We’ll only have about 4.5 months of engagement total. I felt ok with it since I’m a wedding planner for a living.
Silly bride, planning your own wedding is WAY harder!
The first 2 weeks I couldn’t even do anything because of a crazy ass work deadline, so you’re ahead of the game there 🙂
What’s worked for me is lots and lots of spreadsheets in Google Docs. That way I can view them from any computer, and source other people to them as needed.
Make a guest list ASAP. I did this in a spreadsheet in Google docs and sourced my mom and my fiance. I put a column at the beginning for our initial, the next column titled ‘relation’. Then names addresses, etc. The first two columns really helped with making sure we didn’t forget anyone. Fiance has a BIG extended family (farmers!) and more 1st cousins than in my entire family. We did Aunt/Uncle, Cousin, Parent, Sibling, Grandparent, Friends, Work Friends. Mega helpful… especially when you realize you need to cut people.
Take care of your save the dates as soon as you can. Think about doing a wedding website and set that up so you can include the address on the save the date.
Book a photographer and a DJ and your officiant ASAP. They can only do one event a day. Your florist and baker if needed can wait a little bit but make that the next vendors to take care of.
Depending on what style of dress you want, where you go, and what size you are, getting a dress could be a huge task or no big deal. I didn’t realize it took so long for many wedding dresses to be ordered. (Since this is something I’m not usually involved with for work). I was really stressed about it. Bought my dress 3/18 and just heard today that it’s in, 3 weeks earlier than expected. Mine was ordered from David’s Bridal. For my budget, size and timeline they were my first and really only option.
Choose your wedding party and decide their attire very soon as well. Our guys are wearing black suits (since that’s what they all already owned) with white shirts and black shoes. We’re providing ties and socks. Girls were told they could wear any dress in an aqua-ish color. One bought a David’s dress just out of convenience, another found one on Ebay that matched.
I made a ‘wedding shopping’ spreadsheet. I have columns for attire/ceremony/reception/paper/and other. I listed everything I thought I needed, once I bought it, I highlighted it. Once I found something, but didn’t buy, I highlighted another color. That way I at least knew what I had figured out.
As I came across ideas I liked, I bookmarked them into folders – ceremony/music/flowers etc. And made even more spreadsheets for random thoughts I had – photos I wanted taken, songs to play, dessert buffet stuff.
We found we also needed to make a timeline of monies that would be due. Since we do not use credit cards, we are totally dependent on paycheck days and had to make sure we were saving and spending on the right things at the right time.
What is AWESOME about a short timeframe is you don’t have time to double guess yourself. Once you find something you’re looking for – act and move on. The things that don’t matter that much to you – delegate. I didn’t care about a shower, but my mom wanted to throw one and went all over that.
I’ve planned hundreds of weddings, and know that while it’s a whirlwind for a little bit and can sometimes seem overwhelming – you’ll be done so much sooner! And enjoying married life without wedding politics and drama overtaking your life.
I’m sure this is a book by now, but hopefully it helps a little! Feel free to send me any other questions you might have 🙂 I promise I’m way better at helping others with their wedding questions!