Adjusting timelines around dissertation fieldwork


I've been researching timelines to see when tasks should be completed, but I have a bit of a tricky situation. I'm in grad school, and my work requires me to leave the country from end of May-end of August 2016, and I absolutely need to be focused while I am there.

For a November 2016 wedding, how does this adjust my timelines? I've got a ceremony/reception venue booked with deposit down, and they do the catering and cake. Our tasting is in March. I bought my dress, and we are taking engagement photos at the end of the this month. I bought the dress at Davids Bridal and they have given me a timeline for fittings, etc. working around my schedule. I am going bridesmaids dress shopping this November, and I am pretty sure it'll just take that one trip to figure it out.


1. Save the dates should be sent out 6-8 months before (right?), so I was planning on doing those in Aprilish. When should I send out invitations/should I send them out before or after I get back, or have them assembled and have someone else drop them in the mail for me while I am gone?

2. When should we book a photographer? (we are doing a separate engagement session, and may/may not us them)

3. DJ, florists, shuttle services, hotel room block?

4. Registering? The shower will likely be next fall. And when do I make the website? I wanted to use the engagement photos on this, but can I do it as soon as the pics are done?

My concern is appearing a bit over zealous when in actuality I am accounting for my "prime" planning time being cut out.

Re: Adjusting timelines around dissertation fieldwork

  • I'm currently finishing up my degree so I have a few things that have to get done before I finish school some of which are going to be done a little early. For example I am going to register right before I send the save the dates out so I can get that out of the way early rather than potentially be rushed later on. I know there are other things I am doing a little out of order but that is the main one that I am worried will make me look a little over zealous. I figure that I should be fine since people know I am in school and  will have to do things in the order that fits that schedule. I wouldn't worry too much about guests judging you as they should know the situation you are in. They also won't necessarily know how far in advance you did things. I'd also rather be accused of being a little over zealous than have something fall through the cracks and become a bad host.

    I would make a list of when you would like to have things done and what the suggested time frame is according to the planning tools on here and see how far ahead of yourself you will really have to be. A lot of the service side of things you just have to find someone who is booking as far in advance as you need to. I don't think any professional would judge you for being over zealous especially once you explain the situation. For things like the registry and the website I think it is safe to do it as soon as you can and then just release the information as people become interested/ need the information for the shower.
  • Simple, remember that people plan funerals in three days using many of the same vendors (Caterer, officiant, ceremony site, reception site, florist, baker, transportation), don't stress.  Book the vendors you've got your heart set on (officiant/ceremony site, reception venue, Photographer, DJ, Florist, etc.) after you have your budget and real-world guest list figured out.  The timelines are only a recommendation. You will have a dress, any WP will have dresses, you've just got to set what your priorities are.  You can walk in to a bridal shop the week before a wedding and have fully altered dress within a week off the rack and in your budget.  Is it ideal, no, but it can be done!  Go ahead and book your vendors that are important to you as you've got time with deposits then when you're back in-country book the rest and go over final details. 

    Start with the budget (money you have in the bank), and the real-world guest list.  Everything else will come easily into place!  Skip the STD's - it's an unnecessary expense unless it's a DW for your guests in which case, once you've secured a ceremony and reception site is a good time.  Realize that your photographer will likely have a copyright on the images so you'll need to get a release to use them on your site which is the advantage of having someone quickly snap a picture using your own camera.  You can start your website now while you've got time as well as thinking about registries, but I wouldn't bother to register until you get back home because stores have a habit of clearancing out items in the summer.  Showers are typically something you're not involved in other than showing up..

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