Wedding Checklist

The Ideal Wedding Planning Timeline & Other Quick Tips

Wedding Planning Timeline: 12Month count down

Once the thrill and the excitement of the proposal is over, it’s time to get down to business. Wedding planning is a serious business, and if you want to have a great event without any last-minute problems with your wedding vendors, you need to plan in advance. Read on as we cover the wedding timeline for couples who have plenty of time as well as some quick tips for couples who are under a time constraint.

A Year before the Wedding

Once you’re engaged, get started on the following immediately:

Select a Date

Once you have a date or at least a month and year in mind, you can proceed with the rest of the planning.

Map Out Your Budget

If you’re planning a big event of a few hundred guests, start at least a few months in advance, ideally a year. This is probably the least enjoyable part of your wedding, but the plus side is that it’s all uphill from here. Sit down with a pot of coffee, open up a blank spreadsheet, and start listing down all your wedding expenses. Whatever you think each category will cost, add a markup of around 10% for hidden charges and market price fluctuations.

Put Together Your Guest List

You can’t invite everyone to your wedding, so the people you went to school with in the second grade are most probably out. Sit down with your partner and make a guest list based on how big you want your even to be. If both your parents are sharing the wedding expenses, they’ll get to choose a small chunk of the guests as well.

Have an Open Discussion of What You Want Your Wedding to Be Like

Make it a casual conversation with some cheesy pizza and bottomless soda and discuss with your partner what they expect from their wedding. Do you want a grand event with hundreds of people and a formal, black-tie theme, or something a little more casual and intimate like a garden party?

Book Your Venue

Wedding Barn
Wedding Banquet / Inn at Fernbrook Farms

Yes, choosing your venue at the start of your wedding planning is key. Once you have a general idea of the kind of wedding you’ll host, it’s easy enough to decide whether it will be indoors or outdoors.

From here on, if you’re looking for wedding venues in New Jersey, head on to 360 Site Visit and virtually tour a range of wedding venues to find the one that fits your requirements. Keep your budget, wedding date and the number of guests in mind.

9 Months before the Wedding

The decisions you make in the initial stages of the wedding are a lot – some of your biggest expenses happen during this time and you’re deciding some crucial wedding details. Once these are taken care of, you can take some time off to just relax, spend some time with your significant other and do the things you enjoy.

Once you’re ready, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get back to work:

Select the Central Theme of Your Wedding

You have the wedding venue and a general idea of whether you’re going for something formal or casual. Now, it’s time to set up that vision board and decide on an actual theme. You can go for something simple and classic, or something bold and exciting like a glitzy Hollywood-themed wedding. This will help you decide the kind of outfits both of you will wear, the music that will be played at the wedding, the menu, and the party favors.

Start Hiring Wedding Vendors

Wedding vendors are booked solid months in advance so if you want your first picks, you need to move fast. This part is actually quite exciting. You can enjoy a number of sugary treats looking for the right wedding cake, browse through photography catalogs online to find the right wedding photographer, taste-test food to find a caterer who can make your guests’ mouths water, and more.

In fact, some vendors such as the florist may even invite you to some weddings they’ve catered to so you can see their work in person.

Pro Wedding Tip: Hire a photographer to take some engagement photos of the two of you. This way, you’ll have some beautiful memories of the proposal, and you might even have found “the one” photographer who can capture the beauty of your wedding day !

7 Months before the Wedding

The big day is getting closer and closer, and it’s time to get excited and to get this wedding party started!

It’s Dress Time

Wedding Fitting
Wedding Dress / Photo : JF Photography

Find your bridal team, and either have your dress fitting at home, or head down to the boutiques you’ve shortlisted. Try on a few different wedding gowns in a range of styles to find the one that suits you the best and makes you feel special. For a custom dress, book your order immediately because it’ll take a few months to be ready and you don’t know what kind of alterations may be required later.

If the groom is getting a custom tux, now is the time to go for fittings and pick one out so that it’s ready on time.

Spread Some Wedding Cheer Online

If you’re an avid social media user, this is a good time to send out digital save-the-dates and creating event pages on your social media accounts. You can send out proper invites later, but this way, you can even let your guests know where you are registered.

Halfway There: 6 Months before the Wedding

Now we’re entering into the smaller wedding details:

  • If you have your rehearsal dinner somewhere other than one of your houses, then book the venue.
  • Arrange for accommodation and transport for any out-of-town guests coming in for the wedding.
  • Sort out the arrangements for the finer details of your wedding such as the décor, wedding favors, drapery, lighting, and more.

Prep for Your Honeymoon

Booking your post-wedding holiday in advance will help you find good travel packages, explore multiple destinations and find resorts, hotels and more to fit your requirements and budget. If you and your partner have dreamed of traveling and seeing some specific places together, now is the time to turn those dreams into reality.

The Final Months before the Wedding

This is the time when the bride and groom should pamper themselves. We’re talking about facials, massages, the full spa treatment. And while you’re pampering yourself, take care of a few final things:

  • Have a final tasting of your wedding menu so that you’re 100% satisfied with your caterer and the food they plan on serving at your wedding.
  • Shop for wedding bands.
  • Try on your bridal dress and make sure it feels perfect when you put it on.
  • Select your makeup artist – if you’re not completely certain, have a trial makeup run to make sure everything is in order.
  • Design, order and send out your invites so that your guests have plenty of time to RSVP.

Select Presents & Wedding Favors

Your wedding party has been just as busy as you have in planning your wedding. Make sure you find the perfect thank-you presents for them to show how much they mean to you.

During this time, if you plan on giving out wedding favors, either DIY them or get them made by a vendor.

Prep Any DIY Decorations

If you’re planning on using any items that you have at home to add to the theme of your wedding, now is the time to set them aside and put them together. This can include props for a photo booth, plants for a themed wall, and so on.

The Final Month

It’s all getting real now!

Wedding Planning
Wedding Seating Plan

Make sure you pay all your vendors and clear any remaining dues. Put together your seating charts, and do a final walk-through of everything, from checking out the venue to mapping out the timings of everything at the wedding, photoshoot included.

The Big Day

Get a good night’s sleep, stay hydrated, enjoy a good meal, and turn in early so that you’re ready for the hustle bustle of your wedding. Start off with a good breakfast, and then it’s show time!

Completing Your Wedding Checklist in Less Time

If you don’t have that much time to plan, you can skip out some minor details like any DIY plans and party favors. For the rest, you’ll just have to skip the resting months in between and keep working! Complete your wedding checklist within the first two months and you’re all set.

Wedding Tips for a Day You Won’t Forget

Your wedding is a time to celebrate your union. Make sure you enjoy the planning stage as well and start your new life together on a good note.

If you want to plan a complete wedding, head on to 360 Site Visit where you can take virtual tours of wedding venues and find vendors for everything else, including florists, photographers, transport, food, and more – everything you need to plan your wedding from start to finish.


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