Happy Monday friends!
If you're lucky enough to live in the mitten state, that means you got to enjoy the insanely beautiful weather we had this weekend. 61º in February? Yes. Please. So in true Monday fashion, let's get this week rolling with a to-do list. For the second part in our planning series, we're talking all those things you need to check-off if you're 8-10 months out from your wedding. This is also where we remind you that wedding planning shouldn't be a full time job (well, unless you're us?) so make sure you take time off from all the heavy lifting to enjoy some precious moments with your bride or groom-to-be! Here we go:
Lock down the big things.
This is the point where you need to start finalizing major details. Even if you have the start of your #weddingdreamteam, at 8-10 months out, make sure you have the following items reserved:
- Your date at the house of worship or civil ceremony site, as well as officiant
- Reception Venue
- Caterer, including a rough estimate on price per head + a draft reception menu
- Your guest list.
It's okay if your list evolves a little , but remember that Save the Dates will go out 4-6 months before your wedding (sooner if it's a desination wedding), so it's important to nail down as much of this list as possible. Make sure to always keep it with your numbers below the maximum allowed at the venue. Do not factor "potential no shows" in this count!
- Your creative team. This includes your photographer, videographer, reception music, florist and rentals.
Choose your VIPs
Now's the time to pull out those long-planned Pinterest boards and invite your ladies & gents to stand by your side on the big day! We love asking VIPs in a special way, so get creative in asking your bridesmaids & groomsmen. This is the time to pick the littler members of your bridal party (aka your Ring Bearer & Flower Girl), if you'd like to include them in your wedding party. Consider other roles for other very important family & friends (including ushers, ceremony readers & guest book attendants).
A note on ring bearers & flower girls: Everyone loves that adorable moment when the little ones walk down the aisle, but we've seen a meltdown or two in our time. If it's important to have ring bearers & flower girls at your affair, make sure they're the appropriate age (between 3 - 6 works very well!) and that they have a place to sit during the actual ceremony!
Settle on Your Style
In the first few months, you decided on your wedding vibe but now it's time to get specific. Your wedding color palette and style will help make very important decisions in the coming months. If you're feeling stuck, don't dive into wedding magazines - these can be incredibly overwhelming and often showcase weddings with massive budgets. Instead, take inpsiration from around your own home. Do you see a trend of mostly traditional colors? Do you love gold? Are you a candle lover or do you always have a flower arrangement on your kitchen table? All of these things can be clues for what your wedding style could be. If you're feeling SUPER stuck, try using a website like Adobe Color, where you can upload a picture you love and it will pull together a color palette for you!
Now for some serious fun! This is the time you need to start shopping for your dream wedding dress (oh yeah, we've got tips for you there!). Keep in mind that if you're planning on ordering your dress you'll need ample time to have the dress made and allow for fittings. If you're buying off the rack, you can give yourself a little more time, but still plan on allowing time for three fittings & alterations.
Prep for OOT (Out-of-Town Guests!)
Thinking long-term is absolutely critical here! Are you getting married at a popular time of year, a secluded location or over a holiday weekend? Then get those hotel blocks booked EARLY! Popular summer spots in Michigan may require a two-night minimum, while others may have a high attrition rate (a percentage of your room block that must be booked - typically 80%, but we've seen as high as 95%!). Set aside two or three room blocks depending on your guest list size (and at varying price points!) and put that information on your wedding website.
Hopefully this list is making you feel ready to take on the world! If it's not, you still have questions or you're feeling completely overwhelmed, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org! We're still booking late summer & fall brides for 2016!
Kaitlynn + Emma