The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist

Most newly engaged brides feel that once the question has been asked, they have to jump into planning their entire wedding over the first few days. The initial excitement of wearing a beautiful ring can turn into stressful to-do lists in order to put together a gorgeous wedding. If you haven’t planned a party before, then a wedding can feel like an intimidating task. But when the event planning is broken up into a series of smaller and more manageable lists, it becomes less overwhelming and a fun process to enjoy with your fiancé and family!

Twelve to Nine Months Ahead

  1. Discuss and think about the wedding size, style, level of formality
  2. Discuss with family their financial contribution
  3. Discuss with your fiancé the financial contributions you would each like to contribute
  4. Determine an overall budget
  5. Begin defining overall style of wedding
  6. Determine what your personal priorities are for your wedding
  7. Compile guest list and organize addresses
  8. Choose and book wedding planner
  9. Choose ceremony and reception venues
  10. Finalize the wedding date
  11. Shop for and purchase wedding day attire

Nine to Six Months Ahead

  1. Choose and ask attendants
  2. Begin shopping for bridesmaid attire
  3. Choose and book wedding designer and florist
  4. Choose and book officiant
  5. Book caterer
  6. Book music for both ceremony and reception
  7. Book photographer
  8. Reserve a room block at hotel where you desire your guests to stay
  9. Rent necessary items for your wedding (chairs, tables, tent)
  10. Begin working on invitations with stationery designer
  11. Start planning your honeymoon
  12. Create wedding website
  13. Send out save the dates

Four to Six Months Ahead

  1. Arrange for transportation needs
  2. Complete invitations with stationery designer
  3. Book calligrapher
  4. Register for gifts
  5. Purchase wedding bands
  6. Purchase groom’s and groomsmen attire
  7. Finalize and purchase bridesmaids’ attire
  8. Purchase the undergarments/ lingerie that your dress requires
  9. Choose a hotel and book a room for the wedding night
  10. Decide on favors and packaging
  11. Choose gifts for the wedding party
  12. Book a makeup artist
  13. Book hair stylist
  14. Keep working through design concepts with wedding designer

Two to Four Months Ahead

  1. Talk through menu and service details with your caterer
  2. Work with designer to finalize cake concept, choose flavors and book baker
  3. Discuss the ceremony details with the officiant and coordinator
  4. Write your wedding vows (if you will be writing your own)
  5. Schedule rehearsal time and rehearsal dinner location
  6. Do trial makeup and hair
  7. Finalize design concepts with designer

Six to Eight Weeks Ahead

  1. Mail out invitations

One to Two Months Ahead

  1. Purchase your guest book
  2. Compile information for day-of stationery and send to graphic designer
  3. Keep track of RSVPs as they come in
  4. Start forming your seating chart
  5. Send photography shot list to photographer
  6. Compile song selections and send to band/DJ
  7. Obtain marriage license, and request the necessary required copies

Two Weeks Ahead

  1. Schedule your final dress fitting using the actual shoes and lingerie you will be wearing
  2. Finish your seating chart
  3. Notify coordinator and caterer with your final head count
  4. Finish writing your vows and toasts that you will give
  5. Break in your wedding shoes
  6. Compile welcome baskets and handwritten notes

One Week Ahead

  1. Relax and let your coordinator call and confirm with all of your vendors
  2. Pick up dress from alterations
  3. Assemble everything you need for your wedding day
  4. Begin packing for honeymoon
  5. Confirm all details of the honeymoon, and hand off itinerary to family and a few close friends in case of an emergency

One Day Ahead

  1. Make sure you have everything on the ‘wedding day checklist’ compiled and ready to go
  2. Have a manicure and pedicure
  3. Prepare gratuity and payment envelopes for vendors, and hand off to your coordinator
  4. Hand off toasting goblets, cake knife and server to coordinator or venue
  5. Rehearse your ceremony
  6. Hold your rehearsal dinner

Your Wedding Day

  1. Relax and savor every moment, it will go by very quickly

Wedding Day Checklist

  1. Gown and veil
  2. Shoes, hosiery, undergarments
  3. Jewelry
  4. Makeup
  5. Perfume
  6. Nail polish and manicure kit
  7. Emergency kit (include aspirin, needle and thread, stain remover)
  8. Hair necessities: hairdryer, curling iron, hairspray, pins
  9. Toothbrush, toothpaste, breath mints
  10. Handkerchief/ tissues
  11. Copies of the schedule for attendants and vendors
  12. Written toasts
  13. Marriage license
  14. Wedding rings
  15. Ring bearer pillow/ flower girl baskets
  16. A copy of the vows and readings to be recited at the ceremony
  17. Suitcases packed and ready
  18. Travel documents and passports

If you are at the beginning of planning your wedding, read through the to-do list several times to get a feel for what is to come. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to skip ahead and jump around the list. Don’t let yourself get stressed out if you aren’t able to complete a task in its given timeframe, just finish it when you can. Now that you’re organized, relax and enjoy! 

Article: Jamie Moore of Sinclair and Moore Events | Photography: Rylee Hitchner | Flowers: Rosegolden Flowers | Graphic: Hannah Lee

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06.05.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas

Neutral Garden Wedding Ideas

We loved seeing this inspiration shoot from Cassidy Carson and Megan Proby! These neutral wedding ideas are perfect for any bride looking for an organic-inspired wedding with white and neutral florals. We love the way they styled the natural colors and textures throughout this shoot as well, and you could easily translate these ideas to a bigger event! Here’s a little more from Cassidy on their inspiration:

Our inspiration shoot took place with Leigh and Liz—a couple that is wildly genuine and easy to delight. They take pleasure in simple and beautiful things, and don’t need a lot of fuss to be happy. The venue—Jefferson House—a historic home in downtown Franklin, Tn and built in 1900—was a perfect reflection of who they are as a couple. There’s a lot of magic and elegance in going with something close to home, using natural materials, and letting the personality of the people really take center stage. We wanted to the florals to be earthy and organic. Kelly drew inspiration from the simplicity of the property and foraged a large number of the greenery from around the house. Our goal in styling the space was to be gorgeous but understated, really allowing the day to be about the people sharing the table and watching that warmth trickle over.

Photography : Cassidy Carson | Styling : Megan Proby – 12th Table | Florals : Kelly Lenard – Intertwine | Calligraphy and paper suite : Jessica Foley | Hair and makeup: Amanda GrosDress : Monique Lhullier from The Bride Room | Veil : The Bride Room | Belt : Monique Lhullier | Groom’s suit : Calvin Klein | Cake : Whole Foods | Venue : Jefferson House

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06.04.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas

Win Custom Wedding Invitations from Minted

Choosing your wedding invitations is so much fun because it’s one of the first times you’re going to show friends and family what the style and tone of your wedding will be, but sometimes it can be a bit of an overwhelming task. The options are absolutely endless, and there are some fantastic invitation designers out there, but one of our favorites by far is Minted! Minted has recently launched their new 2014 invitation collection full of new styles and designs from independent designers, and we love their huge selection of foil-pressed invitations and letterpress designs! 

We are in awe of the level of service that Minted brings to brides in addition to their beautiful invitations! the Minted Perfection Team helps you with all of those pesky etiquette questions and offers you advice along the invitation buying process. They also offer free recipient addressing to save you loads of time during the planning process, and we all know how valuable time is when you’re planning a wedding! 

If you’re looking for invitations that will take the tone of your wedding to the next level, we love Minted’s selection of letterpress and foil-pressed invitations. Choosing letterpress invitations or foil-pressed designs will bring an extra level of elegance and interest to your invitations, and you can work with the specialists at Minted to design every aspect of your invites so they’re absolutely perfect. 

Now that you’ve fallen in love with Minted invitations, we have some fantastic news! Minted is offering Once Wed readers a chance to win $500 to put toward their Minted wedding stationery! Click here to enter for a chance to win! Contest ends June 10th, 2014 at 11:59pm PT.

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06.04.14 / Contests, Featured, New Sponsor Blog

DIY Flawless Makeup with Temptu

TemptuFlawless

Friday I told you a little about our new favorite airbrush makeup system, Temptu, and today I’m so thrilled to share a makeup tutorial I created using their bridal beauty kit! The airbrushing system is amazing for doing your own wedding day makeup, but I was even more impressed by its versatility- you can easily take this flawless look from day to night with only a few extra steps. The ease of this machine also makes it perfect for everyday use, and we couldn’t be more in love with the natural look that the Temptu system gives you. This tutorial is 1 of 3 I’ll be unveiling over the next few weeks on Once Wed. Take a look at this awesome tutorial below on how to create a flawless, radiant finish with the new Temptu Bridal Beauty Kit:

temptu-bridal-kit-tutorial temptu-wedding-makeup

Instructions for Natural/Everyday makeup with Temptu

Step 1: Start with a clean, moisturized face.

Step 2: Gently dab Temptu undereye concealer underneath your eye. Tap lightly with your middle finger to blend for full coverage.

Step 3: Set up your Temptu Machine. Take one end of the Flex AIRhose and connect it to the Nozzle of the AIRcompressor. Then connect the other end to the AIRbrush. Insert the A/C Adaptor to the back of the AIRcompressor and plug it in the nearby outlet.

Step 4: Always shake the air pod before every use for smooth color application. Remove the chrome cap and tamper seal from AIRpod.

Step 5: Upon first use, or as needed, pull on the Clear Loop while holding the AIRpod Tip up. Open the Plug before every use to allow makeup to spray. Be sure to close when not in use.

Step 6: To attach the AIRpod, press down on the Release Button and push the AIRpod horizontally into the AIRbrush until you feel it pop into place. To release the AIRpod, press down on the Release Button and pull the AIRpod away from the AIRbrush.

Step 7: Target imperfections first and then blend outwards. Build sheer layers until your desire level of coverage is reached. Turn the Dial to 3 o’clock(the optimal setting for a flawless AIRpod Foundation application). Hold your AIRbrush like a pencil, pointed downward, 4-6 inches away. Gently pull back on the Trigger and move in small circular motions. Stop & look. Repeat until you acheive your desired level of coverage.

Step 8: Using a powder brush, powder Temptu Invisible Difference Finishing Powder as a sheer layer over the foundation you just applied.

Step 9:  Apply blush by starting at the apples of the cheeks, sweeping upwards towards the temple. Build sheer layers for a more dramatic flush.

Step 10: Your blush can double as a gorgeous lip stain. Come in close(less than one inch), pulling very lightly on the Trigger. Blot lips together for a gorgeous stain.

Step 11: Volia!

Tips For Airbrushing Like Pro

* Find your sweet spot – Always maintain a 4-6 inch distance for a soft, feather-light finish

* Keep Moving – Keep it moving in small, circular motions for a seamlessly blended application.

* Soft Touch – Pull back gently on the Trigger for flawless, buildable coverage.

* Pro Coverage – To avoid over-application, build coverage in sheer layers, only where needed, until you reach your desired finish.

CLICK HERE to purchase the BRAND NEW Beauty Kit from Temptu!

Creative Direction and Styling: Emily Newman for Once Wed | Photography: Meghan Kay Sadler | Makeup: Amy Clarke | Hair: Christian Marc

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06.02.14 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured