Wedding Planning Timeline
Wedding planning can be stressful, but staying organized and on time can save you from dismay. Since every couple’s engagement is different, it’s hard to determine a specific wedding planning timeline catered to you and your significant other. However, with a wedding planner and this list, you’ll be able to break down your timeline simply and easily while staying stress-free during the wedding planning process.
12 Months Out
Make a Budget
The very first step in wedding planning is figuring out your budget and how you’ll be allocating your funds. Figure out what aspects will take priority over others (such as the venue, florals, and photography). Since it’s likely your budget will change, having the help of a wedding planner can save you some stress.
Hire a Wedding Planner
Figure out how much your budget will allow for wedding planners, and find a reputable planner in your area. Make sure you get along great because this will be your best friend throughout the planning process!
Make a Guest List and Pick a Venue
Picking your venue this early may seem unreasonable, but the truth is many venues book desired dates well over a year in advance. Most venues will also want to know how many guests will be in attendance before you book your wedding. This is a factor in pricing, especially in all-inclusive packages.
11 Months Out
Vendors including caterers, photographers, videographers, and DJs book up quickly as well. So, once you’ve decided on a venue, talk with your preferred vendors and make sure they have your date available.
Get Design Ideas
Your wedding planner can’t do much without an idea of what you want your wedding day to look like. Get on Pinterest and start organizing your favorite wedding styles. Then, sit down with your planner and talk it over so they can get started on creating your perfect day.
10 Months Out
Take Engagement Photos
Take your engagement photos as soon as possible so you can begin sharing them with friends and family. They can also be featured at pre-wedding activities such as weddings showers, displayed at your wedding, or included in your invitations so they should be ready when you need them.
Create Wedding Website
Creating a wedding website makes life easier for you, your wedding planner, and your guests. Include guest accommodations, a gift registry, your engagement photos, your story, and your wedding hashtag. You can also include logistics such as the date, location, and time of your wedding, RSVPs, and your wedding day timeline.
Send Save the Dates
There’s no need to send invitations this soon, but your guests do need to put this important date on their calendars. If you’re planning to have a wedding 9+ months out, go ahead and send out save-the-dates to keep your guests in the loop.
9 Months Out
Find Your Dress
Wedding dresses usually have to be ordered by the shop and sent to you or sent to them for you to pick up. To avoid rush fees and to have plenty of time for alterations, now’s the best time to find your wedding dress.
Get Wedding Insurance
Many venues and vendors will require you to have wedding insurance, not to protect them, but to protect you! This is especially true if you’re planning to serve alcohol at your wedding. Have your wedding planner help you decide on the insurance you’ll need.
Register for Gifts
Go back to your wedding website and start filling out the gift registry. Talk with your partner and decide on what you need to start your new life together. There are great articles out there on “what to ask for in your wedding registry.”
8 Months Out
Select Bridesmaids Dresses
Bridesmaids dresses usually have to be ordered as well. Whether you’re getting them online, or trying them on in person, this is the time to get your girls their dresses. Consider your color scheme and pick out some dresses with your planner before deciding on the final set.
Select Groomsmen Ties and Suits
Now is also the time to make sure there are matching colors available for the groomsmen to wear alongside the bridesmaids. If the color-coordinating tie doesn’t exist, you may want to go with a different dress.
Meet Your Florist
If you haven’t already booked a florist, do that now. Make sure their ideas align with your budget and what style you want. It’s a great idea to have your planner present when talking to your florist. A great option is choosing a planner that also does florals, but if you don’t that’s okay! Planners always have great contacts to get you the best value.
7 Months Out
Book Your Officiant
Now is the time to look for and book the officiant for your wedding day. Using a professional, or hiring a friend or family member are both great options.
Order Rental Items
If the venue you choose does not provide tables, chairs, or decorations, you’ll need to pre-order those for your rental now.
6 Months Out
Shop for Wedding Rings
Picking out your wedding bands is a great thing to do as a couple. Go together to find what you like and have the wedding bands ready with plenty of time until the big day.
Book Your Honeymoon
You’re halfway to the wedding day and it’s almost time to relax on the beach with a drink in your hand… or whatever you’ll be doing on your honeymoon. Book yours at least 6 months in advance so you can get what you want without any hassle.
Book Wedding Day Exit Transportation
If you’re planning to leave your wedding in an old mustang, a limo, or a carriage, book it now with the help of your wedding planner.
5 Months Out
Invitations should be designed and on the way to you by month 5. There’s no telling how long they may take to ship, and this is one thing you definitely don’t want arriving too late.
Order Your Cake
Go for a tasting and get the look you want when ordering your cake. This process shouldn’t take too long as most bakeries will do wedding cakes.
4 Months Out
Order the Guy’s Suits
The groom and his groomsmen will need to order their suits about now. Rental places usually have a limit on how long the suits can be kept, so double check to make sure this isn’t too soon with the specific shop you’re going to use.
Get Hair and Makeup Trial
Hair and makeup trials are so important in making sure the bride looks exactly how she wants on her big day. Do a trial run a few months ahead, so there’s time for any changes and more trials if needed.
3 Months Out
Begin a Beauty Routine
You want your face to be clear and glowing, and your hair to be beautiful and shiny on your big day. Start your beauty routine a few months out to see what works and what doesn’t in plenty of time.
Send Out Invitations
Time to send out invitations! Make sure you ask your guests to respond by a certain date (usually one month out) so you can prepare for the amount of guests that will be in attendance.
Brainstorm Guest Favors
What would you like to take home from a wedding. Start thinking about wedding favors that your guests will love.
2 Months Out
Pick Up Your Marriage License
Every State’s requirements for marriage licenses are different. Look up your state’s requirements and begin the process of getting your marriage license.
Buy Wedding Party Gifts
Gifts for your wedding party are a great way to add some customization to your photos and also a great way to say thank you for all they’ve done during the wedding planning process.
Attend Your Wedding Shower
Your wedding shower or bridal is normally planned by a family member, your maid of honor, or your bridesmaids, so all you have to do is show up and have fun!
1 Months Out
Have Your Bachelor(ette) Party
Close to your wedding, spend some time with just your wedding party. Get away from the wedding planning process and have your bachelor or bachelorette party or trip.
Write Your Vows
Whether you’re planning to read your vows to everyone or just amongst yourselves, they have to be written! Start writing your vows now so they’re not rushed.
Break In Your Wedding Shoes
This is a great time to break in your wedding shoes! Don’t wait until the wedding day to be uncomfortable in brand new heels or tight close-toed shoes.
Have a Spa Day
Have a spa day with your girls, your mom, or even your wedding planner! Anyone will appreciate this relaxing day before the wedding.