Post # 1
Hi Bees! My FI and I originally wanted to get married summer 2014 but think we should push it back a year. We both are in grad school and live in GA but want to have the wedding in our home state of WA. Planning a “destination wedding” and coordinating our different school schedules is not an easy task…. With that said, how long should we wait to start planning? We have a few ideas now, but when should I start looking for a dress, buying center pieces, etc? Anyone else in a similar situation?
Post # 3
I would start planning as soon as you can. You can get things done slowly, but it’s never too early to start. I’m having a 21 month engagement and won’t be getting married until September 2014. However, I already have my dress and all vendors booked.I’m in grad school as well and knew the next two years would be hectic. So I wanted to get most of the planning out of the way so I didn’t have to worry about it. I’ve met with vendors over Christmas and Spring break while I had some free time. Good luck!
Post # 4
@Shannabee: Im having A 2 year engagement and we booked the venue about 2 years out. And we did the photographer & DJ & stuff about 2 years out too. But I’m crazy and we are in a place that books up quickly. Like the date that we wanted was booked over 2 years in advance & we had to pick another one. You can do little things. Get some stuff over with so you can relax.
Post # 5
DH and I were engaged for 2 years. The first thing I did was start looking at inspiration. Honestly, our plans changed probably 3 times before I finally realized that we wanted a beach wedding. Then we wound up eloping on the beach anyway, haha.
Take some time, sit down on Pinterest with your FI at your side and start talking about what you all envision for your wedding day. A lot of venues book about a year and a half out, so you’ll want to look into that. Next the photographer, then dress, etc etc. Good luck and have a great time!
Post # 6
I think you can book a venue and a few vendors now but then I would put everything on hold. It’s easy to get swept up and spend 2 years obsessing. The problem with that is that you may change your mind several times. Make sure that you don’t make any detail decisions (flowers, bridesmaids, colors, favors, etc.) untill less than 1 year out. Best wishes!
Post # 7
@Shannabee: I also have a two year engagement (one year down, one to go! woo hoo!) and I probably didn’t really start planning/booking things until we had been engaged for around 6 months. I just didn’t want to jump right into the whole planning stress and wanted to actually enjoy being engaged for a little bit (and my FI is in medical school and graduating May 2014 which was another deciding factor to wait).
I think you should start planning/booking whenever you’re ready. I would caution though that sometimes thoughts/wants change, so make sure when you actually book something it’s what you want. I also bought my dress in December of 2012 and honestly haven’t had even one tiny bit of dress regret (thank God!). The good think about booking the big stuff (like venue, DJ/band, photographer) is you’re almost always going to be able to get the date you want. It also makes it less stressful when you can focus on a few things at a time rather than having to plan everything in a short period of time. I’ve really loved the long engagement so far!
Hope you have fun planning and are able to avoid some of the stress!
Post # 8
@Shannabee: Congrats on getting engaged! if I were you I would take a couple of months just to enjoy your engagement. Some places book up quick so I think the first thing you should do is choose a date and book your wedding ceremony and reception. I would maybe do this 16-20 months ahead 🙂
For now I would take things slow. I’m in the same situation as you but we are going to start planning this Christmas holidays
Post # 9
@Shannabee: Hey! I’m also on a two year engagement, we are grad students in Chicago, and we are having our wedding in NH where we are from! So very similar situation, basically a destination wedding. Currently 9 months down, 15 to go! The time has flown since he popped the question!
We picked a venue and photographer last fall, about 22 months out. Last December I started dress shopping and got an awesome sample! If you are sample size and like saving money (we are grad students here), I highly suggest doing your dress shopping in late December, after Christmas. Also, I decided to get my dress in NH because my FSIL informed me that wedding gowns have to fly with checked luggage and that I may be having a panic attack about my dress, flying it home for the wedding. So my dress is in NH at my parents’ house! I miss it every day lol I love it! This does complicate dress fittings. I talked to a seamstress recently and we have a plan set up for doing fittings based on my breaks from school, so I highly suggest you have a dress and a seamstress with a plan by a year out from your wedding if you choose to keep your dress in WA.
This past spring we booked the DJ. Soon I’ll be booking a florist (I think I’ll handle it all online). You would be surprised how many vendors can do all the communicating via email, which you want to do anyways so you have every word on record.
Basically, we go through little spurts of wedding activity during breaks. If you start now you will definitely be way less stressed later! I’m also planning ahead on a lot of things people wait to do, such as bridesmaid gifts. Be creative and realize anything that you can plan ahead on! And use your family who are in the WA area to help out too! Hope this all helps! Feel free to PM me later if you want to know how my time table is working out since we are in very similar positions!
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Post # 11
I got engaged nye 2012, and we booked our venue in March. We also booked our photographer in March. I’m crazy and didnt want to wait, so I didnt.
Thats really up to you…thats the magic of a long engagement. 🙂
Post # 12
I am right there with you lady! FI & I got engaged a few weeks ago, and we’re looking at a June or July 2015 wedding. I am also in grad school in Nebraska, but the wedding will be in Michigan where I am from.
So far, we have set a tentative budget (just an idea of how much we think we’ll be able to afford) and a general idea of how many guests. We’ve also talked general themes/how we want the reception to feel–we’re more laid back BBQ people than formal affairs, that kind of thing. We’ve also talked a bit about colors and bridal parties, but those decisions won’t be made for awhile. We will be looking at venues when we go to Michigan in July, but only because the type of venue we want (barn) tends to book up fast, so we want to get a jump on things. Everything I’ve read says set a budget & number of guests first, and then all the other decisions will follow 🙂 I’m hoping if I do a bit more leg work up front, it won’t be as crazy down the road!
Post # 13
Thanks girls! It feels good to know there are others in my same situation. I’m starting to feel better about the long engagement and that it’ll give me more time to spread everything out so it’s not as stressful. @FoxyBride14: I would have never thought to book a venue 2 years out, that’s crazy! I better start looking…:) @tigergrrrl2008: That’s one thing I’m super scared of, dress regret! It’s good to know you bought your dress so far in advance and still love it. @nawella: thank you for the dress tip! I will be writing you soon!
Post # 14
We had a 2-year engagement and I loved it! We were also finishing up school before we got married, and looking at this timeline, you can see that most of our important stuff was done during school breaks (winter, summer, spring break). Our planning timeline looked something like this:
July 2010: engaged; started doing research
September 2010: engagement party
Fall 2010: visited venues
January 2011: booked venue, photographer, caterer
March 2011: purchased dress
Summer 2011: did cake tastings, booked baker; selected BM dresses and GM suits
January 2012: booked florist, band (friends of ours); sent STDs
March 2012: engagement pictures (late!, I know); sent invitations
April 2012: booked honeymoon; dress alterations
May 2012: bridal portraits; bought 10,000 things online (should’ve purchased earlier so I wouldn’t have stressed and paid extra for speedy delivery)