It’s been so long since I blogged about the wedding and so today after checking some huge things off our to-do list I wanted to do a wedding update 🙂 We are just about 8 months out and I’ve been so wrapped up in being a bridesmaid for two of my best friends for their October weddings and prepping for my busy season at work that I didn’t realize how close we are getting to our own big day! Below is a step-by-step of my planning process months 13-9!
Invest in a nice planner!
One of the first things that I did was purchase a wedding planner. There are so many great ones on the market and it can be hard to find the perfect one for you. I seriously can’t say enough great things about the Erin Condren line. The Erin Condren wedding planner gives you just the right amount of information to start your wedding planning process. A lot of planners give you way too much, way too fast and often it can overwhelm you just looking at all the tasks you have ahead of you. I love how the planner has customizable stickers you can place into the day by day calendar followed by helpful wedding planning pages (to-do lists by month, wedding tips, a budget sheet, venue contact list, etc) PLUS 70+ pages of blank notepages. I also love the mini folder that comes in the back where you can put inspiration pics, business cards, etc. After months of using this one, I definitely 100% recommend to all brides to be! It comes in so many design choices or you can opt to customize with photos of you and your honey like I did. You can even customize your coil color now for an extra charge – you know if I had the option I would have made mine rose gold 😉
What they say is true – as soon as you book the venue everything else falls into place! Once you book your venue, you have your date and can start contacting other major vendors. I would absolutely put this as your first big to-do. I spent countless hours researching venues for us to go visit and finally narrowed it down to my top 3 choices. I personally didn’t want us to tour a bunch of venues in person and wanted us to spend our efforts just on ones that we were seriously interested in. I highly recommend using Wedding Spot to research your venues. You can input everything from your budget to your guest count to your theme and they will filter through hundreds of venues for you! I also love how they give you a realistic budget with everything added in.
Wedding Dress Shopping
What many brides don’t know and what I didn’t know before I watched countless Say Yes to the Dress episodes is that wedding dresses take 6-8 months on average to come in after you order them! That means that the earlier you order your dress in your planning process, the better you will feel. I went almost 11 months before our wedding date just to be safe. The dress shopping experience can be very stressful. I think as bride you feel TONS of pressure to say yes to the dress. Although I didn’t think this would happen to me, it definitely did! My bridal party and my mom fell in love with a dress I tried on at the first shop we went to. I liked the dress but it just wasn’t what I had always envisioned getting married in.
Tips for a great dress shopping day
-DO keep your dress shopping party small. The less opinions the better! It can be hard to choose what’s right for you when everyone has different style
-DO bring cute photo props! My sister made adorable double sided signs for us all that said “Love it” on one side and “Leave it” on the other.
-DO wear something comfortable that’s easy to change in and out of
-DO your research. Websites like the Knot and Pinterest are great to browse styles to get an idea of what you like and don’t like
-DO try on as many dresses as you want! You only get to do this one so it’s super fun to even try on dresses that you would never ever actually wear.
-DON’T stress out too much! I know it’s easier said than done but dress shopping is seriously one of the sweetest parts of the planning process. Nothing beats the moment you realize it’s “the one.” Like many aspects of wedding planning, stress just causes you unnecessary moments of sadness and frustration. It’ll all work out in the end!
-DON’T let the shop owners pull dresses for you that are way over your budget. They do this to try to upsell you and it can be frustrating. Stay firm with your budget.
-DON’T limit yourself to just one bridal shop. Try to arrange a few shop appointments in one day to give yourself options
You know I love a good pair of heels and when it came to the heels I’d wear on my wedding day I wanted something very classic but with intricate detailing as well. I fell absolutely in love with these Badgley Mischka heels. They were a new release for the Spring! Badgley Mischka is such a great brand for wedding heels – they have tons of different styles. The price point is around $200-300 but I think that’s a pretty standard amount to spend on wedding heels. I also recommend looking at BHLDN (Anthropologie’s wedding line).
I’m still deciding on my veil but right now I’m leaning towards a dramatic cathedral veil. My mom is very talented and made my sister’s veil so I’m so excited to see what she makes for mine!
When we started thinking about items we wanted to splurge on for the wedding, we knew that a great photographer was high on the list. I took to instagram to search #bayareaweddingphotographer and came across so many amazing talented photographers. Once again, we picked our top 3 and reached out to them to get pricing details and get to know them. After our in person consultation with Blue Lace Photography, we knew she was the one. We had such a great time bonding over our love of Game of Thrones, cookies, and of course natural light photography. She absolutely KILLED it with our engagement shoot. We seriously can’t wait to see the beautiful moments she will capture on our big day.
Overall, the planning process has gone along smoothly. I think a lot of that has to do with how far in advance we started planning. The gift of time is invaluable when you’re planning a wedding. It gives you options when it comes to choosing vendors and allows you to really understand what you want and don’t want for your wedding. I’m so excited for my next wedding update where I’ll share photos from our engagement shoot and our save-the-dates! Til then XOXO!