A Photographer’s Guide to Your Wedding Checklist

Hello, lovely couples-to-be! As a passionate wedding photographer based in the vibrant city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, I’m here to guide you through the exciting journey of planning your dream wedding. From the picturesque landscapes to the charming venues, Grand Rapids offers a perfect backdrop for your special day. Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details of the checklist mentioned earlier, ensuring your wedding is as stunning as your love story.

12-18 Months Before

Set a Budget – Crafting the Dream

Before you start envisioning your wedding, establish a budget. Your budget will determine various aspects, from the venue to the decor. Prioritize what matters most to you.

Check out my Grand Rapids Budget Guide!

Create a Guest List – Intimate or Extravaganza

Decide on the size of your guest list. The number of guests influences your venue choice and the overall vibe of your celebration.

Select a Date – Love on the Calendar

Choose a date that holds significance for both of you. Keep in mind the weather and availability of key guests.

Choose a Venue – Where Dreams Come True

Grand Rapids boasts a variety of venues, from charming gardens to elegant ballrooms. Visit and book the one that resonates with your vision.

See my guide for Indoor Weddings, and Outdoor Weddings!

Hire a Wedding Planner – Your Fairy Godmother

If time is a luxury, consider hiring a wedding planner who knows the local scene inside out.

Research Vendors – Assembling the Dream Team

From florists to musicians, research and book vendors who align with your style. Their expertise will elevate your celebration.

If a State Park Elopement is more your vibe, check out this guide!

8-12 Months Before

Send Save-the-Dates – Teasing the Magic

Give your guests a heads-up with creative save-the-dates. Grand Rapids’ charm will pique their interest.

Book Vendors – Sealing the Deals

Secure your chosen vendors, read contracts meticulously, and maintain open communication.

Choose Attire – Dressing Your Love Story

Select attire that reflects your personalities and suits the wedding’s theme.

Plan the Ceremony and Reception – Weaving the Narrative

Draft a rough outline of the events. The narrative will guide your photographer in capturing the unfolding story.

6-8 Months Before

Select and Order Invitations – First Glimpse of Grandeur

Your invitations set the tone for the celebration. Reflect the city’s vibrancy in your design.

Menu Selection – Savoring Grand Rapids

Work with caterers to craft a menu featuring local flavors. Delight your guests with culinary wonders.

Cake – Sweet Grand Rapids Love

Collaborate with a local baker to design a cake that’s a delectable work of art.

Hair and Makeup – Your Radiance Matters

Grand Rapids’ changing seasons might influence your look. Schedule a trial to ensure you’re stunning in every weather.

Airbnb – Perfect Location to Get Ready

Renting out an Airbnb for your wedding day preparations comes with a number of benefits that can make your day more relaxed and memorable. Check out my top picks in Grand Rapids!

4-6 Months Before

Marriage License – Making It Official

Obtain your marriage license from the Kent County Clerk’s office, following the local regulations.

Finalize Details – Polishing Perfection

Review and finalize arrangements with vendors. Crystal-clear communication avoids last-minute glitches.

Wedding Rings – Circle of Everlasting Love

Choose or custom-design your wedding rings, tokens of your Grand Rapids story.

2-4 Months Before

Send Invitations – Grand Rapids Welcomes All

Mail out invitations, hinting at the enchantment Grand Rapids promises.

RSVPs – Organized Celebrations

Keep track of RSVPs to make necessary adjustments.

Final Fittings – Attire That Fits Like a Dream

Attend final fittings to ensure your attire fits flawlessly.

1 Month Before

Finalize Seating Arrangements – Connecting Hearts

Share your seating plan with the venue for a smooth setup.

Confirm Details – Syncing the Symphony

Reconfirm arrangements with vendors, ensuring everyone’s on the same page.

Wedding Timeline – A Choreographed Tale

Share a detailed timeline with vendors, ensuring each moment is captured beautifully.

1-2 Weeks Before

Confirm Final Numbers – Last-Minute Adjustments

Communicate final guest counts to caterers and other vendors.

Pack for the Day – Essentials for Grand Rapids Magic

Prepare a bag with essentials for the big day, including comfortable shoes for exploring the city.

Delegate Tasks – Stress-Free Celebration

Appoint someone responsible for managing any last-minute details or issues.

Wedding Day

Enjoy Your Day – Grand Rapids’ Gift to You

Relish every moment of your celebration. The vibrant energy of Grand Rapids will infuse your day with magic.

Planning your Grand Rapids wedding is an exhilarating journey, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. As a photographer, my goal is to capture the essence of your love against the backdrop of this enchanting city. Each detail, from the choice of venue to the local flavors, will weave together to create a celebration that’s uniquely yours. Let’s embark on this journey and craft a story that reflects the love, beauty, and spirit of Grand Rapids.

Let’s connect to plan your Grand Rapids wedding!

August 25, 2023

Aliscia Marie Photography

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