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Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine

Plan Your Mountain Wedding

Feb 16, 2016 10:47AM ● By Tracy McCoy

This engagement photo was captured by Valerie Shelton Photography

You turned around and there he was on bended knee, your heart leaped out of your chest and started beating faster than it’s ever beaten in your life. Tears started flowing and you said YES! The rest of the day was a blur; you called your parents, your best friend, posted a photo of your ring on Facebook and on twitter, instagram and all of those other places you share the important moments of your life. Your mind is ablaze with one burning question, how do I plan a wedding? Then one question leads to another and another - Where do we start? Who pays for what? Indoors or outdoors? What kind of dress? What flavor of cake? How do I choose a maid of honor? Your head begins to swim just as you doze off and then you have a dream that you walked down the aisle carrying weeds, naked.

Welcome to the ranks of the engaged! The months that follow will be some of the most exciting you will ever experience. What you are going to realize is this is really your day and it’s all about you and your betrothed and everyone wants to make it special for you! Don’t be reluctant to let them, remember there is a lot to do. Lists, lists, lists, that’s the key. Begin with a list of what you and your fiancé want, what ideas do each of you have? What about your mother and his, what do they want and what are their ideas? Once your list is made then get a notebook or calendar and that’s where we can help...

We have compiled a list of some of the things you’ll need to do, when to do them so that when the day comes it is all done and you can enjoy the day. Some of these things might not apply to you and that’s ok, mark them off, the ones that do get them done or delegate and mark them off... this can make your life much easier, after all we want you to enjoy the engagement too!

First Things First...

12+ months before your wedding

  • Congratulations! Announce engagement.
  • Choose a date.
  • Talk budget and determine who is contributing what.
  • Decide on a wedding style - Western, traditional, contemporary, etc...
  • Choose Wedding Party
  • Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids, Best Man and Groomsmen, Flower Girl and Ring Bearer.
  • Get engagement ring insured and consider purchasing wedding insurance.
  • Take engagement photos.
  • Begin compiling your guest list.
  • Research ceremony and reception venues.
  • Research wedding planner and vendors, photographer, videographer, caterer and musicians.
  • Research wedding dress and veil styles.
  • Sign up on Pinterest and create wedding style/idea boards. Start pinning!
  • Order Save the Dates.

10 – 12 months before your wedding

  • Mail Save the Dates.
  • Research florists.
  • Choose bridal party attire and accessories.
  • Book ceremony and reception venues.
  • Book officiant.
  • Book photographer, videographer, caterer, musicians and planner.
  • Purchase wedding dress and veil.
  • Establish a fitness routine.
  • Establish a skin care/beauty routine.

8 – 10 months before your wedding

  • Research three hotels, B&Bs or inns for out-of-town guests.
  • Finalize guest list.
  • Set up three wedding registries.
  • Book a florist.

Ready, Set, Check...

6 – 8 months before your wedding

  • Research wedding Invitation designs.
  • Research favors and thank you cards.
  • Research wedding day hair and makeup styles.
  • Meet with officiant to discuss plans for ceremony.
  • Reserve rentals: chairs, linens, lighting, décor, etc.
  • Begin planning honeymoon.
  • Choose cake style and schedule tastings.
  • Choose groomsmen attire.
  • Book ceremony musicians.
  • Book transportation to and from venues.
  • Purchase wedding bands.

4 – 6 months before your wedding

  • Choose flowers, wedding party, venues, cake, and servers.
  • Plan welcome baskets for out-of-town guests. We are glad to provide magazines for this.
  • Schedule dress fittings.
  • Prepare {play/do not play} playlists for DJ/band.
  • Book honeymoon flights and hotels.
  • Book room for wedding night.
  • Order wedding cake.
  • Order wedding Invitations.

3 months before your wedding

  • Plan ceremony and reception seating arrangements.
  • Experiment with hair and veil with stylist.
  • Finalize readers and readings.
  • Book rehearsal dinner venue.
  • Purchase: toasting flutes, serving pieces, guestbook, flower basket and ring-bearer pillow.
  • Finalize reception menu.
  • Order menu cards and other reception Items.
  • Order favors and thank you cards

Crunch Time...

2 months before your wedding

  • Mail Invitations.
  • Develop system for organizing RSVPs.
  • Begin writing vows.
  • Review ceremony details with officiant.
  • Lay out the content for wedding programs.
  • Apply for marriage license; order 2-3 extra.
  • Finalize wedding day timeline.
  • Finalize seating arrangements.
  • Finalize playlists with musicians.
  • Finalize fittings and attire for wedding party and parents.
  • Create “wedding day” schedule and send to vendors and officiant.
  • Create honeymoon itinerary for family at home.
  • Decide on “Something Old, New, Borrowed, Blue.”
  • Book spa and beauty treatments for you and bridal party.
  • Book wedding day transportation.
  • Purchase gifts for attendants.
  • Order wedding programs.

1 month before your wedding

  • Call vendors to confirm date, times and location.
  • Final dress fitting.
  • Confirm honeymoon reservations.
  • Pick up wedding rings.
  • Pick up marriage license.
  • Pack for honeymoon.
  • Write thank you notes as gifts are received.

Down to the Wire...

2 weeks before your wedding

  • Follow up with guests who haven’t yet RSVP’d.
  • Give final count to caterer.
  • Update registries.
  • Begin breaking in wedding shoes.
  • Make arrangements for the caring of pets and plants while on honeymoon.
  • Get final haircut and color.
  • Get playlists to DJ/Musicians.
  • Delegate wedding day duties: gift table, guestbook, etc.
  • Delegate someone to return tuxes, rentals and tend to wedding dress.
  • Send directions to wedding day limo/transportation driver.

1 week before your wedding

  • Prepare final payments to vendors + cash tips for service personnel.
  • Lay out wedding clothes.
  • Give readers their scripts, if necessary.
  • Give photographer and videographer your image and video requests.
  • Get spa treatments for you and the bridal party.

The day before your wedding

  • Deliver welcome baskets.
  • Get mani/pedi/massage.
  • Attend wedding rehearsal.
  • Have fun at the rehearsal dinner.
  • Get to bed at a decent hour!

The Big Day...

Eat a good breakfast!

  • Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready.
  • Give wedding rings and officiant fee to the Best Man.
  • Congratulations! Relax, smile and soak in every incredible moment.
  • Say “I do!”

Happily Ever After...

After the wedding

  • Return tuxes, rentals.
  • Get wedding dress to preservationist or cleaners.

After the honeymoon

  • Send thank you cards as soon as possible.
  • Get your wedding photos professionally framed, put on canvas or fine art paper.
  • Enjoy your marriage!

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