Wedding Planning is stressful enough without the added uncertainty of CORVID-19. Social distancing is in full effect and it is imperative that we respect the guidelines given to us from the government. In an effort to keep things positive, and productive during this time of social distancing I have put together a list of to-dos for couples planning their wedding. This list is geared to couples planning weddings for the fall/winter of 2020 and Spring 2021. However, if you are getting married or know of someone getting married this spring and is having trouble rescheduling their event or feeling overwhelmed please contact me! I would love to help navigate you or them through this process.
40 Things to Do during Social Distancing
1. Decide on Special Songs for your Reception
First Dance, Mother / Son Dance Song, Father/Daughter Song Dance, Garter Toss Song, Bouquet Toss Song, Money Dance Song
2. Organize your Registry
Comb through your registry and make sure you have covered all of the rooms in your house and also that there are no duplicate items between registry sites. If you haven't started your registry yet - check out this blog post with registry tips and tricks.
3. Decide on Ceremony Readers and Gift Bearers (if having a Catholic Mass)
If you are having a catholic ceremony you will need a reader for the first reading, second reading, and prayers of the faithful.
4. Decide on Ceremony Readings
Look up readings or poems that are special to you and your partner that you would like shared during ceremony.
5. Shop for Litte White Dresses for Showers and Parties
Many boutiques and shops are practicing social distancing by closing their physical locations but offering online shopping through their websites and Instagram. Need some inspiration or a jump start on shopping? Click below for 50 Little White Dress Options
6. Wedding Website
This is the perfect opportunity to start, perfect and finish your wedding website. Click below for more information on wedding websites and for a printable checklist.
7. Guest Book Options
A great way to personalize your wedding is straying away from the classic guest book and using a unique guest book alternative to welcome your guest. Go on Pinterest and search Guest Book Alternative and you will find tons of inspiration.
8. Koozies, Cups, Napkins
Design your wedding koozies, cups and napkins. There are so many options and this is a fun activity that you and your partner can do together while sipping a glass of wine.
Some of my favorite websites for koozies. cups and napkins:
9. Light-Up/ Dance Floor Trinkets
I love it when a dance floor is lit up at the end of the night. This is a great time to research these items and see what items fit into your budget. Necklaces, Headbands, Floral Crowns, Tambourines, and much more!
10. Finalize Guest List
Go through your guest list and finalize your guest count. This is the perfect time to sit down with your partner and decide who gets an invitation and who does not.
11. Gather Addresses of Guests
Reach out to guests and gather their addresses. Don't want the hassle of emailing/texting/calling your guests? Use the minted address assistant or The Knot address collector.
12. Guest List for Showers and Parties
The guest count for showers and parties is significantly lower than the wedding. Use this time to finalize the list of guests for these parties. Tip: Make this list in google sheets or excel with the guest's address. This will make it easier for your shower and party hosts in the future.
13. Honey-Moon Planning
Tropical, Adventurous, Relaxing? While at home think about what you want to do on your honeymoon. Do y'all want to experience a new culture? Relax on the beach all day? Experience a big city? Decide on a budget and start exploring your options. And don't forget to renew your passport!
14. Research Invitations for Wedding, Rehearsal Dinner, Bridal Luncheon
15. Research Save-the-Date Layouts
Picture or no-picture? Illustration of your wedding venue? Map of your city? Postcard, Card, or magnet? The options are endless. This is a great time to pick out your favorites so when it is time to send your save-the-dates you are prepared. If you would like to save 35% on your save the dates from minted.com please contact me.
16. Update Budget
While your budget is the least exciting thing to think about this is a good time to sit down and crunch the numbers. Decide what is most important to you and your partner and what you can do without.
17. Ensure your calendar is up to date with due dates for vendors
Already booked some of or all of your vendors for your wedding? Comb through your invoices and make sure all your payment due dates are in your calendar. As well as dates for your final headcounts and decisions.
18. Review the Catering Menu and decide on favorites
Review your catering menu and start to pick out favorites to try at your tasting.
19. Research Send-Off Ideas and Costs
The Wedding Send-Off is one of my favorites moments at a wedding! Use this time to think about how you want to walk into married life. Need some inspiration? Check out my blog post on Send-Off Options
20. Discuss and decide on dates for Engagement Party, Couple Shower, Bridal Shower, Bridal Luncheon
We might not be able to physically be with people, but that doesn't mean we can't facetime and talk to each other. This is a great time to go through your calendar with your loved ones and discuss possible dates for showers and parties.
21. Ceremony Music
For your wedding ceremony, you will need the following: prelude music, processional music for the parents, grandparents, and bridesmaids, and the bride, and recessional music. If you are having a catholic mass you will also need music for communion, the offering of the gifts, and flowers to the Mother Mary,
22. Groom's Cake Ideas
Brainstorm ideas for your groom's cake. Think about your groom's hobbies, interests, favorite sports teams, job, movies, games and etc. Write them all down and begin to look up options for his cake. Gambino's Bakery is a New Orleans favorite and does a fabulous job!
23. Wedding Cake Ideas
The wedding cake industry has been leaving me speechless with their works of art for wedding cakes. There are so many design options, and this would be a good time to pick out your favorites.
24. Seating Chart for Rehearsal Dinner
Hop on the phone with the groom's parents and discuss the layout of your dinner. Decide how the tables will be placed and who will be sitting where and with whom. Minted.com offers a variety of seating chart options that are just gorgeous.
25. Processional order of Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
This is a small detail, but brides often forget about doing this until right before the wedding. Write out your wedding party in the order you would like them to walk down the aisle and pair them with the groomsmen they will be walking with.
26. Gifts for Wedding Party
Set a budget for your wedding party gifts and start to shop for options for your bridesmaids and groomsmen to thank them for being apart of your special day.
27. Gifts for Parents
28. Gifts for Shower & Party Hosts
Cookbook, frame, or personalized wine glasses. A gift for hostesses does not need to be large or expensive, but it is important to thank your hostesses for hosting one of your pre-wedding celebrations.
If you are writing your own vows jot down some ideas. Vows can be tricky, and getting a jump start on them so you are not stressing about them as it gets closer to the wedding.
30. Welcome Box Items
Welcome Boxes are for your guests that have traveled near and far to celebrate with you. Welcome Boxes are the perfect way to kick-off the celebration for your guests when they arrive at their hotel. A welcome box will contain some goodies for your guests for example; water, snacks, Advil, band-aids, and usually some local flair. Start to look-up how you would like to package your welcome box/bag and what you would like the contents to be.
31. Start a Bridal Journal
This time as a bride comes only once and some days will feel blissful, and some will feel just downright crazy as you try to merge your life with your partner. Jot down some of the funny stories of wedding planning, describe your showers and parties, map out your goals for your first year of marriage. I am a bride myself and I started a bridal journal a few days after being engaged and I look forward to one-day reading back on this special time.
32. Show your vendors some love and shop local
Local businesses and your vendors are going to do whatever they can to make sure your day is absolutely perfect. Write your vendors' reviews, buy a gift card from local businesses, share their social media pages, and like their post. You can find most vendors on The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Facebook. You can also shoot them a wonderful little e-mail. Don't forget about any items you have already purchased on etsy/online boutiques and the vendors you don't see all the time like your stationery and jeweler.
33. Engagement Picture Locations
Haven't taken engagement pictures yet? While we can't go out and about to scout these locations right now you can look through your photographer's portfolio and jot down some locations and images you know you want to capture. Having a shot list will almost guarantee you get everything you want out of your engagement pictures.
34. Engagement Picture Outfits
Casual, Dressy, or somewhere in the middle? Map out a color scheme that compliments your picture locations and do some online shopping or have a fashion show in your living room with all of your bridesmaids on group facetime.
35. Wedding Day Photo List
Make a list of group photos you may want and individual shots. They can be candid and staged pictures. If it is a group photo make sure to list the names of the people who should be in the picture.
36. Thank You Notes
Thank you notes during your wedding season can be a real drag to most brides, but it is important to thank your guests for attending and for the gifts you received from them. If you already started to receive gifts I would start knocking out those thank you notes. It is also important to keep track of gifts received and if you wrote a thank you note or not. I would suggest a google doc or spreadsheet of some sort to write down the gifts you received and track if a thank you note was sent. Don't know what to say in a thank-you note? Email me, I have some templates that can help you.
37. Something Old, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and Something New
38. List of Name Change
Make a list of all the cards, accounts, and identification that you will need to change if you are changing your last name. Not sure where to start? NewlyNamed.com is a great service that will assist you with all your name change needs. (P.S. You can add Newly Named to your wedding registry)
39. Getting Ready Attire for Bridesmaids
Robes? Pajama short sets? Joggers? Printed or plain? Monogram or no monogram? There are so many options out there. Search through Target, Etsy, and other online boutiques for inspiration. And don't forget about your Flower Girl, too!
40. Playlist for Getting Ready
A great day starts with a great playlist. If you use Spotify it is super easy to make a shared playlist. Add all of your favorite songs and share it with your bridesmaids so they can add songs too!
I hope you enjoyed this post! We are all in this together and I hope everyone is safe and well during this time. We will get through this and the show will go on.
Not sure if you need a wedding planner? Contact me and let's chat about your options!
I hope everyone has a great day!
**Ashleigh Elizabeth Weddings and Events make no compensation from the companies listed in this blog post. These companies are just my personal recommendations **