The process of planning a wedding typically begins at least one year before the actual wedding day. The first task couples should accomplish at this time is selecting a date for the wedding. This is important because many reception halls book up early so choosing a wedding date at least a year in advance can prevent the couple from missing out on their dream location. It also helps to ensure friends and family members have plenty of time to make arrangements to attend the wedding. During this time the couple should set their budget, book the location for the reception and begin shopping for a wedding gown.
Approximately 8-10 months before the wedding date the couple will begin making some serious decisions about the wedding. They should formalize a theme, select bridesmaid dresses and create a gift registry. The couple should also interview and select a number of service providers including a photographer, videographer, caterer, and entertainers such as a band or a DJ. The couple should also create their guest list during this time.
Approximately 5-7 months before the wedding date the couple will still be making important decisions and plans for the wedding. Now is the time to order wedding invitations and finalize the guest list. The couple will also want to begin interviewing cake designers and will want to select one soon because good cake designers may book up months in advance. Plans for the honeymoon should also begin during this time. Couples will also want to reserve a block of rooms in a local hotel at this time. By reserving a large block of rooms, the couple will likely be able to secure a discount for their guests and will also save their out of town guests the trouble of having to search around for hotel accommodations.
Approximately 3-4 months before the wedding the whirlwind of planning begins to slow down but there is still work to be done. During this time the couple should shop for and order wedding bands and select a florist. The couple will also want to shop for and order favors at this time. They will also want to select and reserve the groom’s and groomsmen’s attire. During this time the couple should also meet with the caterer to finalize the menu. It is also finally time to send out invitations for the wedding.
Approximately two months before the wedding date the planning preparation picks up. Now is the time for the couple to make plans for the rehearsal dinner. The bride will also have to start scheduling her fittings as well as fittings for the bridesmaids and flower girl. The groom should confirm the reservations for his attire and the attire of his groomsmen.
One month before the wedding the couple is into the home stretch of planning. They should apply for their marriage license and confirm details with all wedding service providers. The bride should also meet with her hair stylist and make-up artist to decide on wedding day styles.
The last two weeks before the wedding is a virtual whirlwind of events. The couple will have a lot to do and will likely need help from others to accomplish these last minute details. They will need to call guests who have not yet responded, provide a final headcount to the caterer, create seating plans, confirm floral deliveries, confirm honeymoon reservations and pick up wedding gown and tuxedos.