Your Comprehensive Wedding Planning Timeline
The first thing that needs to be considered when planning the ultimate wedding is how much time you will give yourself for the planning. In essence; this means what day that you will set the date of the wedding.
This may sound like a trivial matter, but it really is important because it will let you know what the time limit is for making your preparations.
Some weddings can take up to 3-4 months to prepare for and plan. This is pretty typical; depending on how big you are planning for your wedding to be and how fancy etc.
If you are not giving yourself more than a month, then planning is naturally different. Because of the differences in the time that you are giving yourself to planning the wedding, it is best to give the best planning methods and you may use them or not use them as they apply to your case.
One of the most important factors that go with planning a wedding is determining who you will be delegating specific duties to. For example, if you are terrible at choosing flowers, who will you assign to do it for you?
It is always best to try to give different duties to others so that you will not be overwhelmed by them yourself. Let's take a look at some of the various duties that you can hand out:
- Catering: Who do you believe would be the best person to handle all of the arrangements for the food and drink at your wedding?
- Invitations and seating arrangements: This person will be addressing and mailing out invitations and making sure that people are seated in a fashion that will ensure everyone's mutual comfort and enjoyment
- Decorations for wedding and reception includes center pieces
- Rehearsal dinners etc.
- Music and/or DJ
- Brides maid and groomsmen gifts and favors
- Gowns, and tuxedos
- Bridal showers/bachelor parties etc.
All of these things are usual must haves when it comes to a wedding, unless of course, you opt not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen in the wedding. All of these things can be murder to try to do on your own as well.
That is why you have to get in touch with people who are capable of taking over some of the menial jobs for you. All of these things seem small at first, but they can quickly add up to quite a bit of money when they are all combined together.
After you have delegated the responsibilities, you should next set a specific time period to have all of the tasks completed. Creating a to-do list and time sheet is a great way to do this. That way, when all of the tasks are finished you can easily check them off.
You should set up specific times and days to discuss the progress of things as well, just in case things are not going so well. In doing this you will be able to help make sure that all things are running smoothly.
You might be wondering what happens when you have done all of this and are ready to get started. First of all, you have to be willing to follow the general wishes of the couple to be wed; that is unless you are the couple and are planning your own wedding.
When planning a wedding on a budget you have to lower your requirements just a bit. For example, you can't try to have to filet mignon if you are throwing the wedding on a fish stick budget. I have broken down the various aspects of the wedding planning to the last details so that you will get a better idea of what I mean.
Ideally, you would want to have at least a year to plan the wedding, but that is not always possible or desired. For the purposes of this guide, I have set up a comprehensive12 month wedding timeline that will certainly make it a little bit easier to host your wedding.
12 months before your Wedding day:
- Announce the engagement
- Set your wedding date
- Create a budget
- Hire a Wedding Coordinator (optional)
- Create your guest list
- Start brainstorming ideas and themes
- Reserve your Ceremony spot
- Book an Officiate
- Make reservations for your Reception area
- Book a Photographer and Videographer
- Book Caterer, Florist and Music (Band, DJ, etc.)
- Look for a Wedding gown and Tux, allowing time for alterations and fittings
- Register for gifts
- Select and call the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
- Agree on a date to order bridesmaids' dresses and groomsmen's tuxes
- Choose a destination for your Honeymoon
- Apply for passports, if required
6 months before your Wedding day:
- Finalize your guest list
- Decide on the timeline and details of Ceremony and Reception
- Order/make invitations, and thank you notes
- Make airline and hotel reservations for the Honeymoon
- Choose a caterer, a florist and place an order for the wedding cake.
- Book Transportation (Limo, Antique Car, Etc.) for wedding day
- Shop for any Party rentals
3-4 months before your Wedding day:
- Mail out/hand deliver invitations
- Confirm wedding details and contracts with all wedding vendors
- Choose gifts for your attendants
- Set a date and time for the rehearsal dinner
- Help make travel arrangements for any out-of-town guests
- Make final alterations and fittings for the Wedding Gown and Tux
- Set time with your Photographer for the Bridal Portrait or Engagement shoot
1 month before your Wedding day:
- Apply for the marriage license
- Buy your wedding bands
- Finalize music list and no-play list with band or DJ
- Attend showers
- Make insurance arrangements
1-2 weeks before your Wedding day:
- Schedule the rehearsal a day or two before your wedding day
- Make an appointment with a Beauty Salon for day of wedding
- Send a wedding announcement to the local newspapers (optional)
- Make necessary arrangements for name & address change, if any.
- Discuss final details with the reception Site and the Caterer
- Pack for honeymoon
- Write out all checks needed for wedding day
- Send reminders to the rehearsal dinner attendees about the location & time
- Discuss final details of the ceremony and reception with family and bridal party
Wedding day or day before:
- Visit your Beauty Salon for manicure and pedicure
- Host the rehearsal and dinner.
- Make sure the ushers have the final guest list.