Wedding planning is a very stressful time. There are many decisions that need to be made and services that need to be scheduled. It’s no surprise that some factors might slip your mind, such as breaking in your wedding shoes. Brett Welch, Hidden Creek’s event manager, will relate her biggest challenge during her wedding planning, as well as how to overcome the obstacles you may face during this journey.
Finding Available Vendors…That She Loved
Brett’s biggest challenge was finding vendors that she loved that were also available on her wedding day. Let’s give her a little back story. She got engaged in January and started looking for a venue in February. She booked her venue for October of that same year. Therefore, they only had eight months to plan the entire wedding. This is a short time frame. These months went by very quickly and Brett felt a little stressed during these busy times.
October is a very popular month for weddings in Texas. That made finding vendors even harder. Additionally, Brett took her time looking for vendors. She believed she had a lot of time to research these vendors, so she didn’t book them right away. Instead, she searched for them online and went to open houses, and by the time she found vendors she loved, they were all booked. However, her biggest challenge now allows her to help people avoid the same mistakes she made.
Tips to Help Avoid These Wedding Planning Obstacles
The fall season is very popular for weddings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It is a time that isn’t too hot, and when the weather isn’t much of a threat. If your wedding is planned for those months, make sure you pick your vendors way ahead of time. Even if your wedding is planned for a different time of the year, make sure you book your vendors as early as possible.
It’s really hard to move on to a different vendor when you have already fallen in love with one. For Brett, the vendor she was most upset about not getting her first pick was the hair and makeup vendor. She had gone to three different vendors until she found one that could create her vision. However, when she told them her date, they were not available for it.
Ask for Availability First
So, the first thing you should do before you sample or do a trial with a vendor is to ask them for the dates of availability. If they aren’t free on your wedding day, don’t waste your time or fall in love with their services.
Some vendors might say you don’t need to book them until 3 to 4 months before the wedding. However, it is okay to book them even earlier, especially if it’s a vendor you really love. Make a list of the vendors that are a priority to you, and book them right away.
The Magic Begins with Hidden Creek
The main priority during the wedding planning process is booking your venue. Be sure to check out Hidden Creek. We are a beautiful venue nestled between luscious greens. We offer the comfort and privacy that you deserve on your special night.
Some people have been dreaming about their wedding since they were little kids. Their dreams are so vivid and detailed that they even know what they want their guests to wear. You need to let your guests know if you want them to dress for a glamorous ball, in long flowy dresses, or dress casually for a country-themed wedding. This information should be included in the invitation. It avoids any confusion and allows your vivid dreams to become reality. Your guests will be thankful too, for they won’t be left wondering what to wear or second-guessing their choices.
Different Types of Wedding Attire
Although formal/black-tie optional is the most common type of wedding dress code, there are dozens to choose from. Hidden Creek has explained some of the popular ones, to help you envision your wedding and your guests. The venue oftentimes sets the tone for the dress code, so keep that in mind when deciding the theme.
This is one of the most formal types of wedding dress codes. Men wear tuxedos and bow ties. A black vest or cummerbund, and patent leather shoes are also recommended. Women wear gowns that are long and cover their ankles. They can also wear elegant pantsuits.
This is a little less formal than the first dress code. Men don’t need to wear tuxes; they can get away with a dark suit, a white shirt, and tie. Women wear elegant dresses, but they don’t need to wear dresses that go over their ankles. They can wear dresses that are just below their knees or nice pantsuits.
Semi-formal and cocktail dress codes are fairly similar, which is why we have grouped them together. During these wedding dress codes, women can wear dresses up to their knees. Men don’t need to wear a tie, but they still need to dress appropriately. This can include khakis, slacks, and a button-up shirt. The semi-formal dress code gives your guest the flexibility to dress comfortably, but not too casual.
A casual wedding dress code usually means that the wedding will be held outdoors or on the beach. This means your wedding will be much more laid-back, especially when it comes to what your guests wear. People will most likely be showing up in jeans if you put casual on your invitation. If you don’t want your guests showing up in jeans, then do not list it as casual. When it’s casual dress, ties aren’t required but they are still welcomed. Summer sundresses and wedges are appropriate for the ladies.
Live Out Your Dream Wedding at Hidden Creek
So now that you have a better idea of what the different dress codes are, you can help your guests decide what to wear. Make sure to include the wedding dress code on the invitation, to avoid any confusion. This way, you can have the wedding that you envision. If you are in the process of looking for the perfect venue, schedule a tour with Hidden Creek. Our elegant venue is tucked away within the woods, offering privacy and the ability to celebrate all night long.
So, the love of your life finally popped the big question. You’ve got a dazzling diamond engagement ring on your finger and after soaking in the moment, you’re ready to get started with wedding planning. From choosing the perfect Dallas wedding venue to picking out or DIYing memorable favors– you have a lot of exciting decisions ahead of you.
As much as you’re probably looking forward to wedding planning, we know better than most how overwhelming it can be to get started. That’s why today, we’re sharing our exclusive wedding planning guide complete with timelines and tips straight from Hidden Creek’s skilled wedding coordinator, Brett Welch.
9+ Months Before Your Wedding
Create a Guest List
The very first step of wedding planning is creating a guest list. Without an accurate guest count, it’s hard to know which venue size will be right for you, request services from wedding vendors, or even keep track of your wedding budget.
Wedding Budget Breakdown
The second thing you need to figure out is the budget. Sit down and have a conversation with your fiancé, their parents, your parents, and anyone else helping you pay for the wedding.
If you’re financing the wedding yourselves, talk to your future spouse about how much you can afford, what you’re willing to splurge on, how much you can finance, and if you’re open to paying for wedding essentials on your credit cards.
Once you’ve had an honest discussion about all of these things, it will be much easier to start shopping for venues, vendors, favors, wedding dresses, and more without overspending.
Start Touring Dallas Wedding Venues
Now, it’s time to start scheduling wedding venue tours. If you don’t book your venue at least a year in advance, there will be slim pickings, and you might struggle to find a place to host your wedding at all.
In the past, you could book and plan a wedding in six months, but that timeline has greatly increased in recent years.
Everyone is booking in advance right now, especially because of the pandemic. Many weddings were postponed due to COVID-19 and most were rescheduled for 2022.
So book a Dallas wedding venue like Hidden Creek, put down a deposit, and reserve your date no less than nine to twelve months in advance.
This is essential since you can’t book any vendors until you have reserved a venue and claimed a date. If you don’t do this, your vendor will have no way of knowing if they’re already booked for your big day or if they can travel to you.
Create a Wedding Planning Email Account
This step often gets overlooked, but it makes your wedding planning so much easier. When you have all of your wedding-related emails going to the same place, it’s much easier to keep track of everything.
It’s also worth noting that if you give your personal email to potential vendors, they will continue sending you promotional emails for years to come.
Buy Your Wedding Dress
Hidden Creek recommends buying your wedding dress at least nine months before the ceremony because it generally takes four to five months to come in. Once the dress arrives, you’ll probably have to wait another few months for your seamstress to complete alterations. While most people don’t buy their dress right off the rack, we highly recommend it for brides on a budget or those who are in a bit of a rush.
For example, if you want bridal photos done before the wedding, you will need to book a photoshoot one to two months before the wedding. Otherwise, you might not get the pictures back in time to get prints and display them at the venue on your special day.
Start Booking In-Demand Wedding Vendors
Priority vendors are different for everyone. If having exceptional wedding pictures and videos is a priority for you, then book your photographer now. This increases the likelihood that you’ll get on your favorite wedding photographer’s books. Hidden Creek recommends you book your top three vendors now.
Whatever your top three priorities are, book vendors who meet those needs ASAP.
Engagement Party and Selecting Wedding Party
You will have your engagement party around this time and select your wedding party. Ask all of your girlfriends, the guys, the flower girl, and whoever else you want to be part of your wedding party to stand by your side at the wedding. Send them bridesmaid proposal boxes or a sweet card asking them to celebrate with you and help make your wedding even more special.
Envision the Overall Wedding Theme and Colors
The last thing you want to figure out during this timeframe is the overall theme of your wedding and the colors you want to use. Now is also a good time to decide if you want to go casual or formal and how your vision will complement your wedding season.
4 to 8 Months Before Your Wedding
Finalize Bookings With Your Non-Priority Vendors
Book vendors for catering, photography, floral decorations, videography, and anything else you want to have at your wedding. Don’t wait past the four-month mark. That’s when you will have trouble finding people with availability.
Complete wedding dress alterations and push your bridesmaids to select a dress if they haven’t already. Talk to your wedding party about the color, style, and sizes of their dresses, or let them know if you have already picked out a standard dress for all of them.
Find Wedding Tuxes
The guys also need to figure out what they’ll be wearing on your special day. Have them try on their tuxedos to find one they like. If they want to rent a tux, they can do so now. But rest assured, four months is more than enough time for the groom and groomsmen to find their perfect fit.
Wedding Hair and Makeup Test
Schedule a trial run with your hairstylist and makeup artist before the wedding to ensure that you love the look. Even if you completely trust your makeup and hair team, a practice run helps everything go off without a hitch on the day of the wedding.
Although wedding insurance is not required, we do highly recommend it, especially during these uncertain times.
Set Up Hotel Room Blocks
If you have numerous guests coming from out of town, you should look into setting up hotel room blocks for them. They will be super thankful that you gave them options for places to stay, especially if they are unfamiliar with the area.
Order Wedding Rentals, Finalize Catering Menu, Finalize Floral Selections
Order all of your wedding rentals, and don’t forget the plates, silverware, and napkins! You’ll also want to finalize your catering menu and floral selections. Chat with your wedding vendors and nail down those final details.
Plan Your Honeymoon
This is the last thing to do during the four to eight-month period of the wedding planning timeline. Honeymoon planning gives you a welcome break from all the wedding planning. Talk to your fiancee about where you want to go, accommodations, how many days you’ll be away, and research any activities you’d like to do. Go ahead and book the trip too.
Bonus wedding planning tip: if you will be using a credit card to book all of your vendors, pay for the dress, and more– make sure that you are using one that gives you miles or points. You can then use these miles or points towards your honeymoon.
1 to 3 Months Before Your Wedding
Finalize Wedding Accessories
Make sure that you have finalized all of your accessories including your earrings, shoes, the veil, headpiece, necklace, etc. Have all of that ordered or already in your possession.
Schedule Beauty Appointments
Schedule all of your beauty appointments. This includes getting your nails done, hair dyed, a spray tan, and whatever else you want to book to feel your best.
Hidden Creek highly recommends premarital counseling. You can even tailor it to your specific religion.
It is also time to get your wedding bands. This is separate from your engagement ring. You and your fiancé will both need wedding bands.
Wedding favors are optional, but if you want them, order now. Favors are a gift that your guests take home as a memory from your wedding.
Send Out Wedding Invitations
Your wedding invitations need to be sent out three months before your wedding. You need all of those invitations back within a month of your big day. That’s because you need to give your caterer a final headcount and the people decorating the venue. So, make sure you include in your invitation that you need it back a month before your wedding to plan accordingly.
Bridal Photos and Vows
If you will be taking your bridal photos before the wedding, take them a couple of months in advance. That way, you have enough time to develop the photos and print them out.
If you and your fiancée choose to write your vows instead of reciting traditional ones– start brainstorming now. This will give you enough time to reflect on what you want to say.
Bachelor and Bachelorette Party
Have your parties at least a month before the wedding. This is so you have enough time to recover from any accidents that can take place, such as someone getting stuck in jail, breaking an arm, etc. We know many cases where things have turned out unexpectedly, so you want to have enough time to plan around them.
Finalize Your Wedding Playlist
Talk to your DJ, orchestra, or band and finalize the playlist. This includes songs for your first dance, your father-daughter dance, and the reception.
Plan The Rehearsal Dinner
You will need to do a final walkthrough with the venue one month before the wedding and select a time for the rehearsal dinner. This will essentially be a scrimmage to ensure the floor plan, and every detail of the ceremony is perfect. The rehearsal dinner is usually held a day or two before the wedding.
Give Vendors The “Day Of” Timeline
Make sure every vendor knows what time everything is going to start. Hidden Creek will create this timeline and send it to your vendors to ensure that no one is late.
Final Weeks Before Your Wedding
Now that your wedding date is getting closer and closer, your hands may be a little sweaty. But don’t worry. Hidden Creek has you covered. Here is a list of final wedding planning details that you need to handle before your big day.
Get your marriage license (two or three weeks before the wedding)
Finalize seating chart (where people will sit, with who, etc.)
Confirm all vendors and finalize payments (don’t forget to tip!)
Practice walking in your wedding shoes (break them in before the big day)
Give the photographer a list of pictures you must have (with your siblings, the cake, etc.)
Get your dressed steamed (in case of wrinkles from the bridal shoot)
Get your beauty appointments in
Confirm your toast (let your loved ones know weeks in advance)
Have your rehearsal dinner (a day or two before the wedding)
Day of the Wedding
Our goal is that you have nothing to worry about on your wedding day. We want to help you be as prepared as possible, so you can relax and enjoy your big day. Make sure you delegate any issues that arise on your wedding day to someone in your wedding party. It is okay to ask for help and let somebody else take care of it.
Here are a couple of tips to make you enjoy your special day to the max and to show your appreciation:
Drink a ton of water
Make sure you eat (at least lunch before the ceremony)
Give out parent gifts (optional)
Give out bridal party gifts (optional)
If something doesn’t go as planned, no one will notice. So, there is no need to worry. Just shrug it off and have fun!
After your wedding day, make sure that you turn your marriage license in. It is not a legal marriage until the courthouse has it on file. You only have 30 days to turn in your wedding license. And don’t forget to return the tuxes after the wedding to avoid any fines!
We recommend having a family member take the wedding cake and freeze it when you leave for your honeymoon. They should freeze it that same night because it goes bad very quickly.
Finally, write your thank you cards to your vendors and anyone that gave you gifts. Additionally, make sure to leave a great review for your vendors if you enjoyed their services.
Hidden Creek’s Wedding Planning Guide Is Here For You
Now that you know everything about planning a wedding, it’s time to get started! Schedule your tour with Hidden Creek today, and check out our enchanting indoor and outdoor venue. We are here to answer any questions or concerns about the wedding planning process and ensure that everything goes smoothly. Get started with our easy-to-follow wedding plan guide to make your dream wedding come true!
The perfect event venue to create a wonderful “dream come true” setting for your special event.