Congratulations, you’ve made it through your first month of planning!

You’ve only got 10 Months Before Your Wedding to get everything organized.

If you missed it, be sure to get started 11 Months Before Your Wedding. In your first month of wedding planning, you scouted venues, set your budget, started your guest list, selected your color scheme, and saved your date. One month down, only 10 months before your wedding to go and they will go fast!

With only got 10 Months Before Your Wedding, there’s a lot to do this month.

  1. Book your ceremony venue.

    If your ceremony will be at your house of worship, ask for the suggested donation or if they have a rental rate. Remember from 11 Months Before Your Wedding that it is customary in many locations to leave your altar arrangements on site.

    Pay your deposit and make arrangements to pay the balance. You are officially hosting a wedding!

  2. Book your reception venue.

    For same site ceremony/reception weddings this will be your only venue booking. Pay your deposit and finalize your payment schedule.

    If all or part of your venue is outside and there is no pavillion, spring for a tent. It could turn out to be the best investment you make. Even if it doesn’t rain, guests will be able to escape the blazing hot Texas sun. A tent will also create a natural area for everyone to gather and it’s the best way to keep your cake from melting.

    Ask about third party catering and what is permitted regarding alcoholic beverages. Some venues have full service restrictions and may not allow outside catering and alcohol, with the exception of the wedding cake.

  3. Select your wedding party

    • maid of honor,
    • best man,
    • bridesmaids
    • groomsmen,
    • ring bearer,
    • flower girl, and
    • ushers

    Invite them to be a part of your special day. You can get creative, or simply call to ask them to do you the honor of standing up with you.

  4. Create your wedding website.

    Your wedding website is your first chance to show your style and let your guests know what to expect. Your website theme should match your wedding theme. And, it’s important to set up password protection so you don’t accidentally invite wedding crashers!

    A wedding website is optional, but there are a lot of free choices if you don’t mind getting added to mailing lists. Most also have free wedding planning tools built in.

    These sites all have a free wedding website feature, although most offer premium upgrades:

  5. Interview planners.

    A wedding planner is optional and may seem like an unnecessary expense, but you would be surprised how much smoother everything runs with someone else in charge of the timeline.

  6. Interview caterers.

    The food will be one of your biggest wedding expenses, so it’s important to hire a caterer you like. There are lists and lists, and lists of questions to ask your caterer, but the bottom line is that it’s your party and you need to like the food. You may want to include a dietary restrictions checklist with your RSVP, but we’ll tackle that at a later date!

    Some caterers can also supply the alcohol, but check with your venue before signing a contract for outside alcoholic beverages. There may be a clause that the venue license only permits direct sales at their location. Most caterers include servers in the cost, but be sure to ask.

  7. Interview photographers/videographers.

    Photographer, videographer, or both? That is the question. Photography seems to be the thing everyone thinks they can do, but your photos are the one and only part of your wedding you will have forever. Your cousin who takes a lot of selfies should be your guest, not your wedding photographer. You will want to see samples of other weddings, so pick a photographer that gets you and your style.

    A professional photographer will not only have a better camera, they will know about lighting, posing, and they will edit hundreds, if not thousands, of photos to make sure you have a portfolio of beautiful memories of your wedding. Same with a videographer. The money you spend on these professionals is well spent.

  8. Interview florists.

    Like photographers, everyone thinks they can be a floral designer. I can tell you that you will wish you had hired a professional if flowers are falling out of your bouquet as you walk down the aisle. Or, if the box of flowers you ordered on the internet is wilted. Or, if you, your mom, aunt, and two bridesmaids are up all night trying to get the arrangements made the night before the wedding.

    I am a florist, so you may think I’m biased because I want your business. That’s only partially true, however, because I may not be a good fit with your style. I do believe if you hire a florist with my years of experience you will be much more satisfied with your decor than if you (your friend, aunt, or whomever) do it yourself.

    Your wedding florist should be able to convey your style and the emotion of the day through their floral art. Every arrangement should be professionally made and, if damaged in transit, repaired on site.

    Unfortunately, I think most florists have gotten used to copying arrangements that brides find on Pinterest. A better way to get the most beautiful flowers you’ve ever seen for your wedding is to find “inspiration” photos that your florist can scale to fit your budget. If you fall in love with a $500 bouquet with Peonies and Garden Roses and you have 10 bridesmaids and 30 tables that need matching centerpieces, you will need a large floral budget. Your florist should be able to help you achieve the look with more budget friendly flowers. (If you’re here in Austin or the Texas Hill Country- schedule a consultation with me!)

  9. Interview bands.

    Do you want a band? Can you afford a band? Does your venue have space for a band, the stage and all their equipment? Yes, yes, yes! Fantastic! Some things you should consider in your search for a wedding band may not be what first comes to mind. For example, the band that was playing in the club on your first date may have never played at a wedding. They probably shouldn’t be your first choice.

    Lots of musicians make weddings a key part of their performance schedule and those are the ones you should prioritize.  They are used to arriving on time and keeping to your timeline. They also know the types of songs most brides select for daddy-daughter dances, first couples’ dance, and how to read the crowd so everyone has a good time. My tip on hiring bands- let them know in advance if you are okay with the band drinking. The last thing you want is a tipsy musician making a scene at your wedding. You have guests for that!

  10. Interview DJs.

    Like wedding bands, many DJs specialize in weddings. The DJ from the club probably shouldn’t be your first choice. Wedding DJs, like wedding bands, know the types of songs most brides select for daddy-daughter dances, first couples’ dance, and how to read the crowd. If your ceremony and reception are at the same venue, they may also be responsible for playing the wedding march as you walk down the aisle.

    Most wedding DJs will offer a wide range of songs in a variety of styles of music. They may also act as the MC, making announcements such as the cake cutting and bouquet toss. DJs arrive with their own equipment, so if you plan to have anyone else using the microphone, arrange that in advance so they’re not caught off guard.

  11. Select Save the Date cards and order.

    Several of the wedding websites above offer matching stationary making it easy to carry your wedding theme and color scheme throughout. You should be well on your way with your guest list and have a general idea of how many guests to invite. It’s a good idea to order 10-20% more just in case you add to your list or just mess up on some of the cards.

That definitely sounds like a lot to do with only 10 months before your wedding. Take it one step at a time, and your dedication and organization will result in the best party you’ll ever have!

Are you ready to move on to 9 Months Before Your Wedding?