Ohhhh boy, are we about to have some fun. As my best friend’s mom put it, I’ve been training for this my entire life! In all seriousness though, I know planning a wedding is not going be an easy feat. We’ve made it a week so far and due to an (unfortunate) quarantine requirement, I was out of school for four days. A blessing in disguise, as it would turn out! The ten tasks I share below took a lot of phone calls and emails to accomplish. However, we’ve made it to the fun part. With most of the big details settled, I feel like we’re headed in the right direction.
With 9 Months Left…
We decided what we wanted
Ryan and I realized very quickly that we couldn’t get any wedding planning done until we were both on the same page about what we wanted. We had to consider what we imagined for the day separately and then compare the two scenarios, arriving at a compromise we could both feel great about. We talked about the size of the wedding, where we wanted it to be, what we imagined for a ceremony and the reception. In the end, we decided that we both wanted to have a small, private ceremony and a big, celebratory reception later with all our family and friends.
We created our initial guest lists
Guest lists are a hard thing to formulate, but you cannot select an appropriate venue until you have a general idea of how many people you would like to invite. Ryan and I started with around 75 people, knowing we might have to go a little higher or a little lower depending on where we found for our reception.
We booked our venue
I researched a lot of venues online and even contacted a few through email, however, we ended up booking a great little local gem I had all but forgotten about. It was a quick turn around from my initial conversation with the owner, but we knew dates were being snagged up quickly. We wanted to make sure we had a venue booked, knowing our goal was to have our wedding this year.
We booked a hotel suite
This step probably wasn’t necessary within the first week of wedding planning, however my family was booking their accommodations so they threw ours into the mix. We rented a suite for our reception day, so that I have a space to get ready. Even though our venue is close to home, we considered a few things that would make the day feel special, a hotel suite included!
We finalized our guest lists
When we booked our venue, we were told the capacity was higher than we anticipated. Knowing that, we started adjusting our guest list to include a few more friends and family members than we had before. We decided to split the available invitations between Ryan and myself and formulated our separate lists from there. Then, we brought them together.
We sent out virtual Save the Dates
Because our wedding is in nine months, we wanted to get our Save the Dates out as soon as possible. The easiest way to do that was virtually. It also saved us a bit in our budget and allowed us to share some excitement with our guests in real time.
We booked our DJ
I have to admit, I was surprised at how expensive wedding DJs are. It made me a little nervous, hiring someone for so much with only online reviews to go off of. Then, I remembered our neighbors recently got married and sent a quick text, inquiring about who they hired. They had only great things to say about their DJ, so we contacted the same company and actually got in contact with a DJ who trained with theirs.
We hired our bartender
Our venue is a vineyard, so they will be supplying the wine for our reception. However, they mentioned we can bring beer, spirits, and soft drinks that we purchase ourselves, as long as we hire a bartender. They gave me the name and number of one they’ve worked with in the past and I contacted him right away. It was a quick and easy conversation from there!
We reached out to our top catering choice
Our plan for dinner at our reception is to get our favorite local BBQ place to cater our dinner, buffet style. While the restaurant only requests an order a few weeks in advance, I still wanted to reach out and confirm that everything we were interested in purchasing was available and that I could purchase the proper equipment to keep things hot.
I found my wedding dress
As I write this, I have a wedding dress in the mail, arriving in a few days. It will, however, never leave the box. Thank goodness for free returns! The original dress I ordered was very simple. At the time, we hadn’t confirmed where we were going to have our wedding reception. Then, when our plans changed, my dress prospects changed as well. I went to our local David’s Bridal and tried on one dress- one that I had seen online prior. I knew it was the one right away. I purchased it that day and it should arrive in a month. Even thinking about it now, I just can’t wait to put it on again!