Did you finally get engaged over the winter holiday? Or maybe you’re hoping Valentine’s Day will finally do the trick, so to speak. If so, it’s time to let the wedding planning begin! In fact, whether you plan to marry a few months from now or a full year ahead, now is a great time to start making plans for your dream wedding day!
Got Six to Twelve Months to Plan?
Even with a full year to plan, there isn’t actually time to doddle. Instead, it’s best to get momentum going in the right direction, by making some key decisions early on.
Most planners agree that from 9 to 12 months before the wedding, you need to accomplish the following:
- Set the date for your wedding. (We actually recommend being flexible about the date until you lock down key wedding vendors.)
- Hiring vendors is also top priority. This includes your venue, your photographer, caterer, florist, etc.
- You also need to set your wedding budget, making sure to determine how much you can spend in each major category, including your attire, your reception, etc. This is actually best done before any other decisions are made.
- You also want to invite your bridal party to stand by your side, and inform them of the expectations you’ll have for them, whether that includes planning showers, a bachelorette getaway, or simply showing up on the wedding day.
What Needs to Happen Four to Six Months Out?
As your wedding day approaches, there are some other big decisions that will need to be made. From four to six months out, you’ll need to:
- Shop for your own attire, and your bridal party’s. Ideally this should be completed at least six months out, if not sooner, since alterations can often take several weeks to be completed.
- Send out Save-the-Dates, if you plan to do so, and most couples do. Try to get those mailed at least four months from your wedding date, if possible. (Keep in mind they don’t have to include tons of details, just a date and location so people can begin making travel plans accordingly.
- With this in mind, now is also the right time to reserve several hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.
- Begin plans for your honeymoon, too! This is actually a fun way to relieve wedding planning stress, or to get your groom more involved in the planning process.
- You should also register for wedding gifts, or create an alternative registry before the Save-the-Dates are sent. Some couples ask for charitable donations, honeymoon excursions, or forego gifts entirely. The choice is entirely yours!
- Book your hair stylist and makeup artist, if you’ll be using one. And don’t forget to book extra stylists to complete your bridesmaids’ look, too. That is, if you plan on asking them to wear fancy updos, or anything they wouldn’t be able to – or comfortable – completing themselves. (Make sure it’s clear who will be paying for the stylists’ services, too, so there is no confusion or added stress come wedding day.)