We understand wedding planning can feel like a whirlwind… With so much to check off, it’s tough to know where to start. This list of ten steps to planning the perfect wedding, will help you begin the framework of planning your dream wedding.

  1. Secure your venue
  2. Find your dream team
  3. Assemble your Wedding Party
  4. Settle on aesthetic and overall vision
  5. Save your date and invites
  6. Select attire
  7. Day of coordination
  8. Final meeting and keeping organized
  9. Select rehearsal dinner spot
  10. Relax and enjoy

Secure your venue

https://www.thechanler.com

Finding your venue is #1 on the to do list, your venue will set the stage for almost everything else…budget, date, size of the wedding, even overall look & feel. Before touring venues, determine what a realistic budget will be for the two of you and decide how much of that budget will be dedicated solely to the venue. Consider location, do you want a costal wedding? A farm wedding? Will you host your nuptials at a historic mansion or perhaps you have envisioned tying the knot at your favorite local vineyard. No matter the vibe you are after… there is certainly a venue to accommodate that.

Finding the dream team

Next up, build your dream team of vendors. This collective group of professionals should give you all the feels! While there are certainly many vendors to choose from in the Rhodes Island area, they should have these few things in common…

  1. Your wedding professionals should be insured. This not only will protect you and your venue in the unlikely event that something should happen, but this is also a clear indicator you are working with a professional.
  2. Vendors should have a website, in the days of social media it is common for vendors to have a facebook page or an instagram account, but a true professional will have a website to showcase their work.
  3. They will have great reviews from past clients who can testify working with them was a pleasure!
  4. They should be someone you WANT to work with… wedding planning can take a lot of back and forth communication. Some wedding vendors like photographers and videographers are with you from the beginning of the day until the very end. It is definitely a good idea to find someone who’s personality clicks with yours… you’ll be hanging out with them for a while 😉

Assemble the Bridal Party

https://longwoodvenues.com/venues/newport-oceanfront-event-venue/

Ohh, Bridal party fun! It’s time to consider who gets to make the ” I Do Crew”. I have photographed small intimate bridal parties, massive bridal parties and I’ve even photographed weddings that have decided to ditch the whole Bridal Party thing all together. While there is no one right answer, I can share what I have witnessed personally. There is nothing better than walking into a bridal suite and being greeted by an excited crew, seeing our couples surrounded by their favorite people and capturing candid moments during the bridal party shenanigans. Having your besties around you can help you feel calm and relaxed, while getting ready.

Keep in mind the more individuals you include… the more personalities. I recommend being selective when you ask your friends to be a member of your bridal party, they should add to your day, the last thing you want is a diva on your hands. This is your day… ask yourself, are they someone who will make your day more magical? Will they be helpful, attending and light hearted? Fill your bridal party with the people who mean the absolute most to you… and p.s. your numbers don’t have to be even!

Identify the vision

https://www.graduatehotels.com/providence/

This is where you consult your wedding planner… solidifying your vision for your wedding day can be a challenge. Look to your planners expertise on recommendations for what to do with your space. If you’re like me you probably already have 1,000 pins on Pinterest… Pinterest can be a great resource for gathering inspiration but be weary of diving deeper into the rabbit hole once you have decided on what direction you want to take your wedding in. A clear vision, will make for a beautiful execution on the big day!

Save the Date

The Knot recommends sending out save the dates roughly 6-8 months before the wedding date. This will allow ample time for your guests to make arrangements. Not a big fan of DIY? Ask your photographer if this is something they can help you design. TIP: if you wish to use any photos from your engagement session, plan to have your engagement photos taken a minimum of 4 weeks before you hope to send your save the dates out, to ensure time for the photographer to not only edit the session but to allow for production and shipping time. Wedding invitations should be sent out roughly 6-8 weeks before the big day.

Say yes to the dress! (or suit)

https://harborlightsri.com

Finalize what the wedding day attire will be. If you’re shopping for a wedding dress it is best to find the dress roughly 6-8 months prior to the wedding, to allow for time for ordering, production and fittings.

Day of coordination

https://www.eventsbychrissiesue.com

If you’re not already working with a wedding planner, it may be a good idea to talk to a day of wedding coordinator. A day of coordinator is someone who oversees the logistics of a wedding day, and is there to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. Your day of coordinator will maintain order and keep everyone on time and organized.

Final meetings + wedding day organization

Speaking of keeping organized… you should plan on meeting with your vendors approximately 4-2 weeks before the big day. Make sure everyone knows the addresses and appropriate start times for each portion of the day. It’s not a bad idea to share important contact info for all of your vendors with you planner, coordinator or even your maid of honor. The more organized you are upfront, the more you can trust the people you have delegated to on the wedding day.

Rehearsal Dinner

Your rehearsal dinner will be the kick off to your wedding weekend. Your fiancé and your family should discuss how intimate an affair this will be. This evening is the perfect opportunity to thank the members of your bridal party and your immediate family for being a part of your celebration.

Relax & Enjoy

The morning of your wedding will be here before you know it! By the time your big day rolls around, you should have taken care of any last minute to do’s on your to do list, now it is time for you to be present!

HELPFUL TIP: appoint someone close to you, either a wedding party member or a family member who you feel comfortable being your task manager, delegate anything that still needs taking care of to this person.

Your wedding day will go by in a blink… so much goodness wrapped up in one day! Do yourself a favor and relish in every moment of it! Trust in the team of professionals you have hired and know that we have got your back. Relax with your besties and take a DEEP breath, in just a few short hours you will be hitched! 😁

Featured Venues

Venues: The Chanler, Belle Mer, The Graduate, Harbor Lights

Dress designers: Pnina Tornai, Maggie Sottero

Dress boutique: Kleinfeld Bridal

Brides Maid dresses: Davids Bridal

Mens tuxes: Mens Wearhouse

Rentals: PEAK Event rentals 

Cake Designer: Veronica Matunin Cakes

Event Planner and decor: Events by Chrissie Sue

Florist: Golden Gate Studio

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