Your wedding day is uniquely your own which means there is no right or wrong answer to how much time you have to plan this milestone. Some brides prefer a short planning process while others would like a year or longer to pick out all of the special details.

If you’re newly engaged or simply want to be a Spring bride, there are still many things you can check off your list right now to help you be prepared and on top of the ball. Let’s take a look at 8 to-do’s before you say your Spring 2016 “I do’s!”

Pick your date…wisely

Just like any season, Spring has several holidays scattered through the months of March, April, May and June. While there is novelty to choosing to get married on St. Patrick’s Day or over Easter weekend, this can also pose some challenges.

When picking your wedding date, think about your family and friends who you’d like to have there with you. A weekday will be harder for them to get off work and travel. Also, big holidays like Easter and Passover are often accompanied by longstanding family traditions that your guests may already have obligations to attend.

Finally, a Spring wedding on Easter or Mother’s Day can also increase the cost of flowers on these dates and as a result, you’ll need a bigger flower budget or to get creative with other ideas. Remember, no date is off limits, per se, but you know your own budget and priorities best and how they will be affected by the date you choose…so choose wisely!

Get a feel for the size of your guest list

Next, begin drafting your guest list. Without looking at all the names on paper, you might grossly over or underestimate your headcount. So write it down! Capture all your must-have and nice-to-have guests (i.e. your A list and B list) as well as their plus-ones to begin looking realistically at both your budget and the venue that would best accommodate your wedding.

Book a venue

With a good handle on your guest list, you are now ready to narrow down your venue choices and even pull the trigger on the one you love. Many popular venues will begin booking out least 9 months in advance, often much earlier. If you have your heart set on a popular spot, you will want to hop on this task early! Most places require a modest deposit which is well worth the peace of mind knowing you have your dream spot already lined up.

Try on dresses

Twelve months out from your wedding date is a good time to begin casually exploring the dress styles you like. Many popular bridal boutiques suggest 9 months to have your dress custom cut and made from into the sample you like. And you certainly won’t regret that 3 month buffer of extra time to explore several different shops and options so that you’re sure you’re ready to say yes to the dress.

Select your wedding party

If you plan to have bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring bearers, flower girls and ushers at your wedding, be sure to ask these special people early! Waiting until your save the dates have gone out might be too late of notice. Many people also book vacations a year in advance or have other weddings and special events on their calendar. Plus, it shows them how much you want them to be a part of your day – and that they are not just an afterthought.

Browse for inspiration

Once engaged, you will likely want to spend most of your free time day dreaming about your wedding. Put this time to good use by organizing and filing all of the inspiration you find either on Pinterest (check out our board for inspiration) or in file folders on your computer. Both you and your wedding planner (should you choose to hire one) will be thankful that you’ve captured these ideas in one place!

Outline all the parts of your budget

More than just setting an arbitrary “maximum” number for your wedding budget, break down each main category (i.e. venue, rentals, flowers, attire, transportation, decorations, etc.) and see how each piece fits into the overall cost. It’s easy to nickel and dime yourself and end up being thousands of dollars over budget if you do not break it down into smaller pieces so you can see how it all adds up.

Save, save, save!

Finally, once you have a budget in place – don’t discount how your pennies saved will add up! Create a savings plan that suits your financial situation and put aside money as much as you can to pay for your must-haves and create an allowance for your nice-to-haves. Sure, saving money isn’t always fun in the short-term, but in the long-term you will have a fun and fabulous wedding to look forward to!

Are you planning a wedding for Spring 2016? Tell us more about your dream day or contact us for a FREE consultation!

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