....8-10 Months Out
Time is ticking, but you’ve still got plenty of time before the big day. With that being said, it’s critical to stay on top of things that tend to take a while — like dress alterations, for instance. Below you’ll find a list of some essentials to consider during the 8-10 month mark, so you stay ahead of the game.
The Dress And Rentals
Shopping for a wedding dress is an exciting time, but it requires just that — time. Give yourself plenty of it when looking for that perfect gown because it’s more than just swiping a card and walking away with a form-fitting piece. Alterations can take months and sometimes require more than one appointment to get it just right.
Rentals are a little simpler for those looking to get a tux. They still require a fitting, and time to reserve them, so work out all the kinks ahead of time. Another consideration with tux rentals is whether the wedding party will also be decked out in tuxedos. If so, you’ll want to get a head start on figuring out who they are so they can make plans.
You’ll need to decide whether you plan to front the cost of tux rentals and bridesmaids’ gowns or if they’re going to pay themselves. Don’t forget to expense gifts for the wedding party as a token of gratitude for their friendship and commitment to you.
If you’re seeking inspiration for wedding gowns, some bride favorites are the following.
BHLDN is a part of the beloved brand Anthropologie. You’ll find gorgeous, whimsical, dreamy gowns here.
Kleinfeld’s is one of the most famous bridal gown shops in the U.S.
Lulu’s Weddings offers classic and detailed gowns and bridal party attire for all body types.
David’s Bridal is a classic for those looking for a mixture of affordable gowns mixed with the uber chic.
Azazie features matching sets for everyone in the bridal party.
Reformation offers sustainable and affordable dresses for all body types.
Tadashi Shoji is another excellent bridal gown resource that offers virtual styling.
Allure Bridals cover all the details with satin, lace, and decadent beadwork.
Suits & Tuxedos
Formal wear is another accessory that you want to have complete around this time. Make sure your wedding party has their gowns and suits rented or purchased. You can also start shopping with the mothers of the bride and groom. Schedule your final fittings and everything else that’s needed to complete everyone’s look.
Men’s Warehouse is a popular go-to for tuxedos and suits rentals for all the groomsmen.
The Black Tux is a snazzy little shop where you can rent or buy custom-fitted tuxedos for everyone.
Jos A Bank is another tux rental shop offering designer labels and a smooth process.
Of course, there are plenty of other resources online, and we’ll include them throughout this list. When you’re looking for your gown, find something that makes you feel beautiful! When you’ve found the right one, you’ll know. Just come in with a budget in mind and communicate it to the salesperson. They’ll likely offer dresses above and below your price point, so holding tight to that budget will help prevent you from splurging outside of what you can afford.
Optimize The Guest List
Now is the time to figure out how many people you want in attendance for your nuptials. You may be tempted to invite everyone you know (perhaps you can), but your budget should play a significant role here.
Figure out who will be in the wedding party, which family members can make it, and how many people you really want to be there. It’s also a good time to start thinking about food. You can treat each category (venue, food, guest list count, etc.) as a puzzle piece. If the piece costs too much and there is flexibility in it, adjust it to increase the guest list or boost the budget in other areas. Eventually, everything will fit together, but it takes some planning during these initial stages.
As part of the guest list, you’ll want to consider the vendors because these might creep in as a surprise expense if you aren’t prepared for it. Typically, the photographer, videographer, entertainers, and anyone else of service to you will be eating a meal during the big day. So when you book a caterer for 150, your photographer needs to be a part of that final number. Once you know how many guests you’ll have, you can start on the next section.
Zola offers a free guest list management tool that keeps track of RSVPs, addresses, and more.
Save The Dates
You know where, when, who, and how much, so now it’s time for the invites. You don’t have to send wedding invitations this early, but it is a good idea to send out a save the date (even a year in advance is helpful). This is especially true if you’re set to wed on a popular day such as a holiday, or you’re planning a destination wedding that requires some logistical planning.
Your save the dates are also a fun opportunity to take some engagement photos and get familiar with your photographer. Don’t forget to include postage costs into your budget! When you’re looking at save-the-dates, it might be a fun opportunity to look at the different stationery and invitation options. It’s ok if the save-the-dates and formal invitations don’t match, but it will definitely add to the style of your wedding to see hints of the formal invites in your save-the-date notes.
Stationery and invitations
Choosing your stationery and invites is an exciting time in the wedding planning process. These will be the first hints to your wedding guests about what to expect. You can incorporate your colors, themes, wedding website, location, dates, and all the information they might want to know.
If you need some wedding invitation inspiration, shop at minted. They also offer luxury gifts and the stationary necessary to great beautiful invites.
Shutterfly offers affordable prices for high-quality wedding invitations, so you don’t have to break the bank to throw the biggest party of your life.
Paper Source is a one-stop shop for all your wedding invitation needs. You’ll find invites, response cards, informational cards, and so much more.
Magnet Street is another invitation suite offering chic and custom wedding stationery, programs, save the dates, and other inspiration.
If you want to keep your wedding sustainable and “green,” you can purchase digital invitations from Greenvelope. They’re fully customizable and provide a unique spin on wedding invites.
Vistaprint is another affordable option for creating elegant and high-quality wedding invitations for your big day.
Hire Everyone You Can Now
You’ve likely already put a deposit down for the wedding venue, but that’s not all you need to consider. Staying ahead of the game means you’ll likely have your top choices when it comes to the big day. We’ve touched on the main categories for vendors that include photography, food, and entertainment, but don’t forget the smaller but still essential reservations like the following.
You may need to rent a car for various points during your wedding day. Are you booking a limo or a vintage car to drive you from the ceremony or reception? What about cars to take you to the airport?
Find all of your rental car needs at Rentalcars.com. Taking care of things early can guarantee lower prices and coverage on your wedding day. Also check out our handy visual overview of all well-known car rental companies.
Hotel blocks if traveling
If people are coming from out of town or you’re having a party with a lot of alcohol, it might be worth it to block off some hotel rooms somewhere nearby — ideally within walking distance. Hotel blocks will help your guests save money and keep them safe.
You can reserve a block of rooms with booking.com. You might save even more money by calling the hotel directly and bargaining for a cheaper block of rooms. Also check out our handy visual overview of all well-known hotel chains and hotel booking sites.
Looking for a romantic boutique hotel? Check out our tips for finding small and specialty hotels.
Florists & Flowers
Flowers have the power to transform a space into something jawdropping. They add texture, color, and even scent. Hiring a florist is just as important as any other wedding hire because they’re going to make your wedding day pop.
FTD offers bridal floral arrangements right online. You can choose from the premade arrangements or custom order your own ideas. Also check out our handy visual overview of the best online flower boutiques.
The Knot offers a marketplace where you can look up florists in your area, check out customer reviews, and even browse the website for wedding flower inspiration.
Wedding coordinators are going to make your wedding day as easy as digging into that first slice of wedding cake. You can hire a full-on coordinator who tracks the entire process, or you can bring on a Day-Of Coordinator who ensures everything goes according to plan.
When booking your venue, you’ll learn whether they provide tables, chairs, or linens. Some do, and some don’t. If they don’t, you’re going to need to look into rental companies in your area that can provide these services.
Wedding insurance policy
Why would you need a wedding insurance policy? Some venues require insurance to protect against liability. At the same time, the wedding couple may want the insurance to protect against significant weather events, the photographer not showing up, and any other instance where you could potentially lose a lot of money.
Travelers offers event insurance in the case of natural disasters, lost jewelry, and other moments of misfortune that might strike on a wedding day.
Wedsure is an excellent wedding insurance option that covers rented property, media, loss of deposits, cancelations, host liquor liability, and more.
Wedsafe is another wedding insurance company that is here to protect your assets in the case of liability or other mishaps that may occur.
If you’re unsure if it’s worth the expense to purchase wedding insurance, trust that it is. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if you’re investing a lot into your wedding day.