by Ryan Conner
Karley Osborn is a bride-to-be living in Plano. Her fiancé proposed in March. They’re getting married in July. No, she’s not crazy, and yes, she’s confident she will be able to order a dress and have it triple-fitted in plenty of time — no matter what the experts have to say about it. Karley also happened to intern for D Magazine and work as a social reporter with People Newspapers. Every Wednesday, she’ll be documenting her planning process. From flowers to fittings, she will use her first-hand experience to help other brides in the event of a last-minute love affair.
You know that TLC show What Not to Wear? Consider this week’s column a spin-off of that, working title: “How Not to Book a Photographer”—where audiences watch as a forlorn-looking, photographer-less bride sends frantic emails to every photographer she finds on Google, only to find that the majority of them are already booked. Have been for months, actually.
The good news: Just like the What Not to Wear makeover candidates end the show by emerging from their polyester cocoons as sleek and stylish butterflies, so too did Fiancé and I end our photographer hunt doing a victory dance while swinging a signed contract high above our heads (so excited to work with you, Suggs Photography. Still…we came so close to bombing it. Why is that, exactly? Read on.
Oh, yeah. Because we’re getting hitched in a hurry. Meaning everything about our wedding is on short notice. And if you’re in the same speedboat of an engagement that we’re in, then you’ll agree with the following statement: It can be really, really hard to get the major vendors you want if you don’t start making phone calls the day after you get engaged.
That being said, let’s use mine and Fiancé’s almost photo-less wedding as an excuse to break down when, where, and how future speedy Gonzales-type brides should make Major Decisions about their big days.
THESE ARE KIND OF A BIG DEAL
Listed in order from call-the-day-you-get-engaged to give-yourself-a-week-and-hop-to-it, here are five things that should be considered Major League players in your planning process:
- Ceremony and reception locations
This should happen so fast it should be like a reflex. Get engaged, book your venues.
When on a tight schedule, it’s helpful to look for reception locations that provide in-house catering. Two birds, one stone—you know the drill.
- Wedding gown
Ahh, yes. The wedding dress. One of the things I did right. Hear me: You don’t have time to try on 300 plus dresses, like your girlfriend who had an 18-month engagement or those ladies toting binders full of clippings on Say Yes to the Dress. If you read this column, you’ll remember that it generally takes six months for a gown to arrive. Know what you like. Place the order. Then stop perusing Pinterest.
Save the dates, formal invites…as soon as you have the all-important guest list made (commonly known as the Rosetta Stone that will decode all subsequent wedding planning endeavors), get them ordered. Even if you create them online, like we did, it will take a few weeks for them to come in. Then you have to address them, assemble them, stamp them, and send them a minimum of s ix to eight weeks prior to your wedding date. Add more time if you’re extra crazy and doing a destination wedding, like us.
- Photographer + Videographer
These services should round out any bride’s top 5 priorities (even though, in my case, things like accessorizing got in the way. Oops.) Most photographers require that deposits be made 90 days prior to your wedding date. Additionally, photographers in high-demand have been known to accept a limited number of gigs each year, with bookings confirmed up to a year in advance.
Thankfully, Fiancé and I didn’t end up bombing our wedding photos—in fact, I’m so excited about both our photographer and videographer that I feel like we somehow managed to hit a home run. That being said, under no circumstance should you do what Fiancé and I did—that is, play Russian Roulette by waiting to book a photographer until there are only 81 days left in your engagement. If you do as we say, and not as we do, I promise you’ll avoid an appearance on “How Not to Book a Photographer”…and every subsequent spin-off, for that matter.