With your wedding budget confirmed, the next step in planning your dream day is assembling your action plan. This is a very important ‘to do’ list that allows couples to stay on track and manage competing priorities in the months and weeks leading up to your wedding day.
1. Write it down - Some of my brides use excel, others use word and some keep shareable notes on cloud systems like google drive. Any way you slice it, write down your action items in a format that works for you. You will be referring to this list often, so make sure it’s accessible and there is a concise way to note your progress from month to month.
2. Secure your wedding venue – You already started looking at a few location options in your budget planning and now it’s time to start your long list and examine the venue contenders, (you can read all about your venue search in next week’s post). Only after you secure your location, can you move on to other important things to tackle before your wedding day!
3. Assign people to each task - It doesn’t have to be all up to you! It’s OK to delegate to your fiancé, friends and close family members who you trust and who want to be involved. It’s a nice way to incorporate important people in your wedding day plans.
4. Touch base each month - Depending on the service, I like to meet with my brides monthly to check in and make sure the planning is moving along. It’s also very important that brides communicate monthly with everyone involved in planning to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
5. Go Month by Month – Break down your list by each month leading up to your wedding. There are lots of websites that can help suggest specific to do lists like here comes the guide or wedding wire, but generally speaking, follow these month by month guidelines:
- Months 12-9 are all about securing your vendor dream team! Your venue, caterer, officiant, photographer, videographer and DJ just to name a few. Feeling overwhelmed already? Think about hiring a wedding planner!
- Months 8-6 shift focus to your wedding apparel, gift registry and transportation and accommodations for you and your out of towners.
- Months 5-3 – With the bigger picture complete, work on the smaller details. Finalize all wording for your invitations, shop for your wedding rings, confirm your wedding favours and finalize your décor plan so you can start sourcing all the décor pieces that will make your wedding unique. Think about the timing of your wedding day and ceremony details – your wedding party and readers during your ceremony. This is also a time to finalize the date and time of your wedding rehearsal.
- Month 2 – All invites should be mailed out and RSVP’s are tracked. Don’t forget to apply for your marriage license as well.
- 3 Weeks – Determine your shot list with your photographer, write your speech and/or vows, determine your preferred song lists, schedule your final fittings and complete all final décor touches like your guest book, toasting flutes, etc. It’s all coming together!
- 1 Week – confirm all table arrangements and create your place cards. Arrange all tips and final payment with vendors and share your wedding itinerary with your vendors including set up and tear down times.
- Post Wedding - always write your thank you notes to all guests and vendors in a timely manner, (wedding etiquette is no later than 3 months after your wedding). Don’t forget to return all rentals by the required deadline to avoid unwanted fees, consider donating your wedding dress to organizations like JOY AND BACK and exchange your unwanted gifts.