A Southern Belle's Guide to Wedding Planning
Congratulations on your engagement! Now the fun part begins! I am sure you have a zillion ideas flowing through your excited mind, and you have probably already created a Pinterest board Martha Stewart would approve! Well, just in case you are like me and love the feeling of success when you check something off a list, here is a guide that will help you for your big upcoming day! Don’t get bogged down in the wedding day trenches- remember, keep your focus- you are marrying the love of your life and living happily ever after!
- 12 Months -
Pop the bubbly! You, lovely, are getting married!
Buy some wedding magazines and get inspired!
Purchase a wedding binder to keep all your magazine clippings, brochures, business cards, and notes in one place.
Determine your budget. Make sure to prioritize and have what is important to you two love birds!
Choose a wedding date.
Decide on a color scheme.
Select your bridal party.
Start making your wedding guest list.
Begin looking at venues and narrow down your choices. Venues usually book a year ahead, so once you have your date set, get your venue reserved!
Research other wedding vendors: photographers, DJs, bands, catering, videographers, etc.
Create your wedding “team” and consider hiring a wedding planner.
| 8-10 Months |
Book your photographer and videographer.
Register for gifts at your favorite department stores and hometown shops.
Buy your dream dress.
Take engagement photos- you can uses these for your save the dates!
Create your wedding website.
Research and reserve accommodations for out-of-town guests.
Book your officiant.
Decide on what type of food you want, and meet with caterers.
Research wedding insurance policies. Yes, these really do exist and are important!
| 6-8 Months |
Finalize your guest list and gather everyone’s addresses.
Send out save-the-dates.
Purchase your invitations.
Choose and book a floral designer.
Contact rental companies for additional items (tables, chairs, tents, linens, etc.)
Choose bridesmaids’ dresses.
Begin planning your honeymoon!
| 4-6 Months |
Begin choosing your ceremony music and building your reception.
Eat cake! Go cake tasting and order your cake(s).
Book the rehearsal dinner venue.
Schedule a hair and makeup trial and book artists.
Go to your first dress fitting.
Book accommodations for your wedding night.
If required, attend pre-wedding counseling.
Check passports for renewals.
Rent the groom and his merry men’s formal wear.
Hire transportation for the wedding day: vintage cars, limousines, a horse and carriage, the skies the limit!
Finalize your reception menu with your caterer.
Meet with your floral designer to finalize your event’s florals.
Purchase the rings.
Order your wedding favors.
| 2 Months |
Send out invitations.
Enjoy your bachelor/bachelorette parties!
Review your music selections with your DJ or band.
Make final payments with vendors.
Correspond with your photographer to discuss day-of plans and specific photos you want to have.
Send in your announcement to the local newspaper.
Make sure the groomsmen have purchased/rented their attire.
| 1 Month |
Attend your last dress fitting. Make sure your mom or maid of honor knows how to bustle your dress.
Write your vows.
Get your marriage license.
Send out rehearsal dinner invitations.
Check off all your RSVPs you have received on your guest lists.
Purchase alcohol and items needed for cocktails.
Confirm times for all of your vendors and make a day-of timeline. If you are working with a wedding planner, discuss your day-of timeline options.
Purchase gifts for your bridal party.
Call up the girls- make sure they have their bridesmaid dresses ready for the big day!
| 2 Weeks |
Review the RSVP list and contact any guests who have not yet responded.
Send your photographer and videographer your final picture list and include who should be included in the formal pictures.
Get your prewedding haircut and color.
Delegate any small day-of tasks to family and friends.
| 1 Week |
Practice dancing in your shoes so that they are broken in and comfy for the big day!
Go get a mani/pedi.
Pack for your honeymoon. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Send your final guest count to your caterer.
Have final payments ready for vendors.
Take a deep breath and relax!
| After the Honeymoon |
Write “thank you” cards.
Officially change your name!
Have your dress cleaned and preserved.
| Special Thanks |
Photography: Emily Reedstrom Photography // Cake: Lotus Sugar Shack, Hellen Warren // Cake Florals: Bloomwoods //Flowers// Floral Design and Event Planning: Shayna Chapman, S. Chapman Designs // Invitation Suite: Madison Stationery, Katie McCambley // Bridal Gown: Uptown Gowns