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You’ve probably envisioned your special day a thousand times in your head. From the invitations, to the event décor, to your wedding dress and even the food – you have thought out all the details and know exactly how you want everything to be. However, there’s a lot of work to be done before you can have your perfect dream wedding!
While wedding planning is mostly a hugely exciting experience, it can also be incredibly stressful and overwhelming at times. From booking the perfect venue to arranging wedding rentals – the list of things that need to be planned can be seemingly endless, which is why it’s important to stay organized right from the start. However, being on top of things is easier said than done, especially if you don’t know where to start.
So to help you get everything in order for the big occasion, we put together a comprehensive wedding checklist. Our checklist will break down all aspects of wedding planning into manageable chunks, allowing you to have a stress-free run up to the big day.
12 Months to Go…
· Figure Out a Budget
Doing the math and crunching up numbers is perhaps the least fun part of the wedding planning process. However, it’s also one of the most essential ones. The first step is to determine who’s paying for what and the bottom line of your wedding. Once you have that figured out, you can start prioritizing things, from the most important to the least, and allocate the funds accordingly. A little market research can be extremely beneficial at this point.
Also, it’s highly likely that the numbers and your priorities will change as you plan, which is why it’s a good idea to start a detailed spreadsheet right from the off. This will make it easier for you to make adjustments to the numbers and keep track of your spending.
· Make the Guest List
While you may want to invite everyone you know to your big day, chances are, you can’t. Not all of us have a limitless budget, which means that you have to limit the number of people you dish out invites to. Your wedding’s head count will primarily depend upon what you can afford and how many people can fit inside the venue.
· Decide the Overall Wedding Theme
This decision should be made after you’ve had an open, heart-to-heart conversation with your partner. Trust us when we say that the overall vibe of your wedding is extremely important. It should be the perfect combination of the preferences of both you and your partner. You should also consider how your venue affects the decision you make. For instance, if you’re going to have a barn-style wedding, a glam, black-tie theme wouldn’t be the best theme of choice, would it?
· Choose a Venue
You don’t need to tell us that picking out the venue is one of the most important parts of the wedding planning process – it’s one of the most expensive ones as well. Seriously, your wedding location has an impact on everything – from the number of guests you can invite, to the wedding theme and décor you can go for.
· Choose a Caterer
Your wedding is the most significant dinner party you’ll throw in your life, so you want to make sure that everything is done perfectly. For that, you’ll need to hire a reliable wedding caterer who you can trust to deliver. When it comes to the menu, don’t be afraid to be creative! Give your event a personal touch by adding your grandma’s famous blueberry pie or your favorite cocktail to the menu!
9 Months to Go…
· Decide on a Wedding Color Palette and Start Thinking About the Décor
With 9 months to go until the big day, it’s time to pull out your Pinterest board! Choosing the color theme and décor design is the most enjoyable part of wedding preparation for most people, and it’s easy to understand why. This is the stage where you truly make your wedding day your own by adding your own personal touches. Let your creativity run wild and don’t be afraid to try something different! If you’re looking for inspiration, read our blog post on the latest wedding décor ideas and trends [Insert link to Blog 2 here].
· Buy Your Wedding Dress
Needless to say, your wedding dress is another big aspect of wedding preparation, which is why it’s best to get it over with early in the process. The ideal wedding dress will not only look good on you, but will also complement your partner’s dress for the big day.
· Arrange a Florist
It’s safe to say that flowers are the most important wedding décor staple. When choosing a wedding flower vendor, make sure you opt for one that can deliver on your budget and vision.
· Hire a Lighting Technician
Lighting is one of the important wedding details that is overlooked by many couples. Really, the candles and bulbs you select are the things that will light up your special day. Lighting not only impacts the mood and vibe of the event, but also influences how your wedding photographs turn out. Furthermore, it’s lighting that will keep the party going even after the sun has set. Choose a lighting technician that understands your vision and can offer you a good solution within your budget.
· Book a Wedding Photographer
Now, booking a wedding photographer and videographer isn’t as simple as you might imagine. Different wedding photographers specialize in different styles of photography, such as contemporary, traditional and reportage style. This is why it’s important to a little bit of homework. Carefully go through the portfolio of each potential photographer before deciding on whose style suits you best.
· Hire a Band or a DJ
Hiring a DJ or a band is something which you might want to get done with plenty of time left before the big day. Last minute bookings can cost you a pretty penny. While a live band generally costs a little bit more than a DJ, it adds a touch of class and elegance to the event.
6 Months to Go…
· Arrange Transportation for the Guests
Make timely transportation arrangements for your guests is vital if you want to avoid running off schedule on the big day. Moreover, you don’t want your guests to arrive to the location in public transport, especially if they’ve been asked to travel for a destination wedding. There’s a variety of things you need to take in consideration when planning out transportation for your guests. These include the number of guests, the parking space available at the venue, and last but not the least; your budget.
· Arrange Wedding Rentals
By this point, your wedding venue should be done and dusted, and now it’s time to set up the big stage. There are some items that you’ll definitely need to rent out, including tables, chairs, wedding wall draping, podiums, etc. However, there can be additional items as well, depending upon your budget and the type of wedding décor you’ve opted for. Its best to make these arrangements in advance as this will allow you to avoid last minute hassles and rush fees.
· Take Engagement Photos
An engagement photo session is a great way to start practicing being in front of the camera, particularly if it’s included in your wedding photography package.
· Book a Date with Your Make-Up Artist
This is another area where an early booking can help you save a lot of money. Speak to several artists before deciding on one that’s just right for you. Also book a make-up and hair trial so you know what you’re actually getting.
· Book the Rehearsal Dinner Venue
The rehearsal dinner can be considered as a “test run” for the actual wedding. This is why it’s called the “rehearsal dinner” after all. While the rehearsal dinner is usually held on the night before the wedding ceremony, it’s prudent to have the venue booked several months in advance so that you don’t have to pay any last minute rush charges.
· Order Your Invitations
When it’s about ordering your wedding invitations, there are a few ground rules you should observe. Firstly, make sure that you order enough invitations. In fact, order extra ones in case there are mistakes. Secondly, ensure that they arrive well on time. Thirdly, double-check all invitations for spelling errors and correct addresses. Fourthly, set up a system which keeps track of all RSVPS replies you get.
3 Months to Go…
With just 3 months to go before the big day arrives, things may now start to get a little hectic (but not if you’ve been keeping this checklist handy).
· Arranging Transportation for the Bride and Groom
Now that everyone else’s transportation is arranged, it’s now time to shift the focus to you two! You’ll definitely want to make sure that you arrive to and leave your special occasion in a grand manner. While stretch limos and specialty cars are the conventional means of bride and groom transportation, these aren’t the only options you have. You can hop on a tandem bicycle, or opt for a cute little vintage VW bug! But whatever you opt for, make sure you arrange everything well in advance so you don’t have to deal with last-minute hassles.
· Have a Final Tasting Session with Your Caterer
It’s been a while since you informed your caterer of the items you want on your wedding menu, and now it’s time to taste what they’ve come up with. Final tasting sessions have become increasingly important as almost every couple is now choosing to customize every item – from dessert to signature cocktails – to their specific tastes. This is also a great opportunity for you to judge the attention to detail and the quality of service your caterer offers.
· Select Your Cake
Selecting a cake is also an essential part of wedding preparations. A wedding cake is all about expressing yourself as a couple. You should opt for one with a design and flavor profile which both you and your partner love. You’ll obviously need a baker for this. Choose a reputable one who’ll happily take on your dream design and for a dream price as well.
· Send Out the Wedding Invitations
You’ve already taken care of the selection process, which is the hard part. Now all you need to do is print out and assemble the invitations and send them out. You should hopefully have all the RSVP replies one month before the wedding.
One Week to Go…
The final week leading to your big day has arrived. If you use our checklist as a guide, at this point you should be spending stress-free days with your loved ones. However, there are a few things you need to take care of in the penultimate week leading up to the wedding. They include:
- Final dress fitting session.
- Making sure everything is all set for your honeymoon travels.
- Getting your engagement ring professionally cleaned.
One final advice that we’d like to give you is that whatever happens on your wedding day, it’s the beginning of your new journey with your life partner, and that is why it’ll be a special day that you’ll remember forever! Focus on that and nothing will be able to spoil your big day. The team here at BeDazzle My Event wishes you a perfect wedding day and a long and happy married life!
BeDazzle My Events is all about making your event a complete success. We offers all type of high-end party rentals, such as wedding furniture and dance floor rentals, for all your special occasion needs. Get in touch with us if you’re looking to host the perfect event in Orange County or Los Angeles CA.