Did you get engaged over the holidays? If so, we want to be one of the many in saying CONGRATULATIONS! What an exciting time for you and your partner. Once the engagement bliss wears off a bit (if that’s even possible), you may start to think “Oh crap, I actually have to plan a wedding!”
If you shared your news with anyone, you likely have heard all of the same questions, “how’d he/she do it?” or “when’s the date?” or even “what are your colors?” After you first get engaged these questions seem so far off, but once the holidays have come and gone, you may begin to see yourself considering these.
Not sure where you should start with getting some of these things figured out? We’re here to help. Here’s a timeline you can refer to when trying to figure out the order of things and what needs to be done when.
First and foremost, enjoy the engagement. Take time to really be in engaged bliss. After that, get down and ready to start planning your dream day!
12 months (or more) out you will want to sit down and consider a date (or if not an exact date, a time of year). You also need to talk about and get your budget squared away. You will want to decide if you are hiring a wedding planner or not. If you are are, will you be hiring someone who will be there throughout the entire process or someone that will be there closer to the big day? Start doing your research and interviewing prospects.
Once you have these decided the next things to consider will be venue. Decide beforehand if you want something indoor, outdoor or with a mix of both. If you opt for a strictly outdoor venue, come up with your plan B right away. You don’t want to be left without a plan if bad weather is in the forecast.
Other fun things to do around this time will be to have an engagement party, pick your wedding party (if you’re having one) and start discussing your wedding guests (how many people you are comfortable with/the venue allows).
8-10 months out you will want to start making your wedding website. Include anything and everything you want your guests to know about your big day.
You will also want to start thinking about your wedding attire. Assemble the squad and go try some dresses on! Remember, you want to give yourself plenty of time to find something, order it and have it shipped and then have it altered. Have your honey start thinking about their outfit as well. You two will be the center of attention, so give plenty of time to pick things out, purchase them, size them and make sure they’re as FAB as you want them to be.
Research and book your florist, caterer, hotel block, photographer/videographer, DJ or band.
Another thing you will want to do (which will be a ton of fun for you and your S.O)? Register for gifts!
6-8 months it’s time for save the dates! Unless you are having a destination wedding, then you might consider sending these a bit earlier to make travel plans easier for your guests.
You will also want to start having your bridesmaids and groomsmen trying on and picking out their wedding attire. Your groomsmen can probably wait until 2-3 months out for this, if you want, but be sure to start picking something out for them.
Going on a honeymoon right after the wedding? Start booking this if so.
Other things you’ll want to do? Book your rentals at Premiere Events 🙂 and start researching your hair and makeup person. If you’re doing bridal portraits, you can arrange to have your trial the same day as your shoot so that you’re all done up for those!
4-6 months out means it’s time to go pick out your bling! Get you and your honey your wedding rings.
It’s also time to order your invitations and start researching and booking your cake (or cupcake) vendor– one of our favs because who doesn’t love to eat cake?
Start researching alterations if your bridal saloon doesn’t have one they use in house or one they recommend. Book your appointments with them depending on their availability and when they recommend you get everything done.
You’ll also want to start thinking about your bar (if you’re having one) and who will be handling that. Ask your caterer and venue if this is a service they’ll provide.
3 months out is the perfect time to research and book your wedding transportation, if you are providing any. Word to the wise, at least have a car arranged for you and your S.O.
2 months out, mail those invitations! You should also start considering what you want to say in your vows, if you are writing your own.
1 month out you’ll want to follow up with the wedding party to make sure they all have their outfits and that they are altered (or being altered).
You will also likely be having your final dress fitting. You’ll want to make sure you have someone there with you for this that will also be there on your wedding day so that they can learn how to lace up and/or bustle the gown.
Grab your honey and go get you a marriage license!
2 weeks out follow up with guest who haven’t RSVP’d and get a final guest count. You’ll want to submit your final numbers to your venue, rental provider, caterer(s) and bar service. Don’t forget to keep your vendors in mind for food! Think photographer, videographer, bartender(s), etc.
Sit down with your photographer and chat about your “shot list” so that things run smoothly the day of. These are shots that you can’t live without (or won’t live down if Aunt Carol doesn’t get).
You’ll also want to sit down with your DJ to be sure your song list is good to go.
1 week out- if you haven’t already, you’ll want to plan your seating chart for the reception. Make sure you submit that to your day-of coordinator, if you have one, so that place settings are correct for the big day.
Confirm all details and final payments have been made with your vendors (load in times, load out times, rentals they need, etc.).
1 day out is (likely) your rehearsal! Yay, you’ve almost made it! This is when you will run through *almost* everything to be sure that you, your S.O., your officiant and your wedding party are all set for the real deal.
0 days out IT IS YOUR WEDDING DAY! All you need to do today is soak it in, try not to be too nervous, and let someone else handle anything that might crop up. Trust us, you don’t need anything extra on your plate. After that, walk down that aisle, marry your best friend and have the best night ever!
After the wedding, you’ll be in absolute wedded bliss. If you are going on a honeymoon, enjoy that and soak it in!
Once you are back, you’ll want to do a few things though. One of the most important? Review your vendors!
You’ll also want to send thank you notes and begin the process of changing your name, if you are doing that.
This is, of course, a loose guideline that will help you throughout the process, however, we realize that each wedding and each couple is different so not everything will apply (or there may be things you need to do that aren’t on here).
Good luck, and enjoy every second of it!
Need help finding wedding vendors? We’re always happen to give recommendations but you can also go to WeddingWire.com, TheKnot.com or BridesofAustin.com to find lists of local wedding pros.