Congrats! You’re Engaged! Now, where do you start with wedding planning? Here are my tips for what to take on during the first 3 months of planning your destination wedding! If you are having a local wedding, my tips are super helpful, too. We actually had a legal ceremony in my parents backyard before our wedding in Cabo, so if you are looking for inspiration for a small wedding ceremony, read this post!
As you know, or will soon find out, a lot goes into wedding planning! I am a huge planner, so I was ready to hit the ground running. However, I wasn’t exactly sure where to start. So, I did things that made sense and used helpful checklists from The Knot & Wedding Wire. Checklists you find online are great, but keep in mind you don’t have to do EVERYTHING a checklist has on it. Also, some checklists might be missing important details, so I recommend making your own checklist so you can pick & choose what’s important to you, especially as your wedding day approaches.
We had 15 months to plan our wedding & the extra time was very helpful, especially since we decided to do a destination wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico!
Here are some of the initial things we did in the first 3 months after getting engaged:
ENJOY GETTING ENGAGED, THEN START PLANNING!
Cheers! He asked & you said yes! Enjoy the moment! We got engaged while on vacation in Cabo & it was one of the best days ever! You can read about our destination proposal here. We definitely enjoyed our engagement time, but since we got engaged in Cabo, we did a little research on where we wanted to have the wedding while we were still there (my dad & I were all about this, my fiancé & mom, not so much haha). When we got home from our trip, we did more research on places in Cabo & places in Cleveland where I’m from, to determine the best fit with our budget & wedding vision.
START ORGANIZING YOUR WEDDING INSPIRATION!
We’ve all had a wedding Pinterest board for years, right?!, but now that planning time is finally here, you probably have a bunch of different ideas that conflict with one another. To get organized, think about your wedding style, colors, theme, or things that work aesthetically well together.
PICK A WEDDING DATE & START YOUR GUEST LIST!
We wanted to keep the same dating anniversary, which luckily also worked out with our venue, but it is good to have a few different dates in mind! Also, start to think about your guest list since this may determine the size of venue you need.
BOOK YOUR WEDDING VENUE & START ADDING DETAILS TO YOUR WEDDING WEBSITE!
We used The Knot to make our wedding website since they had our favorite template & functionalities we were looking for. We didn’t buy a domain name, but I highly recommend doing so. Also, don't skip making a wedding website, especially if you are having a destination wedding. It is very helpful for your guests! Here are my tips for making your wedding website.
SEND SAVE THE DATES!
A year in advance might seem early to send your save the dates, but once you have your venue & hotel room block booked, I recommend sending them. This is because you'll want to give yourself & your guests enough time to plan for a destination wedding. Another helpful tip about save the dates: we sent a postcard for ours (which is cute for a destination wedding theme) but looking back on it, I highly recommend putting them in an envelope so they don't get trashed in the mail.
SEND WEDDING PARTY PROPOSALS!
For those of who we asked to be in our wedding party, we sent our save the dates along with our wedding party proposals which were koozies we got from Etsy! Some of our wedding party lived close by, but others were far away, so it made sense to mail them. You also don’t want to make anyone feel pressured to say yes to be in your wedding, since it is a big responsibility & commitment for a destination wedding. I don’t recommend asking in person, unless they know you are going to ask & say yes, like my Maid of Honor!
START WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING!
You may know exactly what type of wedding dress you want, but you never know how long it will take to find the perfect dress. I recommend doing a lot of research online about the styles you like & show up prepared to your wedding dress appointments. I also recommend starting early since my dress took 6 months to come into the shop once I found it, & I had alterations up until about a month before leaving for our wedding, so I’m glad I started early! You can also shop for wedding dresses online, and I recommend checking out BHLDN!
PLAN YOUR ENGAGEMENT PARTY!
This might seem like a lot of wedding planning to get done in the first 3 months, but trust me, we still had plenty to do throughout the rest of our time leading up to our wedding! The earlier you start planning, the better, so as the wedding gets closer, you won’t be as stressed with last minute planning! And always remember to stay positive & enjoy the wedding planning process since you only get married once!
If you're looking for a checklist to guide you along your initial wedding planning steps, click here or the image below to be redirected to download it!
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