Happy Thursday everyone! Check out this break down of the ever-intimidating wedding process that has been simplified into a straightforward and fun map. Whether you are a bride-to-be, bridesmaid, or a guest, this timetable will give you intel on what to expect and how to be prepared. We hope you find this helpful!

The ideas for your wedding day may seem to come easy, as many of you have been dreaming of this magical day your entire life. And if you are any woman on Pinterest, your wedding is planned on a not-so-secret board. While developing the aesthetic for your big day is fun, it often gets a bit overwhelming..all the planning can often take away from the excitement of your engagement.

Based on research, and a lot of pinning, we have put together a wedding planning timeline. Something to keep in mind – though this is mapping out a year in advance, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be applied to any time frame. Another thing to note, there may be things people find less important on this list and decide to replace them with other ideas. The possibilities are really endless. We hope this basic order of events is useful to you and will bring less stress to the process. P.S. it is helpful to create a binder or some form of organization to keep everything in order.

  • Venues book up fast – in some cases up to a year in advance.
  • Drafting a guest list can be stressful – it often changes a few dozen times. Brides tend to feel like they have to invite everyone they’ve ever known. A useful tip – keep your list to your closest friends and family, this will create a magical and loving atmosphere, it will also help to save you a buck or two. Some resources suggest creating a list in Google Docs, shared with those helping you plan.
  • Your engagement party is completely optional, but it is a fun gathering for your friends and family to get together and celebrate!
  • It is best to register sooner than later! This way people know what to get you if they decide to send an early gift or bring it to your shower. You can always go back and edit your list, so don’t feel bound for life to the products you chose.

  • Like venues, officiants book up fast! If you have someone in mind, a specific priest or even the Town Mayor, be sure to contact them ASAP.
  • In one of our previous posts, we discussed the importance of choosing the members of your bridal party. Make sure you select your closest relatives and friends – those who will help you prepare, not make it seem like a hassle. An additional tip – choose girls who will cheer you up for your big day and who blend together well.
  • Vendors: First and foremost, book your photographer! Every photographer has their own website, even Facebook page available for you and your hubby-to-be to look through their photos. Another suggestion – hammer down on a caterer and DJ/Band, these vendors book up quickly as well, especially during the popular wedding seasons. Another crucial, yet pricey vendor, are florists. Many work with their customers to create something beautiful at an affordable price. The smaller vendors can be booked later..
  • Engagement photos are another optional, yet FUN thing to do during the wedding planning process. Take a less formal approach, wear something fun that suits both of your personalities and venture outside or at a cool venue to capture your love story. Several couples also bring their fur babies. These photos can be used for save-the-dates and announcements.

  • Believe it or not, several wedding dress companies can take up to six months to produce and ship your gown. It is good to give yourself this time and then another month or two for alterations if needed.
  • If you are having a destination wedding or are expecting a decent amount of out-of-town guests, consider blocking off rooms for their stay.
  • Cake tasting is arguably one of the most FUN parts of wedding planning. Channel your inner sweet tooth and choose the best flavor for the day you say “I do.”
  • Once you have ordered your dress it is a good time to think about hair and makeup for the big day. If you are doing your own, be sure to perfect different looks and invest in staying spray/power and a really good hair spray. Hair dressers often include the trial price with the final day of cost.
  • If you are planning a destination wedding, it is a good idea to send out save the dates 10 months prior so people can plan! Otherwise, it’s important to give your guests at least 6 months notice so they can add it to their calendar and plan accordingly.
  • For your honeymoon, determine where you would like to go and begin researching hotels and transportation.
  • Give yourself 3-6 months for bridesmaids dresses. They often take 3-5 to arrive and then will most likely be in need of alterations.
  • If you are custom ordering your bands with inscription, it is best to give yourself time just in case of any issues with sizing or production.

  • Whether the groomsmen are buying or renting their suits, it’s a good idea to get this squared away a head of time to avoid any mishaps.
  • Plan the rehearsal dinner – traditionally the groom’s family hosts this the night before the big day.
  • Confirm all of your vendors – (furniture rentals, lighting, sounds, etc.)
  • Finalize your look and confirm your appropriate hair and makeup for touchups on your wedding day.

  • Wedding Invitations are typically sent out 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding. Give your guests enough time to RSVP and choose their meal option – if needed.
  • Write/Decide on wedding vows. It’s a nice touch if you memorize them.
  • Purchase your day of accessories. Figure out what you need to complete your look, shoes, jewelry, hair accessories, a veil, a clutch, etc… (Something old, something new, something borrowed & something blue)
  • Confirm your transportation. Determine how you, your bridal party and families will get to and from locations.

  • Apply for your marriage license. Check US Marriage Laws for your local requirements and details.
  • Make sure you have all of your menus, name-tags, programs etc. printed and ready to go.

  • There isn’t a textbook rule to thumb as to when you can have your bachelorette party. Find a date that works for everyone. Typically the Maid of Honor plans this for you and your girls. Pop the champagne and have some fun!
  • Get your family and friends together to shower your love. Traditionally, this party is for women only, but if you are more modern make it a co-ed shower.

  • Try on all of your accessories with your gown to ensure everything is perfect. This is also a good time to start breaking in your shoes.
  • Figure out what photos are important to you on your wedding day and discuss this with your photographer. Candids are a MUST, they capture the true emotions that take place.
  • Touch base with your entertainment choice, go over a playlist you created, and confirm any request options.

  • Once you receive all of your RSVPs, you will need to confirm your final headcount with the venue and the caterer.
  • Seat your friends and family accordingly. Sometimes it’s fun to pair like couples at tables, this way they will have fun and a lot in common.
  • Be sure to schedule your facials and waxings ahead of time to avoid any unwanted problems or breakouts.

  • If bronzed skin is important to you, think about getting a spray tan. aside from tanning beds being terrible for your skin and health, you want to avoid a sunburn.
  • It is ideal to have your manicure and pedicure done as close to the wedding day as possible.

  • Rehearsal Dinner: Attend & Enjoy!
  • Typically the bride will give her bridal party their gifts the day before! In our bridesmaids blog, there are several ideas featured.

WOOHOO it’s your wedding day!! Make sure to enjoy all of life’s purest moments and to take it all in, for it only happens once! Dance like no one is watching with all of your guests and let the stress disappear. Happy Planning!