Planning a wedding is incredibly fun but nevertheless stressful without a solid wedding planning timeline in your hands. It is suggested to start gathering information and details at least a year and a half in advance to make sure you take care of things little by little. Last thing you want to do is hiring vendors last minute, changing the theme of your wedding and not have much of an idea of what your day will be looking like.
However, it’s OK if you start planning everything 9-12 months ahead of time — maybe your fiancé has asked you on Valentines Day and you can’t wait to get married, so you’re thinking a summer/fall wedding. If that’s the case – HURRY UP! Most vendors, especially venues, wedding photographers and DJs are the ones that book first, so make it a point to have that secured as soon as possible.
- Pick a date range
- Approximate guest list (for the venue options) and tentative bridal party
- Tentative theme and colors, be aware seasons availability of flowers
- Planner or venue first
- If planner, you have options, full service or day of coordination.
- Referrals are best, next is reviews.
- Visit venues to find the perfect one, work around their dates
- Fridays and Sundays often have discounts or are a bit cheaper
- Set your date
- If you are six month out send save the dates if not, wait.
- Set wedding budget- in doing your budget please do some research on what is appropriate for each vendor
- Research vendors IE. photographers, bands, florist, caterers…
- Photographer and videographers and band/DJ, musicians for ceremony need to be hired/booked
- Caterers meet with and booked, bartenders also
- Dress search, designers, bridal shops, resales
- Hotel rooms for guests
- Register!!! Have fun with this but from experience register for all areas not just kitchen and bath.
- Launch wedding websites
- Schedule hair and makeup artist (different from podcast because we heard from a Hair and Makeup artist that this is a better time)
- Set guest list and gather addresses
- Purchase invites
- Start planning the honeymoon
- Bridesmaids dresses
- Send save the dates
- Reserve lighting designer including pipe and drapes
- Book a florist and décor
- Transportation, limos, buses, antique cars…
- Start a day of timeline
- Rehearsal dinner venue
- Verify wedding invitations
- Order your cake(s)
- If you are having a shower, send guest list for the shower to the host/maid of honor who is traditionally the host.
- Wedding shoes and dress fittings
- Choose music: first dance, father daughter, processional and recessional
- Finalize menu and floral
- Order favor if having, s’mores packages, candy bags…
- Make a list of toasters
- Finalize readings
- Purchase bridal lingerie
- Schedule second fitting with your lingerie
- Finalize the timeline for ceremony and the reception
- Finalize catering, create menus as well as programs (your invitation designer may also offer these)
- Purchase wedding rings if need
- Send event schedule to your vendors
- Set final meetings with vendors
- Playlist to band/DJ
- Send out invitations
- If needed send out newspaper wedding announcement
- Plan bachelorette party with maid of honor
- Update RSVP lists
- Marriage license
- Contact rehearsal dinner guest for final count
- Final dress fitting
- Final count to bartenders and caterers and venue
- Final payment to vendors
- Confirm all vendors, time of delivery…
One Month before
- Book spa treatment, nails, facial, waxing
- Break in shoes
- Seating charts, if you are doing them
- Bridesmaids and groomsmen gifts, and bride/groom gift
- Write vows
- Get your hair done, cut and color.
Week of wedding
- Delegate, pick up guest from airport, someone in charge of gifts, rental returns, handing out tips, point of contact person for each vendor
- Pick up dress
- Pack for honeymoon
As always, I’m here if you have questions, suggestions or if you’d like for us to work together! Send me a message, I would be really excited to hear from you!
Happy Wedding Planning, Stay Fabulous!
A lover of all things beautiful, classic and authentic, Adina’s journey into photography has taught her to adapt to all surroundings and allowed her to capture timeless, creative photographs that reveal raw connection and emotion. You can follow Adina on Instagram or Facebook below for more inspiration.
I'm just a girl playing wedding photographer in Destin Florida, devoted to her work, getting her excitement from helping people preserve their memories.
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