I'm two weeks into my two month engagement- here's the wedding planning update!
I'm getting a lot of mixed reactions about people expecting me to have it all done or thinking I'm crazy for doing it myself! ;) I do plan a lot of events, but there are still some things I don't enjoy doing...vendor outreach is one of them! Working within a budget is another! ;)
I'm hoping my short engagement experience allows me to share a few tips and tricks with other DIY brides who need a little direction and aren't finding it from the typical 12 month engagement checklists all over the internet!
I'm going to share what the things you need to do first and SO I'm two weeks into engagement and planning, and here's what I've done so far:
1. Vibes: THIS is the biggest step! You can't do anything until you establish what you want your wedding to be like and how you want to feel on your wedding day! For me, I want moody and romantic vibes, and I want to feel totally relaxed and happy on my wedding day! This has helped inform all of my other decisions.
2. Budget: How much money do you want to spend?! If you're not in the event industry or have any experience with weddings, buckle up, because you probably have no idea what kind of cash can go into a wedding! Figure out if you have any contributors to the wedding budget, and then write down your budget!
3. Venue: Book a venue that fits into you vibes (and budget!) Outdoor? Indoor? Ballroom? Botanical Gardens? Anything goes! Think about what makes sense for the time of year and go from there. I wanted an outdoor fall wedding, but here we are planning a December wedding and hoping for decent weather.
4. Dress: I don't recommend buying a dress until you have a venue, *just* in case you end up booking something totally different than you originally planned. You don't want to show up to your beach wedding in a ball gown, ya know? Think about your vibes, and your venue, then hit Pinterest hard for inspiration on how you want to look on your wedding day!
5. Guest Accommodations: You might think this is too high on the list, but NO! You need your accommodations booked before your invitations because you will include your hotel information on the details card in your invitation. (Unless you're doing a wedding website, in which case you have a few days flexibility.) Adam took the lead on accommodations, and was so pumped when he knocked it out, and I'm so pleased! Definitely need to give him a few more vendors to knock out!
6. Rehearsal Dinner/Welcome Dinner: Same goes for the welcome dinner! Traditionally, the groom's parents host and pay for the welcome dinner, but anything goes these days! This is almost an entirely separate event, and can have a different vibe or be similar to the overall wedding.
7. Invitations: I love paper goods and I've known for a while that I wanted a beautiful invitation suite! Our timeline has made that a little more difficult with printing and delivery times, but we are making it work! There are so many options for invitations; I was stuck for a while before I was able to pull the trigger on one style, but I knew that I had 2-3 really great options and that it would be beautiful no matter what I chose. Remind yourself that nobody else knows what your other options were and they'll just be happy to receive an invitation!
8. Officiant: You need one of these to get married! (unless you're in Colorado!) Talk to your church pastors and staff, reach out to a family friend, or hire an officiant. One of my long-time childhood friends and her husband pastor a church in Houston, so he will be our officiant! We are so excited!
9. Caterer: Catering is my least favorite item to book for any event! Ha! There is so much that goes into a catering proposal, it takes a while to get them back from the caterer, and to be honest, they are difficult to understand, and every company writes them differently! This is where having (or being!) an event planner comes in handy. BUT most caterers are used to talking with non-industry brides, and are happy to explain the charges and everything that goes into a proposal. Just be honest and ask!
10. Florist: Florists bring your wedding to life! I'm flower obsessed, and it's upsetting how much of my wedding budget is going to flowers that will just be thrown away after the wedding! (so sad!). I'm including Florist on my "booked" list BUT I actually am between two florists right now and have to decide tomorrow!
11. Cake: I might be most excited about the CAKE! I. LOVE. CAKE. Ha! I'm keeping my details a surprise, but cannot wait for you to see it! It's a little (a lot!) untraditional, but I'm v into it!
12. Ceremony Music & Reception Music: These were fun to book and maybe the easiest! Think about your vibe, read reviews, make sure you're hiring someone professional who will be great to work with!
The BIGGEST adjustment when you're on a short timeline is that sometimes you have to say YES to the first or second vendor who gets back to you with a reasonable proposal!
Still on my list:
- interviewing week-of/day-of wedding coordinators
- tabletop details
- signage details
- catering menu
- additional rentals
Still a lot to do, but I'm proud of the progress we've made so far! Adam keeps reminding me when I'm stressed that the accommodations are taken care of. Haha! So thankful that he's with me and willing to help! :) In case you missed it, here's our proposal story.