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The Ultimate Wedding Checklist - What To Start Planning 7 Months Out
7 Month Wedding Checklist - Download it here!
Book your rehearsal dinner venue
- Name and info of venue
- Guest List
- Gift for maid of honor
- Gift for bridesmaids
- Gift for best man
- Gift for groomsmen
- Gifts for parents
- Gifts for grandparents
- Other gifts
- Guest List:
- Games and activities
- Name and info of supply company
- Items and amounts:
THE ULTIMATE WEDDING CHECKLIST - 7 Months Out
By this time, both the groom and bride to be are settling into the idea of being engaged, and hopefully, you’re starting to see your wedding day take shape. However, even if you have all your vendors picked and your dress is being altered as we speak, your job is far from through!
This month, our wedding planner will have you digging into the details, and you’ll spend some time reflecting. You’ll have to start making some serious commitments to the items you’ll be using to decorate your ceremony and reception spaces, but you’ll also start feeling the love from those closest to you, as this is the month you start planning your bridal shower and thinking about special gifts to give those closest to you ahead of your big day.
Book Your Rehearsal Dinner Venue
Your wedding is fast approaching, which means it’s time to start thinking about the events surrounding your wedding—not just the wedding itself.
The rehearsal dinner was traditionally planned by the groom’s parents, but don’t think you have to stick with this tradition. Anyone who wants to organize your rehearsal dinner or pay for it should be more than welcome to take on the task! You should also feel free to organize this event yourself so you get exactly what you want.
Your rehearsal dinner doesn’t have to be a formal affair. It can be something as simple as a backyard BBQ or dinner at your favorite pub. If you are looking for a more formal celebration, consider a five-star restaurant.
Proximation to your wedding is key. Make sure it’s only a short drive away. You may even be able to talk to your wedding venue about hosting a rehearsal dinner on the property to make it even more convenient for guests, and for you, as it gives you the chance to rehearse on-location.
Plan your rehearsal dinner for the night before your wedding and make sure your officiant and wedding planner are invited. That way, everyone can practice exactly how things are going to go the next day.
Speaking of who to invite, make sure everyone who is participating in your wedding is invited. That includes the bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well as the flower girl, ring bearer, ushers, and attendants. Important family members and close friends can be invited too. It might also be a good idea to invite any guest who have traveled a long way to be at your wedding, even if they aren’t immediate family.
If you decide to send out formal invitations, make sure they are dropped in the mail two to four weeks ahead of the rehearsal dinner. Invitations don’t have to be so formal, though. It’s perfectly acceptable to send out digital invites, call, or text guests the details of your rehearsal dinner.
- The parents of the groom traditionally planned and paid for the rehearsal dinner, but today, it's perfectly acceptable to plan it yourself with the help of other friends and family members.
- Your rehearsal dinner can be as simple as a backyard BBQ or as extravagant as a four course dinner at a five-star restaurant.
- Make sure your rehearsal dinner is close to your wedding venue.
- Schedule dinner for the night before your wedding.
- Everyone who is participating in your wedding should be invited.
- Invite guests two to four weeks ahead of time.
Consider Purchasing Gifts and Writing Thank You Notes
Favors are an important part of wedding planning that we’ll cover in month three, but those aren’t the only gifts you should get your guests. Favors are meant to provide all of your guests with a memento of your day. You should also do something more meaningful for those closest to you.
Now is the time to start thinking about the gifts you want to give your wedding party, as well as close family members. You may decide you want to pay for accessories for your bridesmaids or have mugs engraved for your groomsmen. No matter what you choose to do, getting started now ensures you have plenty of time to source the perfect gifts and wrap them ahead of your rehearsal dinner.
You may also want to buy gifts for close family members, like your parents or grandparents, to thank them for supporting you. If you’re at a loss for what to get, thank you notes can be very powerful when they are heartfelt. They can also accompany smaller gifts to make them more special.
- Buy gifts for your bridal party.
- Buy gifts for parents and grandparents.
- Write thank you notes to show your appreciation.
Start Planning Your Bridal Shower
Not only should you start thinking about your rehearsal dinner, you should also start thinking about your bridal shower!
Although you can plan your own bridal shower, most brides opt to let someone else plan the shower for them. The maid of honor, the mother of the bride, other friends and family of the bride, or any combination of these people can host a great bridal shower, but don’t think the bride can’t have some say herself! The best events are ones where everyone works together to make sure the bride feels loved and supported ahead of the wedding.
This event should be a fairly exclusive event. Only those closest to the bride should be invited, with just a few exceptions. Mom, grandma, bridesmaids, and close girlfriends are a shoe-in. It’s generally a good idea to invite the mother of the groom, his grandma, and any of his siblings too, unless they are planning on throwing you a separate shower.
Traditionally, bridal showers are for women, but don’t think you have to stick with this tradition if you don’t want to. Feel free to invite men to your shower too, as long as you are close. You can even consider a shower for both the bride and groom at the same time. This is a good idea if you aren’t planning on having an engagement party.
You can have the bridal shower whenever you want, but it's generally a good idea to send out invites at least four weeks ahead of time to make sure everyone keeps that day clear on their calendar.
Themed showers can be a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to include the bride. For example, if you didn’t get the Cinderella theme you wanted for your wedding because your partner wasn’t on board, consider doing it for the bridal shower!
Games are a great way to have a little fun and break the ice, if people from different areas of your life will be meeting each other for the first time. Creating toilet paper wedding gowns and giving a quiz about the bride are both favorite bridal party games, but don't feel like you have to do any games if you think they are cheesy. Guests can also contribute to a date night jar, create art, or you can learn a fun skill together, like flower arranging.
- Those closest to the bride traditionally plan the bridal shower, but the bride can get involved in the planning process too!
- Only those closest to the bride should be invited.
- It's also a good idea to invite close relatives of the groom.
- Although bridal showers are traditionally for women, feel free to invite men as well.
- Send out invites at least four weeks in advance.
- Consider a themed shower.
- Don't feel like you have to do games if you don't want to—there are a lot of other activities you can do instead.
Start the Search for Rental Items
Hopefully, you have already started talking to your venue about the items they have available for you to use on your wedding day. It’s important to get all of that information ironed out before you start searching for items that you want to rent from a third party. You don’t want to rent a bunch of chair covers only to discover your venue has multiple colors and styles for you to choose from!
It’s also important to iron out what you will be DIYing, what you want to buy, and what you want to rent. For example, it’s always a good idea to rent items, like chairs, that you will never use again, but you may decide to purchase a few folding tables that can be used long after your wedding is over.
Ask your other vendors for recommendations if you’re having a hard time finding the kinds of items you want to rent. Photographers, caterers, and florists work with rental companies all the time, so they can point you in the right direction.
It’s a good idea to rent at least one or two extras of everything, just in case. You don’t want to find out you’re short a few chairs or you don’t have enough plates for the guests that didn’t RSVP, but they showed up anyway.
- Create a clear list of what you want to DIY, what you want to buy, and what you’re going to rent.
- Ask other vendors for recommendations on where to rent items.
- Rent at least a few extra of everything so you don’t run out.