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What Should I Be Doing? ~ 9-12 Months Away Edition

Brittany Lowe Photography

Congratulations, you are now within a year of your wedding date!! This is such an exciting time in your lives and we know just how excited everyone is to celebrate your love! During this time period, we are heavily focused on the overall big picture wedding decisions. Most of the wedding planning happens within a year of the wedding and it is tremendously helpful to start off with some major decisions solidified or close to.

If you have not already, the biggest conversation to have is about the overall budget of the wedding and where/when the wedding will take place. Then, it is time to move onto vendors! The major vendors to focus on are:

  • The Venue ~ The most important vendor to book as this dictates all the other vendors!
  • Catering ~ Check on the bar capabilities of the caterer. Are you allowed to bring in your own alcohol? What dinner style are you considering?
  • Rental Company ~ Check with your caterer and venue and if china is not included, make sure to place a rental order with a reputable rental company. This goes for all other major rentals such as tables, chairs, dancefloors, lighting, sound, stages, furniture, arbors, etc. Consider having disposables for all the dishware or switching to disposable glasses once dancing starts!
  • Photographer / Videographer ~ Pictures and videos are the biggest thing that you will take away from your wedding (other than your partner of course) so this is definitely not an area to cut costs and where we recommend booking a high quality wedding professional.
  • DJ or band ~ Other than the food, the entertainment is the highlight of the wedding for your guests!
  • Hair and Makeup ~ I mean…. you have to look good on your wedding day!
  • Officiant ~ Make it legal!
  • Florist or Decorator ~ Have fun with those floral designs!
  • Wedding Planner ~ Planning services can include full planning, partial planning, event styling and/or day of coordination. In the least, make sure to hire a day of coordinator that you are able to pass everything over to so that friends and family, and especially you, do not have to lift a finger on the wedding day!
Ash Carr Photography / Fleuressence Floral Design

Once these key vendors are booked, it is time for tier two:

  • Bakery ~ Whether your preference is a multi-tiered cake or a cutting cake with mini desserts!
  • Transportation ~ How are your guests getting to and from the venue?
  • Hotel Blocks ~ Where are your guests staying?
  • Live Musicians ~ Is your dream to walk down the aisle to a live string quartet? Book ’em!
  • Jeweler ~ Buy your wedding bands with plenty of time to spare for any resizing!
Jason Collins Photography / Pearl’s Bake Shoppe

Finally, it is time for the vendors that add that extra pizzazz to your wedding day. Of course, there are so many more, but these are some of our favorites!

  • Photobooth ~ A fantastic way to incorporate some fun extra pictures into the wedding day! Pair this with your guestbook and have picture memories forever!
  • Live Painters ~ Whether it is just one big painting of the couple at the ceremony or reception, or individual paintings of guests, this is a new trend and we are loving every moment of it!
  • Other musicians or dancers~ Mariachi bands, dancers preforming traditional dances or even a band just for cocktail hour, guests love live music and entertainment!
  • Neon Signs and Backdrops ~ Getting a backdrop vendor and a neon sign makes for an awesome selfie station for guests!
  • Food Trucks ~ Who does not love a nostalgic ice cream truck or late night sliders with french fries?
  • Games ~ Having games that match the climate of the wedding gives guests something else to do during cocktail hour and even dancing if they are not huge dancers!
  • Mobile Bar ~ Having a mobile bar set up with specialty drafts on tap is a crowd pleaser!
Arianna Belle Photography

Other items to complete at this time include:

  • Create and complete the wedding website and registry ~ make sure to upload hotel block and travel information, as well as list your favorite things to do in your city!
  • Propose to wedding party members!
  • Solidify a color scheme and start planning what wedding VIPs are going to wear!
  • Purchase and send out Save the Dates (let your guests know when you are tying the knot!!) and pair this with your engagement session so that you can include those photos on the Save the Dates!
Whole Hearts Studio

Items to Buy

  1. Wedding Dress! Start wedding dress shopping around the one year away mark so that you have PLENTY of time for the dress to come in and for alterations. Especially if you are interested in a custom dress, as these take longer to create and ship. Just a friendly reminder to get an extra secure bustle on the wedding dress!
  2. Wedding Bands ~ Research and purchase wedding bands to allow for customizations, insurance and possible sizing adjustments.

Stay tuned for our next blog that will touch on what you should be doing about 6-9 months out from the wedding day! Always remember that when wedding planning gets stressful, take a step back and a deep breath. Go on a date night or take a break for a week or two and then jump back into it once your heads are clear. You got this and we are here to help every step of the way!

Brittany Lowe Photography / Weddings by Vogue