How Do I Plan a Wedding in 3 Months: Part 2
This is Part II of the “How to Plan a Wedding in 3 Months” series. Click here for Part 1.
Now that you have the big stuff out of the way, it’s time to get other crucial pieces in order. From your vendors to your wedding party to your attire, this is the time when you need to sharpen your organizational, time management and negotiation skills because there are a lot of pieces to juggle!
PART II: DO IN THE FIRST MONTH
Round out the team. Get the rest of your vendors in place. This is typically the hardest part of the process because there are so many people, teams and details involved, but here are the vendors that are most commonly hired:
- Caterer (if food and beverages are not included with your venue)
Finalize your wedding party. Most brides and grooms have their wedding party in tact days after the engagement, but if this is not the case, now is the time to make sure your bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls and ring bearers have been formally asked to be a part of your wedding party and are available to participate in the wedding festivities.
Find a dress. Most traditional wedding dresses are made to order and take 12-16 weeks to order, not including time for alterations. Many salons will have rush orders available, but if you want to play it safe, your best bet is to buy a ready to wear dress. But do go try on dresses anyway if not for the experience. And who knows, you might just find something that works with your budget and timeline!
- Off the rack: David’s Bridal, Light In the Box and other local boutiques in your city should carry a number of off the rack gowns.
- Online: Sites like J. Crew and BHLDN have a gorgeous selection of gowns that ship quickly and accept returns.
- Search for long white dresses and you’ll find some great options at places like Nordstrom,Bloomingdales, Shopbop, Neiman Marcus. We are big fans of this Alice & Olivia gown and this Theia dress.
- Go for color: Colorful dresses are a huge trend in weddings – from grays and golds to blush, pinks and greens, there’s nothing more memorable than adding a subtle hint of color to your dress. How gorgeous are these dresses? (Jenny Yoo, David Meister, Badgley Mishka)
- Pre-owned: You can get a gorgeous used designer dress in your size and in your city if need be for a fraction of the cost. We’ve even seen dresses selling for over 70% off that have never been used! Consider searching PreOwnedWeddingDresses, OnceWed, Tradesy, or HustleYourBustle.
- Rent: These days, you can rent just about anything, although in our humble opinion renting a wedding gown is a bit risky.
- RentTheRunway.com: Most dresses and gowns can be rented for under $200 and you’ll receive your dress in more than one size.
- Adorn.com: We love the idea of wearing some serious bling on your big day
- HappilyEverBorrowed.com: Rent your sash, tiara, veil and even clutch. And for $50, you can even borrow up to three pieces to bring to your dress fitting. When you return them, you get $25 off of the rental price. Not a bad deal!
Bridal party attire: The easiest way to outfit your bridesmaids is to let them pick a dress in a specific color scheme. That way, the work is off of your plate. But if you want your girls to be in uniform dresses, here are some options:
Invitations: These need to go out 6-8 weeks before your wedding, so you need to finalize your invitations, wording, and guest lists. Luckily, there are dozens of local invitationers, invitation sites and printing companies out there.
- WeddingInviteLove: for a great directory of independent wedding invitation vendors
- Minted: If you’re comfortable doing the process online, Minted has a fabulous invitation suite that is fully customizable (yes, they even have letterpress and board paper)
Registry: Did you know that couples return over half of the gifts they receive? If you are registering for gifts, now is the time to set one up, and do put some thought into what you actually NEED (i.e. kitchenware) vs. want (i.e. fine china). Some people register for a honeymoon fund, contributions for a down payment on a home,outdoor gear, electronics, and pretty much anything and everything under the sun. Most commonly, people register at a department story (Macy’s or Bloomingdales) and a home goods store (Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond) and all are very easy to set up.
All that is left are the details, which we cover in part 3 of this planning series.