You are planning what will likely be one of the most important days of your life, and the task won’t always be an easy one. If you are having a country wedding, there are plenty of things you need to consider in order to make your day go smoothly. It helps to have a checklist of items to think about and plan for your outdoor wedding so you can be confident everything is taken care of. No need to worry – many of these things on the list are easy and can be completed in a few hours or an afternoon.
9 to 12 months before the wedding:
Reserve date and venue. Country wedding venues often fill up quickly, so if you have a place in mind, set the date and reserve the location right away.
Book officiant. Along with the venue, you need to make sure you have an officiant to conduct the ceremony. It’s best to book this as far ahead of time as possible.
Set up vendors. Included in this group are the caterer, photographer, baker, entertainment, and florist. You want these professionals to not only fit with your personality as a couple, but they have to be willing to work with your venue. Do your research and find individuals or companies that have experience, that will listen to your input, and that can meet your needs for a country wedding.
6 to 9 months before the wedding:
Pick out dresses. It’s time to find your wedding dress and decide on your bridesmaids’ dresses. This will give you enough time to order the dresses and have alterations done if necessary.
Purchase invitations and send out save the date cards. Your invitations will help you communicate the tone of your wedding and will give guests information about what to expect. You should think about including a map to your country location as well as any special instructions for guests.
4 to 5 months before the wedding:
Select and order the cake. Give your baker enough time to plan and make the cake the way you request.
Schedule hair and make up appointments. Appointments often book out a few months, so get your name on the calendar now to ensure you have an appointment with the hair and make up artist you prefer.
Select music. Little details like selecting the music to be played at your wedding are fun to plan and can be done ahead of time to free you up for other last minute plans.
3 to 4 months before the wedding:
Figure out wedding favors, gifts, and decorations. Since you are going with a rustic theme, you could give gifts like fresh jars of jam, seed packets, homemade soaps, or Mason jar candles. If you make these on your own they might be time-consuming, so start early or enlist the help of friends. Now would also be the time to make table centerpieces or buy any other decorations you want to use. Visit cutediyprojects.com for ideas.
Purchase rings. This will give you enough time to have them ordered, sized, and engraved.
2 months before the wedding:
Send out invitations. You should have the invitations printed and the guest list finalized already, and you might have sent out save the date cards. Now you should officially invite your guests.
Finalize ceremony and reception details. Meet with the officiant to work out music and readings for your ceremony. This is also when you should finalize the menu and work out details with the best man and anyone else who will be giving a toast at the reception.
1 month before the wedding:
Get marriage license. This is a necessary step that can take up to six days to process, so be sure you get it done in plenty of time.
Assign seating. Some couples look forward to this task while others dread assigning seats. It might not be necessary depending on your venue, but now would be the time to figure out the seating arrangement if you are going to.
Finally, remember to communicate. Throughout the planning process, be sure to meet with or talk with on a regular basis your bridesmaids, groomsmen, officiant, vendors, and the wedding planner at your venue. Regular communication will help minimize any problems and make the entire planning process more enjoyable.