To make sure that you book the best vendors, and stay on budget, it’s very important to book everything at the right time. Here is an overview of what is best to do when.
- Fix your budget and who is going to pay for what.
- Decide the date. Think about time of year, day of the week, time of day, etc.. Keep in mind Friday and Sunday as well as off-season weddings are becoming more popular and will have money with vendors. Similarly, choosing holiday weekends will raise prices significantly.
- Work out the number of guests (draft a guest list), number of bridesmaids/groomsmen, suppliers etc. Try to get a gauge on how many people will be there and needing meals.
- Decide on your degree of formality. Do you want black tie, ranch style, a laid back garden wedding, etc. There are hundreds of ways to design a wedding and you should base this around how formal or informal you want your guests to be.
AFTER YOU SET THE DATE
- Decide on the ceremony and reception locations. Book them before your date is unavailable!
- Book your caterer.
- Begin searching for your wedding dress
- Begin beauty regime. Psst… we all know this means diet and exercise 🙂
- Have your guest list set
AT LEAST ONE YEAR TO GO
- Book your wedding photographer
- Take your engagement photos
- Book your videographer
- Set your theme
NINE MONTHS TO GO
- Choose your wedding dress
- Choose bridesmaids dresses
- Mail out save-the-date cards
- Register with at least 3 retailers
- Set up a wedding website (there are many free ones)
- Book your wedding decorator. If you are not having a decorator, begin decor prepping asap.
- Book your officiant
- Book a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.
- Book wedding transportation
- Book your entertainment
- Book your honeymoon
- Begin composing a timeline of your day. A schedule of events will keep you on track!
SIX MONTHS TO GO
- Have guest list finalized
- Purchase wedding bands
- Book makeup and hair stylists
- Order wedding stationery/invitations
- Book florist
- Book cake designer
THREE MONTHS TO GO
- Purchase Groom’s Suit/Tux. Finalize ties, shoes, cufflinks, etc. for the groom and groomsmen.
- Finalize paperwork and ceremony details with your officiant
- Bridal Shower
- Dress Fittings
- Mail out invitations
- Choose songs you do and do-not want played. Keep a running list up until the wedding day.
- Choose take-home gifts for you guests
- Finalize floral arrangements
- Finalize cake arrangements
- Perform a trial run of hair and make-up
- Prepare and visa’s or vaccinations for your honeymoon
ONE MONTH TO GO
- Confirm all arrangements with ALL vendors
- Collect your wedding bands, marriage license, dresses, shoes, or any attire you may not physically have on you.
- Send out as many final payments as possible
- Print out directions for transportation drivers
- Purchase bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts for the rehearsal dinner
- Bachelorette/Bachelor parties!
- Finalize seating
ONE WEEK TO GO
- Confirm arrangements with ALL vendors
- Confirm final guest numbers with your venue
- Delegate small tasks. One person to take care of gifts, one to bustle the dress, one person responsible for your personal items, someone to take care of checks and hand out any tips, etc.
- Break in your shoes!
- Ceremony rehearsal
- Be sure to have ALL goods, attire, rings, in YOUR possession.
- Have tickets and hotel arrangements for the honeymoon printed
- Arrange traveler checks or notify your bank if you are leaving far for your honeymoon.