wedding planning timeline

Counting Down to “I Do!”

Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you to share the joy of your nuptials with your closest family and friends, live out the storybook fantasies of your childhood, and throw a kickin’ party! If you are like most brides (and grooms!), then chances are you have been envisioning your walk down the aisle your entire life. You’ve imagined the gorgeous cake, the colorful flowers, the lively music and the stunning gown. But what’s one rather significant—and often times stressful—aspect of wedding planning that can leave even the most coordinated brides and grooms scrambling? …

The Wedding Planning Timeline.

From securing your venue to distributing your Save The Dates, coordinating multiple details across various vendor channels all while adhering to conventional wedding timeline etiquette can be a real head scratcher. Avoid last minute hysteria and unveil the mystery of what to do when with this handy-dandy timeline:

12 months prior:

  •  Plan your engagement party.
  • Draft your guest list.
  •  Book your venues.
  • Set your budget.

One year before you walk down the aisle, you should already be laying the foundation for your dream wedding. Now is the time to have the ever-important financial discussion and really draw the line between wedding fantasies and budget realities! May I suggest using this Wedding Cost Estimator (courtesy of the helpful folks at TheWeddingReport.com) to help you begin outlining your budget.

 

8-10 months prior:

  • Take engagement photos.
  •  Choose the officiant.
  • Secure your vendors.
  •  Schedule cake tasting and order your cake.
  • Finalize your wedding party.
  • Block hotel rooms.
  • Book wedding day transportation.
  • Register for gifts.
  • Say “I do!” to the gown!

Researching and sifting through a plentiful selection of local vendors can be daunting to say the least. Access all of your options in one place by using a Local Vendor Search Tool like this one by TheKnot.com.

6 months prior:

  •  Finalize the guest list.
  •   Send Save The Dates.
  • Select bridal party attire.
  • Book the honeymoon.
  • Order invitations.
  • Purchase wedding bands.

Your Save The Date is your guests’ very first impression of your upcoming wedding…so make it memorable! Might I suggest a fun and unique Custom Scratch Off Wedding Save The Date?

4 months prior:

  • Confirm venues & vendors.
  • Plan the rehearsal dinner.
  • Finalize hair and make-up plans.
  •  Choose the reception menu.
  •  Order wedding favors/ bridal party gifts.

At four months prior, all wedding plans and decisions should be finalized. Avoid last minute panic by making plans early and sticking to them!

2 months prior:

  • Mail invitations.
  • Draft your wedding vows.
  • Purchase wedding day accessories.
  •  Confirm wedding day transportation.
  •  Create a shot list for your photographer.
  •   Create a song list for your DJ or band.

Communicating your wishes to your photographer in advance is pivotal to ensuring that you capture all of the most exciting moments of your big day. In addition to a standard shot list, consider creating a Pinterest board of all your favorite wedding photography and providing a link to your photographer as inspiration.

4-6 weeks prior:

  • Secure marriage license.
  • Submit final vendor payments.
  • Send rehearsal dinner invitations.
  • Follow-up with RSVP’s.
  • Final dress fitting.
  • Bridal Shower and Bachelor/ Bachelorette parties.
  • Begin reception seating chart.

You’re fast approaching the final countdown. Leave no stone un-turned! All of your wedding particulars (from decor to food) should be firmed up at least one month prior to your big day.

1-2 weeks prior:

  • Pick up your gown.
  • Finalize head count & seating chart.
  • Break in your shoes (this is a big one!).
  • Pack for your honeymoon.
  • Get a facial/waxing.

One to two weeks prior you should be putting the finishing touches on your wedding day plans. You’re finally in the planning home-stretch and now comes the really fun part…

48 hours prior:

  • Get a manicure & pedicure.
  • Wrap bridesmaid and groomsman gifts.
  • Pick up tux.

24 hours prior:

  • Attend rehearsal dinner.
  • Give bridesmaid & groomsman gifts.

Wedding Day:

  • Get Married…
  • Live Happily Ever After!

Of course, every bride and groom will have his or her own preferences and unique agenda, but I hope this can at least get you started with a clear vision of what to expect from the traditional wedding planning timeline.

From all of us here at My Scratch Offs…Happy Planning and best wishes for a beautiful marriage!