Congratulations, you’re engaged! You’ve waited a long time for this but are still likely asking yourself “Where do I start?”
First of all (and lest we forget), planning your special day should be fun, not daunting. If coordinating between a dozen different vendors and making a seemingly endless amount of choices seems like a headache you can do without, you’re not alone.
If you are inclined to just skip to the more enjoyable part of planning your wedding rather than worrying about logistics, then working with one venue that offers in-house services could be your most stress-free option. Not only does it cut down on the amount of planning and day-of coordination necessary, vendors that work together tend to have their system down to a science. They work together seamlessly, already know the details of the event space including where to go and what to do, as well as who to contact if they have questions or need something from the venue (happy spoiler, it’s not you)!
Choosing an event space like South San Francisco Conference Center that has full-service offerings like in-house catering and audio/visual services frees up your time to focus on the aspects of the wedding you want to focus on (the fun stuff) and you can spend less time stressing about logistics, coordination, and running into unexpected budgetary constraints and day-of snafus (the you-guessed-it, not so fun stuff). Your friends and family will be thankful as well, since they are normally the ones assigned to be the go-to’s for many of the day-of duties.
So choose wisely and then go forth, plan, and most of all – enjoy!
To get you started, here is a check-list to get you on your way to planning the celebration of a lifetime.
12+ Months Out – First Things First!
- Determine your budget
- Choose your desired wedding date as well as several alternative dates.
- Create your guest list
- Decide on your wedding theme/style
- Book your venue/event space for ceremony and reception
10-11 Months Out – Decisions, Decisions…
- Research and meet with potential vendors including photographer, caterer, and DJ/videographer, and florist
- Hire your vendors as soon as you are confident in their services
- Decide on your wedding theme and color motif so you can design your dream wedding event
- Mail your save-the-dates
- Order your wedding dress and accessories
- Book accommodations including hotel room blocks for guests
- Create your wedding website
- Take engagement photos
- Shop for invitations
8-9 Months Out – Checking Things Off Your List
- Order rental items you will need. Tip: depending on how much your venue provides, this could range from very little to just about everything, including tables, chairs, linens, silverware, glassware, pipe-and-drape, lighting, decor, lounge furniture and a dance floor. So be sure to consider this when choosing the location of your big day.
- Hire officiant
- Send out save-the-dates
- Choose bridal party attire and order
- Create a gift registry
- Book your rehearsal dinner venue
6-7 months out – It’s All In The Details
- Hire an Audio/Visual (AV) technician. Tip: getting the lighting and sound right is oftentimes overlooked in the planning process, but is extremely important. An experienced A/V service provider will set the right mood and ambiance of the event, ensure your walk down the aisle has no audio related distractions, avoid embarrassing mic issues during a heartfelt speech, and positively affect the quality of your photos.
- Hire a hair and makeup artist
- Start taking dance lessons, if you so choose
- Order invitations
4-5 Months Out – Getting Real
- Book your honeymoon
- Reserve transportation (i.e. limo or car) for the bride/groom as well as guests, if needed
- Purchase or rent the groom’s tuxedo
- Purchase wedding bands
- Choose and order your cake
- Choose groomsmen’s attire and ask that they get fitted
- Hair and makeup trial run
2-3 Months Out – The Home Stretch
- Send out wedding invitations
- Write your vows and select readings
- Meet with your officiant
- Give your song selections to your DJ/band
- First wedding dress fitting
- Order favors if you will have them
- Get your marriage license
- Buy wedding party gifts
- Purchase any remaining items. This might include a cake topper, champagne flutes, guest book, and flower girl baskets and ring bearer pillow.
1 Month Out – Go Time!
- Finalize seating chart
- Have a final walk-through of your event space
- Pick up wedding rings
- Final dress fitting
- Follow up with guests who haven’t RSVP’d and give final head count to venue and caterer
Tip: You only have one chance at the wedding of a lifetime so be sure to entrust the details of your big day to seasoned professionals, like those at South San Francisco Conference Center.