Wedding Planning and Timeline

So you have decided to finally tie the knot! Where, what, when and how much? Hopefully I can help you out a little. Sorry, I don't have any cash to give you! but I can give you some planning tips :)

One Year Before The Date

The first thing would be to decide a date. You may even want to have an alternative date just incase. Ladies, when setting your date my word of advice would be to track ahead your menstrual cycle......that would just be the worst! Your doctor should be able to help you out with this if you want to make sure. If you are having a big wedding you want at least a year to plan, especially if you want to still have all of your hair :) Smaller weddings usually don't take as long to plan and prepare. The timeline you are about to read is for a Huge wedding with all the bells and whistles but it will give you some idea of the time it will take you to plan for the wedding you want no matter how big or small.

   Next would be to discuss the style and formality of the wedding. This will give you some idea of where your venue should be. For example let's say you want to have a church wedding but would like to have an outdoor reception. You may like the thought of a county style wedding and want a little white church wedding and then have the reception on a farm somewhere. Or maybe you want a large church and the reception in a formal garden. Either way the decisions as to what you want should be the second thing you tackle after choosing the date and this also should be done at least one year before the wedding. The next most important thing should be the budget, it will be a big factor in deciding your venue. One reason to decide this so far ahead is because you need to book it right away, the longer you wait the bigger chance you are taking that it will not be available.

You want to start a wedding file right away to help keep your planning organized. In this file you want to keep track of important phone numbers and keep a file on each vendor you deal with such as the florist, caterer, baker....etc. Every time you speak with a vendor jot down what was discussed. You also want to jot down any ideas or inspirations and keep them in the file. If you see something on the web, print it out. Keeping it all together and in one place will be your saving grace!

Now is the time to hire a wedding consultant if your budget allows. Placing your Engagement announcement in your local paper is also a good idea at this time.

It is never to early to start shopping around for that perfect dress, just make sure it will fit in with the style of wedding you have chosen.

Now would also be a good time to start a website for your wedding, announce your engagement and post pictures of all the planning stages leading up to the big day.

                                                              Whippoorwill Studio

Eight Months Before The Big Day 
After you get all those important details out of the way it is now time for even more important details!! Get used to it because it's all about the details!!
You should start selecting who will be in your wedding party if you already haven't done so. You will need to decide on the dresses the Bridesmaids will wear so that there will be plenty of time for fittings and alterations.  It will also give you time to decide on the little details of the accessories that will match their dresses, such as shoes, jewelry, hair accessories..etc. It may also be a good time to think about all this stuff for you flower girl and ring bearer too.
You want to make sure you have the person that will be officiating the wedding all set for you day at this time too. Don't wait to long or they may not be available!
Selecting a caterer, photographer, videographer, DJ or band is a good idea at this time too!
It is also a good time to start collecting all the address of your guest at this time.

Whippoorwill Studio

Six Months and sooo much left to do!!

Now is the time to have anything else that needs to be made special for your wedding ordered, you want to give the person crafting it for you time to make and ship it to you. I know I am a little partial to shopping on for all your Bridal needs because I am a seller myself, but besides myself there are some fantastic creative and talented people that are willing to work for you in customizing anything you wish for. You will find everything from Wedding Dresses to Wedding favors! You can even order handcrafted invitations! If you find a seller that you like their work but don't see exactly what you want, all you have to do is send them/me a message and ask! You may be surprised with what we can create just for you! You can find everything you need on there! Some will even try to stay within your budget for you. I have posted photos of some of my own pieces and will also be posting those of others.


Signing up for a bridal registry is a good idea at this time. Let everyone know where you have registered in with your invitations.

At six months before the big day you want to finalize your guest list and purchase your invitations. It is also a good time to make arrangements for the accommodations for the out of town guests.

You want to select the type of cake you want and have it o order. This is also a good time to start thinking about the honeymoon!!! 
You will need to start thinking about your bridal bouquet and all the other flowers that you will need for the ceremony and reception. Do you want the bridesmaids to carry bouquets? Will they need flowers or jewels for their hair or floral, beaded clips for their shoes? Or your hair & shoes? Don't forget about the corsage for the mother of the bride and the boutonnieres for the groomsmen. You will also need the basket of flower petals for you flower girl and the ring bearers pillow or box. Don't forget about the jewelry and other accessories you want for yourself and the bridal party. Giving your bridesmaids the jewelry you want them to wear for the ceremony is a great thank you for helping me tie the knot gift. Just make sure it is something that they will want to wear again :)

 Whippoorwill Studio

Four Months!

The next few months will fly by before you know it! Make sure you have your florist booked and ready! If you have not picked out your wedding bands already now is the time!

Three Months!

Now is the time to get those invitations in the mail, order your wedding favors and shop for your bridal party gifts. If your officiant requires counseling now is the time to start it. Tuxedos should be selected and the menu for the reception should be finalized with your caterer. If you are going to be renting any decorations, tables & chairs, canopies...etc., now is the time to finalize arrangements. If you are going all out with a limo service or other means of transportation get those arrangements finalized now! It is also a good time to plan and select a location for your rehearsal dinner.

Two Months!

These will be the shortest or longest two months of your life, either way there is still a lot to be done!
Confirm with your Band or DJ and finalize your music choices. Don't just depend on them to play whatever, you want to be specific with the genre and song titles. Confirm everything with the Tuxedo and other formal wear shops and schedule any alterations or any fittings that are needed. This is also a good time to confirm with your florist or the person in charge of making your floral arrangements.


You will need to apply for your marriage license! You can't get married without them so don't forget! It's not a difficult task, just a little time consuming. I think they are easier than obtaining a fishing/hunting license! :)
Have your final gown fitting, nothing would suck worse than not fitting your gown on the day of your wedding! Even if you have not had any change in your weight, you want to make sure all alterations were done right.
Visit and talk with your hair stylist and makeup artist. Pick out that perfect look for you and set the appointment to have it all done right before the wedding.
If you are fortunate enough to have hired a wedding planner now is the time to finalize all details with this person.

Two Weeks!!!!

There is always a few people who never RSVP when sent an invitation, I myself am very guilty of this, but it is usually because I don't plan on attending.....I know, bad excuse :) So this is a very good time to call all these non-RSVPers so that you can give your caterer a final head count. Make sure you confirm your rehearsal dinner plans. You may want to make a floor and seating plan for the reception at this time and confirm any rentals you have ordered. Confirm with everyone involved with the wedding party the when and where of the rehearsal and the actual wedding and have everyone on the same page, make sure they understand!, some may need you to draw them a picture ..hehe!


Your nerves should be on overload right now! But don't worry, even those little mishaps make good memories. Just don't let yourself get overwhelmed everything will turn out fine! Just remember your friends and family are there to help you celebrate, they are not there as your personal punching bags. Maybe you should apologize in advance :)
OK, enough of the advice giving and on with planning those last minute details! You should make any of those last minute seating arrangements if any. Have you thought about what you are going to be wearing after the ceremony? Are you going to stay in your gown for the whole reception or do you want to wear another something else? Now is the time to get that all organized.
Confirm your Rehearsal Dinner and Honeymoon reservations. Don't forget the reservations made for out of town guests too. It is also a good time to start packing for your honeymoon adventure.
Pick up Tuxes and other formalwear or accessories.

The Day Before The Wedding

May I suggest some Pepto-Bismol for that nervous upset feeling I your stomach :) Go get a manicure & pedicure, relax.....You got this! Give the rings to the best man and get plenty of sleep. Do not take any sleep medications, you do not want to sleep walk thru your wedding!!..Seriously!


Avoid caffeine before the wedding, it will only make you feel jittery. Make sure to eat something because you will need the fuel to get you thru this day. Go get your hair and makeup done. Hopefully you have assembled a good wedding day support team by now. Have one of them go check on the reception site to make sure everything is running smoothly there.
Dress for the wedding, allow the photographer to follow you around while you are preparing so they can catch those special moments between you and your bridesmaids. Have them take photos of your dress, shoes, bouquet...etc before you put them on. Then send them on to take pics of the Groom and his men while you are getting your dress on. Make sure you arrive on time. Like I said before...don't worry, YOU GOT THIS!!


No comments:

Post a Comment