Hey guys!! Welcome back for part 2 of my wedding planning blog post series!
This one is a FUN one filled with so much progress. If you missed part 1 of my wedding planning series, it might be helpful to start there to see what I did first after I got engaged! I wrote part 1 wayyyyy back in March 2022- only a month after I got engaged. That is the last time I have officially updated you guys, so it’s safe to say in the past 7 months things have really started to come together!
It’s October when I’m writing part 2 and that means my wedding date is only 8 months away!!! Like what! I am so excited and have only gotten more eager for the big day as it gets closer and I check more things off the planning to-do list.
In today’s post, we cover exciting events I’ve done over the past few months like wedding dress shopping, venue walk-throughs, engagement shoots, mailing my save the dates, and more! Plus, at the end I share a jam-packed list of tips that I’ve learned along the way, especially as a bride on a budget!
JUNE – 11 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
- Worked with the caterer to create our dinner menu
- Wedding dress shopping
- In person venue walk-through with wedding planner
I’m kicking things off with June because April and May were pretty slow months in terms of wedding planning after I had found my venue & reserved my amazing wedding planner!
Obviously the biggest highlight of June was I FOUND THE DRESS! I feel like such a princess in it and am already dying to put it on again. Should I write a whole blog post on my wedding dress shopping experience? Let me know if you guys would want to see that. I loved it so much and felt so lucky that I found my dress at the first place we went in Atlanta.
I ordered it that day (literally exactly a year out from my wedding date) & they said it should come in in November for alterations!
AUGUST – 10 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
- Design board call with wedding planner
- Design board created
- Engagement photos with our wedding photographer
- Booked rehearsal dinner venue
- Booked hair and make up
I feel like my vision of the wedding really came to life in August after my wedding planner sent me over a design board for my big day. It was so cool to visualize how it will look & it felt so personal and so “me.”
Also in August, Casey and I traveled to Columbia, SC one weekend to take our engagement photos in the city we will be getting married! It was the first time meeting our wedding photographer in person and she is seriously the best!! She made us feel so natural and not awkward at all.
Lastly, we worked with Casey’s parents to book our rehearsal dinner venue for the night before the wedding. We wanted to book a venue with a cool upbeat vibe, where people could dress up but not feel like they had to be over the top fancy. I’m so happy with where we decided! The rehearsal dinner itself will more intimate with just close family and our bridal party, but then after the dinner we are opening it up to all who have traveled far to join us for late evening cocktails.
SEPTEMBER – 9 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
- Finalized our guest list
- Collected addresses through Postable
- Created save the dates on Minted
- Set up a wedding website & registry
- Researched florists
- Picked up my veil
We hit the 9 month mark in September and things started to feel even more real. After finalizing the guest list & collecting addresses through Postable (see tip #6 at the bottom), I started to work on creating my save the dates. I wanted the save the dates to reflect the overall feel of the wedding and have a similar classic & simple look. They turned out perfect and I am so excited for our guests to get them!
Another exciting thing I checked off the checklist is I created a wedding website and a wedding registry. I used Minted to create Casey and I’s wedding website which was super easy & quick to do. I then used Zola to create my wedding registry because I had heard amazing things! I linked my Zola registry in a tab on my Minted website for guests to access if they wish. I included a QR code to my website on my save the date so guests can gather all the information easily and in one place.
Last exciting update is… I got to pick up my veil from the bridal shop I bought my dress at! AHH it is so beautiful and I just can’t wait to put it on again with my dress.
OCTOBER – 8 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
- Mailed save the dates
- Asked my bridesmaids
- Asking our flower girls/ring bearer
- Reserving block of hotel rooms
- Booking transportation
- Moving forward on florals
October is a big month for checking things off the to do list now that we are 8 months out. I have officially asked ALL my bridal party (YAY!) & we are starting to plan all of the fun events that comes with wedding planning. It’s so exciting! Look out for a post in the coming days all about how I asked my girls and what was in their proposal box!
I included things on my October list that I haven’t done yet, but need to do this month. That includes booking transportation, reserving a block of hotel rooms, asking our flower girls & ring bearer and booking a florist. These are all to-dos that are important to have done sooner than later before things get booked!
QUICK TIPS FOR WEDDING PLANNING
TIP #1: SAVE SAVE SAVE!!! Something we are struggling with now is reworking the budget because we have almost gone over already! It’s so hard when you’re in the middle of planning not to want everything and more for your wedding (and also not to compare yours with others), but at the end of the day only spend what you and your fiance are comfortable with and what you know you’ll be proud of later on.
TIP #2 I highly recommend wedding dress shopping a year in advance from your wedding, if possible! We don’t need any added stress on if your dress will come in on time, as well as time for all of the fittings.
TIP #3: If you and your fiancé are looking to do an engagement shoot, I recommend booking it with your wedding photographer if possible! It’s so nice to get to know them before the wedding, as well as for the photographer to get to know the vibe of your relationship!
Tip #4: If you don’t have a wedding planner, figure out what kind of style you want your wedding to be and create your own design board power-point. Include colors, ceremony design, reception design, florals, and more. Having a visual helps to plan ahead better and communicate how you want things to come together.
TIP #5: On that note, hire a wedding planner if possible! It is so helpful to have someone who is experienced guide you along the way and make sure your vision for the day comes to life. It really takes a stress off!
TIP #6: I had no idea what would be the easiest way to collect addresses until a friend sent me the link to Postable. It made collecting addresses so seamless for me & took no time at all! It’s great to have it all in one place- I highly recommend if you’re a bride to be.
TIP #7: Enjoy this season of engagement with your fiancé! Celebrate, go on little dates, talk and plan for the future, and don’t forget to prioritize each other.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE ON PART 3:
- cake and food tastings
- plan mini honeymoon
- book officiant
- choose bridesmaid attire
- bachelorette party planning
- wedding invitation designs
- wedding dress fitting & alterations
- DIY welcome bags for guest