Okay, so you have met the love of your life and intend on solidifying your love with an amazing wedding that you will never forget. The proposal was unforgettable and you both intend to spend the rest of your lives together. After some time, you’ve picked a date, making the whole process very real and exciting. This sums up where we are currently at in the wedding planning process.
Our wedding is a bit non traditional. We have both been married before and learned a lot from our previous marriages. Both of us were in long term marriages and gave it our all, but in the end, we divorced our partners. Our expectations of what a marriage should be is well-defined, as experience has taught us both a lot; about ourselves, and what we needed from a partner. We want our wedding to be memorable, special and public - as it will be our last.
Initially we decided to opt out of hiring a wedding planner to save money. However, planning our own wedding has brought us even closer. We have had a lot of fun choosing exactly what we wanted and are utilizing friends and family to help as needed. In the end, the cost of a planner was irrelevant, planning the wedding together was priceless.
Looking through wedding planning checklists online was overwhelming. Continue reading to see how we simplified the process. In order of timeliness, here is our summarized checklist.
1. Pick a date.
2. Find a venue and book it.
3. Send out “Save the Date” invitations. Especially for those that will be coming from out of town.
4. Find a dress for the bride. Then groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl and ring bearer.
5. Book caterers, photographers, deejays, florists and an officiant.
6. Start planning decorations for the venue.
7. Buy your wedding rings.
8. Obtain marriage license.
9. Put together your favorite songs and pictures.
10. Create a registry if you want.
11. Send out the official invitations and work on any finishing touches.
Utilize your friends and family to help set up decorations and keep things organized. You don’t want to be the “wedding planner” on your big day. Once the date has been chosen, the next important step is finding the venue. Decide if the wedding is going to be outside or inside. Check historical weather conditions if you are considering an outdoor wedding. This will also help when you are choosing your venue. Once you have an idea of where you want your wedding, send out “Save the Date” notifications.
She has spent a lot of time looking through tons of wedding dresses on Pinterest. Eventually finding the right look. Finding a seamstress and scheduling fitting and alterations needs to be done sooner than later. We both love the color green and had decided quickly on the color theme. As for me, I plan on renting a tuxedo.
Book your caterer, photographer, florist, and officiant as soon as possible. Figure out how much food, and more importantly, drinks you will need. Choosing the food, color scheme, lighting and flowers is a lot of fun! It also helps springboard ideas for decor at your venue. Ensure that you obtain your marriage license ahead of time as well. The rest is pure fun, picking out songs, looking through pictures, and creating a registry. Since we already have all the household goods we need, we are opting for honeymoon money instead. If you haven’t already sent out formal invitations, do this as soon as you have the venue chosen and the registry finished.
If you’re so inclined, make sure you get a date scheduled for your bachelor or bachelorette party. To many, this is the last time to let loose before tying the knot. Although these parties have a reputation of strippers and debauchery, they don’t have to. I would rather party it up with Stephen Hawking than a stripper, but hey, that’s just me. Let your best man/bridesmaid know what is off limits ahead of time.
This has been our process and we expect our wedding to be just as magical as we have envisioned it to be. If you have out of town guests, it is a good idea to reserve a block of rooms at a hotel near your venue. The rest is just finishing touches. Time permitting, we would like to put together a wedding guest book and make some party favors. We’ll worry about the thank you cards after we get back from our honeymoon.