A Wedding Planning Timeline
Getting married is just the beginning of a lifetime of materialized hopes and dreams with your one and only. A moment most women dream of since we were kids. Making wedding dresses out of sheets and toilet paper, wearing your mom’s jewelry and her high heels while playing dress-up, setting up an altar in the middle of the living room with your dolls and teddy bears playing the role of honored guests, will some become a reality. All it takes is one question from the love of your life to start planning your real-life wedding.
How soon after getting engaged should the two of you start planning your wedding? The answer is: right away! When it comes to such a life altering event, time is of the essence. There are many elements that should be booked months in advance, and the grander you want your celebration to be, the harder it will be to make sure everything is synchronized for that one special day.
For the purpose of this timeline and to illustrate why items should be booked in said order, we will consider a 12-month timeframe. However, nothing is set in stone, and you can be as flexible as you need.
12-11 Months Before Your Wedding
Pick a date that works, first and foremost, for the both of you.
Budget. A conversation with your partner about how big your wedding is going to be and how much you’ll be spending on it, whether it’s from your own pocket or with help from your family.
Wedding party. Time to pick your teams. Which of your girls and guys will make the cut and earn a coveted spot as bridesmaids or groomsmen?
Wedding Planner. If you’ve chosen to hire a wedding planner, it’s time to bring this gem of an aid on board.
Potential guest list. Roughly how many of your friends and family will be attending the ceremony and reception? This will determine the size of your venue and budget.
Venues. Book the time and place where both ceremony and reception will take place.
11-9 Months Before Your Wedding
Theme and color palette. A lot of decisions regarding décor, menu, and overall design will rely on this one choice.
Wedding dress, shoes and accessories. Time to go shopping!
Wedding website. A one-stop-shop destination to keep your guests up to date.
Send out your Save-the-dates
Book your vendors: photographer, videographer, DJ/band. These will be in high demand, so it’s better to secure them in advance.
8-6 Months Before Your Wedding
Wedding Registry. If you already have the essentials covered, think about fun things to do that you could enjoy as a married couple. That would make for an awesome wedding gift.
Bridesmaids dresses. Whether your girls will be wearing the same dress, or same fabric but in different styles, it’s time to make a decision and place an order.
Rentals. Chairs, glassware, linens, dance floor… the works.
Hire a florist. Based on recommendations from your friends, wedding planner or other vendors, make an informed decision. Find the one whose vision matches yours.
Hire an Officiant.
Venue for rehearsal dinner.
5 Months Before Your Wedding
Transportation for both newlyweds and guests. Limo, horse drawn carriage, Rolls Royce. Now’s the time to book it! If your guests require transportation between venues, book a couple of shuttle buses.
Book the Honeymoon
Groom’s Tuxedo. He won’t require that many fitting sessions.
4 Months Before Your Wedding
Bridal beauty trials. Time for your makeup and hair artists to try out some bridal looks on you.
Cake. The sweetest part of the process, you both get to try all the cakes and choose your favorite.
Final tasting catering.
3 Months Before Your Wedding
Plan your menu. Once you’ve carefully tasted all the options, it’s time to inform your caterer of your selection, and have alternatives for your guests with dietary concerns.
Write your vows.
Think of wedding favors. You’ll find some really cute and inexpensive options on Pinterest.
2 Months Before Your Wedding
Send out invitations. Remember, not every wedding guest receives a save-the-date, but every save-the-date recipient must receive an invitation.
Wedding dress fitting. In case any minor alterations are required. It is also the perfect excuse to try it on again.
Meet with your florist.
Song selections with the DJ and/or band, especially for your first dance as a married couple.
1 Month Before Your Wedding
Pay vendors in full
Assemble gift bags with your bridesmaids. It’s a team effort.
Seating chart. Decide who is going to seat where. You might get to play Cupid for a night.
Decompress and fine tune any details.
Yes, there are many things to consider. Our intention is not to stress you out with the preparations, but to give you an idea of just how significant and unique tying the knot really is. Every step of the process has its pros and cons. There might be things you find tedious, and others you love most. Planning your wedding is the perfect time to get to know your partner, what makes them tick, how supportive you can both be, and how great your work together as a couple. All we can say is enjoy every minute of it. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and something you’ve been waiting for your whole life. Be in the moment. The best is yet to come.
If you haven’t found the one yet, take a look at The Ultimate Guide To Choosing Your Perfect Wedding Dress.