Once the busy holiday season ends, brides who have wedding dates on the calendar for spring or summer can use the winter lull to their advantage by taking care of the bulk of their planing.
In fact, some wedding planners say winter is an ideal time to plan a weddding for later in the year because vendors and venues often have clearer schedules before the summer wedding rush, which can mean more time and attention for brides and grooms.
Here are a few suggestions from those in the wedding industry about some of the details that couples can take care of during winter before the weather warms and their wedding date nears.
Book your vendors
Jaclyn Fisher, who owns Two Little Birds Planning in Haddonfield, N.J., said winter is a good time for spring and summer brides to book vendors such as wedding planners, musicians, caterers, bands or DJs, florists, photographers, videographers, bakers and transportation companies.
A good planning rule, said Kelli Sigmon, the founder of Boston’s Swank Events, is to book vendors at least five months before the wedding. Meanwhile, she said winter is great time to met with photographers and Djs or to set up food tastings with caterers because it’s the off season, so vendors or managers at venues have time to answer questions, give tours and make the experience more personal. She said some might also offer discounts so they’ll have appointments on the books during the busy summer months.
Prioritize and organize
To get all the details in order, Fisher suggests hiring a planner or day-of coordinator. She said this takes stress off the bride so she can enjoy being a bride. She also recommends something simple -- making lists -- either with pen and paper or in an app. To get organized, Fisher recommends wedding-specific apps such as iWedding Deluxe, Wedding Budget, The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner, WeddingScan, Fun Wedding and Ultimate Wedding Planner.
Figure out the details
Susan Cordogan, owner of Chicago’s Big City Bride, said couples can use the slow winter months before the wedding to think about many of the small details. Map out a wedding timeline -- what time will rehearsal take place? When will the wedding party get hair and makeup done? When should vendors arrive? Also, start thinking about who you want in
your group photos and when they will be taken.
“Group shots are like herding cats,” she said. “Someone’s always in the the bathroom, smoking a cigarette or at the bar.”
She said to use the time to think of details such as getting a guest book, menu cards and whether you want to do anything interactive.
And when it comes to music, couples who hire live bands should give the musicians at least three months to learn, practice and perfect special songs, such as the tune they want to hear during the father-daughter dance. For those hiring a DJ, use the winter to start compiling a list of songs they do and don’t want played and add to it over time.