You Got Engaged! Now What?
Your Modern Wedding Timeline to Guide you Through Everything Between – Provided by Leibish & Co.
Weddings traditionally come with a lot of steps; there are parties to plan, outfits to buy, invitations to send – who can keep track? When you are just getting started, the ever-growing to-do list can seem daunting; that is why this timeline will be your best friend when planning your wedding.
It covers every event, from your engagement to your wedding, including all traditional affairs and modern amendments so your plan will be up to date. No matter how you choose to go about planning your wedding, it is important to have a clear list of goals and milestones in mind to make sure that you haven’t forgotten about any of the essentials.
You’ve said I do, now what?
Family Approvals & Announcements: 10 Months Prior
Speak to each other’s parents; traditionally the groom to be have already asked the father for his daughter’s hand and told his own parents about his intentions. Before you know it, you’ll be announcing your good news to your friends and relatives.
In some parts of the world, the process of receiving approval from relatives and announcing the engagement to friends is a long one; very specific things have to happen before any parties are thrown.
Keriann, an American who married in Paris, spoke to Eimear Lynch about the traditions that came along with a Parisian wedding for her book The Bridesmaids: True Tales of Love, Envy, Loyalty, and Terrible Dresses; she explains a process of keeping the engagement a secret until all families can be told in person over a small bottle of champagne.
“Next comes the meetings of the families, or fiançailles, and only if that goes well is the engagement official: The bride is finally able to wear her ring… then… another fiançailles with their witnesses and friends. And in France, it’s not a party if it doesn’t have a theme.” –Keriann
Once the formalities are over with, engagement parties can be thrown and you can ask relatives and friends to fill positions like bridesmaids, groomsmen, and even flower girl.
Photo Source: Maven Bride
Time to Budget – Strategize: 9 Months Prior
Determine what you’ll need for your wedding and investigate how much it’ll cost. Looking at venues is only the beginning. Grooms and Brides should remember to do the following:
a. Division of the tasks – How much of a team effort will planning be? Will the two of you make choices together or split decisions down the middle to be made individually like this couple recommends? Who else’s opinions do you value when making decisions that’ll ultimately lead to additional expenses?
b. Selecting a common theme, or aesthetic – Many tools including questionnaires and checklists can be found online to help the two of you to be able to speak clearly about what it is that you want.
Explore all your money-saving options!
Keep in mind options such as brunch, which can be both a money-saving and unique change of pace for events such as the engagement party, or bridal shower, and even the wedding itself.
Venue & Atmosphere – Final Selections: 8 Months Prior
Some people will make this decision earlier, perhaps within the first month of planning, but that is only necessary for certain venues but a couple looking to save money might even put of a final decision on venues until almost one month before the wedding.
Make final decisions about the place and décor. You have a lot of options that will determine the over-all vibe of your wedding, such as location, religiosity theme and setting.
Dress It Up: 7 Months Prior
For Her: As always the Bride will need The Dress, shoes, and possibly those heirloom pearls she’s had her eye on. Something borrowed, something blue and a garter will also probably come in handy.
For Him: A tux will be in order, if that’s the route he decides to go – renting is also an option. In addition he’ll need dress shoes, a couple pieces of his own for accessorizing, and maybe a barber’s shave the day of.
More People in Need of Special Wardrobe:
- The mothers of the bride and groom
- Bridesmaids (to match or not to match?)
- Flower girls
- Ring bearer
As the bride, you will be taking on the role of stylist for all of these people playing an active role in your wedding. Keep everyone in the loop about regarding scheduled tasks like fittings.
Big budget or small, if you’re willing to approach your wedding wardrobe with some creativity, amazing things can be done. You can also find wedding garb to fit your style in a way that many brides and grooms couldn’t before. The high end and fashion forward worlds have fused with the bridal and wedding industry in ways previously unseen, with innovative kitsch designs from Betsey Johnson via her Blue line, and custom dresses made with repurposed fabrics from smaller boutiques.
There are also beautiful things to be done with bridal jewelry, right down to magnificently colored engagement rings, wedding bands, necklaces and more.
All Products by Leibish & Co
To Register or Not: 6 Months Prior
Registering for a wedding at all is certainly a tradition with its roots deep in the Western world. Even now, some people may have reservations about telling guests exactly what it is that they want from them, but it is hard to ignore the usefulness of a registry.
Options exist which can help you navigate what could be a tricky field.
Ideas for registry themes:
- Charitable donations in your name
- Honeyfund – an online wedding registration site that allows you to register for honeymoon related gifts
- Simple Registry – registry that allows you to add items from literally everywhere
- Registering at your favorite home stores such as Crate & Barrel, Williams Sonoma, Macys.
- Your favorite museums such a the Museum of Modern Art
Let Us Entertain You – Food & Music: 5 Months Prior
Here is the fun part – deciding who will feed and entertain you on your big day. Depending on how in demand the caterer, bakery, or band you plan on booking is, you may want to make this decision even more in advance, but 5 months is typically a safe bet.
When planning your wedding reception, remember your priorities:
Food – What will you serve? Who will cater? Buffet style or served?
Music – DJ or live band? And does it require dance lessons?
Seating arrangements – Is there anyone who can’t sit near each other or better yet, anyone you would like to introduce?
Consider your taste buds and those of your guests; you want them to have a good time. Make sure to schedule tastings, auditions, and time to revel in it all.
Photo by Nicole Chan Photography via Knotsvilla
Bridal Shower, Bachelor & Bachelorette Party Planning: 4 Months Prior
Will you be my Maid of Honor? If you didn’t ask at the engagement party, now is the time. A bachelorette party and bridal shower can be done on the same day and can also be interchangeable, depending on how you choose to approach either event. Modern couples may decide to nix the traditional separate parties and have fun together with their friends for a night on the town.
Keep in mind the purpose of these events:
A second chance – If you haven’t asked anyone to be your maid of honor just yet, now is the time for you to pop the question.
Fun with friends and young relatives – You may not have a wild night worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, but you can have fun as a single girl with your contemporaries.
Tame celebration – The significance of the bridal shower is celebrating the upcoming marriage in a setting where the mothers of the bride and groom can attend.
The Invitations & Other Paper Goods: 3 Months Prior
At this point your save the dates should have already been sent out (6 months prior) and the wedding invitations should be ready to go. For save the dates, they are to be sent out early, especially if it’s a destination wedding, but the invitations don’t necessarily need to be sent out as some may think it’s still too early (2 months prior is the norm). However your vision/style/vendor for your invitations and other paper goods should be decided on at this point.
Mind your Design Options:
- Resources and materials for DIY invites
- Email invitations, or save the dates (you may have to make exceptions for older relatives)
You’ll also want to take this time to discuss exactly who will be invited to the wedding, and begin mapping out seating arrangements as well.
Photo Source: Wedding Paper Divas
Make it Legal – Drawing the Final Papers: 2 Months Prior
What paper work you need to make your marriage official, either in the eyes of the law or your faith, will very well depend on your beliefs and location. Do your homework!
Decide on an Officiant: 2 Months Prior
How much of a factor will religion/faith play into your wedding? Whether it will be a priest, rabbi, friend or fish – this is another part of your wedding that is extremely personal. Discuss it and arrive at a decision.
Rehearsal Dinner, The Big Day, & Beyond
Eventually the time comes when you’ve got to trust in the decisions you’ve made, roll with the punches, and enjoy what you’ve put so much energy into over the past months. Get everyone together for the rehearsal dinner and put a smile on for the real thing. Try to remember that your wedding isn’t a pageant; it is a celebration of family, friends and life.
A cute favor for all guests is one trend that is hopefully around to stay. This is a simple and inexpensive way to help everyone in attendance feel as though you’re happy that they’ve come out to spend their day celebrating you, your union, and the new stage of life that you are entering.
Bonus: The Honeymoon
A nice honeymoon is essential. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but break away from your normal surroundings, enjoy each other and reflect and relive the amazing and life changing night’s events.
Things to take care of in advance:
- What to Pack
- Booking (of flights and hotels)
- Arranging for your home, plants and pets to be looked after
- JET SET!
Photo Source: KnotsVilla
About the Author
Leibish & Co. is the world’s premier online resource for natural fancy colored diamonds and multicolored diamond jewelry. Explore the Leibish & Co. selection of truly breathtaking natural color diamond wedding bands.
Their designs will make your “I Do” moment as memorable as it deserves to be, with individuality, style and flair! Whether you are exchanging vows for the first time or celebrating a momentous anniversary, consider a couture fancy colored diamond ring from Leibish & Co!