Where to even start..
Wedding planning was such a big part of my life this past year, and way more details and plans go into it than I initially thought. I want to help any soon to be brides out there and give all the advice or inspiration I can. I know I loved to get ideas on Pinterest or Bridal magazines so I’m here to help. Even if your no where close to planning a wedding or thinking about marriage, thats okay too, you can just continue reading for future plans. 🙂 After you enjoy each other and the engagement settles in and you’ve celebrated with your family and friends it’s time for the planning. The fun part…I think 🙂
Timeline: (May not match all the timelines you can find online or in the Knot Magazines) BUT this is OUR timeline and how we personally planned everything. From the wedding dress to favors, I will give you insight to our magical wedding day.
Pick a Date, Start a Wedding Binder– We knew because of baseball we could only plan a date during the time period of November- January. We wanted the date for closer to the end off off season so we had more time to plan and get everything together. I kept a journal of all the plans, vendors we booked, down payments, bills, inspiration, wedding poses, pictures, etc. Good idea to keep everything organized ahead of time!
Pick your bridesmaids: I first sent out a cute way to ask my closest girlfriends to be my bridesmaids. It was a small decorated box with a balloon and confetti in it, it had a pin and said POP me! Inside the balloon it asked, “will you be my bridesmaid?” Love, Brittany. I also started setting up the guest list and getting all the address’s together. That kinda takes a while, obviously depending on the size of your wedding. We had 160+ guests attend. The girls wore Twobirds bridesmaid dresses in the color Rosewater, the material was thick and heavy and the color was exactly what I wanted. They will send you a sample of the fabric if you need. All the girls wrapped the dress in different styles. They said it takes about 3+ months for their dresses to be shipped but I believe it ended up being quicker than that.
Pick your venue: Matt and I only saw one venue and we knew right away it was the one. I was inspired by our trip to Europe 2 years ago and Bella Collina is literally a little piece of Italy in the middle of Florida. We picked the venue 11 months ahead of time. Finalize a date, and call and set up a block of rooms at a hotel closest to your venue so guests get a better rate. Bella Collina also catered our wedding, we had a plated meal. Salad and minestrone soup first and guests chose between 3 options: Filet, Chicken, or salmon.
Pick your photographer/videographer: This I did a lot of research on!!!! Our photographer was Concept Photography, they are a husband and wife team who blew us away with their creativity and passion for the job. We not only received all our pictures back less than a month after our wedding in an online gallery, they even had a slideshow going during the wedding reception of the pictures so the guests could see. It was such a nice surprise! We haven’t gotten back our video but that tends to take a few months. We hired Nate + Lori, and are excited to see the outcome and watch our wedding back on film.
Pick your Officiant: Whether you choose to get married in a church and have a priest or ask someone close to you to be your officiant, it is best to ask early on. I asked my step dad, so he had enough time to get ordained and to organize a perfectly beautiful and special ceremony.
Flowers, Linens, Decor, Wedding Day Coordinator all in 1– I was dead set on not wanting a wedding planner, I wanted to do it all myself mainly because it was something to keep me busy while in California. However, I highly recommend getting a wedding day of coordinator. They help with running a smooth ceremony, and answering any guests questions and communicating with the DJ to run a awesome reception. Our wedding coordinator was so on point and knowledgable about wedding do’s and don’ts. I told her I wanted romantic, classy, timeless/Tuscany, Italy theme, huge centerpieces, and she literally put my dreams into fruition. Anyone getting married in the Orlando, FL area I recommend Vangie DeLaConcha! Booked her about 7-8 months before our date.
Hire Entertainment (DJ or band), Wedding Cake- We hired a string quartet for the ceremony and I walked down the isle to “Can’t help falling in love with you.” We hired DJ Fresh as our DJ and were so happy with how he ran the night, he put on a dancing party. Elise Garcia with Elise’s Pieces did our rehearsal and wedding cake, both based out of the Tampa area. We did 3 flavors and a 5 tier cake. Red velvet, cherry cake with chocolate ganache and amaretto buttercream frosting, and amaretto cake with raspberry filing and buttercream frosting. Cherry was my fav!
Send out save the dates- 6 or 7 months before the day. I ordered mine off Etsy. (I ordered pretty much everything off Etsy btw, great wedding website.)
Plan and book honeymoon- Booked this about 5 months before our wedding. We went to Dubai, Thailand, and the Maldives. Trip of a lifetime, which will 100% get a entire blog post soon. So much I want to share! We used a travel agency and if you would like their info, message me!
Order your dress: I ordered my dress about 9 or 8 months ahead of time. I originally went to Kleinfelds in NYC (say yes to the dress) with my mom and some of my bridesmaids and was super excited, and to be honest I didn’t really have the best experience there. I thought they were pushy and it was way too busy. This is obviously just my opinion but I had a much better experience at the smaller more intimate bridal shop I went to in Winter Park, FL called the Collection Bridal. I went here because they were one of the only stores in FL who offered Inbal Dror. I knew I wanted the couture style dress. Love her work, and I am in love with my custom dress. And it did take just about the entire 8 months to get made, so make sure you do this step early, most women cant wait for this anyways lol.
Hair & Makeup- 6 months or so before…Want to make sure whoever you chose has the availability. I knew since I was in middle school that Jillian Ferguson was going to do my wedding hairstyle. She is a great friend and very talented. She did all the bridesmaids and my mom the day of the wedding. I told all the girls to pick whatever up-do they wanted. Makeup was Jade Baird, from San Diego, CA. She was even better than all her flawless pictures on Instagram. I thought I knew a lot about makeup, but nothing compared to this gorgeous makeup artist!!! If your like me and don’t trust many people to do your makeup and love the airbrush look, I highly highly recommend her services. Plus, she’s just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.
2-5 months out- Order Bridal Party Gifts, Wedding Favors, hotel gift bags, and any little extra items you may need. For example, card box, toasting flutes, guestbook, hair accessories, jewelry, wedding shoes. We got some of these items as gifts which was great. Wedding earrings were from a seller on Etsy, I was obsessed.
Bridal Party Gifts: I started ordering stuff 7 or 8 months in advance. This was a project I loved!!!! For the girls I made up a monogrammed bag with all kinds of goodies inside: Monogrammed pocket mirror, Mac lip gloss for day of applications, dainty pearl necklace, stud earrings they all wore day of, wedding cake scented candle with their name on it and the meaning of there name, stemless wine glass with their name and wedding date, sequin clutch, satin robe for getting ready with their first initial.
Groomsman Gifts: We got monogrammed cigar boxes with a cigar inside with our picture wrapped around the tube, personalized cuff links, personalized flask with a small bottle of whiskey, mirrored ray bans, personalized lighters.
Send out Invites, Purchase wedding Bands, Write your vows: We did this bout two months out.
(not our invite because I don’t have a professional photo to post- but needed to show off how pretty ) Lavender Paperie1 made all our stationery for the wedding, table numbers, place cards, etc.. and everything matched the invite and was shipped in a timely manner.
So wedding planning was pretty much a breeze for us, however the 2-3 weeks right before your wedding are the most chaotic. Mainly because we had family coming in town and didn’t have all the rsvp’s back and the venue needs a count for meals at least 2 weeks ahead of time. The seating arrangements were Matts least favorite part of the planning process, we had to change everything maybe 4 times and make new boards all over again, some guests couldn’t make it last minute or we added people only days before. Everything worked out in the end though but you can see how long and drawn out a process this can be for only ONE day. But it truly was the BEST day so it’s worth it.
I have probably missed some stuff but this was even more info than I remember. Please let me know if you have any questions! Hope you enjoyed a little look in to our very special day. Thanks for reading.
DropBox Link << Some of Our wedding Photos.