Now that you have our checklist of what to do when you first get engaged, continue your wedding planning with our suggested to-do list below. We’ve curated your next steps to complete in the four to nine months leading up to your big day.
Continue Booking Wedding Vendors
Start reaching out to florists, bakers, DJs, musicians, and any other vendors you need for your special day. Not sure where to start? Check with your wedding venue to see if they have a preferred vendor list, or can offer any suggestions for professionals they know and trust. When booking a baker, schedule a time to try cake samples. Make notes at each tasting to decide who has the best tasting cake for your wedding. Once you make your selection, the next step will be to pick your cake design.
Florists will have oodles of pictures on their website, Facebook and Instagram. Find professionals with designs similar to your wedding style and reach out. Find someone who will deliver on your vision and budget.
For DJs, bands and musicians, look for any videos they have posted online. Pay attention not only to their music, but also their interaction with wedding guests. Does the DJ just play music while standing like a statue behind his table, or do they interact with the crowd and keep the energy going all evening?
Arrange Overnight Accommodations
Will your guests stay onsite at your venue, are you planning to arrange a room block at a hotel, or a little bit of both? Once you book your venue, decide where your out-of-town guests are going to stay. If your venue has on-site lodging, let them know how many guests you anticipate will stay on property. If you need to contact a hotel for additional or all of your accommodations, research sites not far from your wedding venue. Visit a few hotels and decide which works best for your guests. Is there free Wi-Fi, is breakfast included, how large and clean are the rooms? Choose a hotel and reserve a room block for your guests.
Create Your Gift Registry
This is definitely an exciting task to check off of your list. Head to your favorite home store, set up your registry and grab a scanner. Walk the aisles with your partner and scan everything you need for your home together from an avocado slicer to a Zen garden. Choose items in a range of prices so your guests have plenty of options. Don’t feel like going out? You can also register online from the comfort of your couch. Once you’re done, update your wedding website with your registry information.
Send Save the Date Cards
Once you have your guest list, date and location nailed down, start sending save the date cards to everyone you plan to invite. Your guests will be able to mark your wedding on their calendars well in advance. If you have a sweet photo from your engagement shoot, include that on your save the date cards as well.
Shop for Bridesmaid/Flower Girl Dresses
Gather your wedding party and go shopping for bridesmaid dresses. Schedule an appointment at a local boutique with colors and a style in mind. Will your party wear the same dress in the same color? Or will they choose their own style in the same color and fabric? You can also opt for different complementary shades in the same color family, for example, blush and dusty rose.
Don’t forget to choose the most adorable dress you can find for your flower girl. Add a sash or accessories that will match the bridesmaids’ dress colors.
Reserve Rental Items
Will you rent a live edge bar for your wedding reception, or maybe a vintage furniture set to give guests a place to gather and relax? You’ll also want to think about lighting options, like bistro lights for events taking place outside, or pathway lanterns leading up to your venue. Contact your venue to see what rental items they have available. Your wedding planner can also help to find any specific pieces you’d like to have for your wedding. Items including linens, china and cutlery will likely come from your caterer or a local rental company.
Decide Style and Wording of Your Wedding Invitations
Whether you go the DIY route online, or work with a vendor for customized invitations, choose designs that work with your wedding colors, style and personality. You may decide to feature a blooming apple blossom tree if you’re getting married in the spring, or opt for gold trim for a formal wedding. We’ve also seen couples feature their wedding venue on their invitations.
If you’re unsure about the wording for your invites, consult with your wedding stationer or search online for information on wording etiquette. Find examples that match your wedding celebration.
Book Your Honeymoon
You’ve spent time dreaming about your perfect honeymoon destination. Now it’s time to book it! We recommend working with a travel agent to get the best deal. An agent can help you take care of all of the details including booking your accommodations, flight and airport transportation.
Book Wedding Transportation
If you’re booking a room block at a hotel, your guests may need round-trip transportation from the hotel to your wedding venue. Rent two or three 15-passenger vans depending on your guests’ needs. If your venue has a driveway that can accommodate it, a commercial bus is also a good option to ensure your guests are getting to and from your wedding safely.
Don’t forget to book transportation for yourself as well. Take a limousine from your ceremony to reception location, or even a horse and carriage if the distance is short. If you’re heading to the airport after your wedding and don’t want to take your own vehicle, factor that into your planning as well.
Dress your wedding party in shades that match or compliment your wedding colors. Not sure if you want to rent suits or tuxedos? Match the bride’s dress and venue feel. If you’re going more formal, a tux is the best fit. A suit is great if your event is more casual. Ultimately it’s up to you and your style.
Visit an area formalwear store to select your attire and get measured. If you’re getting married at Rosemont, simplify the process by renting your tuxedos or suits through the venue. From the fitting to the delivery and return of your formalwear, Rosemont handles it all. Click here to find out more about this service.
Book Rehearsal Dinner Location and Put Together a Guest List
Decide who you want to attend your rehearsal dinner. Keep it small with immediate family and the wedding party, or invite extended family and friends for a larger event. Find restaurants that have an event space or private room large enough to accommodate your party. Sometimes couples will also choose a family home for a cozy, intimate space. If your venue is available, or you’ve rented it for the entire weekend, consider having your rehearsal dinner there as well. This convenient option saves you the task of finding another venue for your wedding events.
Provide a Guest List for Your Wedding Shower and Bachelorette/Bachelor Parties
Your wedding party will likely plan your bachelorette/bachelor parties, and possibly your wedding shower. Provide your party planners with a guest list of people you’d like to attend, including email and physical addresses, and telephone numbers.
Schedule a Tasting With Your Caterer
The foodies here at Rosemont would all agree this might be one of the most fun tasks to mark off your to-do list. Arrange a time with your caterer to taste proposed menu items for your reception and any other events they’ll be catering. Your caterer will take you through each course from hors d’oeuvres, through dinner and sometimes dessert. Bring a notebook to jot down any feedback you have as you savor each bite. This is also a good time to express what you like and don’t like about a menu item. Sometimes the caterer can adjust an item to your preferences.
Schedule Your Hair and Makeup Trial
Once you book your hair stylist and makeup artist, set up a trial run with each. Gather photos of your favorite hair and makeup styles and narrow down which you’d like to try. This is a great way to find out if a hairstyle will flatter your face shape and structure, and if a makeup look fits your personality and style. The last thing you want is to find out your makeup is too heavy for you, or a hairstyle doesn’t look the way you imagined it on the day of your wedding.
For extensive planning details from start to finish, check out our blogs below: