You said YES… now what?

Photograph by Jamal & Lashana Photography

Congratulations on saying yes and I am sure your ring is amazingly beautiful. Now comes all the fun (and at times stressful part) … planning your wedding. Lucky for you I have created a timeline to help you so you are not trying to do it all the first week of getting engaged!

Let’s focus on setting a date first and to do so if you do not already have one in mind is to determine what time of year you want to get married. If you are budget conscious and you live in an area that has seasons, like me in the northeast, choosing an off-season date is the way to go. If that is not a concern, then choose any time. I strongly suggest May, June, or Sept for outdoor weddings. This way your guests are not sweating too badly while enjoying your day.

Now that you have picked a date it’s time to choose your vendors. Some vendors will require you to book them further in advance than others. I made a timeline based on the average time needed before your wedding to choose them. If you book them earlier that’s ok too, but I wouldn’t wait much longer than I suggest to ensure you get who you want!

Let’s talk venue. Choosing the correct venue is important. You want a space large enough for there to be room to eat and dancing, but not so large that it feels empty with your number of guests. Before you start looking for a venue, have an idea about how many guests you will have and the type of wedding you want…. rustic, modern, formal, casual, outdoor/indoor?

Now it is time to start looking to hire vendors. These are the wonderful people you will have ensuring your wedding day is perfection! It is important to plan out your budget prior to starting you search. You need to determine what you are willing to spend for each service…. There is that saying “you get what you pay for” so if you are sticking to a strict budget, you need to make sure you know what you are going to spend.

Now that you have a budget planned out, its time to start searching! Find your photographer and wedding planner (if you are hiring one) first. Photographers book up 1-2 years ahead of time. Take time to look at the types of photos they take and ensure they are what you are looking for. Each photographer has a style and you want it to jive with you, otherwise you may not have the best experience. Take the time to sit with them before signing contracts and make sure everything you want and need is available to you from them and listen to the ideas they have too. They have seen more weddings than you and are full of knowledge and ideas that you are going to want to know about!

Videographers are next on the list. If your photographer does not do video, ask who they have liked working with and/or who they would recommend. The venue may also have a few in mind for you. You want to make sure they can work cohesively! Watch videos from different videographers to get an idea what you would like in yours and the different styles they have.

Each time you are ready to search for another person who want to provide a service for you, take the time to check out their work. Make sure it looks like what you envision for your wedding. Be sure schedule time for a makeup and hair trial. You do NOT want to just wing it and be unhappy with the results. I had a bride come to me who was on her third hair and makeup trial because no one was listening to her. I listened and she booked me after seeing how her vision came to light.

If you are looking for a short engagement, use this list to ensure you are booking the vendors you need and want first. I created it based on how quickly they will get booked up to the services most people wait to book until it gets closer because you cannot do it all on the same day.

Enjoy this time! Your wedding day is a wonderful day filled with love, family, and friends. It will all come together. Take time to breathe, relax, get a couple massage and enjoy the planning process. You only get married once (well, hopefully 😉 ) and it should be an enjoyable experience you and your fiance do together.

Download this timeline to help you!

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