Weddings are relatively common in our society yet not many of us understand what actually occurs within what timeframe all the way up to that special day. As a bride, you’ll want to keep organized and know what needs to get done a year, month, and even a week from the day of your wedding. So, without much ado, let’s get started and take a look at a complete wedding planning timeline and checklist for brides below, given a one year engagement length.
Fun Fact: David Tutera has recently stated that one year used to be a standard engagement length, but more and more couples are setting the date for nine months after the proposal. According to our own data, one year engagements are still the norm for wedding planning.
One Year to Go…
Although your wedding is a year away, this is NOT the time to sit around and do nothing. You’ll want to get a head start on your savings and start determining your budget and what you are able to spend. Make sure that you determine where you would like to splurge and where you would like to save.
Helpful Data: Decidio has compiled data on what REAL average couples across the country are spending on their weddings, and we’re giving it out for FREE!
Start developing ideas and browse through helpful bridal blogs and magazines. If you know anyone, collaborate with other brides who have already been married and ask them what you should be doing. Ten months to a year away from the wedding date is when you will want to handle the following:
- Create a preliminary guest list (note: it will be subject to change before the invites are sent).
- Choose a bridesmaid as well as the rest of your wedding party.
- Start contacting and checking out venues. When you make your selection, make sure that you reserve your date immediately and ask plenty of questions.
Once you have your venue date set, you’ll want to consider sending out invites and making the event known. You can even create your own wedding website and allow your friends and family to know about it. It will help keep them involved in the process and allow them to pitch in whenever necessary. Keep in mind that you’ll also want to choose:
- A Dress
- An Officiant
- A Videographer and Photographer
- A Wedding Coordinator (if you need one)
Save Your Time and Sanity: You can conveniently find, compare, and get quotes from all the top wedding professionals in your area on Decidio!
Six to Nine Months to Go…
By now, you should know where your wedding is going to be as well as have a rough estimate as to how many people are going to show up. But this doesn’t mean that you should cease to do research and brainstorm new ideas. It is during the six to nine month period that you will want to handle the following:
- Decide on floral arrangements (speak with a floral designer).
- Go cake tasting and speak with professional cake designer.
- Hire a DJ and other forms of entertainment for your reception.
- Create a gift registry.
- Arrange hotel rooms for guests who may be coming from out-of-town.
- Shop for flower girl and bridesmaid dresses.
It is also during this time that you will want to take care of any transportation issues that may arise for your wedding as well as go over the bachelorette details with your Maid of Honor and hostess.
Three to Five Months to Go…
The time is getter nearer and you may now be feeling a bit more stressed than usual. That is perfectly normal. Simply stay focused and try to develop a sense of humor about everything.
Stay With It: We know this can be a stressful time. Here is a pretty interesting post on how Bridal Coaches help prevent meltdowns when brides feel overwhelmed.
With three to five months to go away from your big day, you’ll want to start getting your rehearsal dinner guest list together. You may want to make arrangements for kids and even reserve all of the party linens and rentals that you will need. Make sure that you are placing most of your focus on:
- Getting everyone’s mailing address for the invites.
- Determining what kind of drinks and foods are going to be served.
- Shopping for a (big) wedding ring 😉
- Finalizing any honeymoon plans that you may have (do you have your passport up to date?)
Six to Eight Weeks to Go…
Now you are getting close. This is the time when you want to send out the invitations. Make sure that you touch base with your vendors and re-confirm all of the details associated with your wedding date and deposits. Do research on all of the name-change paperwork that you will need as well as the marriage licensing requirements for your state. Finally, write thank-you cards for any early wedding gifts that you may have received.
One Month to Go…
With one month to go, you’ll want to finalize and re-confirm everything with each of your vendors. Make sure that they are still ready to perform on your special day. Talk with the Officiant and make sure that he or she will still be able to be there. Touch base with both your videographer and photographer to ensure that they are still available and that they know the relevant date and times. If you have a playlist then make sure that you give it to the DJ, band, or musician who is going to be in charge of the entertainment.
The Day Before
Don’t forget your rings and make sure that you have your marriage license. Figure out whether or not you have anything more to pay vendors and assign someone to take care of the gifts that people may be bringing you. Check in with the cake designer to ensure that your cake is ready. And FINALLY this will lead us to…
The Wedding Day
You’ve made it! Be glad that you’ve effectively been able to manage the stress associated with planning a wedding because not many brides can. Make sure that you enjoy this special day and always thank everyone who came to support you. Take a deep breath and start appreciating the life that you are going to spend with your new spouse!
Lastly, here is a pretty awesome infographic from Weddingpaperdivas.com that highlights important moments of note that you will experience during this process. ENJOY, and CONGRATULATIONS!!!