Welcome back! Make sure to visit my first post, Engagement Tips Part I if you missed it! Looking back to where we left off, we are ready to get into the second half of your engagement. Be prepared to be busy. It’s time to make some decisions on things that really set the tone for your wedding.
Save the Dates are typically encouraged to be mailed out 5-6 months in advance of your wedding date. It’s a courtesy to your guests who may be traveling from afar. Allow yourself a month in advance of that timeline to decide the save the dates, proof them, get them shipped to your house, address them all, and lastly ship them out to your guests. It’s easy to underestimate the amount of time it takes to go through that entire process. Also, always order extra just in case you make an error in addressing. Lastly,don’t make the mistake of ordering your “total count” of wedding guests. John and Sarah Smith = 1 Save the date, not two.
Photographer, DJ, & Florist
By this point you should really hone in on a decision for a DJ, Photographer, and Florist. You should know what your budget is by now, which makes the decision much easier. If you are having a hard time choosing, ask your venue coordinator if they can provide you with a list of recommendations. I was surprised how much information our coordinator was able to provide us. Also, keep in mind any travel costs for this group. Everybody’s mileage differs in what they are willing to travel (for free). Lastly, be prepared to discuss your entire vision for the day with both your photographer and Florist.
Bridal Party Attire
Bridesmaids dresses can take up to 3 months to order. Make sure to schedule an appointment at the location you will be shopping at for dedicated attention.
If it is important to you for everyone to look the same, by all means go for it. However, consider that if you truly can see someone is not comfortable in the style you have picked out for them, perhaps try a different style–but keep the dress in the same color and material.I have seen this done at many weddings and it always looks wonderful! Plus your bridesmaids get to choose what they are most comfortable in.
Are you interested in more of a color scheme? Perhaps you want all different shades of pink. If this is the case, make sure to get a picture of your girls in the different colored dresses all together. This is just a nice confirmation that you do like all those different shades of pink together vs. deciding on your wedding day that it doesn’t look right. Below is some of my favorite bridal party looks!
For the gentleman, you can allow yourself a little more time for ordering. For Nick, we all decided it was a better deal for him and his groomsman to buy a suit vs. renting. It took about 3 weeks for the suits to come in. Don’t wait until the last minute–they will need alterations and you don’t want to be stressing the week of your wedding because they aren’t done yet.
Lastly, picking out the suits was an area that surprised me. Whether you think your fiance is into the wedding planning or not, always include him on what you both think you want the day to look like. For example: I always considered the guys would wear Black on the big day. However, Nick doesn’t like himself in black. I wanted him to look and feel his best, so we chose a different color that still fit into our color scheme. Let this be an area he can have fun with (tie, grooms sock, vest, etc.). This attire is like our bridal dress–just always keep that in mind!
Decisions, decisions. There were so many choices, but the hardest part was finding an invitation I liked for the price we were willing to pay. Invitations can be very expensive depending on your guest count. Luckily, there are some great sites you can utilize where you don’t have to compromise for the look. As much as I loved the variety that Wedding Paper Divas provided, by the time we included the invite, the RSVP card, the accommodation information, and the envelopes, it was adding up to be nearly $5 a card. Even though WPD offered coupons, it simply wasn’t enough. Perhaps if you have an intimate wedding, this would be fine, but when you are inviting a couple hundred, it is pricey. Luckily after some research, my mom and I were able to find Basic Invite. They were reasonable and shipped very quickly. I recommend utilizing the shimmer paper. It added an extra touch! Below is a post of my invite I shared on Instagram.
Just remember to give yourself ample time to address invitations if you choose to do that yourself. It takes longer than you think!
There you have it, part II is complete. But, there is always more..Stay tuned!