Wedding Planning Timeline//Happy New Year

First things first, Happy early New Year to everyone! I know it’s a couple of days away, but since this is posting before New Year Eve, I wanted to say it now. ¬†ūüôā Also, congratulations to the new brides out there! This is such an exciting time in your life. Let the wedding planning begin!

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Wedding Plan Timelines

Because I am sure there are a ton of brides just beginning their research, I thought it would be a good time to call on my past experience as a wedding photographer! I wanted to talk wedding planning timelines with you. This can vary so much between weddings. In general, though, this is the order with which you can start a plan.

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1 Year Prior

  • Work out a budget. Be sure to give yourself enough to plan your dream wedding!
  • Book a venue. For some venues, one year out may not be enough time.
  • Draft a guest list.
  • Have your engagement party.
  • Register for gifts.
  • Hire your wedding planner. ¬†I highly recommend Megan Rusch Soiree’s.
  • Hire your wedding photographer. I recommend Laura Ann Miller, ImageClairity, ¬†or Conner Photography!

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10 Months Prior

  • Pick an officiant.
  • Choose your bridal party.
  • Meet with caterers, Dj’s, etc.
  • Take engagement photos.
  • Launch your wedding website.

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8 Months Prior

  • Order your dress!
  • Block hotel rooms for guests.
  • Begin cake tastings and order your cake.
  • Begin your makeup trials. ¬†I highly recommend the Blowout Bar or Savanah Summer Beauty.

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6 Months Prior

  • Choose your invitations. ¬†I really like On Three Designs in St. Louis!
  • Send out your Save the Dates.
  • Book your Honeymoon.
  • Order your bridesmaids’ dresses.
  • Purchase your wedding bands. ¬†Check out The Diamond Family in STL. ūüôā
  • Book your florist.
  • Arrange transportation.
  • Begin planning your day of timeline. ¬†I am actually planning to make an entire blog post about this in the next few months so stay tuned!
  • Book your BOUDOIR SESSION!!! You knew this was going to be in here some where.

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4 Months Prior

  • Choose your groomsmen’ attire.
  • Plan the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
  • Confirm vendors
  • Confirm your hair and makeup.
  • Choose your music.
  • Finalize the menu and flowers.
  • Order favors.
  • Plan the readings during the wedding and a list of those giving toasts at the reception.
  • Print menu cards and programs.
  • Finalize the order of the ceremony and reception.
  • Send a timeline to your wedding vendors.
  • Have your boudoir session photographed.

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2 Months Prior

  • Mail the invitations.
  • Write/decide on wedding vows.
  • Purchase your day of accessories.
  • Confirm the day of transportation.
  • Meet with/touch base with your vendors.
  • Pick up your BOUDOIR ALBUM!

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6 Weeks to 1 Month Prior

  • Get your marriage license.
  • Send out final payments
  • Have your bachelorette party!
  • Have your bridal shower!
  • Confirm times for hair and makeup and the other vendors.
  • Give your shot list to your photographer.
  • Review the music with the DJ.
  • Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts.

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Week of the Wedding

  • Final head count of guests.
  • Finalize the seating chart.
  • Send a timeline to the bridal party.
  • Pick up your dress.
  • Check in one last time with your photographer.
  • Pack for your honeymoon.

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2 Days Prior

Then…

Get married!

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I’m not gonna lie, even writing all that down stressed me out. ¬†Be sure to have a planner and someone you can trust to help you keep on track! Planning a wedding can be so overwhelming and you don’t want to get behind. It’s a special day and you want it to be perfect. ūüôā

Again congratulations to all the newly engaged girls out there! I really am so happy for you!

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Honeymoon Destinations for the STL Couple

As a boudoir photographer, many of my clients are current brides.  After finding out all about the wedding, my favorite question to ask is all about honeymoon destinations!  My brides tend to end up in the Caribbean or Mexico, but a few of them are doing Greece or Ireland.

I decided to research the hotspots my St. Louis, MO bridal clients are visiting as honeymoon destinations in 2018.  Be sure to comment where you are going, or went for your honeymoon! I would LOVE to know!

P.S. All of the photos below are stock photos from pexels.com since I have not had the good fortune to visit any of these beautiful places yet! 

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2018 Trends for Honeymoon Destinations

Like I said above, this blog post is strictly based on where my STL clients have said they are going for their honeymoons, not national trends.  I will list pros and cons of each as well!

It seems that MOST brides prefer the beach, and I really don’t blame them. ¬†After the stress of planning a wedding, I would definitely want some downtime with a Pi√Īa Colada in my hand!

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The Caribbean

I am including all the islands in the Caribbean in this one.  Some prefer the Dominican, some are headed to Jamaica or the Bahamas, and some are island hopping, but no matter where you go, the beaches are sure to be beautiful.

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Pros

The all-inclusive resorts are obviously a big draw. One price so you know what you are spending up front. ¬†You won’t have to worry about food/drinks since they are included. ¬†It’s very private, peaceful, and gorgeous. ¬†The resorts are safe, even if the island may not be the safest for tourists. There are lots of activities and games, or you can purchase excursions to visit the island.

Cons

Those excursions we were talking about before can get a bit pricey. After too many days of rest on the beach, you may be booking more than one, if you are like me and do not sit still well. Most of the resorts are super secluded, so the potential to meet locals is slim unless you venture out.  Some islands are harder to explore on your own, so visiting the towns may not be much of an option, which may cause the resort to get monotonous.

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Mexico

Even with the unrest in Mexico, many of my clients’ honeymoon destinations are in all-inclusive Mexican resorts.

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Pros and Cons

Pros and cons for Mexico are pretty similar to the Caribbean. ¬†It’s gorgeous, the food is good, and it’s quiet. ¬†The biggest con is the danger at this point. ¬†Before you book talk to your travel agent and check to see if there is a travel ban. Better safe than sorry!

My clients with honeymoon destinations in Mexico have said that they never felt in danger, so that is a positive. ¬†ūüôā

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Greece

Can you say bucket list vacation? ¬†This has been on my list forever! I am sure everyone has seen the gorgeous photos of the towns built on cliffs with the blue, blue waters. Those photos are reason enough to want to visit. ¬†It’s like another world! The information here mostly came from this blog.

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Pros

It’s beautiful. Between the views and the sunsets, you will think you are in heaven. Greek food is great, plus it’s even better because it’s authentic. Be sure to switch islands. ¬†Santorini, Mykonos, and Athens are the obvious choice when visiting Greece, but check out some of the lesser known islands as well!

Cons

From what I read, there were only two real cons. It’s expensive to visit Greece and the weather isn’t always crystal clear like in the photo above so you may miss out on those gorgeous sunsets you see on Pinterest. But still, it’s Greece. ¬†It will be amazing.

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Ireland

So many client’s honeymoon destinations are in Ireland, and I’ve had several friends visit, a few even multiple times. ¬†After seeing their photos and the breathtaking views, it made it’s way on my bucket list!

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Pros

Ireland seems super budget friendly for an international destination. ¬†While I was researching, I looked up some flights and hotels. ¬†I found round trip tickets with Wow Airlines for $349 each. You can’t even fly that cheap in the states! Plus you get 1 carry on and 1 checked bag. ¬†Your biggest expense will probably be hotel accommodations, but there are some airbnbs that are super cute!

The scenery is beautiful, there is so much history to see, and from what everyone has told me about Ireland, the people are super friendly! Everyone has recommended a bus tour or renting a car and driving the country. Either way, you won’t be disappointed!

Cons

There doesn’t seem to be many cons to Ireland. ¬†The biggest complaint seems to be that it’s a bit chilly in the winter, although the low in the winter is around 45 degrees. ¬†During the summer it stays in the mid to upper 60’s. ¬†This sounds pretty nice to me since I love hoodie weather!

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Anyway…

Whatever you decide to do for your honeymoon, I hope you get a chance to enjoy your new husband! Remember that the wedding is celebrating your love.  You The both of you deserve this time together as you start your new life! This is also a GREAT time to give your man a bridal boudoir album.  Have you booked your session yet?

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