Your Ultimate Camo Wedding Checklist
What better complements a camo wedding ring than a camo-themed wedding? Camo performs well as a wedding concept, due to its rich cultural references, variability, and character. You might not have ever attended a camo wedding, which is good since it makes yours unique, so you're probably wondering where to go to research camo wedding ideas.
Well, you're in luck. We have developed this thorough and detailed guide so your ideas can translate into reality. Click through the tabs to discover what you need to accomplish throughout each phase of your wedding planning.
Phase One: Imagine (1 Year Out)So you (or your future partner in marriage) said yes?
That's great! Congratulations.
We're sure that you both are excited to move onto the next stage of your life together, but we're also aware that the prospect of planning and executing such a major event can cause a significant amount of nervousness, with a little stress peppered in.
Okay, maybe a lot of stress. A strong planning strategy is just what you need to alleviate stress, help you envision your big day, and make the decisions that fulfill your wedding fantasies but temper them with what's practical and realizable.
You should probably utilize some kind of brainstorming platform, like a physical event wall or a Pinterest board. This will help you conceptualize the broader details and narrow them down into something you can reasonably accomplish. In the first phase of your wedding planning, let yourself "imagine" the possibilities. Right now, the plans are as open as they can possibly be, and now is the time to allow yourself to dream for the most ideal situation. Further down the road, your imagination can actually be your enemy, but with the following decisions, you are safe to imagine and be creative.
1. Pick a DateThere are several things to take into account when setting a date for your camo wedding. Generally, people plan their wedding to occur about a year after the engagement. Try not to plan further out than 18 months - that's when you start to overthink, overplan, and overwhelm yourself. Besides, you've waited your whole life until this point to find the person of your dreams. Why make yourself, your future husband or wife, and your friends/family wait longer than a year to celebrate this commitment?
Consider the weather when deciding on your wedding date. Most people get married in June, September, and October, and that's not because it's arbitrarily popular.
Don't feel like you're being overly traditional by selecting a date in these months. In most regions, these months are marked by predictable, mild weather. Depending on your region, these months might be a little different, so just think about when the weather starts to warm up or cool down. These transitionary periods invite a refreshing spirit into your wedding.
Make sure you're not shivering or sweating on the most important day of your life! Once you have a general sense of when you want your wedding to take place, research a potential date. Think about major holidays, whether you want a weekday or weekend wedding, and whether a certain date would be sensitive for close family members.
For example, try to avoid getting married on your fiance's little sister's birthday: that's just a recipe for resentment. The wedding date is the first place you can start conceptualizing your camo theme. You can plan around your favorite hunting season, or maybe select the day before your state opens the hunting season for your favorite big game or waterfowl.
Perhaps your family takes a family hunting trip the same time every year, and you want your wedding to kick that annual past-time off. (Or conversely, you might want the wedding to happen a week or two prior, to accommodate for a honeymoon!)
2. Pick a SizeAt this point, you are well aware of your ring size. But what about your wedding size? At this point in your wedding planning, you don't need a list. If you start listing people out, you'll start sacrificing other ideal components.
That is, if you want really good food, it's going to be quite expensive to feed the 500 family, friends, and acquaintances you have a polite rapport with.
Or if you want to make sure there's enough people for a reception dance party, your 10 favorite people might not cut it. So remember which phase you're in: the "Imagine" phase. You don't need a list right now; you need a sense of how many people you can accommodate, and how many people you'd like to see this important moment.
Wedding sizes can be categorized into three types: private, medium, and generous. When you imagine your perfect wedding, do you see yourself and immediate family members surrounding you? Would you like to see some of those cousins who live a few hours away running around? Or would you like to throw the party of the year, and send a generous amount of invitations out? It's really up to you!
3. Pick a VenueBy choosing to embark on a camo wedding adventure, you've actually helped yourself be able to imagine the venue you want. You embrace the outdoors, you're familiar with its temperament, and you have a plethora of favorite spots from all the time you've spent in nature. This is reflected in your engagement ring, and in your specialized wedding ring.
Now it's time to reflect it in your venue.
You can do this by actually holding the event outside, or by choosing an inside venue into which you can incorporate camo elements. A wooded venue has several benefits.
First of all, the color scheme is soothing yet energetic - greens and browns generally indicate attention to the physical world, stability, and connection to nature. If you're in the woods, you can't really control the environment - you can't rearrange trees, you might not be able to find an opening in the woods that is geometrically square or circular, etc. But that's okay. Instead, take advantage of the wildness of the woods.
In the "Imagine" phase, we recommend that you actually go take a trip to the area(s) you are considering tying the knot and exchanging your camo rings. This is a great way to celebrate your engagement and to allow yourself to enjoy the reality of the decision you and your fiance have made. Make sure to take notes when you're there.
If you visit in June and you intend to marry the following June, take notes on the date you visited, the time, where the sun was in the sky, what the temperature was, etc. Bring a camera so you can relocate the area in the future. Think about how your wedding guests will access the venue. If you're planning for a more private wedding, people might be more willing to hike up to your spot.
If you're planning a larger wedding, make sure there will be room for people to park without their cars glinting in the background of your wedding photos. If you're intending to have a lengthy ceremony, consider how you'll transport chairs or roll logs into the area for people to sit on.
Ask yourself, where will I get ready? Will I be able to pack the dress and/or suit up to this location? And don't stress out over these suggestions. When you start planning, your mind will be fresh, and imagining these factors will ultimately lead you to more informed decisions as you move into the next phase.
Perhaps you see yourself officially committing to your fiance in an idyllic meadow. In a meadow, the biggest things to think about are the sun (or rain!) and the photos. In an open meadow, the sun can be particularly brutal.
So avoid selecting a mid-July date in a meadow - you don't want your guests to be slathering sunscreen on while you're exchanging vows. You also don't want them to have to bring umbrellas. Avoid these concerns by picking an area whose weather is incredibly consistent.
But also, consider your photographer's potential challenges. In a meadow, you can see everything on the horizon. So maybe the meadow itself is gorgeous, but there's a big ugly parking lot in view. How will you avoid that in the wedding photos? If you have a buddy or family member with even a rudimentary understanding of photography, let them tag along to check out the meadow and see if they would personally have any concerns. If they wouldn't, you're probably safe.
A camo wedding would be well suited for a vintage-looking barn or other kind of farm building. Barn weddings have risen in popularity over in the last five years or so, and their environments are a little easier to control.
These rustic venues perfectly complement the spirit of a camo wedding ring, and you can choose to class it up with elegant decor, or keep it toned down for a more down-to-earth event. Rustic barns really are blank canvases that allow for you to personalize in whatever ways you please.
To acquire a barn, you can rent an event barn, which often have recommendations for renting things like tables and chairs, and might even have recommended wedding coordinators. Or maybe you have a family friend or relative with a barn on their property - a free venue is always great, but if it hasn't been utilized as an event barn before, you might have some fixing up to do.
But if you know one year ahead that the barn will host your wedding, you'll have plenty of time to arrange for it to be cleaned out. Barns will also protect you and your guests from the elements, so it's safer to schedule your wedding for a month or season whose weather is fairly unpredictable. It's important to note that although your other decisions thus far are fairly adjustable, the venue is less so.
This is the only decision that you really should lock down in the "Imagine" phase, especially if you are going to have to rent a venue. But don't panic - it should actually bring you relief to have this major factor completely decided on this early in advance. Knowing where you'll be married will help you make more difficult decisions further down the road.
4. Pick Your ColorsA year out is the perfect time to start thinking about your wedding colors. Since you are having a camo-themed wedding, here are shades of green and brown that are commonly incorporated into different kinds of camo. You can pick a couple of the shades themselves, or let certain shades draw you to particular camo prints, if you want to have a prints-based color theme.
Mixing a bold green with a subtle brown (and vice versa) can bring dimension and depth to your wedding colors. Or perhaps you'd like to perfectly match the shades embedded in your camo wedding rings. Like everything else about this day, it's really up to you, so have fun mixing and matching!
5. Pick Your Planning CrewWhether or not you decide to hire a wedding planner, you should have a crew of people who you confide in as you make your wedding plans. These friends and relatives should be able to get along, but shouldn't necessarily have the same exact vision for what constitutes a great wedding. Some of these people should be married themselves, some should have attended lots of weddings, and some should be fresh to the world of weddings.
A handful of people you can call in the middle of the night as you near your wedding date will be an undeniable resource, both emotionally and strategically. You don't need to officially title them "planning crew members," but they should know you are depending on them in some way to help you realize your wedding. Make sure they won't try to bully you into decisions they prefer, but also make sure they'll speak their minds when asked or intervene when necessary.
Some of them may even be in your wedding party, but your crew should understand that not every important person in your life can be your maid of honor. Choose and talk to these people as early as you can so you can creatively yet realistically approach your wedding. Your maid of honor and your mother will probably do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to executing your wedding, but don't completely depend on them. If you do, you might actually overwhelm them.
Make sure have a little wider network of folks you can casually discuss minor details or troubleshoot with for matters that you don't need to worry your maid of honor with.
6. Pick Your Maid of Honor and Best ManThe maid of honor should be the woman you've known forever - your oldest friend. Sometimes that's your sister, and sometimes it's not. Pick a person who you've known a long time, but who you know how to argue with.
And I don't mean a person who you pick fights with constantly. I mean that you should pick someone who will stand their ground and correct you when necessary, but also full-heartedly support your decisions when they understand that that's what you need from them.
This person will be responsible for throwing your bachelorette party, and she'll also be a powerhouse on the day of your wedding. So choose someone who is organized, but someone who won't necessarily stress you out over every detail. The person you pick should be able to answer questions and direct people on your big day, so make sure you absolutely trust them.
Ask your maid of honor to be your maid of honor as early as you know who it is. She deserves to know you're depending on her so she can start preparing herself for her important role. There are lots of fun ways to ask her to be your maid of honor, whether in a formal letter, at coffee, or over the phone if she lives far away.
The best man, too, should be able to take a certain amount of responsibility over the functioning of the wedding. Since the bride is usually in charge of planning, the maid of honor has a lot of responsibility, so the best man should be able to communicate well with the maid of honor.
Select the person you've known the longest - the one who calls you out when you're wrong but is willing to fight for you no matter what. He's going to be in charge of your bachelor party, so he should have a fun edge as well. He'll be holding on to your wedding ring, so make sure he has proven capable of such a calling - especially if your camo wedding ring has an embedded diamond in it!
When deciding who will fulfill each of these roles, remember that weddings are emotional processes, and you might hurt someone's feelings by not naming them maid of honor or best man. But remember, this day is about YOU. Pick a person who will make your day bright and smooth - hurting someone's feelings by not asking them to be your closest confidante the day of your wedding is better than letting someone walk all over your wedding while you cower back because you don't want to tell them to hand the reigns back over.
You can always assign people you were considering to be your maid of honor or best man to join the rest of the wedding party, or even to fulfill a special role that they'd be proud to take on.
Phase Two: Visualize (6 Months Out)Six months from your wedding date, things should be set into motion. This is when you secure certain details that were a little more malleable in the "Imagine" phase. You've spent six months to flesh out your camo wedding ideas, and now it's time to start executing. Those six months probably flew by, but that's okay - you're just that much closer to your big day!
It's time to visualize your wedding. Visualizing is different from imagining, because you should be able to close your eyes now and actually SEE what your wedding will look like. When you're in the "Imagine" phase, you are allowed to let your imagination to run wild and let it inspire you.
But when you visualize, you are forced to let your practical side step up to the table. This thing is really going to happen! Stay motivated, and start to have some more serious conversation with your planning crew and maid of honor to make sure this day pans out exactly as you intend!
1 . Order Your Wedding DressSix months out is actually quite a generous estimate when it comes to ordering your wedding dress. So think about it this way: You should know exactly what dress you'll be wearing six months from your wedding day. That doesn't mean you should go dress shopping six months from the wedding - but at six months out, the least you should have done is order the dress. Give yourself a hefty cushion in case you need alterations.
Your wedding dress, like your camo ring, should perfectly suit your personality and vision for your wedding. You can go bold and personalize your wedding dress, you can take the more traditional route, or you can mix elements of both.
Here are some tips from Glamour's website on choosing your wedding dress.
First, make sure to schedule any wedding dress appointments you have for the morning. Go into the shopping process with a fresh and sharp eye, mind, and voice. This will improve your selection process personally, and the lovely folks assisting you in trying dresses out will be more likely to be friendly and chipper.
Next, make sure you can visualize your dress' silhouette before you actually see any physical dresses. The silhouette is the conceptual framework of the dress: is it poofy? Slim? Flowing? Structured? Long? Short? If you try to juggle all the tiny details instead of thinking about the big picture first, you'll confuse yourself and potentially base your wedding dress decision on some flashy aspect instead of the dress as a whole and how it fits into your big day.
When choosing your wedding dress, think about something that will be timeless. Sometimes it's hard to know what is timeless and what is simply trendy this year - a timeless dress will be able to incorporate what's in vogue today without stamping it with a dated tag. Do your research far before you take a step into a shop.
Build a Pinterest or poster board that features dresses with elements you can see yourself wearing. However you conceptualize your dress, make sure to bring those images or collages into the store with you. Be flexible, but try to be true to all the time you've spent visualizing your dress.
Finally, take advantage of the access you have to the dress consultants. If you bring friends and family to your appointment, ask them questions as well. Everybody should be speaking up and giving an appropriate amount of feedback on how the dress looks. Ask your consultant or friends to snap photos of your favorite dresses in case you don't make a concrete decision the day of the appointment.
This process should be personal in that the dress should uniquely suit you, but it should be communal so you don't pigeonhole yourself into one idea of the perfect dress.
2. Rent Your VenueIf you end up deciding on a venue that requires you rent it, make sure to have your date locked into their schedule AT LEAST six months away from the wedding. Not only will this give you peace of mind, but you might also be given some resources by the venue. Some venues can recommend a wedding coordinator.
The wedding coordinator is very different from an actual wedding planner - you might go talk to the coordinator only one or two times before the day of the wedding. The coordinator will walk you through your wedding rehearsal, and you can go back and forth with them about best practices and your specific desires.
On the day of the wedding, the coordinator will be available to direct traffic, keep things on schedule, and communicate with the maid of honor and best man about any issues that arise (and vice versa). Your venue might also use a certain catering company, or offer a list of recommendations.
3. Contract a PhotographerProfessional wedding photographers are often booked six months out, so make sure that your photographer knows they'll be taking your photos six months before your wedding day. Generally, the photographer and their team will know exactly what kind of pictures to take, but we highly recommend that you have a consultation or two with them to go over the ins and outs of the venue and your expectations for your wedding album.
It is incredibly important that your photographer is familiar with the layout of your venue, because the layout (and wedding time) will affect lighting. Be prepared when you go talk to your photographer so that you can be very clear about what pictures you're expecting. DO NOT select a photographer before looking at their work. Most professional photographers will have a website portfolio with examples of their work, as well as their pricing.
Hire a photographer whose taste you trust. This is the most important thing you can do to ensure your wedding pictures capture the spirit and magic of your big day.
4. Send Save the DatesWith six months left before your wedding day, it's time to send out save-the-date cards. If you're feeling overwhelmed by your list because it's much longer than you imagined in the first phase, that's okay.
This deadline forces you to face reality. You really can't invite everyone you want to, but wedding experts say you can send save-the-dates to about 10% more people than your venue will allow for. That gives you a little bit of a cushion.
To prioritize potential guests, think about the long-term nature of the relationship you're embarking on. It's a sign of respect to ask your future in-laws to invite their close friends. These are people who you'll be engaging with through the years, so make a good impression by establishing your interest early on.
Don't feel like you need to invite everyone you work with. If you've never spent time outside of the office with Jimmy, Jimmy probably doesn't mind not attending your wedding. You can also cross off anyone your fiance hasn't yet met. Your boss might be a good person to invite. Even if you aren't buddies with them, you'll make them feel like you value them, and they'll probably bring a nice bottle of champagne.
The key to honing in on the people most deserving to see your wedding is to envision who you and your spouse will continue to spend time with ten years from now. Who will you want to reminisce with about your wedding? Who will bring life to your big day? Who will get a little emotional seeing you lock lips as a married couple? These are the people you should prioritize.
Six to eight weeks from your wedding date, send out your more formal invitations - don't forget to include an RSVP card. RSVPs help you glean information about your guests' intentions to attend, their dietary restrictions, and even their meal preferences. Make sure to include a smaller card or note about where you're registered. If you have no idea where to register, think about interests you share with your fiance. Cabela's or another sportswear store offer a wide variety of outdoors products to complement your camo wedding theme.
5. Start Writing Your VowsLots of people wait until the last minute to write their vows, which has its pros and cons. The pros are that the vows come across as much more authentic and immediate. If you write your vows the day before your wedding, they will perfectly encapsulate how you feel about your partner in that moment.
However, this is your partner for life, so you should also consider your feelings for that person over time. By starting to draft your vows as early as six months ahead, you will be able to develop your thoughts so they articulate your emotional depth.
Just like the diamond in your camo wedding band, your vows need lots of time to form and crystallize. You can always go through and make whatever changes you'd like to make the day before - just to freshen your vows up.
6. Decide on Your Wedding PartyBy six months before your wedding, your wedding party should know who they are. When deciding who will line up at your side while you exchange camo rings with your soon-to-be spouse, just think about the chemistry of the group as a whole. It really is okay if two of the bridesmaids don't get along perfectly.
There will be other people around to buffer whatever resentment they hold against each other, and your wedding might actually be what brings them together. Don't be afraid to invite a groomsman from out of town who's never met other people in your wedding party. One or two days won't be enough for any real drama to happen between them, even if you're not quite sure how well they'll mesh.
In addition to choosing your wedding party, at six months you need to know what they'll be wearing. There are several ways to go about their wedding get-ups. You can choose exactly what they'll wear, you can collaborate with them to decide on what they'll wear, or you can have them wear outfits that fit your camo color scheme.
It just depends on how much control you want over the look of your wedding. If you trust their senses of style and feel comfortable they will follow your guidelines, it takes a little bit of pressure off of you. Besides, you can always arrange an approval process, where you take a look at what they plan on wearing and let them know if you have any feedback or suggestions.
Phase Three: Realize (The Week Of)No matter how prepared you are, the week of your wedding is going to hit you like a semi-truck. Don't be too hard on yourself, but do take these steps to ensure your wedding day can go as smoothly as possible. Confirm any beauty appointments you may have for the morning of the wedding.
Call invitees who failed to RSVP, especially ones you suspect might have just let that slip their minds. Pack for your honeymoon - you will be so preoccupied with smaller details as the day approaches that you'll let something simple like toothpaste or fresh pairs of socks slip your mind. Finally, write a letter for your future spouse to read the morning of the wedding, when you will be preparing separately. This sign of affection will calm his or her nerves and remind them how lucky they are to have you!