Thanks for joining me on Part 2 of “10 Things to Do Before and After Your Wedding.” Here are the other ten!
- Book your vendors and volunteers (Months 1-5)
- Officiant: Often times, if you’re getting married at a church, there will be an official officiant for that particular church. It’s best to get married at your local church that you’re a member of so that you get pre-marital from people who know and love you.
- Photography: Call and ask several photographers for quotes. If you’re a local to Chicago, I highly recommend Christina Cee Lee. She’s a grad from SAIC and has an amazing eye for detail, scenery, and angles. Love her!
- Videography: Call and ask around for videos. Two vendors that I’d suggest are Henry Wu and Gravity Weddings. They have a way of making that day memorable and unforgettable.
- Photobooth: I used Henry Wu for this one as well. My guests LOVED his booth! It was really neat and cute. Open air, and simple to use!
- Hair/Makeup/Nails: I didn’t have that great of a hair and makeup experience, but if you’re local, check out Bliss Nail Spa in Elmhurst, IL. Maybe you’ll see me too 🙂
- Musicians: We had some family members and local musicians do our ceremony. They did a great job! Shout out to John and AeRim!
- DJ/Band: We hired Remix Entertainment, and they were pretty epic party starters. You want to make sure your emcees are going to create party-conducive vibes for the rest of the night!
- Transportation: Look on Groupon for possible discounts on party buses or rentals for transport to and fro. We used M&M Limo, and they were amazing!
- Hotel Rooms: Book a row of rooms for guests traveling from abroad, and make sure they’re comfortable while they’re here.
- Buy Your Wedding Bands
- Check online, at the mall, and smaller boutiques. There are usually sales all around at different sites. We bought my engagement ring at Ritani. We also got our wedding bands off of Tiffany’s and Amazon.
- Decide which metals look best for your skin tone and lifestyle. If you tend to work a lot with your hands (like a doctor), you may even consider getting a “wedding necklace.”
- Bands are circular to represent the eternal love between the two, so do what’s right for you!
- Create a schedule and outline for the wedding day (Months 5-6)
- There are several templates online for you to check on Google. Let me know if you’re having some questions about the day.
- Create a contact list for all the people in the wedding and the vendors as well. This is a helpful list to grab when you need information about your contact for vendors.
- Make sure you add song cues and when everyone walks in and out. The more details, the better!
- Plan the Honeymoon (Months 5-7)
- This is another adventure in it of itself. You’ll want to check and compare different sites from Expedia to Southwest to United Airlines and hotel sites. Sometimes it’s cheaper to book things separately than a package deal.
- We ended up booking our flights on Southwest and booking the hotel reservations through a family connection. All in all, our 6-day, all-inclusive stay and flight ended up being less than $2,500 to Cancun.
- Also, don’t forget to pack!
- Send out the Invitations (Month 6)
- At this point, your guest list should be finalized. You should also invite in rounds. List A will have to RSVP three months before the wedding. List B will have to RSVP at least two months before the wedding, and so on.
- Decide if you’re allowing everyone a plus one. Perhaps you won’t want to celebrate with your old friend’s three-week boyfriend. It’s your wedding, you decide who comes.
- Make sure to include your names, the date, time, ceremony address, venue address, RSVP card with food choices (unless it’s a buffet), and a date where they need to send the RSVP back. Whew, that’s a mouthful!
- Create a Seating Chart (Months 7)
- Ask the event coordinator of the venue for the floor plan for the room, or create your own if it’s a DIY wedding.
- You’ll start to create this list of guests as you get a good round of RSVPs. Make sure you’re not seating enemies with exes unless discord is your goal. Let’s make sure we have a happy wedding!
- During the process of seating, it may also be useful to write how many of each entree the guests have ordered. This was helpful for our venue and catering at Harry Caray’s when they asked for the guest list. Here are some tips for planning the guest list.
- Make and Print Your Programs (Month 8)
- There are great outlines on Etsy where you can print them out yourself. The cost of our 300 programs was around $50, for paper and the template!
- Follow up on all your vendors (Wedding Week)
- Make sure you tell your wedding coordinator to follow up on all those vendors. Sometimes they get mixed up with times and dates and locations. Double check to ensure there won’t be any mishaps on your big day!
- Leave reviews for your vendors (Week After Wedding)
- This one is pretty self explanatory. Let the future brides and grooms know how you thought they did. Help a sister out; write a review!
- Be detailed if possible. If you have positive things to say, state them. Talk about the service, cleanliness, and speed. If they are negative reviews, be detailed. Tell them what they did wrong and how they can improve to better serve their future clients.
- Thank You Notes (During Month After Wedding)
- This is where your signed guestbook is going to come in handy. Make sure you have the gift attendants to remind your guests to write with legibility. Have your attendants label who gave what according to numbers, linking gifts to names so you can write them proper thank yous.
- Make sure you thank your volunteers and make sure you’re up to date on all payments for your vendors. Feel free to give tip if they were extra helpful.
- Buy a stamp from Groupon or Etsy so that you don’t have to write your address out all your cards.
- Hire a calligrapher to write them for you.
- I finished all my notes within a month! I was so happy after I got them done.
Thanks for joining me onpagetwo! Let me know what you thought about the steps and how I can expand on any of the given points!