You’re engaged! Congratulations. Take a minute to bask in the glow of this joyful moment before all the planning begins. Weddings take a lot of preparation and can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. So, it’s important to stay focused on the main thing – the excitement of celebrating your love. To help with the rest, here is a rundown of some of the usual wedding tasks you’ll need to tackle. From guest lists and wedding venues to finding the dress of your dreams, we’ve got your wedding planning checklist covered.

Find Wedding Venues in Atlanta

First things first – you need a place to get hitched. Deciding on your wedding venue is one of the first major items on the list. A good rule of thumb is to book as early as possible. Wedding venues in Atlanta can fill up as much as a year in advance, especially on weekends during the spring and fall.

Think about the type of wedding you’re going to have. What’s your wedding style? Will it be indoors or out? Ballroom or barn? Park or garden? The wedding venue will be the backdrop of your big day and set the tone for all the other details like décor, attire, food and more. Nailing down the venue will give you a great foundation to build your wedding around.

Try on Wedding Dresses Atlanta-Style

Shopping for your wedding dress is probably the most exciting thing on the checklist. You’ve got your posse with you, and there’s all the personal attention from the bridal salon. Do you want to go couture or enjoy the thrill of the hunt at a trunk show? No matter which direction you go, remember that it can take quite a few months for a wedding dress to be ready, especially if you have any customizations or alterations. So, here’s a mini-checklist to help you Say Yes to The Dress.

  • Schedule an appointment at a bridal salon.
  • Do your research and bring inspiration pics with you.
  • Try on different styles and shades, and don’t forget the veil.
  • Order your dress way ahead of time.
  • Schedule a fitting and make sure you have time for any alterations.
  • Ask for a fabric swatch so you can match it with flowers, decor and bridesmaids dresses.
  • Don’t forget to purchase the right undergarments for your wedding dress.
  • Store your dress safely until the big day.

Make Your Guest List

Now, it’s time to begin compiling your wedding guest list. Before you can start doing things like ordering catering and deciding on reception space, you’ll need to estimate how many people will attend. It’s a good idea to create a couple of rough drafts to begin with. Make sure to ask the groom for a list for his side of the family too.

An Excel spreadsheet goes a long way to keep things organized. Or if you’re going to have others helping you out, a shared Google doc may be wise. That way your family members or wedding planner can view and update the list too. There are also a great many websites designed for this exact task that offer help with organizing things like seating arrangements as well.

Send Out the Invitations

Once you’ve finalized your guest list, it’s time to order and send out the wedding invitations. It’s a good idea to order your ‘Save the Date’ announcements, invitations and any other stationery six months in advance. Whether you go with traditional calligraphy, embossing or your own design flair, invitations are a great opportunity to inject some of your own personality into your wedding. It’s also a good time to choose your thank-you notes as well. ‘Save the Date’ announcements should be mailed out six months ahead of time with invitations going out eight weeks before the big day.

Hire the Vendors

Now that you’ve nailed down the venue, dress, wedding style and size, a solid vision of your wedding ceremony and reception are coming together. The next step is to select your Atlanta vendors for catering, flowers, pictures, video, music and whatever else you have planned. Book your vendors at least three months in advance of the wedding.

About two weeks before the big day is when you’ll give your caterer the number of wedding guests you’re expecting. In general terms, you can estimate the total at about 75 percent of the guests you plan to invite. Depending on the wedding venue you’ve chosen, they will likely provide the catering. This will make things much easier and will be one less thing you’ll have to worry about the day of your wedding.

Book Your Wedding Accommodations

As soon as you decide on your wedding date and location, you should begin reserving rooms at a local hotel for out-of-town guests and the bridal party. Most hotels will offer travel rates and blocks of hotel rooms for weddings. When choosing the hotel, think about the number of people you’ll need rooms for and the types of amenities or perks you’d like for them to experience.

It’s a good idea to include the hotel room information with the invitation for out-of-town guests. And on the day of, leave goody bags on each bed. Check with the hotel as they should be able to assist with this. They may also be able to help with transportation and travel details if you’re leaving directly from the hotel for your honeymoon. At Hilton, we are here to take care of booking your rooms and ensuring that you and your wedding guests have a relaxing and enjoyable stay for your wedding in Atlanta.

Need a wedding planning break? Treat yourself and your partner to a romantic Atlanta getaway/staycation or plan a romantic night out.

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