We decided to make save the dates, we pick June 29th 2013 to have our wedding and began planning our wedding 10 months in advance. We knew that in the summer time many close friends and family may start planning summer vacations so this was our way of giving them a heads up on the date. It was a nice touch to add to the process. We did a magnet option for ours, ordering them from Magnetstreet.com. We also started a wedding website that shared details about us and of the upcoming events, we added the website to our save the date. www.mywedding.com/duniaandamit(A key learning though was no matter how much advance notice you give family and friends if they dont want to really come they wont. So the advance notice didnt make a difference with some. )
One of the toughest parts right after being engaged is picking the right date, finding the venue and ensuring the church is also available. I always thought venue shopping and searching would be so much fun! I never thought it would be so overwhelming. We visited so many places, living in the bay area we have so many gorgeous venues. My dream venue was the Bentley Reserve in San Francisco. I had always been in love but when it came to becoming a reality it was above our budget. We visited the Bentley reserve(over priced), Hayes mansion(gorgeous outside, plain on the inside), Kohl Mansion (to small), Casa Real winery (had to end by 11pm, to early), Hyatt in Burlingame (just wasn't right),Fairemont in San Jose (didnt feel personal, felt like a number), Castlewood Country Club (loved it, date wasnt available) last the WESTIN SF AIRPORT, beside the fact that they had gorgeous chandeliers the event manager truly listened to what we wanted and made sure we got it all, they took care of us from begining to end! Amazing team of people to work with, advice I was giving was once you sign the contract all other deals are off but OMG not with this great team of people. They continued to give us amazing service and communication thru out the entire process. Next thing we knew venue and church were booked and we were on the way to the alter. I do recommend you visit multiple venues together and take your time reviewing the contract before signing.