The Ultimate Wedding Checklist - What To Start Planning 9 Months Out
9 Month Wedding Checklist - Download it here!
- Take engagement photos
- Create a shot list for your wedding day
- Order save the dates
- Create a wedding website
THE ULTIMATE WEDDING CHECKLIST - 9 Months Out
If you’re planning a wedding, you just can’t do without a wedding planner checklist! We have gone above and beyond your favorite bride magazine to provide you with a complete timeline of everything you need to know in order to plan the perfect wedding.
This month, it’s all about:
- Taking your engagement photos
- Creating a shot list
- Ordering save the dates
- Setting up your wedding website
Take Your Engagement Photos
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to take your engagement photos. If you’re planning a budget wedding, you can save some money by skipping engagement photos, but if you have the money in your budget, we recommend scheduling an engagement session.
Engagement photography is a great way to announce your upcoming wedding. They also give you images to work with when ordering your save the dates (more on that later), in addition to becoming a treasured keepsake in their own right. Many couples remember the day they got engaged just as clearly and fondly as they do their wedding day.
Another good reason to schedule an engagement session is that it gives you a chance to work with your photographer ahead of the big day. Taking posed photos can feel a bit strange, especially if you have never done it before, and especially if you’re working with someone you’ve only just met. By working with your photographer on engagement images, you can get used to how they do things, which will make things go more smoothly on your wedding day.
It also gives you a chance to work out some kinks and see how you’re going to look in their pictures. If you are unhappy with your engagement pictures and you worry about how they are going to perform on your big day, you can consider going with a different photographer. You may be out your deposit, but it’s better than getting stuck with images of your wedding day that you hate.
- Take engagement photos so you can use the images on your save the dates.
- Discuss any concerns and see how your photographer works ahead of the big day.
- If you don’t like the way you look in your engagement photos, consider a different photographer.
Create a Shot List
Another great reason to work with your photographer ahead of your wedding day is that they can help you create a shot list. Even newbie photographers know which images are most requested by brides and grooms. They can help you get started creating a list of shots you don’t want to miss.
Don’t be afraid to add shots to the list that aren’t so common. If you love images of brides standing in a sunny window just after getting dressed, ask for a shot on your wedding day. If you love jumping images of the bridal party, creative wedding ring shots, or funny shots (like the bridal party struggling to zip the bride into her dress), add them to your list!
- Talk with your photographer to create a shot list for your wedding day.
- Add specific shots to your list that you love.
Order Save the Dates
Now is the time to get started on ordering your save the dates. In general, it’s a good idea to put them in the mail four to six months before your wedding date to give everyone plenty of time to plan ahead. However, if you’re planning a destination wedding, you will want to give your guests as much notice as you can, which may mean getting your save the dates put in the mail up to 12 months out from your wedding date.
Save the dates can be as complex and unique or as simple and straight-to-the-point as you want them to be. A simple card with an engagement photo and the date are enough, but there are a lot of creative ways you can let friends and loved ones know about your upcoming nuptials.
A few creative ideas include:
- Fridge magnets
- Drink coasters
- Custom candles
- Message in a bottle for a beach wedding
- Mock passports for a destination wedding
- Digital save the dates
- Put your save the dates in the mail no less than four to six months ahead of your wedding day.
- Save the dates for destination weddings can be sent up to 12 months before your wedding day.
- Consider getting creative with your save the dates.
Set up a Wedding Website
Invitations used to be the only way to communicate information with guests, besides calling them on the phone, of course. Today, there are so many more effective ways of communication, enabling you to answer every question guests have ahead of your wedding day, all without the need to field phone calls, text messages, and emails.
In today’s world, a wedding website is a must. Not only does it include the date of your wedding, it can provide information to guests about what hotels to stay in, directions, wedding registry information, dress code, and more. If you haven’t worked on your wedding website already, the nine month mark is the perfect time to do it. The quicker it’s live on the internet, the earlier everyone can learn about the details of your big day.
Building a website isn’t as complicated as it used to be, and there’s no reason for your website to be fancy or complex either. A simple layout with easy access to important information is all that is needed. You can find quite a few free wedding website builders online that can get your information live on the internet in minutes.
One of the best reasons to activate a wedding website is the fact that you can enable digital RSVPs. Guests may accidentally lose their RSVP card before putting it in the mail or forget about it altogether. If they have the option to RSVP any time that’s convenient for them, they are more likely to do it, even if you have to send a quick text to remind them!
There are a couple do’s and don’ts that you need to keep in mind. Do make sure you make your wedding website mobile-friendly. So few people access the internet on an actual computer anymore. You want to make sure guests can browse all the information quickly and easily, no matter what device they are using.
Your wedding website is also a great place to include other digital information. Instead of including wedding hashtag information on your invites, include it on your wedding website. That way guests can start using your hashtag ahead of your big day.
More information isn’t always better when it comes to wedding websites. Only include information that is relevant to all of your guests. For example, directions on getting to the reception are a great addition to your wedding website, but refrain from sharing information about the rehearsal dinner or bridesmaid’s brunch. Instead, send out separate invites to exclusive events to ensure you don’t accidentally offend any friends or family members.
- Provide important information to guests ahead of your big day.
- Use a free wedding website builder to save money and time.
- Enable digital RSVPs to make it easy for guests to respond.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
- Include your wedding hashtag information.
- Only include information that is relevant to all of your guests.