Planning Your Big Day

Written by Carly Phillips

You said “Yes!” What next?

Tell your friends and family!

Make the call! Don’t just post your new jewel on your social media platform of choice. They will want to hear it directly from you. Sure, it might be time consuming, but it is worth every second to the ones that will be there for it all.

Set a date.

It doesn’t have to be exact or certain, but having something to spout off will feel a lot better than “We don’t know yet when people ask (and they will). Pick a season, a year or even a month. Baby steps.

Get in wedding mode.

Buy that magazine you always eye at the checkout line and dog ear some of the pages that stand out. Watch your favorite wedding flicks. Surf the web for helpful websites and blogs. Establish what the both of you want and don’t want for the big day.

Start a fund.

This doesn’t have to be as dreadful as it sounds. Start putting a little bit back every now and then. Even that handful of change at the bottom of your purse will add up in the end. Buy a fun jar and decorate it with your “husband to be.”

Pick your bridesmaids.

These will be the ladies that keep you sane (and fun) through each stage of planning. They will also be the ones directly to your left on the big day. Choose wisely, but be creative. Pack a box full of nostalgic photos, wine, and a great candle. Or print off a fun card and throw in some chocolate. Maybe gift a sweet piece of jewelry they can keep forever.

8-10 Months before:

Guest List.

Now is the time to start thinking about who you and your groom would like to attend. Come up with a magic number that works for both of you. Ask your parents and his parents to double check the list. Send out save the dates so they can prepare. Some guests will have to make travel arrangements.

Pick the venue.

Decide on the perfect spot to say I do. Think about a ceremony site AND a reception site if they will be separate. Think about things like parking, predictable weather, style, accommodation, and review.


Think about having an engagement party. It might be a great way to celebrate the beginning with a close-knit group. Register for gifts beforehand.

4-6 Months before:

Find the dress.

Some brides say that they tried on four or more before landing on “the one.” It also takes time for alterations, shipping, and orders. Get out and get to shopping as soon as possible. Take a reliable crew with you, and maybe include your future mother-in-law.

Pick a caterer and decide on the type of food you would like to serve. Pick out a color scheme and décor. Discuss entertainment with the groom. Live band? DJ? Pianist?
Plan the honeymoon.

Decide on the perfect place to spend your first week (or two) as husband and wife. Research plane tickets, hotel options and get passports if needed.

One Month before:

Write the vows.

Give yourself plenty of time if you are going this route. You don’t want to be stuck with the task the night before. It’ll just enhance any possible wedding jitters. Perfect them and read them out loud to yourself.

Apply for marriage license.

This is another one that you don’t want to forget about. Sometimes it takes time for these types of things to come in.

Make any last minute adjustments & confirmations.

Call everyone to double (maybe even triple) check that everything is on the right track. Florists, make-up artists, caterers. Make any changes that seem crucial.