Create a Wedding Time Line Part 1 – After the Engagement but Before You Say “I Do”

Congratulations on your engagement! As this reality sets in, some couples are intimidated by the mountain of decisions that lie ahead. Even if you are fairly certain of the type of wedding you wish to have, how will you achieve this? Where do you begin? With so many decisions to make, the what, the how, and the when, will all need to be addressed. The average wedding will take a minimum of six months to upwards of more than a year to plan, depending on the number of guests, venue, and level of extravagance. To help manage your expectations and keep your budget on track, you will need to Create a Wedding Timeline.

Every couple’s timeline will differ, and we acknowledge that many successful weddings have been planned with very limited time or resources. However, for the best possible outcome and the least amount of stress, creating your wedding timeline is one of the first things you should do. The following examples will assume twelve months of planning time before you walk down the aisle.

Tasks to Complete 9 – 12 Months Before Your Wedding Day.

You will spend the first phase of planning doing lots of research on costs, understanding the licensing requirements for the marriage, and compiling information on the type of wedding you want (size, formality, theme, and color schemes).  This research will help you create a preliminary budget, which will dictate how many guests may attend and the size of your wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen), if any.

You will also need to announce the engagement, book venue(s) (ceremony and/or reception), set a time and date, decide on who will officiate, begin compiling a short list of vendors (musicians, caterers, planners, bakers, florists, et cetera), and familiarizing yourself with the associated contracts for service.

On a side note: If you are planning on weight loss prior to your big day, the beginning phase is a great time to start. Research has shown that sustained weight loss is achieved through lifestyle changes, be they diet, exercise, or otherwise. Give yourself plenty of time to achieve this goal gradually, but persistently.

Tasks to complete 6 – 9 Months Before Your Wedding Day.

During this interval, you and your partner will actively participate in goal accomplishment, and may wish to hire your wedding planner at this time. Your preliminary choices for venue, photographer, caterer, florist, and other service providers, will need to be finalized, so you will make good use of your time management and organizational skills. The coming days will be spent completing many tasks including food tastings, narrowing down your choice of color schemes and floral arrangements, preliminary dress shopping, signing up for bridal registries, compilation of your guest list, and honeymoon planning. You might also consider setting up a wedding website if you haven’t already done so. This site will act as an information gateway for wedding guests, and will cut down on the number of phone calls you receive.

After the first six months of planning, you will need to re-examine your budget and the overall progress of your plans. If adjustments are needed, handle them promptly to get your wedding plans back on track. The transition from fiancé to bride or groom can be seamless or seem like an eternity. Your wedding timeline will allow you to identify which milestones need to be met, and will save you time and stress moving forward.

Now that you’ve taken a mental and emotional timeout, it’s time to continue with plans for your wedding day!

Happy Wedding Planning!

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