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Timeline of Wedding Planning

Planning a wedding takes time, so it is essential to know where to start when you get engaged. Having a timeline of wedding planning will help you organize your tasks and make wedding planning more manageable. We’ve prepared a wedding planning timeline to help you know where to start planning for your big day! Here are some important tasks to tackle 12, 6, and 3 months before the big day:

12 Months Before Your Wedding

  • Decide on a budget for your wedding.

Before you begin booking your wedding vendors and making plans for your big day, it is important to determine how much you can afford to spend on your wedding. If other family members plan to contribute towards your wedding, have open conversations with them to set your budget.

  • Set a wedding date.

One of the first things you should do when planning your wedding is set your date. You may need to be flexible with your date if you are set on a specific venue or photographer and videographer, but you will need an idea of your date before you reach out to any vendors.

  • Choose a venue for the ceremony and reception.

Once you’ve set a date or time frame for your wedding, it’s time to choose your ceremony and reception venue. If you plan to have your ceremony and reception in different locations, you must coordinate with both spots to ensure your date is available. 

checklist timeline of wedding planning - what to do 12 months before wedding
  • Start looking for vendors, like your photographer, videographer, florist, and caterer.

Focus on the vendors that are most important to you first. If you have a specific vision for your florals, set aside more of your budget to work with your preferred florist. Reach out to vendors for their availability, and start booking

  • Consider hiring a wedding planner to help with the details.

Decide early in the planning process if you will hire a wedding planner to help coordinate the complex parts of wedding planning. For example, a wedding planner can help you manage your budget, find the right vendors, arrange accommodations and transportation, and much more.

  • Choose your wedding theme and colors.

Once you know what colors and theme your wedding day will have, you can look for decorations and bridal party attire to fit your vision for your big day.

  • Select individuals for your wedding party.

Your bridal party will be there for important pre-wedding celebrations. They will also be your go-to support system. So make sure you choose reliable friends and family members to make up your bridal party.

  • Go wedding dress shopping!

Twelve months before your wedding is also the perfect time to start searching for the perfect wedding dress. Make a few appointments at your favorite bridal boutiques as early as possible. Wedding gowns may take many months to arrive, and you will need to schedule time for any required alterations.

  • Start a guest list and send out save-the-date cards.

It is also time to create a guest list and announce your wedding date! Many couples enjoy using engagement photos for their save-the-dates, so make sure you schedule your session early enough to send out cards with plenty of notice.

wedding planning timeline - wedding dress shopping

6 Months Before Your Wedding

  • Finalize details and confirm with your vendors.

Six months before your wedding, make sure you booked your venue, photographer, videographer, florist, caterer, and DJ. Ensure you have completed your contracts with your vendors and paid down payments to secure their services. Keep your vendors informed about your guest count and any other important details.

  • Order the wedding invitations.

Design and order your wedding invitations so you can send them to your guests at least 4-5 months before the big day.

timeline of wedding planning - ordering wedding save the dates and invitations
  • Book the rehearsal dinner venue and other pre-wedding events.

Choose a venue for your rehearsal dinner and plan any other pre-wedding celebrations.

  • Order your wedding cake.

It is also an excellent time to try different wedding cake flavors, choose your style, and order your cake.

  • Research and book transportation and accommodations for the wedding party and guests.

Will you need to book a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests and the wedding party? Make sure you finalize any accommodations before sending out your wedding invitations so you can inform guests of a room block on your invitation or website. It is also a good idea to book any transportation, like a limousine, six months before the wedding.

  • Start planning the honeymoon and book any necessary travel arrangements.

If you haven’t already picked your honeymoon destination, it’s time to do so! Start booking your flights, hotel rooms, and other reservations for your honeymoon.

3 Months Before Your Wedding

  • Finalize the wedding ceremony and reception details with the officiant and venue.

Three months before your wedding, finalizing any remaining details with the ceremony, reception venue, and your officiant is key. 

  • Collect RSVPs and finalize your guest count.

One of the details you’ll need to confirm with your vendors is your final guest count, so make sure you have all of the RSVPs in at this time.

when to ask your bridal party to be a part of your big day
  • Confirm details with your vendors and finalize the timeline for the day.

Go over your timeline with your wedding coordinator, photographer, and any other vendors that will play a big part in your big day. Confirm arrival times and ensure you have someone in charge of coordinating vendors on your wedding day.

  • Begin dress fittings and finalize the wedding party’s attire.

Now is the time to make sure everyone’s outfits fit! Plan for last-minute alterations to your dress and make sure everyone in the bridal party has tried on their attire.

  • Create a seating chart and plan the reception details, such as music, speeches, and toasts.

Now that you have your final guest list, you can create a seating chart. You should also make plans for any festivities during the reception, like live music, speeches, and toasts.

timeline 3 months before wedding

The Week of Your Wedding

On the week of your wedding, you will have a final meeting with your venue to ensure everything is perfect. You may have a final questionnaire from your photographer and videographer to make sure they get the best moments of your big day documented. You might also check in with your other vendors to double-check arrival times. 

By tackling these tasks in the months leading up to your big day, you can ensure that your wedding is well-planned and everything runs as smoothly as possible! Of course, feel free to customize this list to your specific needs. We wish you the best as you create a beautiful, memorable celebration of your love!

Looking for a wedding photographer & videographer duo based in Hudson Valley? Let’s chat!

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