Updated: Jun 1, 2022
Congratulations on your engagement, and welcome to this beautiful journey - planning your wedding. It's common to lose oneself in the euphoria of just getting engaged and forget that one must plan the wedding. Well, I am here to remind you that it's time to plan your wedding and understanding the timeline makes all the difference. Starting from 12 months out until the special day. But, where on earth do you start when it comes to planning for your wedding? No need to fret; I have got your covered. In this article, I will be taking you through do-able wedding planning steps that will make your wedding day a success.
12 Months Out:
Without setting up a budget, you are setting yourself and your partner up to rack up wedding debt right at the beginning of your marriage. So, before you start your wedding planning, you have to figure out how much you want to spend and who's paying for what.
Make Guest List
Creating a guest list 12 months out may seem a bit early, but the earlier you know the number of guests you will have, the better. This will help you pick the right venue, hire a caterer, and plan everything.
Determine Formality and Overall Theme
Every wedding planning process involves both partners, but deciding on the formality and overall theme involves them having a heart-to-heart convo. I have seen couples disagree about the tiniest details because they never agreed about the formality; this shouldn’t be you.
You have made a list, you have chosen your theme, the next thing is to pick your venue. Since you know the number of guests attending, you can start looking for a venue that can contain them and that fits your overall theme. Also, since wedding venues get filled fast, it's important that you book it as soon as possible to get your preferred date.
Feeding a guest of about 150 people may seem overwhelming, but it is actually simple and easy if you hire the right caterer. So, you should start early to choose the caterer you trust will deliver a stellar experience early on.
Now is the time to start booking a wedding photographer or/and videographer. Set up an engagement session with him/her to discuss what you want and how you'll like it delivered.
8 Months Out:
This is the time to choose items you'd like to have in your marital home. Asking your guests for these items 8 months out will also help them prepare and purchase them beforehand.
Select Bridesmaids/Groomsmen Outfits
I always advise couples I work with to get their bridesmaid and groomsmen involved in the wedding planning early. Since everyone may not be in the same location, starting to look online or in physical shops for the outfit will help avoid scrambling at the end.
Hire a Florist.
You should ensure that you meet and book a florist early. This is because you might take several visits to several different floral vendors to find the perfect match for your theme and budget.
3 Months Out:
Order/Send out Invitations
This is the right timeline to officially order your invitations giving your graphic designer or stationer enough time to design, print, and ship the cards to you. Once they are shipped in, you can send them out to your guests.
Select Wedding Favors
It's not compulsory to do Wedding Favors, especially if your budget does not allow for it, but if you can, this is the best time to start deciding what you'll be giving out.
Begin Prepping Vows
Here's the thing about writing your vows, it takes a while to create the perfect vow. So, start now to write down your promises to your partner.
Apply for Marriage License
It's important that you apply for your marriage license early. You should research the laws and requirements of applying for a license in your wedding location. Where to go, how much it will cost, what to bring and how long the process will last.
30 Days Out
Pay Vendors in Full ( plan out tips for vendors)
30 days before your wedding day, many vendors will start asking for the balance of the payment for their services. So, you should start planning to pay up to avoid dealing with any awkward situation before or on your wedding day.
Create Seating Chart
Your guest should have RSVP by now, so you can start planning your seating chart if you are having a formal seated event.
Have Final Walk-through
This is the final walk-through and should be included in your wedding planning timeline. You should make time to walk through the whole wedding timeline to ensure that you haven't missed anything and all your requirements are met.
Week of Wedding:
If you've pulled through to this last week, well done; it isn't an easy feat planning a wedding by yourself. If you get stuck along the way, you should consider hiring a professional to handle the wedding planning. On the week of the wedding, you are expected to carry out the following activities:
Confirm all Vendors Arrival/ Departure Times
Create Wedding Day Timeline and Send to Vendors
Check-in with Wedding Party
The wedding day you have been building up to is here. You are expected to carry out the following activities on your wedding day.
Display all personal items throughout the venue.
Take the wedding dress and veil out of the bag and steam.
Check-in on all vendors' arrival.
Make sure decorations and ceremony seating is being set up.
Set up Welcome Sign and Welcome Table.
Make sure guests arrive in the correct location.
The whole process of wedding planning and keeping to a timeline will be too tasking for the couple to go through and still enjoy their wedding day. I always advise that a professional wedding planner be hired to take care of these activities. This way, the couple can enjoy their day without worrying about vendors, decoration, venues, guests, and other things.
Don't let this be a day where your memories are tied to you running around “making it work” over celebrating the beginning of your new chapter in life together. Book a celebration call and let’s discuss where you currently are at on your wedding timeline and how we can make your special day the beautiful celebration you want.