Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wedding Planning Timeline

I am frequently asked about how long it really takes to plan a wedding.  There is no simple answer to this question.  I have planned weddings in as little as 4 weeks while others were planned over the course of over 2 years.  However, with engagement season approaching I thought I would share this basic guide to help any couple planning their wedding.  Please note that this is a guide and not meant to be followed to the "T" because everyone plans at a different pace.  Tailor the outline to you and your fiancé and remember to have fun!

Sample Timeline of Events

10  to 12 Months

v  Select date along with backup dates
v  Decide budget
v  Decide type of wedding (Formal, Semi-Formal, Informal)
v  Compile guest list with addresses
v  Choose location of ceremony
v  Choose location of reception
v  Choose officiate
v  Decide size of wedding party, choose attendants
v  Select and order gown and veil
v  Select and order bridesmaid’s, flower girl’s, groomsmen and ring bearer’s apparel
v  Plan details of reception
v  Decide on a rehearsal date and space
v  Buy wedding rings and order engraving
v  Select photographer, videographer and caterer
v  Have engagement photos taken
v  Discuss honeymoon plans
v  Plan details for your reception
v  Discuss gown colors and styles with mothers of bride and groom
v  Select entertainment
v  Select and order invitations, announcements, thank you cards, personal stationery, programs, cocktail napkins, etc.
v  Reserve accommodations for out-of-town guests
v  Reserve room for wedding night (generally done when booking your hotel for your guests)

6  to 10 Months

v  Announce engagement in local newspaper
v  Reserve transportation for the bridal party
v  Reserve transportation to and from the ceremony and reception for out-of-town guests
v  Make honeymoon plans
v  Shop for your cake
v  Select hair and makeup personal for your wedding day. Schedule trials 3 months prior to wedding.

3 to 6 Months

v    Select and order men’s formal wear
v    Select ceremony musician
v    Select bridal registry items and register with one or more bridal registries
v    Reserve rental equipment, tables, chairs, tents, etc. with your caterer or rental company (if applicable)
v    Choose and order favors
v    Arrange to get necessary passports, visas and vaccinations or any honeymoon details at this time.
v    Address wedding invitations or secure your calligrapher
v    Order wedding and groom’s cakes and place deposit
v    Schedule rehearsal, decide on menu, place deposit
v    Discuss details of menu with caterer and schedule tasting

1 to 3 Months

v  Complete shopping for wedding apparel
v  Discuss ceremony flow and details with officiate
v  Confirm (and reconfirm) delivery dates of all dresses
v  Select music for ceremony and reception
v  Buy attendants gifs and gifts for each other
v  Choose readings and confirm/write vows for ceremony
v  Invite wedding party and guests to the rehearsal dinner
v  Organize seating arrangements and order place cards from calligrapher
v  Schedule all final bridal dress fittings
v  Pick up wedding rings (check engravings and sizes)
v  Schedule all final attendant’s fittings
v  Confirm honeymoon reservations and begin making a list to make packing effortless
v  Select reception decorations and accessories: cake knife & server, candles, table favors
v  Select ceremony accessories:  unity candle, ring pillow, flower girl’s basket, guest book and pen
v  Select personal accessories:  handbag, garter, engraved toasting glasses, guest mementos
v  Finalize details for photographer, videographer, florist, entertainment, bakery, and officiate
v  Schedule appointments facial, manicure, and massage
v  Record gifts as you receive them:  write thank you notes and mail
v  Assign friends or family to assist with guest book and gift table
v  Arrange bridesmaids’ brunch or luncheon details
v  Arrange for gown cleaning and bouquet preservation after the ceremony
v  Conduct hair and makeup trials to experiment with hairstyles and make-up changes
v  Register for marriage license or as applicable to the rules in your area

1 to 2 Weeks

v  Confirm out-of-town guests’ lodging with reserved hotels
v  Confirm wedding party transportation and arrival times
v  Confirm time and date of wedding rehearsal with wedding party
v  Contact people who haven’t responded
v  Final consultations:  florist, musicians, photographer, videographer, bakery
v  Give final guest count to reception facility
v  Remind men to pick up formal wear and shoes (check that they fit)
v  Make wedding day schedule and give everyone copies at rehearsal dinner
v  Finish honeymoon packing, prepare going away outfit
v  Confirm responsibilities assigned to family and friends
v  Confirm honeymoon arrangements

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