In between celebrating your engagement and sharing your first dance at your wedding, there are plenty of steps to take in order to plan your celebration. But, the process of getting from engaged to ready to celebrate can feel overwhelming. Sometimes it’s even difficult to know where to begin! However, you will plan your wedding by placing one foot in front of the other. Plus, you’re here, which means you’re ready to start.
To make the planning process feel much simpler and very doable, we thought we would share a list. Think of this as a master planning checklist that’s ready to carry you from point A to point B as long as you’re willing to spend the time, do a little research, and follow-through. Below, we’re sharing the vendors to contact (and the order in which to contact them). So, let’s start planning your day!
If you would like to work with a wedding planner, now is the time to research and send your initial email! Working with a planner is like working with a specialized guide who can hold your hand throughout the process. Planners have coordinated hundreds of weddings throughout their careers, and they can help you to uncover your wedding style, understand your wedding budget, and introduce you to the wedding professionals who will be a great fit for your vendor team.
It’s important to have an idea in mind for your preferred wedding date, season, and style before contacting venues. It’s also so important to know your wedding budget! Once all of these details are decided, it’s time to look at spaces to wed. The location and style of your wedding venue will influence many of the other decisions you make while planning, and it’s also one of the first questions every other vendor on your list will ask about. So, try to lock in space before moving forward!
While you’re completing this step, consider caterers as well. Many venues have onsite caterers you must use if you choose to celebrate at that space. If you are able to work with a caterer of your choosing, it’s helpful to look into that team once you have chosen your venue. Keep in mind, even if you are able to choose your own catering team, your venue may ask you to narrow your search down to a group of preapproved teams they have vetted.
Whenever I think of this group, I always think of them as “teams of one.” Photographers and videographers may have associates, florists may have teams available, and bands and DJs are sometimes made up of more than one person. However, the thing all of these professionals have in common is almost all of them can only work on one wedding per day. So, if there’s only one of them available, these vendors are likely to book up first. Make sure to get on their radars, and (more importantly) onto their calendars!
Once you start to get a general feel for how your wedding day will look, the next step is to jump into trying on dresses. The key thing with wedding dress shopping is to start your search as soon as possible or at least 10 months prior to your wedding day. This type of timeline leaves enough room for you to find your dress and get it altered by your wedding dress bouquet or by a seamstress who is local to you.
At this point, you will also want to find hair and makeup artists. Sometimes these professionals work in teams, which is always excellent because you will know they work well together from the start! It’s also very common to work with separate companies. The reason why you can look for these vendors slightly later is that there are often a number of artists working for one company, so there is less of a concern about a group not having availability.
You’re getting close to the finish line with your wedding planning process! Now is the time to confirm your wedding cake and rentals (if your venue, caterer, and florist are not taking this task on). You also might want to offer transportation to your guests, especially if you have a number of people who are traveling and staying in hotels. If you’re not planning to book transportation for your guests, it’s important to at least consider how you, your partner, your wedding party, and your families are traveling to and from your wedding ceremony and reception locations. This group will likely need and appreciate a ride!
If you are planning to leave for your honeymoon shortly after your wedding day, now is a great time to consult with a travel adviser. Researching where to stay, where to eat, what to do, and how to get there can feel like a full-time job. So, help might feel welcomed!
This step sounds daunting, but I promise it’s relatively simple! Depending on the rules in place in the city where you will wed (not the city where you reside), you will want to apply for your marriage license up to one month prior to your wedding day. Most often, you will apply for your license at the Register of Wills Office, which is typically part of a township’s offices. You will need to have specific documents and fees on hand, and it’s something that must be done in person. Before you go, make sure you have everything (and everyone!) you need.
Planning a wedding is not an easy feat, but it’s definitely doable when you break down the process into manageable steps. If you follow this process, I think it’s safe to say planning your upcoming celebration will be both doable and fun! If you want to talk further about planning your Atlanta wedding, we are always here to chat.
In between celebrating your engagement and sharing your first dance at your wedding, there are plenty of steps to take in order to plan your celebration. But, the process of getting from engaged to ready to celebrate can feel overwhelming. Sometimes it’s even difficult to know where to begin! However, you will plan your wedding […]