After looking for, and customizing so many engagement timelines, I've decided it's time to create my own. Because when your list says book your vendors 8 months ahead of time, you'll be lucky if you get any of your top choices.
What do I mean? Pinterest search 12 Month Wedding Checklist. On one I'm looking at right now it says "discuss menu ideas with your caterer." Guess when the list suggests that should be done? 4-5 Months before your wedding. Are they crazy? I'm working with a bride getting married July of 2017 and we're working on menu choices. That's 14 months out, not 4.
One of the saddest e-mails I have to write are to couples interested in our services, but have waited too long to inquire. Especially declining weddings that I would have loved to have been a part of.
Below I'm going to create a surface timeline (with only the really really important things) based on 12 months. If you're engaged only 9 months, then you're going to have to combine some things. If you're not really crazy about flowers and are only doing a bouquet or two, you might not need to book them a year out. I will continue to customize timelines for our couples, because that's what we do.
It's to note, after talking with some of my personal favorite vendors some recommend even booking more than a year out. For those engaged longer, that's definitely doable. And if you are planning on being engaged a less amount of time just keep in mind vendors could very well be booked.
- Celebrate. Throw a Party.
- Select a date! (And book a venue!)
- Set a budget, create a priority list of vendors (IE, 1. Food, 2. Photographer, 3. Flowers of where you feel more comfortable spending more money.)
- Start a guest list
- Choose your bridal party.
- Hire a planner.
- Start contacting your favorite vendors for availability and price ranges.
This includes your caterer, photographer, photo booth, rentals or vintage rentals, florists, bakery, dj or band, and ceremony musicians.
- Get those vendors booked. And I mean it. Any later than 10 months you have a slimmer chance of getting the vendor you want, especially a vendor who can take only one wedding per day or weekend.
- Start gown shopping, set up an appointment and get your options narrowed down.
- Look up honeymoon ideas.
- Book an officiant and look into transportation and hotel blocks.
Once your the majority of your vendors are booked, take a break. A lot of the hard work, and decision making is over for awhile. But still there are many things to be thinking about.
- If you haven't already, say yes to the dress. Also decide on what your bridesmaids will wear.
- Get engagement photos done (perfect for save the dates!)
- Be thinking about hair and make up, along with your accessories for the day.
- Have a sure idea of the look and feel, or style of your wedding day. Nail down any vendor specifics (ie. floral design for wedding day)
- Think about wedding invitations, start getting the addresses around.
- Book Honeymoon.
- Groom and groomsmen pick out attire.
- Save the dates get sent
- Any final menu or bakery tastings are completed.
- Choose wedding bands.
- Consider wedding insurance.
- Think about rehearsal dinner options, or day after brunch.
- Select Bridal Shower date.
- Book hair and make up.
- Send Invitations out to calligrapher (choose any additional calligraphy signs)
- Finalize wedding transportation
- Finalize rehearsal dinner plans
- Complete your registry for your bridal shower
- Decide if you'd like a website for your guests to RSVP online
- Send Invitations Out
- Select songs and specials for ceremony, reception
- Meet with Officiant to create ceremony order (and create programs)
- Prepare a photo shot list
1 Month Out (No timeline will give you everything customized to your wedding, except a planner) with that said, I'm going real basic here. Like real basic.
- Confirm Everything.
- Make a ton of lists.
- Delegate as much as possible.
There you have it. Motto of this timeline. Book early. Confirm everything.
Thanks for reading!