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Wedding Planning 101

After throwing the most epic wedding and reception, I figured it’s safe to say I have plenty of knowledge to share in the wedding planning department. Being an ex-catering manager, definitely helps. Below you’ll find my tips and tricks to either save money or get sh*t done.

Let’s prioritize that to-do list! I tackled my to-do’s by splitting items up by month.

Month 1: Vendors, such as venue and catering. This will also be when you select your date. Then get started on those save the dates! Sooner the better. We used magnets for our and it was a huge hit.

Month 2:  Wedding dress! It’s best to know your date AND venue, before selecting your dress. Make sure you research your seamstress options. And give them plenty of time for alterations – typically wedding dresses require at least 8 months for alterations. Think through bridal party dresses, though that’s usually a 2-month turnaround time.

Month 3: Find your photographer, videographer, DJ, officiant, etc. Other vendors that are a priority should be included in this list as well. I used a photo booth and it was SO much fun! If you’re having a destination wedding, or have family/friends traveling, it’s time to set up a room block.

Month 4: Flowers and decorations… you don’t necessarily need a vendor for this. I didn’t – we used Costco – or there’s options such as Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s or Publix. Or you could always enlist a typical flower vendor here. This is also a good time to set up your wedding website. I used Zola.com (and recommend it). Be sure to include links to the hotel room block, include travel information and things to do in the area. Plus pictures, lots of cute pictures.

Month 5: FOOD! And most importantly: CAKE. There’s plenty of food and cake vendors so take your time with this one. And who wouldn’t want to have at least 3 cake tastings, before selecting your vendor. You know… research.

Month 6: Send our your wedding invitations!! And set up your wedding registry. We opted out of a registry, Instead, we included pictures of our pet squad and asked for donations to our honeymoon and future together. Might be a good time to check in on the groom’s tux and groomsmen. We waited until month 10 for this, but I would recommend getting your groom (and bridal party) fitted sooner to allow time for alterations.

Month 7: Recheck ALL items above and ensure everyone is on the same page. Also a good time to nail down transportation, if needed.

Month 8: Your dress should be done – go get it! Think through accessories: veil, jewelry, shoes, etc. And start putting things in a bag, or else it’ll get eaten by the messy home.

Month 9: Take a breath, you’re doing great!!! This may be a good time to start thinking through your tables and layout. It’s a rough draft, since RSVPs will still be coming in.

Month 10: Think through your favors for your weddings guests. We made a donation for our wedding favor. But others have given us a bottle of wine or a butterfly wine cork.

Month 11: Go get a facial! Get a massage, take a yoga class. Then go work on your ceremony and vows.

Month 12: Send your final numbers to your vendors and make sure everyone is paid in full. Then go get married!! Let the cards fall where they may, things are bound to go wrong that day. But it’s going to be amazing, no matter what. We had rain on our wedding day. I hear it’s good luck 😉