Some to dos before you say ‘I do’
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Below are some helpful wedding planning tips to help guide you through the wedding planning process:
Set a budget:
- The average U.S. wedding ranges from $26,000 – $30,000. While traditionally the bride’s family bears much of the financial burden for the wedding ceremony and reception and groom’s family covering the engagement party, rehearsal dinner and honeymoon, more couples today are taking on more of these expenses.
- It is important to designate more of your budget to the areas that are most important to you and your partner. 40% of your budget is a suggested amount to allocate to your reception and would include the venue rental as well as the food and beverage component.
Reserve a date for the ceremony and reception:12 months
- Once you have decided on the location, type and size of the wedding you are looking for, select a time of year or a few dates for your wedding.
- Ceremony and reception venues can be booked up to a year in advance so it is important to reserve twelve or more months ahead.
Guest lists, gowns and planning:8-10 months
- Between 8-10 months ahead, it is time to start planning out the details of your wedding.
- Begin thinking about selecting your attendants, creating the guest list and choosing your color scheme
- Start researching options for the ceremony and reception.
- This is a good time to meet with vendors, such as florists, caterers, bakeries, wedding planners, photographers, DJs or bands, etc.
- Begin shopping for and ordering wedding and bridesmaids gowns.
Honeymoon, flowers and details:6 months
- Deciding where to go for your honeymoon can be fun but also an overwhelming experience, which is why it is recommended that you plan six months in advance.
- Meeting with a travel agent or researching honeymoon destination guides online can help narrow down your list.
- About six months prior to the wedding, order floral arrangements for the ceremony and reception, as well as invitations and stationery for thank you notes.
- Save the date notes can also be sent six months ahead but are not required.
Hotel accommodations, wedding bands and gifts: 4 months
- In order to accommodate out of town guests, you may reserve room blocks for your wedding party as well as for your wedding night. Visit The New Orleans Hotel Collection to submit a request for proposal for your wedding accommodations.
- Select your wedding bands, wedding favors, and gifts for the wedding party as well as for your partner four to six months before
Menus, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and invitations: two months
- One to two months ahead is a good time register for gifts.
- Mail your invitations and Include details regarding your registry, accommodations and any special transportation services along with your invitation.
- Finalize your reception menu, wedding cake and grooms cake.
- Schedule time for your wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. View our rehearsal dinner page for recommended venues.
Details, details, details: one month
- During the final weeks leading up to your wedding day, your focus will be on the details on all the things mentioned above
- Make sure you have a final fitting for you, the groom and wedding party
- Confirm all transportation services you reserved
- Arrange seating chart if you will have a formal seated reception and notify appropriate vendors of any changes to your guest list
- Plan a welcome amenity that can be given to your out of town guests as they check-in to their hotel
- Confirm your honeymoon travel and prepare for your trip prior to your wedding
- Schedule a manicure and pedicure prior to the rehearsal
- Rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
- Prepare tips for the officiant and vendors
- Relax and enjoy your special day!