Wedding Planning Timeline Tips
Planning a wedding can seem like a daunting task …the key is to be organized! Lists are my life, so I can tell you from first-hand experience that when planning an event (and a wedding being the biggest event of your life) the most crucial place to start is with lists. Above, I have created a pretty bulletin board with all of the main elements that you should be planning in the months leading up to your wedding.
Not everyone starts 12 months ahead, some of us have more time to plan and the majority of us have less. But feel free to adjust this top-line timeline to accommodate where you are in the process. Obviously, there are many (many!) more details that need to be covered, but as long as you take care of the above – your “I dos” will be said and your guests will have a great time!
Wedding to do list Step by Step Guide 12 Month
Give you wedding to do list Confirm arrival times and finalize the wedding timeline! make sure your wedding party, start the guest list. hire a planner, if desired. reserve your date and venues. research photographers, bands, etc.
9 – 12 Months:
Depending on the area that you live in, there will always be certain vendors that get booked up quicker than others. It’s important to get these out of the way first. I have based my timeline on both the South Western Ontario market and the GTA.
- Venues (both ceremony & reception) book up quickly …sometimes even quicker than a year in advance. Tip: If you get stuck, check into golf courses, they often will not confirm until a year or less in advance because they wait to confirm tournaments first.
- Also, think creatively, find a place that is significant to you as a couple and the more unique the location you choose, the less chance that it will be booked, or that your guests will have been to a wedding there before.
- Photography is one of the most important aspects of your wedding (it captures the entire day) and it is important to get a photographer that suits your tastes and style. So book early! And then of course – the Wedding Planner …who will make the next 12 months completely painless:)
Other areas to focus on is confirming your budget (read my blog on budget planning for tips in that area) so that you can begin planning and booking, confirming your guest list (will be essential with all of the planning) and inviting your wedding party to be a part of your special day. Check wedding websites and bridal magazines.
6 – 9 Months:
Time to get some important elements out of the way. You can start dress shopping! The majority of new brides are itching to go dress shopping as soon as they have the ring on their finger …but don’t be too anxious. Magazine shop at first to see what you like and give it some time because styles change year to year, as will your taste and you want to truly be in love with your dress.
Then set aside some time to book your transportation, the music for the day (whether going with a DJ or a band) and to pick your party favors (if you can’t decide, many couples are donating money towards a meaningful charity and it makes for a great and personal touch.) These are elements that if you have time before the 6-9 month mark, you can definitely go ahead and book it ….these are just drop dead elements.
3 – 6 Months:
These are the fun months! You will have already started to think about theme and style and color combinations …but now it’s time to put it all together! You can start ordering your rentals and meeting with your Stationary artist to plan the invitations. You can also meet with the florist to decide on flowers.
If you are having trouble envisioning it all – I will often put everything together for my couples so that they can get a complete visual. If the venue will allow it – you can bring in the table settings, the lines, the centerpieces and flowers to get a full feel for how it will all come together. And knowing that you are due for another meeting with them, this may be an appropriate time to do this, they will probably even appreciate knowing exactly what you are planning themselves!
2 Month Mark:
Your anxiety will probably be getting higher at this point, but since you are so far ahead in the wedding planning process, you may actually start to worry that you are missing something because there doesn’t seem to be much to do. To calm these nerves, simply look at your to-do list … with all the check marks on it!
It’s time to really start enjoying the process – after sending out your invitations, relax and enjoy your showers and your Buck ‘n’ Doe. You will also get an opportunity to be in your beautiful dress again for a final fitting.
Take a trip back down your to-do list and confirm that you have dotted all of your I’s and crossed all your t’s …then take a few deep breaths and be excited that you will soon be enjoying this perfect day that has been so much work in the making!
It is important to put together a very detailed Itinerary so that everyone knows where they will be on the day of and what time everything will be delivered. Provide copies to all vendors and members of the wedding party, including family – highlighting everyone’s roles on their copies.
Your venue will let you know when they need final numbers, so make sure to call any outstanding invites prior to this date.
Then once you have made it to the rehearsal night …sit back and enjoy all of your hard work and your perfect day!
Good Luck & Happy Planning!
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