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  • Geraldine Orentas

How Early Should You Start Planning Your Wedding?

Once the excitement of the engagement fades away, you end up wondering (and probably freaking out) when to start planning your wedding. Well, the answer is: the earlier, the better. Most professional wedding planners recommend you start planning 12 to 18 months before your desired wedding date.

Of course, if you have a shorter timeline, you can still plan a beautiful wedding. You just need to be more flexible with your choices and be prepared to make quick decisions. Prioritize the most critical aspects of your wedding and focus on ensuring you secure the vendors and services you want.

Quick Timeline for Planning Your Wedding

Planning a wedding can be daunting, especially if you need help figuring out where to start. One of the best ways to stay organized and ensure everything runs smoothly is to create a timeline for planning your big day.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, having a general guideline can help keep you on track and minimize stress. Following this timeline gives you plenty of time to make informed decisions, book vendors, and create the wedding of your dreams.

12-18 months before the wedding:

  • Determine your budget

  • Create a preliminary guest list

  • Choose a wedding date and have a backup date

  • Research venues and get multiple quotes

  • Book the venue

  • Hire a wedding planner (if desired)

  • Begin researching vendors (photographer, caterer, florist, etc.) and book them as soon as possible

9-12 months before the wedding:

  • Choose your wedding party and ask them to be a part of your special day

  • Select and order your wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses, and tuxedos

  • Send out save-the-date cards

  • Start planning your honeymoon

  • Begin thinking about decor and wedding themes

6-9 months before the wedding:

  • Plan the ceremony and reception timeline

  • Select and book a caterer and rental equipment

  • Finalize flower arrangements and decorations

  • Book a DJ, band, or other entertainment

  • Create a wedding website (if desired)

3-6 months before the wedding:

  • Order invitations, menus, and wedding programs

  • Schedule hair and makeup trials

  • Book transportation for the wedding day (for you and your guests)

  • Finalize the menu with your caterer

  • Confirm all vendor bookings

1-3 months before the wedding:

  • Finalize details with vendors

  • Have your final dress fitting and arrange for any necessary alterations

  • Obtain marriage license

  • Create a wedding day timeline

  • Finalize the seating chart

1 week before the wedding:

  • Confirm all details with vendors and the venue

  • Pack for the honeymoon

  • Give the final guest count to the caterer and venue

  • Attend the wedding rehearsal

On the wedding day:

Get married and enjoy the happiest day of your life!

Plan Earlier & Have Your Fairy-Tale Wedding

Wedding planning requires time, patience, and organization. By starting early, you can make informed decisions and create the wedding of your dreams. Enjoy the planning process, and take time to celebrate your engagement. Happy planning!

Written by Geraldine Orentas in partnership with Faxage online faxing service.

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