We all know that there are a million things to get done when planning a wedding, so today I am breaking it all down, month-by-month, sharing exactly what needs to get done and booked during the year prior to your big day! Let’s get to it!
12+ Months Prior
- Set A Budget!
- Ugh, as much as I hate the “B” word, this is a must! Setting a budget should always be step #1, that way you can lay some solid groundwork and have a good starting point as you begin to plan your wedding!
- Find & Book Venue
- Your venue should be one of the first vendors you book!
- Find & Book Your Photographer
- Photographers book up FAST and EARLY, so as you’re looking at venues, you also need to be finding and securing your photographer!
- Find & Book Your Wedding Coordinator
- If you’ve decided to hire a coordinator, getting them in the game ASAP is important, so they can help tackle and organize all of these things on this list!
- Start Your Guest List
- Super daunting, but get together a rough draft of your guest list, we’ll continue to add/remove and refine this list later on!
- Start To Register
- Again, start this early, so you can continue to refine and adjust your registry list throughout the year.
10 Months Prior
- Hire Officiant
- Whether you’re hiring a priest or having a friend get ordained, be sure to get this settled early.
- Hire Remaining Vendors
- Florists, DJ, Caterer, all of the other vendors who you have not selected yet should be retained and booked for your date!
- Take Engagement Photos!
- Especially if you’re planning on using your e-photos for your save-the-date cards, you want to make sure you have your engagement photos taken early, so you have plenty of time to have your cards printed!
- Select Wedding Party
- If you haven’t done so already, select your wedding party, to give them plenty of time to make travel arrangements or take the necessary time off of work for all of the wedding festivities!
- Engagement Party
- Once you’ve selected your wedding party, time to celebrate!
8 Months Prior
- Find & Order Wedding Dress
- remember, you’re going to want to leave plenty of time for alterations and adjustments to be made, so order your dress no later than 8 months prior to your wedding day!
- Hotel Guest Reservations
- Make sure to contact the hotel, or guest accommodations early so you can be sure to block off enough rooms for your guests.
- Cake & Food Tasting
- The fun part! Decide on your cake and food!
- Begin Hair & Makeup Trials
- If you’re unsure who you’d like to hire for hair and makeup, now is the time to start your trials!
6 Months Prior
- Finalize Guest List & Send Save-The-Date Cards!
- Formal invitations to follow, these are just like a “heads up” to your guests!
- Book Honeymoon & Get Passport (if needed)
- Start getting all of your reservations and passport stuff finalized, that way if there are any hiccups along the way, you still have plenty of time to get it all figured out!
- Order Bridesmaids Dresses
- Again, remember to leave plenty of time for alterations and adjustments!
- Purchase Wedding Bands
- Especially if you’re having anything custom made, or engraving done, be sure to leave plenty of time to have the rings back and ready before your wedding date.
4 Months Prior
- Order Groom & Groomsmen Attire
- Again, alterations and adjustments will probably need to be made. Order early, better safe than sorry! Nothing sucks more than an ill-fitting tux!
- Plan Rehearsal Dinner
- Whether you’re going to a restaurant, or just a backyard BBQ, start planning!
- Check In With Vendors
- Check in with all of your vendors, just to make sure there are no questions or concerns!
- Decide On Hair & Makeup
- Now is the time to make your final pick for wedding day hair and makeup.
2 Months Prior
- Mail Wedding Invitations
- Mail out your official wedding invitations
- Start Writing Vows
- Give yourself plenty of time to put some thought into what you want to say during the ceremony!
- Finalize Ceremony With Officiant
- Go over your expectations, wants and needs for the ceremony with your officiant to make sure you’re all on the same page.
- Coordinate Transportation
- Get all transportation needs (for wedding party & guests) figured out! No one likes to scramble, trying to figure out what car they’re riding in!
6 Weeks Prior
- Apply For Marriage License
- This is not something you want to scramble for last minute!
- Gather Random Last-Minute Items
- Make a list of random things you need the day-of, and gather them!
1 Month Prior
- Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties
- Let the fun begin!
- Bridal Shower
- Again, more fun!
- Final Meeting/Check-In With Vendors
- Be sure to schedule a final, in-person meeting with all of your vendors.
2 Weeks Prior
- Final Dress Fitting
- Make sure to have a bridesmaid or your mom with you at your final dress fitting so they can learn exactly how to get you into the dress and/or bustle your dress properly.
- Review Music With DJ
- Go over all of the music with your DJ to make sure everything is in order.
1 Week Prior
- Final Headcount For Caterer
- Provide your caterer with the final headcount to ensure there is plenty of food for everyone!
- Finalize Seating Chart
- Figure out where everyone will be sitting during the reception.
- Get Facials/Wax
- Just in case you have a bad reaction, I always suggest that if you’re doing anything to your skin, do it a week prior to your wedding so you have enough time to remedy a bad reaction if it happens!
48 Hours Prior
- Guys Haircut
- All of the guys should get a haircut a few days prior.
- Get Spray Tan
- Just in case it’s a little too dark, do spray tanning a few days prior so it will settle in and fade a little to give you a more natural look!
- Get Nails Done
- get with your girls and do a little pampering!
- Put Together Bridal Emergency Kit
- A must for your wedding day! Check out Pinterest!
1 Day Prior
- Ceremony Rehearsal & Rehearsal Dinner
- This is the time to make sure everyone knows what they’re doing and where they are supposed to be. Enjoy this time, and get plenty of rest for your big day!
There you have it! All of the big steps when it comes to wedding planning! I always encourage brides to be ahead of the game, and to get stuff done early, that way there is plenty of cushion time, and you can relax and enjoy the planning process! Hope this helps!