Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Filed in Planning and Preparing For Your Special Day — June 1, 2022

Planning and Prep for your special day


Welcome to Janene’s Bridal, San Francisco, and Alameda blog post installment. On behalf of Stephani, our CEO, the Janene’s Bridal, and Robert Paul, San Francisco Family, we are glad you decided to join us. 

This installment is dedicated to every one of our beautiful brides who have taken one of the most important steps in your journey of love by saying, “Yes.” You said “Yes” to the love of your life who asked for your hand in marriage. Being in love is such a beautiful thing, and knowing you’ll be spending the rest of your life with your best friend, your partner in crime, the person you lean into during the best of times, and yes, even in the hardest of times are what the best love stories are made of.  

All of us here at Janene’s Bridal, San Francisco and Alameda, in addition to Robert Paul, San Francisco, want to congratulate both of you for believing in love and, more importantly, believing in one another because this is what love is all about!

“Being deeply loved by the one who matters most in life gives you strength while being able to love that same person gives you courage. We are most alive when in love, and when in love, I mean genuinely in love, each of us as couples is capable of achieving everything never imagined possible, anything the two of you dare to dream about and pray for”. (Sdj507)

Speaking of you having said, “Yes,” we would love to hear all about your special moment, your proposal, the moment you felt overjoyed with emotion because the most important person in your life confirmed that you were the one. They could not see themselves living life with anyone other than you. 

Although no one proposal is ever the same, the one common theme to every proposal is that it marks the beginning of a beautifully incredible love story, your love story as a married couple, the next and greatest chapter of your lives. Perhaps you’ve been dreaming about your love story since your first crush in high school, or perhaps your first kiss, maybe it was love at first sight, the moment each of you locked eyes and knew life had brought the two of you together. 

Only you and maybe a handful of others know all about your love story, but whatever path led you to your perfect moment, the great part about it is that you’re here, and we welcome you with open arms.

All of us here at Janene’s Bridal, San Francisco, and Alameda, in addition to Robert Paul, San Francisco is all about the perfect love story, that perfect proposal, and we would love to hear all about yours. So leave us a comment down below, and use our platform to share your special moment with us and anyone else who has decided to drop into our blog. Perhaps your story can inspire others to take that all-important step with the single most important person in their lives. 

Because all of us are so excited to hear about your story and your special moment, as an incentive, our very own C.E.O. Stephani decided to select the most romantic and heartwarming proposal and award the lucky couple with:

 10 % off, toward the purchase of your wedding dress, veil, alteration, and 10% off a tuxedo rental for the groom at Robert Paul in San Francisco

You can share your story with us here in the comment section of this blog or DM us @janenesbridal on Instagram with your photos or videos of your special moment and be sure to mention this blog for entry!

Winners will be announced on Janene’s Bridal 07/01/2022!

A Real Labor Of Love

Now that you’ve said “Yes,” the journey toward your wedding day has begun. As I’ve said, every marriage proposal is always different in its own way, and so are timelines when it comes to the planning and preparation stage leading up to your wedding day. Some engaged couples begin the planning and preparation of their perfect wedding more than two years in advance, while others more commonly start planning one year in advance. In contrast, other couples may have a shorter timeline for whatever reason.  Regardless of your chosen timeline, the one thing that remains certain is that both you and your significant other will be making incredibly important decisions related to your wedding day, perhaps decisions that both of you have previously discussed or could be talking about for the very first time. The number of decisions each of you will need to make will require a great deal of patience, a great deal of understanding, and a great deal of compromise, but one thing can be assured is that on the day each of you exchanges your sacred vows, it will be well worth the effort both of you put into every decision made leading up to your perfect wedding day.

One of the first and perhaps most important decisions is to set a date for your big day. Will it be a spring, summer, fall, or winter event? Will it tie into an important date for the both of you? Or will it be a day that both of you randomly picked? It’s incredible how much thought can go into choosing your wedding day, and for obvious reasons, you want it to be perfect. I would encourage both of you to make sure the day you pick to exchange your sacred vows is a day that each of you chose and not someone else. Remember, this is your day and yours alone.

Spring Wedding
Summer Wedding
Fall Wedding
Winter Wedding

Now that you’ve picked your perfect day, we want to congratulate you again and encourage you to share the great news with your family and friends. I am confident everyone you share the news with will be equally excited and joyful for the two of you and offer to help in whatever way they can. Let the fun begin!

Because all of us here at Janene’s Bridal, in addition to Robert Paul, San Francisco, understand all that goes into the planning and preparation of your wedding day, we have put together a “general” Wedding Planning and Preparation Checklist. We hope this Planning and Preparation Checklist will serve as a roadmap for each of you to follow, making the decision-making process a little easier and helping you keep track of your important timelines. Of course, for anyone who prides themselves on being an overachiever, you could put together an excel spreadsheet utilizing much of the same content included in the checklist we’ve provided and perhaps expand upon this list with line items related to your established budget, vendor payments, and overall cost for your wedding day. 

Of course, if you’ve hired a wedding planner, it will be that person’s responsibility to stay on point with all your timelines and budget items while keeping you both updated with all the progress being made. This person should become your best friend over the next year, leading up to when both of you say the two most important words of your lives; “I do.”

The Planning and Preparation Checklist that we will provide will work for any timeline, but for the sake of discussion, we have designed this checklist in reverse order, counting down from twelve months to your actual wedding day.

Be advised that because this is your day, there may be certain things exclusive to you and your significant other that are not contained in this checklist. That’s perfect because this is your love story! This is about the two of you and whatever you need to do to make your day personal and unique to you is what will make your love story one you will remember forever. 

The First and Most Important Decisions To Be Made

  • Establish a wedding budget 
  • This would be a great time to discuss who within your family may be willing to contribute, and specifically how much help you would require based upon your version of a perfect wedding. Establishing a budget is critically important.
  • Chose the type of wedding you would like to host to include wedding colors
  • Black Tie Formal
  • Black Tie Optional
  • Semi-Formal
  • Cocktail
  • Semi Casual
  • Beach or No Dress Code

For a better understanding of specific wedding attire dress codes, please feel free to visit our April Blog post for Robert Paul, San Francisco, which describes in more detail the various wedding attire options and associated dress codes: Click Here

  • Chose where you will have your ceremony and reception, a wedding venue to include catering services.   
  • This is when you will visit your favorite parish if you’re having a church ceremony and then venues where you may want to host your wedding reception. 
  • Perhaps you’ll want your ceremony and reception to be held at the same exact location. In that case, this would be an excellent opportunity for the two of you to spend some quality time together and perhaps bring along two of your most trusted friends or family members. In addition, they could share an unbiased opinion of each location which may serve you well. 
  • Don’t forget to inquire if your chosen venue offers catering services, and if so, you will have to arrange taste testing for all of the menu options.
  • If your selected venue does not offer catering services, this would be the time to choose a caterer. The sooner you book this all-important vendor, especially during peak wedding season (late Spring through early Fall), the better off both of you will be. 
  • Inquire about outdoor lighting if required or desired to create the perfect mood or vibe.
  • Determine if additional chairs, tables, or specific linens would be available if required when speaking to your venue manager
  • If outdoors, would you require portable toilets? If so, secure a rental vendor.
  • Determine if your venue manager will also serve as the wedding day timeline manager and if not, decide who you would want to handle this important responsibility.
  • Chose a Photographer, Videographer  
  • This is among one of the most important decisions you will make. The person(s) you hire to photograph and video record the most important day of your life is one that will live with you forever. I don’t mean to scare you, but choosing the wrong person for this all-important function will play out every time you flip through your wedding photo album. Chose wisely!
  • If you’ve selected a Wedding Planner, refer to that person for trusted recommendations and set a time for all of you to include the Wedding Planner, to meet and discuss formalities. 
  • Speak to trusted friends or family members who may have used established wedding photographers or videographers and would recommend them without hesitation. Ask to look at their photo albums or portfolios, leaving nothing to chance. 
  • Put in the required research to set up interviews with wedding photographers and videographers who have proven and established clientele with confirmed and favorable reviews.
  • Once you’ve selected the photographer and videographer that’s right for you, secure a contract and make sure to read the fine print. You’ll be elated that you did all of your research when you gaze upon the finished product and see all the beautiful moments looking back at you. Moments and memories that will last a lifetime.  
  • Set a date for your engagement photos and ‘Save The Date” notifications which should be sent out at least six to eight months in advance, or even sooner if you’re having a destination wedding. 
  • Chose who you want to be at your wedding 
  • Do you want a large wedding party or a smaller number of family or friends standing in for you?
  • Whoever you’ve chosen, these are the people who have stood by you through thick and thin. Your “Ride and Die’s.” These individuals should be all about the two of you and your big day. 
  • Set a date for your engagement dinner:
  • This will serve as an opportunity to bring both families together and get everyone excited about the big day.
  • This will also serve as an opportunity to announce who will serve as your wedding party and give them a chance to begin to feel a part of something very special.
  • Wedding Dress:   
  • Set up an appointment at Janene’s Bridal, either in San Francisco or Alameda, to select your wedding dress. 
  • All of us at Janene’s Bridal suggest setting up your appointment a year in advance. This will allow you to develop a real connection with your stylist, who will sit down with you and get a feel for your preferences or preferred designers. We have over six hundred wedding dresses available. Although you won’t have to look through all six hundred dresses, your stylist will know exactly what you’re looking for based on your conversations and their knowledge of our inventory. 
  • Once you say “Yes To The Dress,” your stylist will set you up with a series of alteration appointments over the next twelve months leading up to your final fitting just before your big day. We are very good at what we do, and we love working with each of our beautiful brides. And apparently, they enjoy working with us as well; just look at our Google reviews, all of which we are so grateful and proud of.
  • Don’t forget that our stylist can also work with you to select your perfect veil and complementary jewelry.
  • For information related to your first appointment, please review the following link on our Janene’s Bridal Blog post “Preparing For Your First Appointment” Click Here
  • Of course, if your timeline is shorter than a year, all of us here at Janene’s Bridal, San Francisco, or Alameda can still accommodate your wedding day dress needs. We will work diligently to make it all come together regardless of your established timeline.  We have been known to work miracles for some of our brides, even with the shortest of wedding day timelines.
  • We have a team of dedicated professionals willing to work with you to make your “Wedding Dress” your “Dream Dress,” and that’s our promise to you.
  • Twelve to Nine Months Before Your Wedding Day:
  • Select your wedding rings:    
  • Begin shopping for each of your wedding rings. Always best to begin earlier, especially if you’re looking for a specific cut or color or unique design. Don’t leave this for the last minute.
  • Wedding Officiate:
  • Select weddings, officiate or meet with your Pastor, Priest, Minister, or Rabbi. Build a rapport with whomever you’ve selected.
  • Pre-Marital Counseling:
  • Sign up for Pre-Marital counseling classes. Some couples tend to overlook this as unnecessary, but I would encourage both of you to strongly consider this an important building block for your marital foundation. As a wedding officiate, I encourage all of my couples to take advantage of this important opportunity because of the value it brings to your relationship. You could simply Google “pre-marital counseling” in your area, or if you’re having a church ceremony, contact your parish Priest, Pastor, Minister, or Rabbi.  
  • Create Your Own Wedding Website:
  • These are helpful websites that provide tremendous wedding resources, especially if you choose not to hire a wedding planner.
  • You can establish your very own wedding website or create your wedding registries either for gifts or monetary donations with each of these websites; in addition, you can order all of your invitations, thank you cards, table placards, and programs, compare vendors and venues which almost make it a one-stop-shop.
  • Select A Florist:      
  • As important as your photographer and videographer are, so is your florist. Depending on your vision, you will need a florist specializing in weddings.
  • Meet with this florist and establish a rapport with that person(s) to ensure they also share in your vision and are capable of delivering your vision as promised.
  • Rely upon recommendations or reviews and ask the hard questions to ensure you’ve selected the right person(s) for the job.  As we all know, beautiful flowers make for a beautiful wedding.
  • Establish a confirmed master list of all your vendors, including contact information. Create a budget spreadsheet:
  • Keep track of all Deposits and Payments 

(Remember that overachieving Spreadsheet)

  • Establish timelines for final payments for the venue and all vendors.
  • Start monitoring your gift registry for all gift and monetary donations to make sending thank you cards a snap. This should be something you routinely do to ensure you’re staying on top of all monetary donations to help support your budget or honeymoon fund. 
  • Determine where you would like to spend your honeymoon:
  • For more information related to planning the perfect honeymoon, feel free to visit our Janene’s Bridal April Blog post, “Planning The Perfect Honeymoon” click on the following link for details; Click Here
  • Establishing where each of you would like to go for your honeymoon twelve months in advance will give either you or your travel agent time to research the travel deals and destinations available during your season of travel and time to book your flights with the best pricing options available.  
  • Once a destination is established, you will have a confirmed amount of money needed to fund this dream vacation, allowing you to reach out to those who may be willing to contribute and get you closer to your goal.
  • If traveling internationally, “Don’t forget to get or update your passport.”
  • Note:

As part of your wedding invitation, you could also include a link to your wedding website indicating your registry preference being a monetary donation to your honeymoon fund, which is perfectly acceptable “wedding invitation etiquette.”

  • Nine to Six Months Before Your Wedding Day: 
  • Wedding Cake:           
  • Select your wedding baker. Again, do your research and rely upon trusted recommendations and solid reviews. Meet with prospective bakers and conduct interviews and physically look at their work. Lean into those bakers who specialize in wedding cakes.
  • Once you’ve selected your baker, schedule taste testing and bring along two of your most trusted family or friends to give you a third or fourth opinion on the tastiest samples being offered. Order Cake.
  • Bridesmaid Dresses:
  • Set a date for you and your bridesmaids to shop for dresses after having selected your preferred style and design. Make a day of it with cocktails after all selections are made and not before. 
  • If you’ve decided to order your dresses online, make sure you provide the correct vendor, style, and dress design to your bridesmaids to ensure the right dresses have been ordered.
  • Set a date for the two Mothers to begin dress shopping as well.
  • Select a Band or DJ:
  • This will again require you to research your potential options. Rely upon recommendations or reach out to bands and/or DJs you’ve seen and enjoyed. As we all know, good music can set your entire vibe and either make or break your reception celebration.
  • Can your Band or DJ serve as your MC or play your entrance music, first dance, and type of music preference.
  • Establish a Guest List:
  • Determine the number of guests you would like to invite, keeping your budget projections in mind.
  • If necessary, establish an A and B guest list.
  • Finalize your guest list.
  • Send out Save The Date Cards:
  • Include information for your wedding website and registry preference.
  • Also, include your dress code preference just to give your invited guest a head start on attire expectations.
  • Book a Hair & Makeup Artist:
  • Perhaps it’s your favorite hairstylist or makeup artist.
  • Hire someone with a proven and established reputation who specializes in weddings.
  • Book a Block of Rooms For Out of Town Guests:
  • Book your “Honeymoon Suite” at your favorite spot.
  • Contact hotels near your venue and request group rates.
  • If it’s within your budget, put together a welcome package of goodies for each of your “Out of Town” guests and arrange to have the welcome package presented to your guest at check-in. Contents of the goodie bags could include the following:
  • Mini liquor bottles
  • Mini toiletries
  • Hydration packets
  • Candy Treats
  • Novelty Item
  • Six To Four Months Before Your Wedding Day:
  • Secure ground transportation, Limousine Service for each of you, your wedding party, and parents or VIP guest.
  • If you hired a travel agent, set an appointment to meet and review your travel plans and itinerary.
  • Suppose you arrange your honeymoon vacation, review and confirm your travel itinerary. “If traveling internationally, Don’t forget to check your passport.
  • Start looking at wedding invitation designs and prices to include thank you cards, table placards, programs, and whatever else you’ll want custom printed. 
  • Choose your wedding favors.
  • Utilize your wedding website for the best possible pricing.
  • Confirm your guest count and make sure you have all the address information for each guest. Retain on spreadsheet for later use.
  • Set your table configurations and assignments.
  • Four to Two Months Before Your Wedding Day:
  • Think about that special wedding day gift you want to present to the love of your life. Think about a gift that would embody your love story and journey, make it as personal as you can, and don’t forget to include your special message of love.
  • Make an appointment at Robert Paul, San Francisco, for you and your groomsman fitting, and don’t forget the two dads. 
  • Begin to set your program, and your wedding day timeline:
    • Time and location of ceremony & reception
    • Names of those in your wedding party
    • Special introductions
    • Speeches
    • First Dance, etc.
  • Oder all invitations, thank you cards, table placards, programs, and a guestbook.
  • Meet with your caterer or venue manager to go over menu details, wine selections, and your wedding day timeline.
  • Meet with your officiate, priest, pastor, or rabbi to discuss your wedding day timeline, ceremony, special readings, special acknowledgments, or personal touches you want to incorporate into your special day.
  • Meet with your music director, band, or DJ, and select songs and music for the ceremony and first dance. Include your MC if applicable. Provide a wedding day timeline.
  • Meet with your florist to ensure everything is on schedule and your satisfaction. 
  • Get personalized gifts for your wedding party.
  • Aside from your hair and makeup on your wedding day, schedule a couple’s massage and teeth whitening for the two of you and nail appointments for you and your bridal party.
  • Make sure your Best Man and Maid of Honor have set up your Bachelor and Bachelorette parties. 
  • Two to One Month Before Your Wedding Day:
  • Mail invitations
  • Get your marriage license and obtain additional copies. Contact social security, DMV, banks, and credit card companies if changing your name. Don’t worry if your passport is in your maiden name as long as you have your current identification. 
  • Reserve a restaurant for your rehearsal dinner
  • Review your spreadsheet to confirm monetary and gift registry for thank you cards and special acknowledgments.
  • Review the guest list and confirm all RSVPs and contact those who have not met your deadline to confirm if they are attending.
  • Set up a hair and makeup trial with your stylist.
  • Meet with your photographer and videographer to confirm the timeline and wedding day details.
  • Pay off all vendors
  • Meet with Robert Paul, San Francisco stylist, for any Tux or Suit changes to include fitting adjustments.

Two Weeks Before Your Wedding Day:

  • Pick up your wedding rings to ensure each ring is fitted correctly and meets your satisfaction.
  • Secure all travel vouchers and travel itineraries, and secure passports. Provide a copy of your travel itinerary to a trusted family member or friend.
  • Begin packing, and please don’t wait until the last minute. 
  • Revisit the seating configuration and guest placement with your seating placards
  • Confirm your final guest count with your venue manager and caterer. 
  • Conduct a walkthrough with your wedding party at ceremony and reception venues.
  • Host rehearsal dinner and present all personalized gifts with heartfelt speeches. Invite a photographer and videographer. 
  • Contact your baker to ensure they have the correct delivery address and time and set up instructions to include the cake topper.
  • Contact ground transportation and Limo service to ensure that all timelines and pickup points are clearly outlined.
  • Set up Janene’s Bridal for your final dress fitting
  • Work on personal wedding vows
  • One Week Before Your Wedding Day:
  • Make all final payments. 
  • Provide the caterer or venue manager with your toasting glasses, ceremonial cake knife, and unique head table settings if applicable. 
  • Pick up the Wedding Dress from Janene Bridal. Don’t forget to designate someone on your wedding day to act as your personal assistant, carry your items, and bustle your dress when appropriate, especially during photo sessions.
  • Pick up your Tux or Wedding Suit from Robert Paul, San Francisco, as well as those in your wedding party.
  • Order light snacks and beverages from your caterer for each of you and your wedding party.
  • Confirm when the venue can be decorated and designate trusted family and friends or a wedding coordinator if applicable to ensure that it is completed.
  • Designate specific family members or trusted friends, or wedding coordinator, if applicable, on your wedding day to: 
    • Manage gifts
    • Tend to last-minute details 
    • Distribute light snacks and beverages to you and your wedding party.
  • Day Before Your Wedding Day:
    • Tend to last-minute details.
    • Find time to relax genuinely.
    • Arrange to have a special note and gift delivered to the love of your life.
    • Pamper yourselves and get to bed early. 
  • Your Wedding Day:
  • Make sure to collect the rings and give them to either your best man or ring bearer immediately before the ceremony. 
  • Stay hydrated, and make sure to enjoy those light snacks you ordered. 
  • Create some private time for yourselves away from all of the action so you can collect your thoughts and immerse yourself at the moment.
  • Call one another and have that private and very personal conversation to confirm your love and commitment. 
  • Take a deep breath; you’ve arrived at the most important moment of your lives. Congratulations!

All of us here at Janene’s Bridal, in addition to Robert Paul, San Francisco, has been honored to assist you on the most important day of your lives. You chose love, you chose one another, and today, you will begin the next chapter of your life together as one. May you always be blessed in love, in spirit, and in life! From all of us here at Janene’s Bridal and Robert Paul, San Francisco

Cheers to Love! 

First Things on Schedule:

  • Chose your wedding date
  • Tell all your family and friends
  • Establish a wedding budget
  • Hire a wedding planner, Or Not
  • Chose the type of wedding you would like to host
  • Chose your wedding colors
  • Chose ceremony and reception location
  • Chose a caterer
  • Chose a Photographer and/or Videographer
  • Chose your wedding party
  • Set a date for the engagement dinner
  • Select your wedding dress

Twelve to Nine-Month Mark:

  • Select your wedding rings
  • Chose your wedding Officiate, Priest, Pastor, Minister, or Rabbi
  • Set up pre-marital counseling
  • Create your wedding website
  • Select a Florist
  • Create a master list of all vendors, and payment deadlines
  • Select your honeymoon, Travel Agent or Plan on your own

Nine to Six Month Mark:

  • Select wedding baker
  • Select bridesmaids and Mothers dresses
  • Select Band, DJ, and MC
  • Establish a preliminary guest list
  • Send out save the date cards
  • Book a Hair and Makeup Artist for your wedding day
  • Book a block of hotel rooms for your out of town guest
  • Book your own honeymoon suite (pre and post-wedding)

Six to Four-Month Mark:

  • Secure Limousine Service
  • Meet with Travel Agent and confirm itinerary
  • Review or obtain passports if applicable
  • Select wedding invitations, thank you cards, programs, table placards
  • Chose wedding favors
  • Confirm guest count and get all mailing addresses
  • Set the table configurations and assignments

Four to Two Months Mark:

  • Purchase a memorable wedding day gift for your significant other
  • Make an appointment at Robert Paul, San Francisco, for a wedding party Tux or wedding suit fitting.
  • Begin to set wedding day timeline and program
  • Order all invitations, thank you cards, table placards, programs, and guestbooks.
  • Meet with caterer or venue manager to go over menu and wine selections
  • Meet with the wedding Officiate, Priest, Pastor, Minister, or Rabbi to discuss the wedding day timeline, special readings, etc.
  • Meet with the Music director, Band, and DJ, select songs and music for the ceremony’s first dance, and provide the wedding day timeline.
  • Meet with Florist
  • Purchase personalized gifts for your wedding party
  • Schedule a couples massage, teeth whitening, pamper time
  • Confirm your Bachelor’s and Bachelorette parties have been scheduled

Two to One Month Mark:

  • Mail invitations
  • Get your marriage license
  • Reserve a restaurant for rehearsal dinner
  • Review spreadsheet to confirm monetary and gift registry
  • Review the guest list to confirm RSVPs
  • Contact those guests who have not RSVP
  • Set up hair and makeup trial run with makeup artist
  • Meet with Photographer/Videographer to confirm wedding day timeline
  • Pay off all vendors
  • Meet with Robert Paul, San Francisco, for any tux or suit adjustments

Two-Week Mark:

  • Pick up wedding rings
  • Secure all travel documents, itineraries, passports
  • Begin packing for the honeymoon
  • Confirm seating configuration and seating assignments 
  • Confirm the final guest count with the caterer or venue manager
  • Conduct a walkthrough with the wedding party at the ceremony or reception venue
  • Host rehearsal dinner
  • Contact baker to confirm details
  • Contact Limousine Service to confirm details
  • Janene’s Bridal for final fitting

One week Mark:

  • Write personal wedding vows
  • Make all final payments
  • Provide caterer or venue manager with toasting glasses and cake knife
  • Pick up the wedding dress at Janene’s Bridal
  • Pickup Tux, Weddings suits from Robert Paul, San Francisco
  • Order light snacks for bridal party (wedding day)
  • Confirm when the venue can be decorated, assign someone
  • Designate wedding day attendee

One-Day Mark:

  • Tend to last-minute details
  • Relax
  • Arrange to have a special gift and note delivered to your person
  • Pamper yourself and get to bed early

Your Wedding Day:

Your last task is just to enjoy this beautiful and magnificent day. You have worked hard to make everything perfect, and you know what? It is beyond perfect. All that’s left is for you to meet the love of your life at the altar and simply say, “I do.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some recent articles

follow us on insta AND TiKTOK