January and February are big months for wedding planning. People get engaged over the holidays and want to get the planning process started. I thought I would post a general wedding planning timeline with tips to help you through it all.
12 to 18 Months
Eight to 12 Months
Six to Eight Months
Four to Six Months
Day of your Wedding
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For a wedding with a DIY-feel, you can't go wrong with these ombre tissue paper poms. "I came up with the idea for this item after being inspired by a beautiful image of a wedding chair woven with satin ribbons in similar colors," <a href="pomtree.etsy.com" target="_blank">the seller says.</a> "These make a great gift for weddings because they can be reused for home decor, given to the children guests as parting favors, or simply recycled since they are 100% recycled materials."
These cupcake toppers are oh-so-perfect for a bridal shower or bachelorette party. <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/elizabethdoodah" target="_blank">The seller</a> was <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/155639351/20-white-he-put-a-ring-on-it-diamond?ref=shop_home_feat_2" target="_blank">inspired to create them</a> after many of her friends announced their engagements with exclamations of, "He put a ring on it!"
These adorable tags make any wedding favor better. <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/clementineweddings" target="_blank">Says the seller</a>, "Adding a small personalized tag makes a simple favor more meaningful. The little details -- especially on favors that go home with your guests -- can make the biggest impact." We agree!
This gorgeous rose gold ring is perfect for an indie bride. <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/onegarnetgirl" target="_blank">Says the seller</a>, "The couples who choose this ring have always appreciated how each stone is one of a kind. It's a welcome break from the typical 4 prong Diamond Engagement ring." We agree!
These beautiful invitations by<a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/oakandorchid" target="_blank"> Oak & Orchid</a> go over well with wedding guests -- and it's easy to see why. Says the seller, "Wedding planning can be an exhausting and overwhelming task that can often leave brides feeling discouraged. What I most often hear from my clients is the renewed amount of excitement they feel because of how proud they are of the wedding stationery. Followed by… 'Everyone is freaking out about how beautiful our invitations are - saying they are the best ones they've ever seen! Thank you! Thank you!'"
We love the simplistic elegance of this <a href="http://www.etsy.com/people/chuppvana" target="_blank">custom cake topper</a>. Says the seller, "I came up with the idea for this item after many requests from brides and grooms for elegant products that capture their essence and style while preserving special moments. It is my wish and dream to help make my clients' wedding day one to remember for ever."
When paired with a tiny succulent, these <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/155920164/mini-thank-you-plant-markers-alder-wood?ref=shop_home_feat" target="_blank">mini thank you plant markers</a> make the ultimate wedding party favor. Says the seller, "These mini cuttings are not just favors but terms of acknowledgment and endearment." We'd have to agree!
We think this piñata by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/paperprimate" target="_blank">Paper Primate</a> resembles a slice of wedding cake, and therefore would be the perfect bridal shower activity! Says the seller,"I love to experiment with the crepe paper to have the texture resemble real cake as much as possible."
This "love is patient, love is kind" keepsake <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/102180699/love-is-patient-love-is-kind-keepsake" target="_hplink">cake topper by FigsAndGinger</a> is a wonderful alternative to the traditional bride and groom figures that often top wedding cakes. Says the seller, "We love the fact that it's all sustainably harvested woods from a family in the midwest, and despite using a laser cutter for parts of the process, there is still lots of hand work and love involved in making each piece."
Aside from their lovely, natural shape,<a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/121245504/diamond-twig-engagement-and-wedding-ring?ref=shop_home_feat" target="_hplink"> what makes these rings unique</a> is that they are made entirely from recycled gold and conflict-free diamonds. Says the designer, "Marriage is about lasting love, happiness, dedication, and problem solving. Rings are meant to symbolize these enduring sentiments. What better way to show your commitment than through rings which exemplify a sustainable and loving future?"
These invitations by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/150032824/printable-wedding-invitation-rsvp-custom?ref=shop_home_feat" target="_hplink">GoldFoxPaper</a> are perfect for brides and grooms who want to personalize their Big Days. Each invitation is custom illustrated to match each couple. "Whether it be glasses, a beard or red lips, the illustration highlights the personality of the Bride and Groom," the designer said. "I wanted to design something that was elegant yet playful and really spoke to the personality of the Bride and Groom."
These handmade stamps by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/123978066/simple-arrow-wedding-invitation-stamp?ref=shop_home_feat" target="_hplink">nativebear </a>are perfect for the DIY bride who wants to stamp her own wedding stationary. Says the designer, "Since I hand carve my stamps (rather than have a machine laser cut them) the image that prints has a much more organic and personal feel, which is perfect for a wedding. Also, after the big day comes and goes, I love that my customers are able to hold on to the stamps as a beautiful keepsake of their big day."
This save-the-date set by<a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/inviteddesign" target="_hplink"> Invited Design </a> is perfect for an Art Deco-inspired wedding. Noting that she has been receiving more and more requests for Art Deco-style save-the-dates and invitations, the designer said, "This design became a favorite perhaps because it also has a 'peacock' flair to it with the little 'eyes' on the corners and the stylized fan in the center filigree."
This made-to-order <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/151620781/bridal-bandeau-veil-silk-flower?ref=shop_home_feat" target="_hplink">bridal bandeau veil by Myra Kim</a> is a stunning addition to your romantic Big Day look. Says the designer, "I created this style because I wanted to design a veil that was fresh and different but also very wearable. The bouquet of silk flowers adds just enough drama while remaining sweet and feminine." We have to agree!
These Marie Antoinette-inspired wedding shoes by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/oxfordisheaven" target="_hplink">Oxford Is Heaven</a> are perfect for the indiebride! Says the designer, "They are a really fun alternative to white or ivory wedding shoes and provide that fun pop of color under the bride's dress or accent for bridesmaids' dresses."
This rose gold, sequined backless dress from <a href="http://TruvelleBridal.etsy.com" target="_hplink">Truvelle Bridal</a> is perfect for the offbeat bride. Says the designer, "For years, the wedding industry has been pumping out white, strapless wedding gowns. [This dress], 'Julia,' is neither of the two, which makes it quite refreshing. The almond chiffon was sourced years ago at a local fabric shop. The rose gold sequins are amazing -- definitely my current fabric obsession. It's striking, unconventional, but still lovely."
What could be cuter than a pup in tuxedo cuffs?! These adorable accessories from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/furkidscloset" target="_hplink">Furkids Closet</a> are just the thing your dapper doggie needs for the Big Day. Says the designer, "I've had a bride who told me that she was jealous of her dog as he has actually drawn more attention on her wedding. All eyes were on her dog!"
You'll probably never forget the promises you made on your wedding day, but just in case, why not frame them? This gorgeous keepsake from <a href="http://CocoEllaDesigns.etsy.com" target="_hplink">Coco Ella Designs</a> makes a great first anniversary gift or wedding day present.
This unique engagement ring from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/150185904/halo-aqua-apatite-diamond-ring-gemstone?ref=shop_home_active" target="_hplink">Penelli Belle</a> features a 14K rose gold band with an aqua apatite gemstone and a halo of diamonds. Says the designer, "I love vibrant colors and just think that rose gold and teal look so rich. They are vibrant with a delicate romantic touch."
This stunning boutonniere by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/TinyBitMarvellous" target="_hplink">A Tiny Bit Marvellous</a> is handcrafted using feathers and thistles. Says the designer, "Every time my husband attends a wedding, he always saves his boutonniere and pins it to the notice board in the kitchen. After about a week they would dry and still look nearly exactly the same as they did a week before. Seeing them all lined up, I realized they all looked pretty much the same and thought it was such a shame that nobody ever did anything different. So I took one of them down, deconstructed it to get the thistle and a few sprigs of heather (all very Scottish I must add) and reassembled it with a few craft feathers I had. Husband really liked it and took the rest of the dried boutonnieres down and replaced it with my design. Seeing as it never dies, he now wears it every time he wears his kilt!"
Dress up your flower girl in this adorable handmade tutu from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/tutucutebaby" target="_hplink">TuTu Cute Baby</a>. "I have approximately 42 colors for the bride to choose from," says the designer. "I have [had many brides] telling me that the flower girls didn't want to take their tutus off."
Make jaws drop in this stunning peplum wedding dress by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/jillianfellers" target="_hplink">Jillian Fellers</a>. Made from silk chiffon and organza, this dress is the perfect mix of fairytale and modern bride. Says the designer, "It is constructed completely of silk including a beautiful, shimmery satin-face silk organza peplum and overlay on the bodice. The silk keeps the dress lightweight and breathable, making it comfortable to wear during the ceremony and through hours of dining and dancing."
Gift your bridesmaids a gorgeous custom robe by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/singingslowly" target="_hplink">Singing Slowly!</a> Says the designer, "I spend weeks of the year trawling shops in the UK (Petticoat Lane Market being my favorite) for pretty, evocative prints that make my heart sing. The print often tells me what type of robe it wants to be. Some prints lend themselves beautifully to simpler silhouettes and some look gorgeous styled loosely after Edwardian or mid-century robes."
Fill these muslin bags, by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/nativebear" target="_hplink">Native Bear</a>, with candy or jewelry and use them to "pop the question" to your bridesmaids! Says the designer, "This item is a great way to dress up your bridesmaid gifts no matter what your wedding theme may be. The natural design and customizable colors (for the heart) give the gift an extra personal touch."
These adorably dainty heart-shaped earrings from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/lolaandcash" target="_hplink">Lola & Cash</a> make the perfect bridesmaid gift or accessory for a City Hall wedding. Says the designer, "They are inexpensive, yet high quality sterling studs that are handmade by an independent artist. A cute and versatile design that suits all tastes and of course the best symbol for love on a wedding day."
These playful drink stirrers from <a href="http://PocketfulOfDreamsUK.etsy.com" target="_hplink">Pocketful of Dreams</a> add just the right amount of fun and whimsy to a wedding. Says the designer, "Each set of stirrers is made to order so we can create a custom set for each buyer. People can choose the colour of their stirrers as well as choosing from farmyard, wild and jungle animals. What we love best about these is the number of ways in which people use them -- not just as drink stirrers but also as cake toppers, displayed on their own as decorations and even nestled in amongst vases of flowers."
These wooden magnets by <a href="http://TheLonelyHeart.etsy.com" target="_hplink">The Lonely Heart</a> are the perfect favor for a shabby-chic wedding. Says the designer, "Everybody has a refrigerator that they post something on whether it be a to do list, kids' art, notes to self. It's a favor that will be treasured and used, bringing back lovely memories from your special day!"
This hand-crafted 75-piece bride and groom puzzle by <a href="http://MelindaWeddingDesign.etsy.com" target="_hplink">Melinda Wedding Design</a> is actually a super creative and unique guest book! The puzzle is made from a 1/8" thick wood sheet and sanded smooth. Says the designer, "We put the puzzle together before shipping to make sure all the pieces lock together tightly. All the time we invest into this wedding puzzle we do it happily because we know it will be cherished for years to come."
This luscious succulent bouquet from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/ATouchofSucculents" target="_hplink">A Touch of Succulents</a> offers just the right amount of glamour and polish. Says the designer, "Many of our brides return from their honeymoon and are able to easily disassemble and replant their bouquets. They are then able to transform that special element from the big day into a planted arrangement that they can reflect on with each other and share with friends and family for years to come."
This sweet little pocket mirror from <a href="http://Buttonlandia.etsy.com" target="_hplink">Buttonlandia</a> is emblazoned with the words "Hello, beautiful!" -- what a great way to thank your bridesmaids! Says the designer, "This pocket mirror is set apart from others because each one is handwritten by me, it adds a uniqueness because each one is different (just like people are). I also wanted to include some cuteness by using notebook paper."
This sweet chalkboard print by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/LilyandVal" target="_hplink">Lily And Val</a> features an amorous quote by Edgar Allan Poe. Perfect for a newlywed couple! Says the designer, "This piece is entirely hand lettered on a chalkboard surface. I then took a photograph of the artwork to produce the print. This method truly provides a realistic chalkboard appearance minus the dust. I absolutely love offering a temporary medium like chalk in a form that is lasting and permanent."
These adorable pillow cases from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/dustysandlulu?ref=seller_info" target="_hplink">Dustys and Lulu</a> are the perfect gift for newlyweds from friends, or a sweet present from one spouse to the other. Say "Good Night" in style!
These customizable wedding bands from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/monkeysalwayslook" target="_hplink">Monkeys Always Look</a> can be stamped with the latitude and longitude of where you and your spouse first met, or any other text or quote that's meaningful to you. Says the designer, "Couples thank us for creating such a unique piece. Only the husband and wife would know exactly the meaning behind each latitude/longitude."
The perfect gift for newlyweds, this cutting board by <a href="http://WoodInk.etsy.com" target="_hplink">WoodInk</a> is custom engraved with the couple's new names. Says the designer, "Our cutting boards are the "triple threat" of wedding gifts. They're beautiful and expensive looking (while remaining affordable), very personal, and also unique. Gifting one of our boards says to your newlyweds, 'I took the time to find something that would really mean something to you.'"
This gorgeous 1920s-inspired gold foil invitation is hand crafted by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/hellotenfold" target="_hplink">Hello Tenfold</a>. Says the designer, "They are letterpress printed on cotton paper in either matte or shiny gold foil, so they are wonderful to the touch."
This gorgeous embellished belt is handcrafted using Austrian crystals by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/SomethingTreasured8?ref=seller_info" target="_hplink">Something Treasured</a>. Says the designer, "The Something Treasured bride is a fashion forward gal that appreciates various designers, but has made the decision to fork out the money on her dress and not her accessories. She's also the kind of gal that wants a hand in tying together her whole bridal look. She has a vision, and we want to fulfill that for her."
This upcycled necktie bouquet by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/louellaroseshop" target="_hplink">Louella Rose</a> is modeled after a bouquet of long-stem red roses. Says the designer, "Brides have the option to use neckties from a loved one to make their wedding flowers even more memorable."
These custom guestbooks are handcrafted by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/lorgie" target="_hplink">Lorgie</a>, and made from timber and vegan leather. Says the designer, "The custom messages on these timber books are carefully designed in collaboration with clients before being laser engraved. The timber covers are sanded and coated with an eco varnish and the paper inserts are hand torn and cut to size before being bound together with coloured vegan leather strips and quality hardware."
This upcycled necklace from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/ecofinery" target="_hplink">Ecofinery</a> adds just the right amount of excitement to a bridal look. Says designer Breeze Romain, "[The] Deco Dazzle necklace draws inspiration from style and design of bygone eras; the whimsy, asymmetry and lux of 1920s, 1980s and 2010s fashion ... This necklace expresses nostalgia for the important fashion junctions of the past while re-inventing their aesthetic."
This beautiful tea-length wedding dress is made-to-order by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilverSixpenceBridal?ref=seller_info" target="_hplink">Silver Sixpence Bridal</a>. The dress was inspired by Audrey Hepburn in "Funny Face."
This engagement and wedding ring set by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/kristincoffin" target="_hplink">Kristin Coffin Jewelry</a> is handcrafted from recycled gold and a conflict-free sapphire. Says the designer, "The ethically-sourced gold is the perfect representation of marriage. Marriage is about lasting love, happiness, dedication, and problem-solving. Rings are meant to symbolize these enduring sentiments. What better way to show your commitment than through rings which exemplify a sustainable and loving future?"
This unique bouquet is handcrafted by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/munclefredart" target="_hplink">Muncle Fred Art</a> and made of wool felt. Says the designer, "Brides with a unique style tend to pick this bouquet for their bridesmaids. It makes a statement for the alternative bride."
This ring set by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/daniellejewelry?ref=top_trail" target="_hplink">Danielle Miller Jewelry</a> is made from hand-chiseled 14k gold. Says the designer, "Because each is hand carved and no two rings are alike, they are symbolic of a couple's individuality...allowing them to express the many the facets of their love!"
These personalized clutches by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/allisajacobs?ref=seller_info" target="_hplink">Allisa Jacobs</a> are the perfect gift for your bridesmaids. Says the designer, "These bags are excellent for weddings because I'm able to customize the colors to a bride's request, monogram each bag, and even include an individualized message printed on the fabric inside - creating a one of a kind, handmade, personalized gift."
This lavender confetti by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/Flowerfetti?ref=si_shop" target="_hplink">Flowerfetti</a> is a fragrant and eco-friendly alternative to throwing rice or blowing bubbles at a wedding. Says the designer, "Since olden days, herbs have been used in weddings to add fragrance, beauty and symbolism. I was inspired to take this tradition and create modern, beautiful confetti of petals and herbs."
These custom caricature save-the-dates are individually hand-drawn by artist <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/devhunt1" target="_hplink">Devin Hunt</a>. Says Hunt, "I incorporate unique details into the illustration, so the couple can really have fun with their drawing. Many of my clients want their pets to be included in the drawing. Other popular requests include favorite hobbies, sports teams, references to alma mater, drawings with the wedding venue in the background. I have had a couple of clients come up with some creative uses for their illustration, including a banner for the side of the trolley car that was taking guests to the reception, and for labels on their wedding favors."
Turn heads at your fall wedding in this rose gold sequined shrug by <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/hollystalder" target="_hplink">Holly Stalder</a>. Says the designer, "A bride told me once that she wears her shrug every year to her anniversary dinner as a sentimental reminder of her wedding outfit."
These freestanding table numbers from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/milkdustcreations" target="_hplink">Milkdust Creations</a> are handmade and cost just $5.75 each. Says the designer, "Brides, grooms, and event planners have enjoyed the versatility of this table number, [especially] the ability to customize it to their liking. The table numbers have a reputation of disappearing with the guests, so I am happy to include a complimentary card for the happy couple to keep all to themselves."
These silk garters from <a href="http://Previously.etsy.com" target="_hplink">Previously</a> are true to the style of those worn in the 1920s. Says the designer, "This garter set is my personal favorite, it was inspired by a 1920s Boue Soeurs dress at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The dress features a multitude of cascading silk flowers and is a stunning example of early 20th century craftsmanship."
This Swarovski crystal-encrusted Juliet cap from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/dolorispetunia" target="_hplink">Doloris Petunia</a> is perfect for the bride who longs for a veil alternative. Says the designer, "After getting married myself, I wanted to create pieces for the bride who wanted to do away with the fussiness of a veil, yet have their own take on a classic style of a bridal head dress that they could wear with even the most simple dress. My goal was to create something that was both modern and timeless."
This tiny bouquet pendant sits gingerly on the neck, and at just an inch high, makes the perfect necklace for a delicate, romantic bride. "It features tiny pink hand-wrapped roses bunched in a mini glass vial hung from a delicate sterling silver chain. Each flower measures less than 0.25" and is made of high quality dyed mulberry paper and wire," says <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/doodlebirdie" target="_hplink">Doodle Bird</a> designer Patricia Buzo. "The full rose bouquet consists of about 10 white stems and includes 2 realistic leaf sprigs. The vial is made of glass and the roses sit in a crystal clear "water" base."
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