Winter is almost here, but if you are newly engaged and planning a summer wedding, it’s not to early to start thinking about your to do list. In fact, if you start your planning now, you will be able to enjoy the festivities of your big day with much less stress, and you will improve the chances of having the right venue and services available because they won’t already be booked. Here is a quick checklist of things you can do now to make your summer wedding a success.

1. Choose and Book the Venue

The sooner you choose and book your venue, the better. Popular venues will book quickly, and this could leave you in the lurch. If you are planning ahead, you have the option to get creative with your venue. While the traditional church or banquet hall is always an option, you can be even more creative. For example, why not consider having your wedding on board ship? Twin Cities Cruises offers private wedding charters that allow you to have your ceremony and reception on a private river or lake cruise. Make the backdrop of your big day the water on Lake Minnetonka or the Mississippi River! Talk to a cruise coordinator today to learn what dates are available and how you can make a river or lake cruise wedding a reality.

2. Choose and Book the Caterer

Every good wedding requires the right food, and if you wait too long you may be stuck with a less desirable catering service. First, choose your lotion and find out if they have a catering service. If they do not, book some interviews with various caterers that will give you a chance to see menus and sample foods. Choose one that is affordable and tasty, so your guests will leave full and your budget will be protected.

3. Find Your Photographer

You are going to want to document your big day, and the best wedding photographers tend to book months if not years ahead. Find a photographer that has a style you like, then learn more about their packages. Don’t skimp on this step, because your wedding photographs are something you can never get back. Make sure you spend a little to get exceptional photographs that you will treasure for a lifetime.

4. Choose Your Attendants

Being in a wedding, particularly if you must travel to be there, is a big time and money commitment. Your loved ones are going to be thrilled to support you on your big day, but the sooner you can talk to them the better. After you’ve set your date, talk to your attendants so they can block out the week on their calendar and be there to lend their support.

5. Send the Invitations

Start with Save the Date cards, then follow up with invitations. Save-the-Date cards should be sent four to six months before the wedding, or earlier for destination weddings. Then, send the wedding invitations six to eight weeks before the wedding. Start planning, choosing and addressing your invitations as soon as you have your date and venue set, so you have one less stress to tackle on the day of your wedding.

Summer is a busy time for weddings. Make the most out of your quieter winter months by attending to these steps, and your summer wedding will be a great success.