Well, the answer is, it all depends! Many factors come into play such as the size of your wedding, your venue and the size of your bridal party.
The single most important piece of advice I have in determining your wedding planning timeline is to take time to discover what type of wedding you want before you spring into action. Every decision you make will depend on your vision. And because we live in the real world and not the dream world, please be realistic about your resources – both time and money.
You can pretty much ensure a happy, fun-filled wedding planning timeline process leading up to a great wedding if you connect the dots between your vision and your resources early in the process. This is the most important accomplishment you will make in the first weeks of your planning.
Your Wedding Planning Timeline from my set of online tools guides you through all the elements of your wedding planning timeline and outlines when you should do certain things. This tool is based on the order of priority and provides a timeline to follow to ensure that you have plenty of time for each planning phase.
Here are a few key tasks from the Moments By Wayne Timetable Chart:
6-12 months out
- Build your wedding vision. Now is the time to decide what type of wedding you want, your colors and look, gown style and reception details. The Moments Questionnaire will guide you through this process.
- Set your budget. A big driver of your budget, probably the most significantvariable, is the number of guests. So, before you tell all your Facebook friends how much you are looking forward to having them at your wedding, take the time to come up with a preliminary guest list.
- Select major vendors. Get educated, starting with the elements that are most important to you and the most significant expenditures, such as catering, entertainment and décor. My rule of thumb is that you should meet with three vendors in each category. This will give you a lot of information, so that you can decide what you want and how much you are willing to spend. It’s important not only that they offer what you want in regards to your priorities, but that you feel comfortable with them and that they “get” you and your vision. Make sure you do your homework before signing any contracts.
4-6 months out
- Start sorting through the details. Order invitations, take dance lessons and reserve any rental equipment or hotel rooms you’ll need. This is also the time to buy your wedding rings and bridesmaid’s dresses.
- Book your honeymoon. Plan where you’ll be spending your honeymoon in post-wedding bliss. Also, don’t forget to ask for time off from your employer.
2-4 months out
- Discuss products and service details with vendors. This is the time to go over the details with your vendors.
- Mail invitations. I recommend 6-8 weeks prior, allow more time for out-of-town guests.
These are just a few of the items listed on my Timetable Chart. Take advantage of the full Wedding Planning Timeline to make sure you don’t miss any important steps.
If you are planning an elaborate celebration that involves a large bridal party (more than 6 people), lots of guests (more than 100) or a “destination” location, I encourage you to expand the Timetable by a few months. The extra time will also be handy if you enjoy checking out many alternatives and pay close attention to details. On the other hand, you can plan a wonderful celebration in less time, too, particularly if you will rely on professionals and are less concerned with formalities.
Building your wedding planning timeline is a process, I’ve assembled more detailed information and advice. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter for even more resources to help you plan the wedding of your dreams!