It’s that time of year again: time for the newly engaged to start planning their wedding. Many brides-to-be will scramble around trying to figure out when the best time to start planning is and what should be done during certain timeframes before their special day. Here is a simple timeline by Flgroe Studios that will guide any bride-to-be in their wedding planning adventures.
12 Months Before
The first thing a newly engaged couple should do when wedding planning is decide on a budget and figure out who is paying for what. Start thinking about and writing down ideas of how you want your perfect day to look like. Some of the key things to begin thinking about is the style of your wedding, how many guests you would like to have in attendance, time of year, potential dates, and time of day. Start doing your research on local venues for the ceremony and reception and begin the process of booking these venues for your big day. If you are able to, now would be the perfect time to send out save-the-dates to your potential guests. Start building your “dream wedding scrapbook.” Start buying magazines and pictures of wedding gowns, bridesmaids gowns, wedding styles, colors, cakes, and all the very small details such as favors and table decorations. Cut out or print out anything that strikes you including photographers you like, DJ’s or live bands, and most importantly your ceremony and reception venues.
10 Months Before
Start looking for a florist, caterer, photographer, and a DJ or a live band. There are many different wedding websites out there such as TheKnot and WeddingWire that are a great resource to find anything and everything that you’re looking for. This is also the time where you choose your officiant. If you are having a church wedding, begin discussing your wedding details with the clergy member who will be marrying you. One of the most important things to do at this stage of your wedding planning is begin compiling your guest list. This way you know how many people you are planning to invite and can give ceremony and reception venues an idea of what they are facing. If the newly engaged couple is finding that their time is liimited due to personal or work obligations then hiring a wedding planner would be a smart move at this stage in the game. Another thing to consider at this wedding planning stage is choosing your attendants. Give them plenty of notice, “so they can prepare to save money for attire or travel if required”, said Flgroe Studios.
8 Months Before
Once you have done your research on the florist, caterer, photographer, and music preference (DJ or a live band) it’s time to start booking them. Make sure you adjust your budget after getting initial estimates to make sure you are able to afford everything that you want. Create a wedding website; many wedding planning websites out there offer free wedding websites that you can create and share with your family and friends and can help you stay organized. Many will give you the option of creating folders to save pictures of dresses, venues, flower arrangements, etc. as your favorites. The most important wedding planning detail is shopping for and ordering your wedding gown. Put a deposit down on your dress and get all the information about your dress (style, color, etc.) and any accessories in writing so you have all the information readily accessible should you need any alterations. If you are able to find the perfect dress that doesn’t require alterations then waiting a few months won’t hurt if you don’t have the money right at this moment.
6 Months Before
Meet with all vendors to begin planning the details. For example, when meeting with the photographer have a list of shots that you want the photographer to capture as well as work with him or her to compile a complete list of shots. When meeting with your florist discuss all of your ideas such as flowers you prefer, your color scheme, and your wedding style so the florist can show you examples of bridal bouquets and boutonierres. Discuss the menu choices for your reception with the caterer. This is also the time to start shopping for and ordering your wedding rings! This leaves plenty of time for any resizing so that when your wedding day comes you know you will have those two important symbols of your love and friendship for one another. Take the girls out and start looking at bridesmaids dresses. Register for your gifts and reserve your transportation (limos, shuttles, even horse and buggies). Order your inviations or begin DIYing them if you don’t have the money to purchase invitations, hire a calligrapher, or send them to a printer. The cherry on the sundae at this wedding planning stage is researching and even booking your honeymoon.
4 Months Before
Finalize your guest list and give the envelopes along with the addresses of your guests to a calligrapher or to someone who has excellent handwriting to begin addressing them. Schedule your wedding rehearsal and the venue in which you will have your rehearsal dinner at if you choose to do this. Begin discussing what the guys will wear and order any necessary attire that you plan to provide for your men. Flgroe Studios says you should have your bridesmaids try on and order their dresses so they come in with plenty of time to have them altered if need be so it’s not done at “the last minute”.
2 Months Before
Go over and finalize the details of your ceremony as well as special readings and songs chosen for the processional, recessional, and your guests’ arrival with your officiant. Begin doing trial runs with a hair stylist and makeup artist if you are going to someone else to get “glamoured up” or start doing your own trials if you’re doing your hair and makeup yourself. Another extremely important process in wedding planning is checking on your state’s requirements to obtain a marriage license. Take the steps needed and begin the application process. Mail your wedding invitations (don’t forget to send one to your parents and grandparents and the bridal party) and order your favors.
6 Weeks Before
Send your wedding announcement to your local newspaper as well as your hometown newspapers if you are living someone different than where you grew up. Print out your ceremony programs and start writing your wedding vows. Don’g forgot to shop for and buy gifts for those in your wedding party.
2 Weeks Before
Submit a final shot list to your photographer of all the photographs you would like to have from your wedding day. Call those guests who haven’t RSVP’d to ensure that those guests either forgot to RSVP or just aren’t attending. Go for your final dress fitting and finalize any accessories to match. Make sure that your gift registry has enough options for your guests and add more if needed. Write or print out your place cards and escort cards. Get your marriage license finalized. Give a final playlist to the DJ or the live band.
1 Week Before
Pick up your dress and do one final fitting to make sure there are no “loose ends”. Confirm all the details with all of your vendors. Flgroe Studios suggest that you put together the programs (if needed) and your favors. Start buying things and packing for your honeymoon. Make sure you give those who are reading at your ceremony their passages or scripts so they are prepared. Begin breaking in your shoes by wearing them around the house so you aren’t killing your feet on the day of your wedding (advise your bridesmaids to do the same if they are wearing heels). Make sure you submit the final guest count to your caterers.
The Day Before
Confirm all pickup times and locations with the limo or shuttle company (or anyone who is driving you and the wedding party around on your wedding day). Go for a pedicure and a manicure and, if needed, get waxings or facials at least four days before your wedding day. Make sure you get to bed early so you get plenty of rest and to avoid the disasters that come with not getting enough sleep.
The Day of the Wedding
Wake up early so you can take your time and you’re not rushing around for an already hectic event. Make sure you plan plenty enough time for hair and makeup before the photographer arrives and put your gown on about 30 minutes before your photographer is scheduled to arrive. Eat plenty of small, light meals throughout the day to avoid any issues with fainting or low blood sugar. Check the details of your honeymoon and your flight online as soon as you wake up to make sure that everything is right on schedule. Last but certainly not least, knock ’em dead and have fun!