After the excitement of notifying your family and friends of your engagement you’ll want to start planning and making reservations. Here is a timeline to help you get a better idea about time frames for notifying, booking, and making certain arrangements. Creating a wedding notebook is a great way to stay organized and ensuring you have all contact information readily available.
About 10 to 12 months before your chosen wedding date, make your guest list and pick you wedding party. Notifying your wedding party with sufficient time will give them a chance to make figure out if they are able to participate or not. In this time frame you also want to start looking for major vendors like venues, photographer, DJs, catering, and florists. Many of these tend to book well in advance, so the sooner you contact your favorite one the better the chances they will be available.
8 to 10 months in advance you want to search and preferably buy your wedding dress. In many instances boutiques can take up to 6 months to fulfill your order and it may take up to 2 months for fittings and alterations. Take this time to shop with your wedding party as well. Depending on your boutique, it can take a couple months for dresses and tuxedos to be ready. This is also a great time to send out “save-the-dates” and announce your engagement in your local newspaper. Make final decisions on all vendors.
5-7 months ahead of the big day book your invitation designer and calligrapher, if applicable. Arrange transportation. Start selecting your playlist. Make arrangements for your rehearsal dinner. This is a great time to choose your honeymoon destination.
2 to 4 months before your wedding day send out your official wedding invitations. Finalize your flowers and menu with the vendors. Ensure all vendors have their deposits. Order wedding favors or gifts for your wedding party. Purchase your wedding rings.
1 month before, begin recording your RSVPs. Get your marriage license. Have your last wedding dress fitting. Begin planning the seating arrangements. Notify caterers on final guest count. Book hair and make-up appointments, the earlier the better so you are not rushed if anything unexpected should occur.
1-2 weeks prior to the wedding finalize all details with your vendors. Remind family and friends of rehearsal dinner details. Make a schedule for the wedding day. Begin packing for your honeymoon.
On the big day make sure you are well rested. Keep all stress to a minimum. All details of the wedding will be taken care of, if anything needs extra attention designate a close relative or friend to attend to it. Allow yourself ample time to get dressed before walking down the aisle. And most importantly, enjoy yourself! There is a lot of planning that goes into a wedding, so when the day comes all you need to do is enjoy yourself with your closets family and friends!