By Emily Roberts
Your event may seem far off, but it’s never too early to start preparing for the big day. There are so many things that need to be done before the big day and we know it can be overwhelming. Each step is time sensitive, in the sense of making reservations and coordinating the evening. This breakdown can help you check essentials off of your list and prepare for the most special day!
9 MONTHS BEFORE
Planning the layout
Planning the layout is a strategic process of placing all of the guests, vendors and decor all in one space comfortably. Be sure not to overbook your space, make sure everyone involved has ample room to carry out their duties. Keep in mind minor details, such as not placing tables directly in front of speakers or making space for a dancefloor.
Hiring Other Vendors
There are so many moving parts to planning a wedding, so it’s always best to begin hiring most of your vendors nine months in advance. This includes florists, photographers/videographers, catering, officiant, etc. It’s sometimes difficult to coordinate all of the desired vendors for your planned date, so booking in advance can assure that date’s availability.
Finding the perfect look for your big day is perhaps the most exciting part of the entire process, but it does require a lot of planning. Not only will you have your own fittings, but the wedding party usually requires a few alterations as well that you will need to allow time for.
6 MONTHS BEFORE
Now would be a great time to create a joint Spotify playlist between the bride and groom where both parties can add songs they want played during the event. This is an easy, collaborative way to create a list of must plays on your big day. Both parties can add the songs that they want to hear and even delete the others’ horrible choices.
Not only do you want to ensure that your guests will arrive at the venue without problems, but the vendors are important as well. Often vendors arrive with a lot of equipment that will require set up, so plan for easy load in and load out for those crews. Organize any transportation, parking, or valet six months in advance to not only guarantee your date, but also to inspect accessibility to and from the venue.
3 MONTHS BEFORE
We all know it’s difficult to put our true feelings into a well thought out best man or maid of honor speech. Begin researching speeches and sending them to your best friend to ensure they are properly preparing for their moment and hound them to rehearse it!
First Dance Rehearsal
Whether you have a rehearsed first dance or you’re just winging it, rehearse with the song selected to make sure it’s neither too long nor too short. It’s beneficial to communicate the timestamp with your DJ to avoid any interruptions. Don’t be afraid to ask your DJ for suggestions on transitions or remixes!
While this is completely optional it may be something that didn’t cross your mind initially. Gifts for your wedding party don’t have to be anything costly, but showing appreciation to those involved in making the day special is a simple way to say thank you. This can be anything from a keychain to a koozie to even a small plant. Have fun with it and make it unique to your relationship.
There are so many important events that will occur throughout the day. The order of your day may be different than what is traditionally done, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong! Family dynamics are changing which means the ceremony and reception are going to change too! Whether it’s the order of the first dances, the procession order, or even the order of the entire night, be sure to finalize the order of your event and share it with all parties involved in the day.
1 MONTH BEFORE
The timeline of your wedding can only be composed once everything is confirmed and finalized. This will provide an outline of events for everyone involved. Important things to remember to include in your timeline are transportation, time to get ready, dinner length, pictures, and the order of first dances. Don’t forget to make multiple copies of the detailed timeline to give to each of your vendors!
Music Requests/ Do Not Play List
This may be something that you have already begun to put together, but now is a great time to begin finalizing both your music request list and the do not play list. The DNP list will prevent any unruly songs that you don’t want to hear all night and the music request list will guarantee that your favorite songs get played.
During rehearsal be sure to practice walking down the aisle to the song that you chose. You wouldn’t want the song to end before the bride makes it to the end of the aisle. As your practice in real time with the music, write down the timestamp in which you would prefer the song to either change or end, and then relay that to your DJ to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Wedding Day Emergency Kit
Nobody can anticipate the events that will unfold throughout the evening. A simple emergency kit could make all of the difference to be prepared for anything thrown at you the day of. Some things to include in that kit could be fashion tape, or double sided tape, band-aids and medicine, a brush and/or comb, a lint roller, hair accessories, a small sewing kit, extra products, such as deodorant, hairspray, perfume, etc.
This list is by no means complete – every event is different and will require different types of preparation and organization, but hopefully this short list gets you started in the planning process. If you have any questions or would like us to refer you to some of our preferred vendors, please feel free to contact us anytime, we’ll be glad to help you prepare for your big day!