(Closed) Welcoming any/all advice. . . :)

posted 6 years ago in Weddingbee
Post # 3
2494 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Welcome to the Bee! I love it here! Congrats on the engagement as well πŸ™‚

From what I have read on here (and I know there are some experts on these topics), this is the advice I can give you:

-STD’s usually go out between a year and 6 months ahead. They aren’t required at all, but a nice touch, especially for oot guests. Invitations usually go out 6-10 weeks ahead of time.

-I know NOTHING about engagement parties, as they aren’t very common where I am. Sorry!

-For bookings… I would say book your venue and ceremony locations first to ensure you get the date. After that photographer, DJ, caterer (if you require one), cake, florist, videographer, officient, day of coordinator (or wedding planner) can all be booked based on the date you need. Also, if you are buying your dress from a bridal shop they usually require 6 months to have a dress come in and get altered, etc.

Have fun exploring πŸ™‚

Post # 4
2494 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Oh! And after a bit of research I bought “The Knot Book of Lists” from my local bookstore. It was $15 Canadian and well worth it! It has a ton of tips from what to ask when “interviewing” vendors all the way to what you should do at what time. Might be worth investing in.

Post # 5
9056 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

Yep, you’re definitely excited.  I don’t think it’s too early to start planning with a few caveats.

Save-The-Date Cards – You could certainly send them a year out, but I’ve been around the bee long enough to see so many “I sent a STD, do I really have to invite this person” posts to warn you to be sure you’re sending them to 1) a guest list that you’re absolutely certain will suit your venue/budget/desired size of wedding a year and half from now, and 2) people that you’re sure you’ll still be in contact with.  How much would it suck to invite your entire workplace with an STD, then change jobs on bad terms, or have somebody who causes drama down the road?  I’d say it’s safe to send to your absolute must have VIP guests, but you probably talk to them often enough that they’ll KNOW when your wedding is and that they’re invited without an official notice.  We sent out our STD’s 7 months before our wedding because I wanted to put them in our Christmas cards, and I have to say we even ended up with some people that we may not have invited closer to the date.  So, remember, no STD doesn’t mean you can’t invite them later, it just leaves you the flexibility to NOT invite them down the road.

Engagement party – I didn’t have an engagement party, and have never been to one (not very common here) so I can’t say from experience, but I’d say it would be perfectly appropriate to host a “meet the families/wedding party meet and greet” type party.  If you can get a friend or someone to host for you, even better.

Other than that, the first things you need to establish off the bat are your budget and guest list – but you seem like the type that’s already got that done! 

One question – when you say “dress day” are you intending to shop for your dress, their dresses or both?  If you’re thinking both, I would definitely advise you against that.  Do your dress first and have a day that’s just about you.

Post # 6
2158 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I say you are right on track with your invites and STD send out dates.  And you are quite on top of things!!!  Congratulations on your engagement.  It looks like you are taking care of most things right away.

For your dress day, is this just you, or hte bridesmaids? My one suggestion would be to not shop for both of you on the same day. Set aside one day for just you and take everyone back for just the bridesmaids, trust me the day for just yoru dress could be hectic enough.

But mostly, welcome here and enjoy your planning!

Post # 7
573 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

For Save-The-Date Cards, I’d agree with 8-9 months since it is going to be on Memorial Day weekend and some people make a ton of plans for then. 

My wedding is going to be in April 2013, and I’ve had a ton of problems finding florists that are open! I definitely didn’t think that would be an issue this far out, but it is. So maybe start talking to some of them too?

As for the engagement party, we’re not doing one so I can’t answer from my own experience, but perhaps just say you want to get together with friends to celebrate your engagement? Do like a dinner in a private restaurant or something like that so it’s not like you’re throwing a party for yourself. A lot of people will probably say that you shouldn’t ever throw one because of etiquette but I say do whatever is best for you & your FI!

Post # 9
2440 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Our Save-The-Date Cards went out at the 7 month mark.  If you have a lot of out of town guests you could send them a little earlier but I think 6-8 months is about the right time.  As far as engagement parties I believe they are supposed to be thrown for you, not by you.  My mom couldn’t afford to throw us a party so we didn’t have one.  We were really excited for our engagement too (we’ve been together 9 years) and considered throwing one but thought that was weird, so instead we just went to a nice dinner with his parents and grandparents.  Since it’s still pretty far away, I would suggest just booking your vendors right now to secure the date.  We had a 10 month engagement and booked vendors (venue, caterer, photographer, DJ, officiant, florist, in that order) so that we made sure we got the ones we liked and then figuring out the details didn’t really start until the 6 month mark. 

Post # 11
69 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Congrats on your engagement!!

Since our wedding is this year in May (the 19th) I thought I would answer specifically about save the dates! We sent ours out the first of October. BUT as you mentioned your wedding is Memorial Day weekend, I would add at least 1 month to that timeframe. I would send them out before Labor Day, if I were you!


As for the engagement party – Our families already know eachother fairly well, so we are forgoing a more formal engagement party for a more formal bridal shower. Fiance says as long as it isn’t a co-ed shower, he’s fine with it! 

I would say booking vendors in order of importance is (in my opinion): Venue, Photographer, Caterer, Dress, DJ, Flowers/Florist, Paper Goods, and Cake. (I’m a photographer though so that’s pretty important to me!)

Something you didn’t ask about or mention was a budget. To me, since we are paying for the wedding ourselves, was extremely important. Make sure you have a realistic budget and stick to it!

All that being said, I wish you good luck and eternal happiness!

Post # 13
2494 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@StephK527: We are not paying for our wedding ourselves, but we wanted a small wedding and thought we could work our budget into paying for the honeymoon and wedding. Let me tell you now— I had NO IDEA HOW EXPENSIVE VENUES ARE! I thought we could do an entire wedding for under $15,000 in my dream location and so far the venue itself (including a gratiuity) is about $3000 and the catering/rentals/open bar/chair covers/etc is close to $8000 including a gratiuity.


It. sucks.

Before you set a STRICT budget, make sure you think of the little things a lot of people overlook, make sure you include gratuities in your budget, and decide what you are NOT flexible on (we were not flexible on photography but found an amazing deal with a great photographer) and we were not too flexible on the style of the venue we wanted (which was way more than we wanted to spend, but it took away the need to decorate anything but centrepieces).

Post # 15
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

welcome!! πŸ™‚

we got engaged after 7.5 years of dating.. very exciting! we really wanted to throw an engagement party for ourselves (no one else was offering!!) and would have done a casual thing, but we live 3 hours away from all our friends and family so we didnt… I really wish we could have.. so i think you should totally go for it! πŸ™‚

good luck planning! sounds like you are totally on top of things!! 

Post # 16
284 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Congrats!!! I’m a May 2013 bride as well so I have a little experience with the timeline…

Save-The-Date Cards: I’ll be sending mine a year before (and ONLY to family and close-friends as to avoid the awkward ‘I sent this person a STD but now I don’t want to invite them to the wedding’ issues. I have family and friends out of town (including an Uncle who lives in Germany) so I’d like to give everybody enough time to plan ahead – especially since May is a big vacation month with Memorial Day and everything.

Engagement Party: Nobody threw us one, but we got engaged in Vegas so we sort of had a week-long engagement party, haha. I don’t think it’s out of line to throw one yourselves, I had friends who just invited us all to the bar the weekend after they got engaged and it was a great time.

As for dresses – I bought mine last week and I probably could’ve waited a bit longer to try on different dresses but I found a great dress on sale so I went with it. You can definitely wait a bit to get your Bridesmaid dresses, I’m not even going to start bringing my girls out to try them on for a couple more months, so if you don’t find anything ASAP, don’t stress – you have plenty of time. πŸ™‚

Besides my dress I only have my venue locked down, a rough-draft of our guest list, and I’ve asked all of my Bridesmaids to be in the wedding. I’ve been browsing for photographers and general color and theme ideas but I don’t think I’m going to start making phone calls until the craziness of the holidays settles down.

Good luck, and have fun!



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