Monday, January 4, 2016

Wedding Planning Timeline

One of the most stressful things about getting married is all the planning and prepping that can go into what turns out to be just a few days worth of events. Many people rely on professional planners and coordinators to help them pull off their dream weddings, and if you have the money to spring for one, by all means go take a look at our vendor pages for inspiration. 

If you're on more of a budget when planning your wedding then getting a good idea about when and what to plan can really help you out. 

That's why I wanted to share my full scale wedding planning timeline. This is a culturally non-specific timeline that breaks down what tasks are best completed however many months before your event. I've stretched it out to a full year in advance of the actual wedding day itself, but many people start planning either earlier or later, depending on their own situation. If you are planing multiple days worth of events, bump your schedule out accordingly. If you don't have a whole year to plan, that's perfectly fine. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't pull of a perfectly fabulous wedding in the amount of time you have. It can be done! 

Feel free to print out, copy, revise, and personalize this timeline for your own personal needs. And be sure to share your thoughts with us and other brides in the comments below!

10 - 12 Months Before Wedding

Officially announce engagement
Pick Wedding Date
Hire planner / coordinator
Draft budget
Draft guest list
Select members of wedding party
Book reception and ceremony venues, including rehearsal

6 - 9 Months Before Wedding
Send out save-the-dates
Order bridal trousseau, bridesmaid attire
Book honeymoon
Book florist
Book caterer
Book bands or DJs, entertainment
Book photographer/videographer
Book decorator
Book officiant
Consider wedding liability insurance, per venue requirements, and general wedding insurance to protect invested deposits
Book hotel room blocks for out-of-town guests
Renew or apply for passports, if necessary

4 - 5 Months Before Wedding
Order invitations, Book calligrapher
Book cake baker, finalize wedding cake
Shop for wedding rings
Order tuxes for groom, groomsmen, et. al.
Book bridal showers, bachelorette, bachelor parties
Set up registries
Book rental equipment such as chairs, tables, linens, tents, etc.
Book rehearsal dinner venue
Book additional management staff, babysitters, etc.

1 - 2 Months Before Wedding
Finalize guest list and send invitations to calligrapher
Book hair and makeup stylist(s)
Consider dance classes
Finalize menu
Find gifts for wedding party, etc.
Book wedding transportation
Finalize rehearsal dinner plans
Mail invitations eight weeks before wedding day

3 - 4 Weeks Before Wedding
Finalize jewelry, accessories, shoes, etc.
Prepare shot list for photographer and videographer
Finalize music with DJ/Band – including “must play” and “don’t play”
Break in bridal shoes (including for first dance)
Confirm all honeymoon and travel arrangements
Check in with guests who haven’t RSVP’d
Pick up wedding rings
Pick up marriage license, typically no earlier than 30 days before wedding
Look into name change services if needed
Mail rehearsal dinner invitations
Meet with hair/makeup stylist for trial run

1 - 2 Weeks Before Wedding
Have final gown fitting (bring along maid of honor to learn how to bustle)
Finalize day of schedule; share with bridal party, family, coordinator, venders
Confirm all beauty appointments
Confirm pick-up times, schedules, contact info and addresses with all vendors
Pick up wedding attire
Finalize ceremony
Confirm final headcount, share with vendors
Pack for wedding night and honeymoon
Prepare wedding favors and arrange for transportation to reception venue
Prepare ceremony programs
Finalize seating arrangements and prepare place cards

The Day Before 
Prepare payment envelopes, including tips, with notes of who is responsible for distributing
Hand out assignment lists and checklists to ensure everyone knows their tasks
Rehearse ceremony

The Day Of 

After Returning from the Honeymoon
Get wedding dress and bouquet cleaned and preserved
Write and mail thank you notes
Complete name change
Meet with photographer/videographer to finalize deliverables

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