In this episode, co-hosts Kristina, Mike & Sharon break down a year in the life of an engaged couple, what needs to be done and when it needs to be done once you are 9 to 12 months out from your wedding.
Imagine you are 9 to 12 months out from your wedding. What should be taken care of first on that long to-do list? Wedding Planner and co-host, Sharon, gets asked this question constantly by engaged couples. Tune in to this episode to hear her, Mike & Kristia break it down for you!
What is my budget? When should I book the venue? What is my wedding vision? Color schemes? Who will be part of the bridal party? What about the guest list and all the other vendors I will need? Listen to this episode to hear how and when to figure out the answers to these questions and more!
Did you know that you need to start shopping for your dress at least 12 months out from your wedding? Between shipping & alterations, many brides-to-be have been cutting it down to the wire! Catch this episode to hear some great tips of when to do what and in the right order to ensure smooth sailing into your wedding day!
BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL UNDERSTAND how to prioritize the order of items on your wedding planning to-do list and when to do them.
Share with us with us how far out you started planning your BIG day and what you would do different now that you’ve been through it and tag us on Facebook or Instagram @theringtheblingandallthethings
While you’re there, make sure you follow us @theringtheblingandallthethings so you can see behind the scenes where me, Mike & Sharon will take you from engagement to your wedding day and beyond with The Ring, The Bling & All The Things
Kristina Stubblefield 0:00
Congratulations, you're engaged!
Sharon Rumsey 0:02
Ready, set. Now what?
Michael Gaddie 0:04
Take a listen to this episode where we break down what tasks are most important a year to nine months out from your wedding day. So let's get started.
Kristina Stubblefield 0:13
You got engaged. Congratulations. Happy. Yes. joyful time. Of course. Now what timelines to do lists and checklists. 100% Don't worry, you're in the right place. Welcome to The Ring The Bling And All The Things. Hi, I'm Kristina Stubblefield, one of your hosts, along with my two good friends, Michael Gaddie and Sharon Rumsey. We have over 50 years of wedding industry experience between us. We have seen it, heard it, done it and found a way around it. We are here to get you from down on one knee two down the aisle. Our podcast will cover everything from you saying yes to the I do's and all that happens in between. So buckle up and enjoy the journey. Now let's get started with this episode.
Now, this topic that we're going to discuss today, I think is going to be really helpful to those that are out there planning, because I believe it was Sharon's idea to do these or was it yours, Mike? It
Michael Gaddie 1:36
Kristina Stubblefield 1:37
Oh, you're giving her credit this time. Right? All right, Sharon, what are we going to be talking about? In today's episode,
Sharon Rumsey 1:42
we're going to talk about when to do what? Because all the time, brides are asking, What do I do first? When do I do this? How far out do I need to do that? So we're gonna start breaking it down for you guys. This is the first of a few episodes where we're gonna break down a year in the life of an engaged couple. And we don't want
Kristina Stubblefield 2:03
we want to make sure that we don't bore you. So we're gonna put some other topics in between these. So we're not just giving you items to do in this set time. I think Mike and Sharon decided that we were trying to figure out exactly how we want to roll these out. But we'll have other topics in between.
Michael Gaddie 2:21
So we're going to start with eight to 10. Eight to 12 months out from your wedding. Correct. Okay,
Sharon Rumsey 2:28
Kristina Stubblefield 2:29
That's close pumpkin. It's okay. Miko maybe our listeners don't know see me and Sharon, we do pick on my quite often. And we tend to refer to him as pumpkin, precious lamb precious lamb Mike, you're really let those plays place. We're really letting our listeners in. If anything, maybe they're at least getting a laugh in. And they're
Michael Gaddie 2:49
gonna feel sorry for me. Finally,
Kristina Stubblefield 2:51
well share. And I think the title of this one, technically speaking, is nine to 12 months,
Sharon Rumsey 2:56
but he was close.
Kristina Stubblefield 2:57
We've got to give credit where credit's due right
Sharon Rumsey 2:59
mean, yeah, you had one of two numbers crack. That's a 50%.
Kristina Stubblefield 3:03
All right. For those listeners out there that want some wedding planning advice, we're gonna get to it. We're gonna let Sharon start instead of Mike.
Sharon Rumsey 3:11
Okay, well, I
Michael Gaddie 3:12
want to start Well, go ahead.
Kristina Stubblefield 3:14
No, he really doesn't share No, for real. Okay, the
Michael Gaddie 3:17
most important thing before you even set your date, is booking your venue or looking for the perfect venue. Correct?
Sharon Rumsey 3:28
Agreed. I do think that you should take a beat. Enjoy being engaged. And at about that 12 month mark? Yes, I do agree that you need to start picking a few dates that would work for you, in your mind, don't get pardon the pun married to one date. But pick a few dates that would work for you or at least pick a season that you want to get married in, then start looking for that venue. Because like we've said before, if you go to the venue, and you have I want August 14, I have to have August 14, and that venues booked, then you're in a pickle. So you want a few different dates that will work for you. And then you want to go to the venue and be flexible
Kristina Stubblefield 4:10
might take off though I just want to highlight Sharon's talks about beets, and pickles all in our first few minutes of this podcast episode. So what are you going to talk about?
Michael Gaddie 4:19
Well, on a serious note, Christina. Oh,
Kristina Stubblefield 4:23
man, I gotta be serious.
Michael Gaddie 4:26
You really want to pick a month and not pick a date like you just said but if you pick a month because a lot of brides and grooms wants to have a you know, I've got to have August or I've got to have and then go to the venue and see when they're available. And if they're not available in that month, then go to the next date. But I mean, it's so important to pick up like you said a time slot that particular picking a regular day because I mean 99% of the time, especially in today's session Sorry, these venues booked up, sometimes a year and a half in advance.
Sharon Rumsey 5:05
Yeah, there are some that are
Michael Gaddie 5:06
two years out. So I mean, keep that in mind. So really, we're saying nine to 12 months, but really, this could be nine to 24 months.
Kristina Stubblefield 5:15
So we'll share and I'm gonna hop in here, if we have somebody out there listening, that knows this date, I have to have this date. And whether that's two years out, or Emma was what I'm hearing you all say, Go secure your venue. If you know, even if it's a year and a half, two years out, and your heart is set on that date, you got to get a place. But first
Sharon Rumsey 5:38
of all, I wouldn't say I have to have this date. If that date is 18 months are less away.
Kristina Stubblefield 5:47
I just wanted to highlight that because we heard that some from people
Michael Gaddie 5:50
well, and even you know, when they have popular dates, like 1212 2020 or 12 1222, or you know, when they line up there's, there are popular dates that people want. But if that's the day, you need to think about that first.
Kristina Stubblefield 6:05
Yeah. And specifically talking about our area, we're hearing from venue owners, that people are booking Sundays, more so than they used to, but also even backing up to Thursdays Thursday,
Michael Gaddie 6:18
Kristina Stubblefield 6:20
So we've really talked about this venue topic. So do we go on to the next thing, or is there more to cover on this?
Sharon Rumsey 6:27
I think we can go on, I think it's pretty clear. I think that one of the next things you need to do is once you've got that, then you booked. I know on my initial consultations, we talk a lot about what their vision is for their wedding. And when I say vision, you don't have to narrow it down to centerpieces and candles. But you have to know that you're wanting an elegant romantic vision, you're wanting a rustic vision you're wanting boho, kind of narrow down. Use adjectives make sure that you get that vision in your head. And then you need to start thinking about what colors would pull that off? What are the dresses going to look like? What is the decor going to look like because you can't really book your vendors until you know what kind of event you want to have. So I always recommend that my couples choose at least a color palette. And honest to goodness, it's time about a year out to start shopping for wedding dress.
Kristina Stubblefield 7:25
Oh wedding dresses that's going to hit home for some people, I
Sharon Rumsey 7:29
always tell my couples that you can literally have a baby quicker than you can buy a wedding dress.
Michael Gaddie 7:35
And that is true that especially
Sharon Rumsey 7:37
with shipping, post COVID, the shipping delays that we found. So so many dresses are made in China. So there's there's quite a delay in shipping right now with wedding dresses. I don't see that getting better anytime soon. So by the time you think that you have to find the dress, which, you know, hopefully you love the first dress you try on but for most people, that's several trips, you have to get the dress ordered, it has to be made, it has to be sent. And then you need to allow up to eight weeks for fittings.
Kristina Stubblefield 8:12
I think that might be something that a lot of people don't realize that it's made after you order it, that you does not necessarily go
Michael Gaddie 8:19
in and try dress on. I mean, that's a sample
Kristina Stubblefield 8:23
for sure. Unless you
Sharon Rumsey 8:24
know, from a fluffy girl standpoint, all those samples are made for people that were about a size six
Kristina Stubblefield 8:31
will help. The other thing too is like you'll hear of places doing sample sales. Unless you're buying a gallon off the rack. You're still got other things to deal with, with alterations that you have to ally to allow time for. This isn't getting your pants hemmed. No,
Sharon Rumsey 8:48
there's a whole lot more to that. By the time you get the dress and get your alterations and everything you're usually looking at about nine months
Michael Gaddie 8:54
well and the main dress is the bridal gown. But when it comes to your bridesmaids and that kind of thing to you, we're going back to your vision of what you wanted. color of the bridesmaids dresses are really important, not just for you know, you come up with a vision for your color. But when it's when you start to plan for your decor and stuff that's a really big, like I tell my Brides, I want to know what bridesmaids dresses are what color they're wearing, because that's like the canvas that we paint the whole picture with
Sharon Rumsey 9:24
and you don't only need to decide the color are they all going to wear the same color. We're really seeing a lot of trends now where there's like an ombre effect where Mike and I just had a bride the other day that chose that where they're all wearing the same color palette, but not a different shade color.
Kristina Stubblefield 9:41
Well in some they were different dresses, all together styles,
Michael Gaddie 9:45
actually that's more popular now than it has been and I love it. You know just to see a photocopy of every bride confident
Sharon Rumsey 9:51
women take photos of a woman's comfortable and what she's wearing. Exactly.
Kristina Stubblefield 9:56
I always think that's a great tip. We've mentioned that before and I think that's a fabulous one.
Michael Gaddie 10:00
I do want to say something though on those shades of, you know, when you're picking out colors and stuff. I know everything is trendy. And, like right now dusty blue, and dusty blush and blush and mahabad. All that's really popular right now. But you know what if you get on your Pinterest page, and you type in a totally opposite color than what you're thinking, there's so many more ideas out there that you can come up with. Now, I mean, I know some girls just love dufty blue or blush. But sometimes I feel like broads get in the habit is because that's the trend Do you have to fit in don't feel like you have to trend or fit in that box, because you want to be different than everybody else.
Kristina Stubblefield 10:47
Hats off to being different for sure. I know, this is a big topic with dresses. And just so our listeners know, we've been working behind the scenes to get a expert in our local area to come in to talk about dresses. So I'm hoping that something that we can secure, because we know this is a hot topic. Yeah,
Sharon Rumsey 11:05
it's there's so many questions about dresses and so much information that is needed.
Michael Gaddie 11:11
Well, there's a lot that goes into dresses, not just color, color and style. And it you know, when it comes to if they find a dress that that doesn't fit them correctly, but they want somebody to go in and re alter the gown. And there are certain things that can be done. And there's certain things that can't be done. Right, I think we're dealing with that with one we are right now.
Sharon Rumsey 11:32
And as we look, again, at this nine to 12 month period, you know, we one of the things that we didn't mention initially was that guest list. So you need to start coming up with that guest list and figuring out how many people are actually going to be at this shindig. So that, you know that's going to impact your your venue choice, that's going to impact a lot of your vendors. So that's going to impact your budget also budget. Yes. So you want to start compiling that guest list, you know, get with your families kind of see who mom and dad want to invite and then compile that guest list, at least the initial what I call your a list, and kind of see what number you're at is really important. And I think it's also important at this time to kind of discuss not only your reception and your vision for that, but your ceremony and your vision for your ceremony. You know, do you want to get married in a church? Do you want a really religious ceremony? Do you want a more personal intimate ceremony. So kind of just talking through every part of the wedding, and finding out what's most important to you, I think is something that I would recommend you do in the first nine to 12 months. Once you decide what your ceremony kind of is going to look like your vision for your ceremony, you also want to decide who's presiding over that ceremony. Who's your officiant going to be? Is it going to be your Minister? Is it going to be a family member or close friend? Is there going to be a judge. So you really need to kind of figure that out, because some ministers and some churches require you to do premarital counseling or classes, and those classes can take several months. So that's an that's a decision that needs to be made in the first nine to 12 months.
Michael Gaddie 13:20
And another important topic that you need to go in discuss is who your wedding party is going to be. I know, we've talked about this quite a few times, you know, picking your squad, but you know, if they haven't been your friend since high school, Is it really necessary that you have her be her bridesmaid or vice versa. And, you know, pick the people that's close to you, that means something and know that they're going to be there for your side.
Sharon Rumsey 13:47
And go ahead when you when you get that list in your head. Go ahead and talk to those people, you know, do your proposal, your bridal party proposal or whatever you're gonna do, because let's make sure those people are afford, are they ready to spend that money? Are they ready to make the time commitment and the financial commitment that it takes to be part of a bridal party? So once you know those things, that's also going to impact your budget? Because Do you want to pay for five bridal bouquets? Or do you want to pay for 12? You know, so that all those things are important and impact the budget. So those are all decisions that need to be made pretty early on?
Kristina Stubblefield 14:22
Well, and I'll tell you what, that was one of I don't know if I really have favorite episodes, but that's one that really stands out to me. I think we had fun when we do most of our episodes, but we were talking about proposals and things like that. But what I'm going to plug in here and I know this might sound a little business II so I'm sorry, Sharon. But the expectations. Some of these people that you're inviting to be in your wedding party may have never been in a wedding before. They may not even know hey, you've got to pay for your own dress. If it's out of town a place to stay. Maybe telling them nine to 12 month Turns out, you're allowing, after they know that what you expect out of them for being in your wedding, they can have a little time to maybe save or take off work. Maybe they have a family that they have to make arrangements. There's a lot of things that go into that. Not just Oh, yeah, I'm so excited. I want to ask someone. So to be in my wedding, it has to also work for that person to to be able to fulfill their responsibility. We know we've talked about that, that you need their help. They're part of your wedding squad. And also
Michael Gaddie 15:32
don't feel offended if they say no.
Sharon Rumsey 15:35
Once again, it just comes down to that open, transparent communication, having those discussions. Hey, I really I just had this conversation today with a bride.
Kristina Stubblefield 15:44
Are we back to talking about communication? I'm unic. We did an episode just on communication, right?
Sharon Rumsey 15:50
That's where you need to say I really care about you. And you're important to me, and I want you to be part of my wedding party. However, I understand if this is too big of a commitment, and I'm going to love you anyway. And we're still going to be close anyway. But you need to be open about what will be expected.
Kristina Stubblefield 16:10
I'm sitting here thinking to myself, wow, that were you could be a year out. And there was already quite a few items we've just talked about on this list. But I don't guess we're done yet.
Sharon Rumsey 16:21
Now, because now it's time to get that team together. And for your little Sharon's favorite Oh 18 drafting that a team. So for vendors that can only do one wedding a day, or a vendor that you just really have your heart set on. You need to get that vendor booked, like ASAP back to just like if you hooked on a certain venue, or a certain date, or a certain DJ band, anything florist wedding planner.
Michael Gaddie 16:50
Well, I've got to say I have an I hate to even say this, but I have turned down more brides this year, because they're not what they're waiting to talk to the florist, like two to three months out. Oh, wow. And like you have told abroad the other night that came in? You know, it was 12. Well, actually, hers was like 16 months out. And we're booked now. So I mean, it you it's very important to get who you want. And go ahead and get them on the books.
Kristina Stubblefield 17:18
And I think that goes back to what Sharon says Don't be married to a certain date. Yeah. And you mentioned about season or month. However that falls because you're a team. Go back and listen to our other episode. You're a team is so important.
Sharon Rumsey 17:32
And honestly, I don't know if it's COVID. I don't know if it's just the way of the world now. But I have never been booked as early as what I'm booking now. You know, we're recording this. It's July of 2021. I have four openings for 2022. And then I am completely booked.
Michael Gaddie 17:54
I have over 100 booked for 2022.
Kristina Stubblefield 17:56
Yeah, well, and also to I was gonna mention Mike while ago when you are talking. someone thinks florist, if they haven't been married before, and it's been so long since their parents have been. You know, it's not just bouquets and boutonnieres. No, you do a lot of the wedding decor for the ceremony,
Michael Gaddie 18:15
reception reception rehearsal dinner. I mean, the list goes on and on.
Kristina Stubblefield 18:20
So it's not just you know, I think sometimes when people hear the word florist, oh, gosh, I really need that a year out if you have a certain person you want to work with, regardless of where you're listening? Well, and
Sharon Rumsey 18:31
also, I think it's important to know because I think when when couples hear this, it's going to be a little bit scary. Because they don't, they just got engaged. And they don't know exactly what all they want yet. And I just I want them to hear me say that. That's fine. We can go and we can talk to that vendor. And we can talk about what our vision is. And if that if that evolves or changes. That's okay. We are still booked on that vendors. Like for instance, our florist. We're still on the florist book, he is still setting time aside that day to do your wedding.
Kristina Stubblefield 19:07
So if you change something, that's fine, but get on that book. It doesn't have to be ironclad your order. Now, you don't necessarily want to change everything up, because that can make it more complex. But I like what you're saying there. You don't have to have everything nailed.
Sharon Rumsey 19:23
It's the same for your wedding planner, your DJ,
Michael Gaddie 19:27
you know, everything can be tweaked. Yeah. All the way up until probably about a month or month and a half out. Yeah. But if you've got them booked, then like Sharon said, we have set that date aside for you. And we can worry about all the nitpicky details when we get closer. least you're on the records.
Kristina Stubblefield 19:46
Right. Okay, Sharon, so we don't scare them too bad. No matter how nice we deliver this information there could be hearing it for the first time and it could be overwhelming.
Sharon Rumsey 19:55
It is overwhelming and I think you know, to hear I go but I think that's Just what prepare yourself might he or she go, I think that that's a reason to have a wedding planner, because I'm going to sit down and we're going to eat this elephant one bite at a time. And I'm going to say, here's what we need to do first. And here's what we need to do. Like in this month, I want to get these goals accomplished. Next month, these are going to be the goals that we accomplish. But in those first few appointments, we're gonna book those vendors.
Kristina Stubblefield 20:22
Mike, I can't wait to do the hashtags on this one. I mean, we got some good metaphors in here. But we just did an episode explaining the difference to to point out about planner versus coordinator versus venue coordinator, right? And if that's something that you're not familiar with those terms, you might want to go back and listen,
Michael Gaddie 20:41
check that out, because that was real important. Yes, yeah.
Sharon Rumsey 20:44
I was really proud of that episode. Okay, so
Kristina Stubblefield 20:46
now that we've taken just a minute, now, where do we go?
Sharon Rumsey 20:50
I think let's talk about some fun stuff. Have you had that engagement party? You know, like, let's, let's just get everybody together and celebrate your engagement. That's like the kickoff.
Michael Gaddie 21:00
Yeah, the whole party.
Sharon Rumsey 21:02
And then I think you mean, you're supposed to have fun while you're planning for sure. If there's a photographer that you're just loving online, but you're not sure how you'll how you'll vibe with that person on the wedding day, get some engagement photos taken, see how it goes, see how you like the photo, see how you like the person, you know, x that's also a great day, the day you're getting engagement photos taken if you've got a hair and makeup artist. Hint, Hint, those need to be to your first phone calls, super hard to find those vendors. Get your hair and makeup trial, done that day trial run
Kristina Stubblefield 21:35
and use it for your fear
Sharon Rumsey 21:36
all gussied up for your photos and you know if you like the way the person does your makeup and the way the person does your hair, and those are all really super fun things and I think that's important to remember is that it's not all just checklist and you know, check this box, check that box and appointments chore after chore after chore enjoy being engaged.
Kristina Stubblefield 21:56
I don't think we could have said any better. Mike, what do you think?
Michael Gaddie 21:59
I think it's perfect. I mean, I mean, go with this and run with it. Okay, Sharon,
Kristina Stubblefield 22:05
what else we got?
Sharon Rumsey 22:07
Honestly, I think for That's a lot.
Kristina Stubblefield 22:10
A whole lot. But I'm glad you added a fun piece that you are
Michael Gaddie 22:14
well. And I mean, we've talked about a lot and we kind of mentioned budget but that that's up in those Yeah, for sure. months, you know, to make sure you have that budget plan down, you
Sharon Rumsey 22:24
know who's contributing and who's paying for what. And another thing that I think is super fun, I like to eat, schedule those tastings, though to some some catering open houses. There are a lot of people doing now there are a lot of caterers that have open houses for engaged couples to go and kind of sample some of everything. You can also call a caterer that you're interested in and schedule actual tastings to go in, have your dinner with that cater and talk about what they offer. You know, and there's nothing wrong with going to 234 of those and seeing whose food you like best. So I mean, have some fun with it. I love I love the floral appointment, you just get to sit and look at pretty things and pick out what you want. I'd love you know, like I said, I love the catering appointment, I like to go to the DJ and talk about different kinds of music. So don't just see it as a chore. It's it's a joyful process. Well, and also
Michael Gaddie 23:15
we have, you know, tons of bridal shows that you can go to take advantage. It's awesome, great. Take advantage of that, because you can go and meet these vendors, one on one in person and see who you like and who you don't like
Sharon Rumsey 23:30
wedding show this coming weekend. Yeah, and a bride that I just booked who's getting married over a year away. She's got a couple of DJs that she's torn between, she's coming to the show, because they're both there. And she wants to meet them and talk to them.
Kristina Stubblefield 23:44
It's a great opportunity to come do something with your fiance, and just have a good time.
Michael Gaddie 23:51
And then win prizes.
Kristina Stubblefield 23:53
Most of them have giveaways, giveaways. Well, and I think if we're ready to close this out, one of the things that was mentioned before on one of our past episodes, and you can go back and listen to even our very first episodes. So that's why we set these up the way we did, so you could go back to them. But I think it was Sharon that mentioned Don't forget about your relationship along the way. You know, having a date night still doing something. Planning can be overwhelming everything there is to do. But don't forget about your relationship, your friendship, the whole reason you're together. You know, don't just get caught up in the play.
Sharon Rumsey 24:28
And that brings up a whole nother topic two because, you know, I think sometimes in the traditional bride and groom relationship, brides assume the groom does not want to be involved. And maybe he doesn't. But I think it's a conversation to be had because more and more now the grams are really involved in there. They are more now
Michael Gaddie 24:51
than I've ever have seen.
Sharon Rumsey 24:52
Absolutely right. And I love it. I'm a boy Mom, I love to get to know my grams. I love to understand And what's important to them. So I think it's important to, to make sure that you're sharing this to not only because it's their wedding just as much, and they want to be involved, but also because it's not fair to put all this load on one person to make every decision.
Michael Gaddie 25:15
Well, the other night, I had a consultation with a mom and abroad and the mom was wanting certain things. And I've never heard this in a consultation before. And she goes, the bride turns the mom and says, Mom, that really doesn't matter to me if we do that or not. She says, The main thing is, I'm getting married to the man I love. And I thought, that's the first time I have heard that. And you're right, she gets it. It's not about I mean, I'm cutting my throat here. It's not about the flowers. It's not about the thing. Nothing. It's all about that ceremony, bringing those two couples, you know those two people together,
Sharon Rumsey 25:54
it's all important. But honest engine at the end of the day, that marriage is what's important. Exactly right. But I am all about starting it off with a really good party.
Michael Gaddie 26:06
I'm all about the great flower.
Kristina Stubblefield 26:09
Shameless plugs to end out the episode. Okay, we hope that you found this helpful. We always love your feedback. So if you haven't visited our website, please take a minute to do so follow us on social media. And as always, keep on planning those big days and we'll talk to you soon.
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