- Define Your Budget
- Choose a Date
- Venue Search
- Vendor Search
- Start Choosing the Rest of Your Wedding Party
- Wedding Dress Shopping
- Choose a Honeymoon Destination
- Save Wedding Keepsakes
- Invitations & Announcements
- Wedding Party Shopping
- Mail Out Invitations
- Final Fittings
- Wedding Day Timeline
- Wedding Day Hair & Makeup
- Pack for Honeymoon
- Send Thank You Cards
Many steps need to be taken to ensure that the big day goes off without a hitch when planning a wedding. While some couples may choose to take their time and plan their wedding over several months, others may only have a few weeks to put everything together. Regardless of how much time is available for planning. There’s no set amount of time that it takes to plan a wedding, as every couple is different and will have their own unique set of priorities and planning styles. However, some general steps need to be taken to plan a wedding and an idea of how long each step might take.
1. Define your budget: Duration 1 week
This is probably the most important step, as it will dictate what kind of wedding you can have. Figure out how much money you can realistically spend on your wedding and then start to allocate funds for different aspects of the celebration. It is recommended that you evaluate your earnings well before planning your wedding. It is better to limit your planning to your earnings and a little borrow. Planning with other people money might not be a good option. Writing down your budget before you start paying out money will make it easier to stick with and even help you save some money. You will discover if there’s anything that isn’t necessary.
2. Choose a date: Duration 1 – 2 weeks.
Once you know your budget, you can start to look at different dates and figure out when you want to get married. Remember that popular wedding months, like June or September, will be more expensive and harder to book venues and vendors. Pick data that will be convenient for you and your job. Also, consider your loved ones when picking a date
3. Venue search: 2 – 4 weeks
Once you have a date in mind, start scouting for venues. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on how picky you are about the location and what kind of venue you’re looking for.
4. Vendor search: 4 weeks
Once you have a venue booked, start lining up your vendors. This process can also take a few weeks to a few months, as different vendors have different availability, and you need to give them enough time to plan and prepare for your wedding day.
5. Start choosing the rest of your wedding party: 6 weeks
Now that you’ve booked the venue and vendors start looking for members in your bridal party and family who want to be involved in the celebration. They will all have their ideas and opinions about what they’d like at the wedding, so make sure to give them plenty of time to get everything together. Keep in mind that invitations may need to be sent out 6 weeks or more before the event, so that gives your guests enough time to book travel arrangements.
6. Wedding dress shopping: 8 weeks
You and your bridal party need to start looking for dresses at least 6 months before your wedding day, so you don’t have any last-minute stress trying to find something perfect. You’ll want at least 3-4 appointments scheduled, so everyone has time to try on different styles and colors. If you’re looking online, many retailers are available if you order 8 weeks ahead of time.
7. Choose a honeymoon destination
This is another step that can take a few weeks to a few months, as most couples don’t have everything booked by the time they’re married. Pick somewhere within your budget and close enough for your guests to travel to if you’d like them to join you.
8. Save wedding keepsakes
With all of the details that go into planning a wedding, you and your spouse-to-be need to start thinking about what kinds of things you would want to save from the event. Wedding programs, menus, centerpieces, and even table numbers can be cool to keep after all the flowers have wilted and food has been consumed.
9. Invitations & announcements: 10 weeks before the wedding
This step helps set the stage for your wedding celebration and can take a few weeks to over a month. Purchasing invitations will probably be your biggest expense in this process, but it’s also something that you’ll only have to do once!
10. Wedding party shopping: 4 weeks before the wedding
It’s always fun to get new clothes for special events like weddings or graduations. Pick out styles and colors with you and your wedding party, so everyone looks good on the big day. Make sure they order in enough time to receive their items ahead of schedule, so everything goes smoothly when it comes time to try them on at the final fitting before the wedding.
11. Mail out invitations: 6-8 weeks before the wedding
As mentioned before, invitations should be sent out at least 6 weeks before the wedding, so guests have enough time to make travel arrangements. If you’re having a destination wedding, send them even earlier, so people have time to save up for the trip!
12. Final fittings: 1 -2 weeks before the wedding
This is probably one of the last steps in the planning process and usually happens 1-2 weeks before the wedding. Make sure everyone who needs alterations gets them done in this timeframe, as there’s usually not enough time afterwords to fuss with anything that isn’t perfect.
13. Wedding day timeline: 1 -2 weeks before the wedding
Now is when couples start thinking about how they want the ceremony and reception to flow and what kind of activities they would like during downtime between events. You may not know every step after the first dance, but it’s good for you and your spouse-to-be to discuss all possibilities ahead of time, so there are no surprises!
14. Wedding day hair & makeup: 2 weeks before the wedding
Brides typically schedule hair and makeup appointments 2 weeks before the wedding. Remember that your makeup will last longer if you wait until just before the ceremony to apply it since heat and sweat can cause it to fade or run. Be sure you pay some advance to seal the contract before the day.
You’ll probably only need about an hour to go over all of the logistics one more time (time needed depends on how large your group is). Make sure everyone knows where they’re supposed to go and when and has a general idea of what will be going on.
16. Pack for honeymoon: 1 week before the wedding
Remember that sightseeing usually won’t happen while you’re busy enjoying newlywed bliss – it’s a good idea to prepare for your trip a few days ahead of time with a little packing!
17. Send thank you cards
No matter how long after the wedding date you send them, it’s always a good idea to show your appreciation to all of the people who helped make your day perfect. Cards and/or small gifts are a great way to do this!
18. Enjoy married life: Forever
This is the best part – finally being able to relax and spend time with your new spouse without any worries about planning or logistics. Take this time to enjoy each other’s company and start building beautiful memories that will last a lifetime!
It usually takes around six months for couples to plan their dream wedding. While some steps can be taken more quickly than others, it’s important not to rush anything as this can often lead to mistakes. By taking the time to plan each step carefully, couples can avoid any stressful last-minute scrambles and ensure that their big day is perfect!