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!

It’s in the details!

I love walking into a reception room and seeing the tables, the flowers, the seating charts, etc. The tiny little details give the personal touch. It is what makes a wedding unique, it gives you a certain vibe and lets you know more about the couple and the love they have for each other. Oh the details are so important!

Here are some gorgeous details from a beach theme Newport Wedding Shoot. Location was Queen Anne’s Loft, a beautiful venue that is one the second floor and has with large windows to allow you views of the ocean and the city.

Table Setting Perfection

Setting the table with the wedding theme directing you allows every person taking part of the special day really feel your vision. This table setting is perfect.

The florals are gorgeous, a great height and are soft colors. The rope runner has beautiful knots and brings in the beach theme. The glasses tinted green and blue make you think of the ocean. Then there are the pieces of sea glass with beautiful calligraphy as the place cards. I mean, can it get more perfect than that?!

Guests will feel important with the attention to detail you have given to make their place look beautiful.

Your wedding theme starts with the invitation you choose to send your guests. Gorgeous invites that clearly shows the beach theme, the beautiful colors, and the writing will all follow through to the wedding day details.

When there is a custom sign to greet guests when they enter it becomes a photo op and gives guests an idea of the vibe your reception will have!

Gorgeous!

Every detail is perfection. Her dress, jewelry, hair, makeup, flowers, and decor all give beautiful, romantic, spring, beach vibes.

This cake is stunning. The colors and details incorporate the beach theme beautifully. I love that it was not a huge cake, but tall enough to beg everyone to come take a look before it was cut.

Finding a baker that not only bakes a delicious cake, but that is also beautiful can be tricky. Add to that a need to be gluten free and you could be in trouble. Be sure to take the time to find your ideal baker and do tastings to ensure you are happy with the result. After all, no one wants pictures of the bride and groom not liking the taste of their cake.

This wedding was elegant, romantic, and simply stunning. Every last detail was thought of and taken care of. Working with event planners can help you find the perfect wedding vendors to work with and it can ensure a flawless theme. As a woman, former bride, and makeup artist I appreciate all the work that goes into creating your perfect wedding. Start to finish there are endless details that cannot be overlooked. If you liked the personal touches and details from this wedding here is the list of wonderful people who made it all possible! If you contact any of them, be sure to tell them Jess sent you 🙂