Dear Leslie: What Should I Be Doing Right Now?

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Dear Leslie,

My wedding is early next summer and I’m a bit unsure of my next steps. I’ve secured all my major vendors and now I feel like I’m twiddling my thumbs. What can I be doing right now to ensure post-holidays I’m not a total stress case?

Awesome question! Fall can definitely be a time for some slow down in the wedding process, particularly if you have a summer wedding. With Thanksgiving next week, we’re already into holiday mode and preparing for time with our families. However, if you’re feeling like you don’t know what to do next, here are a few things that everyone seems to forget about until the last minute.

1. Create organizational systems

I know, how boring does that sound? But when you’re planning a wedding for 50 people or more, it’s really important to start streamlining your communication with them. Create a spreadsheet with all of your guests names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Have columns that say “Sent Save the Date”, “Sent Invitation”, “Accepted for Rehearsal Dinner”, “Accepted for Wedding”, etc. If you do it now while you have more time, you won’t be scrambling later to organize all the information.

2. Line up your Save the Date information

If you’re having a destination wedding here in Montana and most of your guests will be traveling, it’s a good idea to send a Save the Date packed with information for them to make travel arrangements. Save the Dates should be sent at least six months before the wedding date. Call local hotels and set up a few room blocks (I like to call a high-end, medium, and budget hotel so that all guests have something to choose from) and put that information on your Save the Date. List the major airports that are within reasonable driving distance, and make sure to encourage people to reserve a car if they are staying far from your venue (Montana isn’t very cab friendly). Interview a few graphic designers and get the ball rolling on design and production if you’re planning on doing a printed Save the Date.

3. Talk to your bridesmaids/groomsmen and maid of honor/best man

If you haven’t already, make a plan to ask your wedding party if they’ll be a part of your special day. A simple phone call will do, but since we’re suckers for nostalgia, we love handwritten cards, little gifts, or even a video sent via email (for the creative types out there!).

4. Go dress shopping

As if I even had to bring this one up. Dress shopping is important because you’ll get a sense of what’s out there AND there might be good “last season” sales at some of the major boutiques. Now is when a lot of trunk shows are happening as well so even if you’re not in the market to buy, you might find something that you love design-wise that you could find more inexpensively online.

5. Gather vision inspiration

While I do love Pinterest, I am a HUGE fan of a hands on vision board. It’s something you can put up on your wall, get inspired by, and edit as your wedding day approaches. Plus, having a night with your bridesmaids where you each create a vision board is such a fun way to get everyone together (and could even be how you ask them all to be bridesmaids!).

6. Consider putting together a wedding website

Now that the word is out that you’re engaged, you’ll be getting questions from those close to you weekly or daily. In order to cut down on answering the same question over and over, create a wedding website. There are tons of pre-templated sites out there where you can create something super easy (we’re big fans of Weebly) and informative. Plus, if things change or more details become available, you can easily update your website so that people are aware of the changes.

7. Enjoy your engagement

So much pressure surrounds planning a wedding that brides often get stuck in the trap of “Ohmigosh I have so much to DO.” Remember that your wedding will be perfect no matter how much you plan or don’t plan. Remember to enjoy your engagement as much as you possibly can (romantic evenings in, trips to the beach/mountains, and lots of talking). The planning part can come later.

I love getting questions via email! Want to know anything about wedding planning? Email me at info@leslielukas.com!

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