Wedding Planning Time Table
Whether you’ve been dreaming of your wedding since you were little or your engagement came as a total surprise, planning for the big day comes with a lot of considerations and decision to make. Luckily, eInvite is here to help. We created a wedding planning timetable to help you get a head start on the planning process. With a little patience and the help of our comprehensive checklist, you can plan the perfect celebration. Keep reading to learn more!
Wedding Planning Timing: 16 – 9 Months Before
- Start a wedding binder or folder: Begin leafing through bridal magazines or create a Pinterest board to start bookmarking inspirations, photos, and DIY projects in advance.
- Create your budget: Determine how much you have to spend now or how much you can save before the big day. Your budget should take any contributions from parents or family members into consideration.
- Choose your bridal party: As soon as the news of your engagement starts spreading, everyone will be wondering who you might pick to be bridesmaids. Your bridal party can be as diversified as you desire.
- Draft your guest list: We say draft, because your guest list will undoubtedly change. With a headcount in mind, you can find creative ways to keep costs low while planning an event everyone can enjoy.
- Assemble a planning team: Many modern brides are choosing to plan their weddings themselves, but you can relieve many of the burdens of any last-minute minutiae by hiring a professional wedding planner.
- Research and reserve your venue: Decide whether you want to have separate locations for the ceremony and reception or save big in the long run by bundling both at one location.
- Book your wedding officiant: Your celebrant can be an ordained clergy member, a secular officiant, a civil servant, an interfaith minister, or even a close family member or friend that is willing to get ordained online.
- Research potential vendors: Bands, caterers, florists, and photographers are sometimes booked as much as a year or two in advance for a variety of events. Keep all their contact information in your binder just in case.
Optional: Throw an engagement party to celebrate with friends and family members, especially if you plan on a long engagement. Amidst the excitement and stress that can come with such a joyous occasion, it’s important that you find time to sit back and relax with all your nearest and dearest.
Wedding Planning Timing: 8 – 6 months Before
- Hire your photographer: There’s no need to talk specifics or have your entire day planned but you should reserve your favorite photographer and/or videographer in advance to ensure that you have plenty of time to collaborate and compromise.
- Book your entertainment: Watch potential acts perform to see how they do in front of audiences. Reserve your favorite before they’re booked for another wedding or event.
- Meet potential caterers: If your venue doesn’t offer onsite catering, ask them for suggestions and requirements. Look for caterers or food trucks that specialize in the cuisine you’d like to highlight at the reception.
- Find and purchase your dress: As a rule of thumb, you want to set aside enough time for three fittings before the wedding. You can postpone veil shopping for another two to three months.
- Reserve hotel room blocks: Out-of-town guests will appreciate a nice place to stay that’s close to the reception.
- Create your registry: We recommend signing up with at least three retailers. Places like Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, or Wayfair offer large selections of name brand kitchenware, furniture, and home décor.
- Build a wedding website: Move your wedding into the digital age by creating a personal page through a free website provider. Some websites even provide digital guest lists, online RSVP, and registry links.
- Personalize and purchase invitations: Whether you design your own or you hire a calligrapher, stationery can become quite costly quite quickly. Some websites offer designer assistance and seal-and-send services.
- Start discussing the honeymoon: If you decide to travel internationally, double check that your passports are up to date and schedule doctor appointments for any vaccinations you may need.
- Order bridesmaid dresses: Some dresses or brands take up to six months to be ordered and sized correctly.
- Send save-the-date cards: Sending your save-the-dates in advance is a good idea if your wedding coincides with a holiday or tourist season. Destination weddings will also require advance notice.
- Book your florist: With a theme in mind and a budget for flowers, it’s wise to book your florist in advance.
- Reserve transportation: Contact limousine, minibus, or trolley companies. Take your venue and its entrances into consideration before making a final decision.
Wedding Planning Timing: 5 – 3 Months Before
- Draft your day-of timeline: Having a clear event schedule with specified slots for each portion of the day and evening will save you or your day-of coordinator a lot of energy and resources.
- Book your rehearsal venue: Check with your venue to see whether the location is available for a rehearsal. If it is, you might consider hosting a dinner with your parents, siblings, wedding party, and any out-of-town guests.
- Order your wedding cake: Unless your caterer offers desserts and cakes, the bakery you choose will require a long lead time. You should ask for several tastings before making a final decision.
- Purchase shoes and schedule fittings: Bringing your shoes to your first fitting will give your tailor a good idea of where and how long to hem your gown.
- Schedule hair and makeup: Make appointments with recommended vendors or local experts, and take a photo of the results so you can compare before making a final decision.
- Curate your music: Without getting into the nitty-gritty details, you should have a general understanding of the kind of music you want to hear played during your ceremony and the reception.
- Finalize the menu and flowers: Food and flowers are sometimes affected by season, so it’s important to wait until a few months before the wedding.
- Plan wedding favors: Personalized cookies, candles, or gifts that represent your city or region are always a sweet solution to let your guests know how much you appreciate their attendance on your special day.
- Decide who toasts: If you open up the floor to toasts, you run the risk of tempting too many participants. Ask your loved ones in advance, so they can prepare meaningful toasts to you and your soon-to-be-spouse.
- Plan and finalize your ceremony: Determine what you would like to have read and whom you would like to perform the readings. With a schedule in advance, you can avoid letting the ceremony drag on too long.
- Shop for undergarments: Lingerie comes in three categories, according to the dress you have chosen: classic, seamless, or shapely. Choose comfortable undergarments you can dance in and wear all day long. Schedule fittings as needed.
- Plan and finalize your reception: Print menu cards and programs on your own or with the help of a designer.
- Purchase the rings: Leave time for resizing and engraving, if you like.
- Finalize your event schedule: It’s never a bad idea to send your schedule to vendors, so you can make any tweaks with ample time.
The last two months before your wedding will be filled with last-minute details. Aside from sending out the invitations, you might submit a wedding announcement or enjoy a bachelorette party with your closest girlfriends. As you receive RSVPs, you should keep a database, so you can contact anyone who hasn’t responded by the requested date. You’ll want to finalize your rehearsal dinner details and any alterations to the dress. Order alcohol according to your headcount and send out as many payments as you can to vendors. You should also get your marriage license, write your vows, and pack for your honeymoon. We hope that our wedding timetable has given you all the tips and tools you need to make planning as stress-free as possible. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our invitations, please contact us today for additional information or further assistance.