Wedding Planning Timeline (text)

Wedding planning checklists seem to exist on every possible wedding website already. So, I figured, why not on mine as well? 😉

Firstly, it will actually help me to organize my own wedding. I felt the need of a more personalized wedding planning timeline than those I had seen on other sites or blogs. I thought it would be particularly important to include the “day-after” to-do list as this is something that is usually left out in the existing wedding planning checklists. Secondly, it will, hopefully, help those of you reading my blog, to get a different perspective on such a wedding planning essential as a timeline. Thirdly, I created this timeline as a text, with links to some of my previous posts, and as an image, so that you can easily save it on one of your Pinterest boards. So here you go, meticulously thought-through and delivered to your doorstep by Milknhoney-Me 😉

 

15-12 months to the Big Day: “Happy and Clueless”

  • create a wedding folder on your PC and/or start a new Pinterest board and start saving inspirations!
  • set a date (tip: avoid major public and bank holidays. You don’t want your guests to hate you)
  • start discussing the size of the wedding (this will determine the venue choice and the budget)
  • if you consider hiring a wedding planner or a day-of-coordinator, start looking
  • choose the style of your wedding (classical, themed, rustic, chic, informal, etc.)
  • get insurance for your engagement ring (…stories we’ve heard, disasters we’ve seen…)
  • start researching wedding venues (venues for rehearsal dinner and brunch, if needed)

 

9-10 months to the Big Day: “Happy and Curious” (First reservations’ time)

  • put together a guest list to get your best cost estimate
  • pick a date after considering venue & photographer availability
  • if you consider hiring a wedding planner, do it now
  • choose the venue(s) and make a reservation asap – especially if you are privatizing an entire hotel, for example
  • work out your budget and determine how the costs will be divided
  • investigate wedding vendors and suppliers in your area
  • for a destination wedding, do consider hiring a wedding planner who will connect you with the best suppliers
  • find a photographer and book him/her asap. The best of the best are fully-booked up to a year in advance. Procrastination is your bitterest enemy
  • choose your wedding party
  • book a celebrant
  • start looking for a dress

 

8-7 months to the Big Day: “Still Happy. Still Calm”

  • finalize guest list. Make sure all names and addresses are in place
  • select and send save-the-date cards
  • book block of hotels rooms (various price range) for travelling guests (especially important for destination weddings)
  • set up a wedding website to avoid being flooded with phone calls and emails
  • select and order wedding invitations (always order ca 20 more invitations than needed)
  • find and book a calligrapher for your invitations
  • find and book a caterer
  • find and book a florist (during a personal meeting with your florist decide what types of bouquets and centerpieces you wish to have)
  • set up gift registries and/or wish-list
  • book the rehearsal and rehearsal-dinner venues

 

6 months to the Big Day: “ONLY 6 months?!!”

  • send out wedding invitations, RSVP cards, maps and announcements
  • order wedding gown and go for the first fitting
  • buy hair accessories and jewelry
  • start looking for guest favors
  • choose your honeymoon destination
  • order bridesmaids dresses
  • make arrangements for any rentals (décor, furniture, linen, etc)
  • find and book DJ, bands and musicians (check if you need any additional sound equipment for the ceremony, cocktail, dinner and party). Check for sounds limitations at the venue
  • find and book entertainment for reception
  • find and book company that will arrange lighting
  • if you opt for a day-of coordinator rather than a full-time wedding planner, book her/him now

 

5 months to the Big Day: “Pfff, I have PLENTY of time!”

  • if you are getting a wedding insurance, it is time to purchase it
  • start looking for groom’s attire
  • for destination honeymoon, make sure your passport is valid and does not expire within the next year. If it does, arrange for a new one
  • book honeymoon (do it now – later you will be swamped with other things)
  • order a flower girl’s dress
  • arrange transportation for yourselves and guests
  • start choosing your playlist: ceremony, reception, cocktail, dinner, first dance, etc.
  • if your wedding venue does not provide on-site accommodation, book a hotel
  • thinking about travel insurance? Look into it now
  • find a book your hairstylist and makeup artist
  • purchase wedding bands
  • make sure your wedding website is functioning properly and updated regularly

 

4 months to the Big Day: “What do you mean, tulips are not in season?!”

  • start your hair and makeup trials to find a perfect look
  • if you want to go for some super-duper new facial, haircut of colour, do it now. In case of a disaster there is time to fix it
  • meet with your chef-pâtissier and decide on the type, size and flavor(s) of your wedding cake
  • order the chosen cake (don’t forget to arrange a degustation first ;))
  • research marriage license requirements
  • ensure that your invitations are on track
  • buy shoes for your wedding day and make sure you have a spare pair for dancing
  • compile guest lists for showers
  • order groom’s attire

 

3 months to the Big Day: “I do NOT only talk about my wedding!”

  • keep an eye on the incoming RSVPs
  • finalize menu and flower choice for the wedding, rehearsal dinner and brunch
  • schedule and attend degustations
  • talk to your celebrant about any ceremony ideas you might have
  • start writing vows
  • choose table linen
  • meet with your florist again to finalize the choice of centerpieces, boutonnières and other floral décor
  • if your venue does not provide for glassware, make sure to place your orders for rental items
  • talk to your DJ about playlist for different parts of the Big Day. Tell him about the songs that you do not want to hear at any time
  • start working on your seating chart
  • go for the 2nd fitting of your dress

 

2 months to the Big Day: “Do people really think that RSVPs are just funny little extras??!”

  • still keep an eye on those RSVPs
  • finalize the playlist with band or DJ
  • select escort cards, table numbers (will those be numbers or names?), place cards
  • start a must-have photo-list with your photographer
  • choose reading and readers
  • continue working on your vows
  • continue working on the seating chart
  • decide on any directional or decorative signs. If needed, order them now
  • arrange welcome bags for out-of-town guests
  • if you are planning a special first dance, start rehearsing now
  • update wedding website if needed

 

1 month to the Big Day: “Bridezilla is not about me. Seriously, I’d know.”

  • obtain marriage license
  • chase those who still have not RSVPed to get a final head count
  • make a schedule of events indicating duration of each
  • distribute schedule of events among all vendors (don’t forget the photographer)
  • finalise the seating chart including those who RSVPed late
  • confirm number of bouquets, centerpieces and boutonnieres with florist
  • finish off DIY projects (if any)
  • purchase items that you will need during the ceremony (unity candle, etc.)
  • decide on guest book
  • put together set of “something old, new, borrowed and blue”. Don’t forget the garter
  • order thank you cards and gifts for parents and wedding party
  • plan ceremony

 

3-2 weeks to the Big Day: “I’m calm. Very calm. This Valium is not mine”

  • have final meeting with photographer and videographer to discuss the must-do shots
  • contact all vendors and confirm their arrival and/or delivery time on the wedding day
  • complete hair and makeup trials
  • make final wedding dress alterations, if needed
  • get hair cut and/or colour
  • facial and massage will help you relax now
  • assign toasts and speeches to friends and family

 

1 week to the Big Day: “Okay, this Valium is mine. D’ya have more?”

  • make final amendments. This might include changes to the seating chart or menu according to the final head count
  • get waxing done
  • pick up wedding dress (if haven’t done it already)
  • re-confirm transportation times and locations
  • prepare an emergency-kit for the wedding day
  • deliver welcome bags to the out-of-town guests (alternatively, drop them off at their hotels and ask the hotels’ staff to place them at guests’ rooms)
  • pick up rented tuxedos
  • if you hire a day-of coordinator or have designated helpers, make sure they have everything they need (escort cards, cake toppers, guest book, etc.)
  • get your nails done (not earlier than 2 days before the wedding to make sure the manicure is fresh)
  • walk around the house and do everyday stuff in your new shoes. You will thank me for this one…

 

1 day to the Big Day: “…”

  • go to sleep early. If needed, take a sleeping pill – chances are, you won’t fall asleep without it

 

The BIG DAY

  • eat something. I mean it.
  • if totally freaked out (which you probably are), have a glass of champagne. This won’t cloud your perception but will help you relax
  • and actually, enjoy this day. Breath in and savour every single moment. Try to capture these emotions in your memory – this is what you will be telling to your children one day. This is the happiest day of your life.

 

The Day-After

  • make sure all vendors have been paid
  • return rental tuxedos
  • arrange for someone to pick up wedding gifts
  • freeze the top layer of your wedding cake for your 1st anniversary

 

1 week after

  • remember how those reviews helped you choose vendors? – write your own for the benefit of future brides
  • send out remaining thank-you notes
  • get your dress professionally cleaned – either for preservation or for selling
  • start the process of legally changing your name

If all the above still seems like a daunting task, do get in touch. Otherwise, I wish you a happy planning and an even happier ever-after… 🙂

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