So your engaged and everyones excited and happy but now its time to start the planning. If your lost and don’t know where to start, use this wedding planning timeline/guide to help you make it to the BIG DAY!
First, PICK A DATE! Note: Fall weddings seem to be all the hype now a days so if you decide to have your big day during this season, I would make sure you try to get your deposits down earlier than later. Also if you choose to hire a wedding planner I would do that right after you choose your date. Some people find this a big help and others want to conquer it on their own.
Once you choose your bridal party, start doing your research on bridesmaid dresses and tuxedos and try to get that organized and out of the way. I’m sure you have an idea of what you would want them to look like but finding them is the important part. The guys are usually pretty easy but girls have so many more options when it comes to their attire. Plan a day with the bridesmaids to go dress shopping or if you find a dress you like online but would still like to be able to try it on, find a retailer that carries them near you and you can order through them. I found my bridesmaid dresses that I loved online, searched a little deeper and found a little boutique in Royal Oak, MI that had them to try on and the owner was able to measure my girls and order them through her (I found being able to contact someone local rather than dealing with an online representative a little easier). Regardless of how you do it, get it done and out of the way because after that its up to them to get their dresses paid for, picked up and altered in time. You may need to stay on top of it with them or at least some of them, lets be honest we all have that “fashionable late” friend that we will have anxiety about until it is done but other than that you have plenty of other things to get done.
Engagement photos– if you choose to do this, try to get these done about a 1 or 2 months after you get engaged, its a fun memory and a good announcement for social media and putting pictures on your save the dates, wedding shower, etc.
Venue– Shopping should start right away considering these book up very fast, if you have a date set in mind try aiming for booking a venue with a deposit 12 months or more ahead of time. If you are doing an off site reception than book your caterer just as soon as you would a venue.
Guest List– I would start getting a rough draft of a guest list together, that way you have an estimated number to give to your venue and an idea of how much everything will cost so you know how to budget about 10-12 months ahead of time. Plus you will be stressed enough getting everyone addresses you will want an organized list to make things go by smoother.
Wedding Dress– The search is on for your dream dress which can be harder than you think, I would start this at least 10 months before your wedding date just because you will have your alterations and than another alteration, and than probably another… The dress is very important (obviously) so thats why I recommend so much time before the wedding to have that picked.
Ceremony– if it is in a church book that at least 10 months before your wedding date. Church’s require a lot of work such as, meeting with the priest, getting your donations together, some church’s make you fill out paperwork for you and your husband to do separately and than go over with either the priest or a given marriage couple, and meeting to pick out songs for church. If your ceremony is off site or you choose to use another type of wedding officiant I would recommend booking with them at least 8 months before your wedding date.
Wedding Photographer– There are a lot of photographers these days since it is the new HOT hobby but I’m sure you will do your research on who you want or but the good ones always book up quick so I would recommend also booking a photographer with a deposit at least 10 months before. If your having a videographer than I would recommend at least 6 months to book them.
DJ-Theres three things your guest will be expecting to be great on your big day, and thats the booze, the food and the MUSIC. Whether your having a band or disc jockey I would have them booked 9-10 months before your big day.
Florist– should be booked around 6-8 months before your wedding, I would recommend taking someone with you for opinions because you go through A LOT of flowers to choose from. I would also suggest bringing money for a deposit.
Wedding Cake Baker– I would choose this about 6-8 months before your wedding date. You should also know about how many people you will be having to know how many tiers you will need. A new thing some people are doing are getting a “fake cake”, this is a cheaper way to have a great cake without anyone knowing. The baker will do a fake cake except for 1 tier that the bride and groom will cut at the reception. After that they will take the cake and serve a sheet cake to the guests.
Wedding Invitations– The wedding invites might seem easy but I never realized how many options there are to choose. From the different invites to the different calligraphy, it can be overwhelming. I would start looking at these about 6 months before the big day.
Wedding Day Transportation– I would book your transportation around 3-5 months before your date. This may seem like a short period of time but don’t worry, there are a lot of companies out there and they usually have multiple forms of transportation.
This should help give you a basic idea of where and when to start the planning fun! Leave a comment if you have any more questions, I would love to help you further! Don’t forget to visit soshalclub.com and subscribe!