The 9-Month To-Do List

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

To-Do List graphic

Long engagements seem to be out of favor, according to most popular wedding checklists.

Sure, some might have a to-do list that starts around the 1-year-out mark, but it’s mostly dreaming and broad sweeps at that point. But when you reach 9 months? Then things start to get interesting!

Just to catch us up, here’s what those in know say should be done before the end of the 9-month mark (paraphrased from Real Simple):

  • Get your tear-file ready: a binder, folder, or other place to keep magazine pages, brochures, and vendor info you collect along the way. A folder on your computer or special boards on Pinterest will also do just nicely. (definitely done)
  • Budget: construct one. Figure out who’s paying what and how much you/they can afford. (also done)
  • Decide on your attendants. (pretty easy: we’re not having any; done!)
  • Guest List: have one. (we’ve got a working list–could use some firming up–and it’s under our max occupancy at the Plantation, so we’re good there)
  • Hire a wedding planner/DOC. (came with the venue; done!)
  • Pick your date. (oh, we’re definitely done, there!)
  • Book the venue. (done!)
  • Book the officiant. (done–but I haven’t told you about that, yet)
  • Research other vendors–florals, food, music, and photo (not only researched, but 2 of the 4 booked and the other 2 not needed!)
  • Host an engagement party. (we opted out of this one; so lets consider it done, too!)

Hey, we’re in pretty good shape!

Of course, on our personal to-do list, there are plenty of things that do need working on. No matter how complete a published planner may try to be, the author has to write for as general a base as possible. Smaller weddings may not need as many of the bells and whistles that some larger ones do, and DIY weddings will have a lot more items to check off.

Without being too specific to our own list, here are some examples of items that might be on the DIY to-do list, up through the 9-month mark:

  • Collect items for centerpieces–be it wine bottles, milk glass, vintage books, mercury glass, little animal figures, or even Lego kits. You may not know exactly how many tables you need for centerpieces just yet, so err on the side of too many unless your materials are extremely costly.
  • Making paper flowers? Start yesterday. One of the big benefits of faux flowers–paper, fabric, clay, or anything else–is that they won’t wilt if you start them early, and even the potential hassle of storing the delicate items is worth not stressing out the closer you get to the wedding.
  • Start researching ceremony options if you’re writing your own or personalizing a more traditional ceremony to suit your needs.
  • Going the iPod (Spotify, etc.) DJ route? Start pulling together your play list, seeking out and purchasing or ripping digital copies of the songs you’ll need. And don’t forget a getting ready playlist while you’re at it! Also, look into renting any speakers you might need, depending on the space you’ve got to broadcast to.
  • Artists, start sketching your ideas for your paper goods–it’s coming up on time to send out save the dates and you don’t want to have to rush.
  • Now is a good time to start putting together your wedding website if you want one. There are plenty of free templates available on the big wedding planning sites, or you could get a free site from or

All of the above items are in-progress for us, but not yet settled. I suppose, since the traditional to-dos are taken care of, we might as well concentrate on those for the next month.

Pretty Book and Flower Icon


How’s your planning coming along?
Anything I’ve forgotten at this stage?


And with that we’re back to our usual blogging schedule. Actually, better than usual if I manage to keep up with the schedule I’ve set for myself! The closer we get to The Day the more things I’ll have to talk about! Thank you for your patience while I was “away from keyboard” this last month–I managed to get quite a few back-end tasks off my to-do list and even spruce up TTB a bit in the process.


Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

Engagement ring on the cork of a bottle of San Sebastian port, with a digital candle

As of this past Monday, September 30, it’s been a year since Todd & I made our engagement official! What did we do to mark the occasion?

Spent 8 hours in the car, on the way home from a comics show in Mississippi, then grabbed Chinese take-out as we got back to town.

I know, not very romantic, but we’re not really the super-romantic type. At least we spent the day together–despite the rain that made driving that much more tense, and the exhaustion as we’d just made the drive to Mississippi on Friday.

In the past year we’ve gotten quite a bit accomplished. We:

  • Started saving for the wedding
  • Picked our venue (which came with a caterer, accommodations, and a Day-Of Coordinator)
  • Created our preliminary menu
  • Decided on a honeymoon
  • Found our officiant (more on that one, soon)
  • And I bought my dress!

Not bad for 12 months, and we’ve still got 13 months to go!

These days it’s not uncommon for a couple to be engaged for a year or more. It is, however, a little outside the norm to have an engagement longer than 18 months. If you count when we actually decided to get married (in June of last year), a few months before there was a ring and telling our families, our engagement is 27 months long.

And speaking of the ring…

After having all 4 prongs reset (which was a bit of a trial in and of itself), the setting was starting to loosen again when I went to the mall to pick up a Clinique order, but I had the store clean it and inspect it that Saturday.

Just 2 days later, on a Monday, I’m sitting at my desk, I look down, and one of the #$%^&* prongs is missing. Unlike the first missing prong (where the fridge shelf caught it and snapped it off in front of my eyes), I have no idea how this one came off. I’d been at work 2 hours and the most strenuous thing I’d done was file some papers. I had no time to take it in that day to make that week’s repair shipment, so it sat in my jewelry box for a week until I could make it back by the mall.

And while the repair is not only visible to the naked eye (it’s like he dumped some extra metal into that corner and just didn’t bother to clean it up, so it’s “clogging” the corner on either side of the prong and behind it, backing up to the halo stones), I’ll be damned if I haven’t had the ring back a month (maybe more) and it hasn’t rattled once! Every other time it’s been 2 days or less before it’d start to loosen again, so maybe–as inelegant a repair as it was–this’ll actually hold!

*knocking wood that I didn’t just jinx myself or my ring*

I would imagine things are going to start heating up a bit, now. We’re still on the photographer hunt (though an end may be in sight on that score), and I’ve yet to design our cocktail or start on the rest of the DIY goodness I have planned.

Pretty Book and Flower Icon

Did you have an engagiversary?
Did you do anything special or was it just another day in the countdown to the wedding?