Wedding Planning Tips

Blue Soul Photo wedding photography

6 to 9 months before the wedding

Start a wedding binding/folder. You’ll want to start creating a collection of ideas that you find captivating that you may want at your wedding. From wedding magazines, wedding conventions, Pinterest, Etsy, to friends who were recently married.

Plan your wedding budget. No one wants to start a life together in debt from an expensive wedding, so make a budget that won’t break the bank and work with it. Be creative and crafty with do-it-yourself (DIY) options.

Pick a wedding date. After the budget, figure out a date that you two want to tie the knot! There are only so many weekends in a year, so it’s very important to get this settled as quickly as possible. Remember to be mindful of the weather as well!

Pick a wedding theme or style. Couples are getting really clever and creative nowadays. Traditional outdoor wedding ceremonies with indoor receptions are being replaced with themes and added flare with different styles. Vintage, rustic, modern, contemporary themes complete with matching dresses, colors, invitations, decorations, desserts, and even hairstyles. Some couples use themes that are sentimental to them, like where they met, a romantic movie they love, and they’re all awesome. Picking a theme or style is important to decide in the early stages of wedding planning because all the wedding details that you’ll have to consider in the near-future will all revolve around your theme/style.

Find a wedding venue. Once the date is set, it’s time to find the perfect wedding venue to host your big event! Will your wedding venue be a one-stop shop that can host your wedding ceremony and reception? Or will you need to find a venue for just the ceremony and another venue for the reception? Saturdays are the most popular, but Fridays and Sundays are also options to consider. Some wedding venues offer price breaks for non-peak dates. A good tip for this is to find ideas that inspire you, and reflect in your personalities & relationship.

Choose a wedding party. There are some special people in your lives that you want by your side on your wedding day, and this would be a good time to ask them. It gives them plenty of notice to make proper arrangements to be the best bridesmaid or groomsman he or she can be. Usually these are the individuals that have made an impact in your life, whether earlier or later.

Find a wedding photographer  Aside from your wedding rings and marriage, nothing lasts longer than your wedding photos. There are thousands of wedding photographers in your area with different styles, experience levels, and price ranges, so be prepared to spend hours looking through wedding blogs and portfolios. Referrals are great and save time, plus seeing a full gallery of a friend’s wedding can really make picking a wedding photographer much easier. It’s a good idea to find individuals that are easy to work with, and are very personable, because these are the people that will be capturing your special moment. On top of that, your wedding photographer can help you a lot with planning, and working through the schedule the day of.

Plan your guest list.  Remember your wedding venue can only accommodate for so many guests for your wedding, so keep that in mind when you’re working on your guest list. Talk to your parents and family to see if you’re missing anyone on your list, because you don’t want to miss Uncle Joe!

Find a wedding planner/coordinator. They’re not always necessary, but a wedding planner or day-of coordinator can make life a lot easier. They know how to plan wedding itineraries, have vendor referrals, and know how to keep the big day on track according to plan. Some help you throughout the planning process and some offer their services just for the day-of. Sometimes your closest friend, or sibling can help you in this process as well.

6 months before the wedding

Find the right wedding dress. Gather your bridesmaids, make appointments, and try on dresses! Buying isn’t the only way to go either. A lot of brides are opting to rent wedding dresses,, so keep that in mind when dress shopping. This is also a good time to shop for bridesmaid dresses as well since all your girls are together in the same place at the same time.

Hotel Reservations. You may have guests coming in from out of town or out of the country, so it would be really convenient for them if you did the research to find hotels that are easy to get to and close to the wedding venue. Ask the hotel about group rates and discounts.

Register for gift registries. Help your guests figure out what you two need to kick start your lives together by registering at 2 or 3 retailers.

Create a wedding website. Wedding websites are getting more and more popular and there are tons of websites that let you easily create them for free. Share proposal, engagement photos, your love story, and updates leading up to the big day.

Book your florist. Traditional flowers or trendy succulents? Bouquets, boutonnieres, flower arches, flower petals for the ceremony aisle, and center pieces are things you’d want to ask your florist about so you can see what your floral arrangement options are. Florists can get really busy when wedding season hits, so this isn’t something you want to wait until the last minute to figure out. If you’re based in Los Angeles, I’d recommend checking out the flower district; they sell flowers at an affordable price for DIY projects.

Send out save-the-date cards. This is a good time to send out your save-the-date cards so your guests can reserve your date to help celebrate your union. Engagement photos make for great save-the-date cards!

Create your invitations. There are many options for wedding invitations that it’s good to start considering how you want yours to look. Think of some recent wedding invitations you’ve received or some that have stood out and possibly start from there.

Plan out your honeymoon. After the big day, it’ll be time to get away and relax as newlyweds! Pick a location you two have talked about vacationing at and where you won’t get distracted by work emails and text messages.

4 months before the wedding date

Send out your wedding invitations. This formal invitation also serves as a reminder and confirms how many seats you will need at your wedding.

Order your cake. Find a few bakeries that specialize in wedding cakes and make appointments for cake tastings. Bring a friend to help you make a decision. Some people like extravagant multi-tiered cakes and some like small cute cakes. There’s a big price difference for sheet cakes so ask your vendor about that option to help the wedding budget.

Wedding dress fitting and wedding shoes. Alterations on wedding dresses are almost always necessary and can take a lot longer than anticipated, so planning this is very important to have a dress that fits perfectly for the big wedding day.

Book your hair and makeup artist. Hire a professional hair and makeup team to make you look like a star for your wedding day. Makeup artists offer trial makeup sessions so you get a good idea of their talent and avoid any wedding day surprises. If you schedule a makeup trial, we suggest scheduling your engagement session or some kind of photo session that day so you can see how the makeup looks on you in person and in pictures. There are so many benefits to scheduling a trial makeup session and engagement photo session on the same day!

3 months before the wedding day

Order your wedding favors. There are tons of options here to buy or make personalized gifts for your guests to take home with them to remember your wedding day. We have even seen couples keep it simple with just a photo booth so their wedding guests can take home fun photos.

Plan out your wedding day itinerary. Weddings are huge productions where you’re going to rely on your wedding vendors, wedding party, friends, and guests to help make the day run smoothly and according to plan. Having a well-thought out itinerary for everyone to follow makes things clear for everyone and what their responsibilities are for the day, leaving no room for guessing or assuming. Factor in time for traffic if there’s lots of driving from location to location and even close family members who are notorious for being late so that the day doesn’t fall behind the important schedule. A wedding planner or coordinator has lots of experience putting wedding itineraries together, but since we’ve been to a good amount of weddings, we can even help with the itinerary. It’s part of the Blue Soul Photography experience for us to be handy and helpful wherever we can.

2 months before the wedding day

Bachelorette/Bachelor party! It’s party time! These parties are also a good way for wedding party members to get to know each other a little better before all working together to help make the wedding day run nicely and smoothly. Las Vegas is probably the most popular destination for this type of party, but we’ve heard clients talk about having less traditional bachelorette and bachelor parties that include traveling to Cancun, Hawaii, Palm Springs, or even renting beach houses for the weekend, or camping in the woods. There isn’t one way to help celebrate the union of two lovebirds.

Confirm everything with your wedding vendors. Take the opportunity to remind them about your wedding that’s coming up real quick to make sure that they haven’t forgotten and if they need anything else from you. Most vendors require a meal or short break for food, so make sure that’s all arranged with them. Let them know you’ll send them your wedding itinerary with all the information they need, like start and end time, addresses to locations they need to be at, and so on.

Write your own wedding vows! Writing personal vows that come from the heart is always unique and more special. Jittery nerves can get the best of you that day, so practice your vows a few days before. If you are someone that flies by the seat of your pants, by all means, continue doing that. Both ways will definitely work.

Week before the Wedding

Send out the wedding itinerary to all vendors. This confirms the number of hours they need to be there for, what time they start and end, where they will show up, and all that good stuff so everyone knows what their roles and responsibilities are.

Delegate tasks for your wedding day. Let your wedding party know what their responsibilities are for the day to make sure they are up to it and can do it. Some responsibilities may include ushering guests to their seats, handling the guest sign-in table, paying vendors, organizing family members for photos, and cleaning up after the wedding is over. This is important to do because you’re the main reason why everyone has gathered to celebrate, so you don’t want to be dealing with a ton of little things when friends and family want to chat and mingle.

Pick up your wedding dress. Do a final wedding dress fitting right before you pick up your dress. Ask any questions on how to take care of the dress or how to properly store it to keep it from wrinkling. You can even ask them how to put a veil on if you have one. Make sure you go with a bridesmaid that can see how your seamstress bustles the back of your dress. The bustles are typically coordinated by color, so having a bridesmaid aware of how the bustle should look can alleviate a bridesmaid’s anxiety of making a mistake.

Pack for your honeymoon. It’s a very good idea to pack well ahead of time so there’s less stress on you during the week of your wedding. Make a list of items and clothes you’ll need and start packing.

Have any vendor payments ready. Make a list of wedding vendors you have a balance with and have your checks or payments ready to give to them on the day of the wedding. This is a good task to assign to someone in the wedding party to handle, so it’s one less thing for you to worry about, especially when you’re dancing and mingling with your guests.

Enjoy the big day! After months and months of planning, weekends spent doing this and that for your wedding, be sure to enjoy yourself on your wedding day! Everything zooms by, so don’t forget to slow down, breathe, and take it all in when you can. But don’t worry if you can’t remember everything that went on during your wedding day; you’ll have us to photograph and document the whole day for you to relive your day over and over again!

Have any questions? Feel free to CONTACT US for more info! and we’ll help as much as we can!

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