and dessert, wedding and engagement rings, stationery, a dress for the bride, hiring a band, catering, and flowers.
The Knot puts the regular average cost of a wedding a bit lower, at $33,900 for 2019. That figure includes the engagement and wedding rings, and also covers the most essential costs associated with wedding planning, including booking a venue for the reception, hiring a photographer, paying a wedding planner, purchasing the bridal gown and grooms attire, paying for the rehearsal dinner, and covering the officiants fees. It does not, however, include the honeymoon. For that, you will need to budget another $5,000 on average.
Months Before Your Wedding Day
Twelve months isnt quite crunch time, but it is for booking your venue! Along with your venue, here is what brides and grooms need to get checked off their list at 12 months out:
- Tour and book your venue this should be the first order of business since popular venues can be booked up to two years out.
- Hire your wedding planner
- Plan your honeymoon
- Order your wedding cake