The Wedding Timeline: What to Do After You Get Engaged
So, the dazzle of the engagement has worn off, and it has finally hit you: You have to plan a huge wedding in the span of 12 months! What are you going to do? You’ve never planned a wedding before! You’re the first of your friends or family to get married, and things have certainly changed since your mother planned her wedding. This can add some extremely unecessary stress to what is supposed to be a huge celebration of your love. That’s why we at Bloomin’ have decided to put together a Wedding Timeline to guide you towards a smooth, stress-free wedding day…
Make a Budget.
Outline your guest list and wedding party- This is just an initial outline, as most venues will let you change your guest count up to a few days before the wedding.
Start visiting venues, interviewing officiants THEN choose your date– book these ASAP, and if possible book the venue more than 12 months before the wedding, as these spots fill up quick. Some brides will reserve a spot two years in advance if they have their heart set on one specific venue.
Meet with a Caterer and have your first tasting – make sure your caterer has a caterer’s license, caterer’sliability insurance, liquor license, and liquor liability insurance.
Consider hiring a wedding planner – if you have already have timeconsuming or stressful job, family, or extracurricular activities a wedding planner will help keep your wedding plans on task and will make your already hectic life a little easier.
Research, meet with, and book wedding services: (Photographer/videographer, DJ/Band, Hotels, Transportation, and Florist). Get their commitments to you in writing to avoid overbookings or miscommunications in the future.
Dress Shopping: Call ahead to schedule an appointment with the top salesperson at your favorite shop. Only bring a few friends to limit differing opinions. If you don’t find the dress of your dreams on the first day don’t fret, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Send your Save-the-Date towards month 6 (or month 8 for destination weddings): If you send your Save-the-Date too early people may not actually save the date, or may reply that they are not coming, as they don’t want to plan their schedules too far in advance.
Register: You can do this at almost any department store that has a home and décor section. A great pricing middle ground for guests is Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Pick invitations and begin addressing them
Pick bridesmaid’s dresses and garter
Meet with your officiant to plan the ceremony, meet with venue’s maître ‘d and/or bridal attendant to plan the event timeline, meet with band/DJ to begin planning music
Research and plan your honeymoon
Send travel information to transportation companies: This will give your limo and shuttle drives ample time to choose the best route to get you where you need to go
Taste many and pick one cake
Begin your dress fittings
Hire a make-up and hair artist: If you are looking to hire a very expensive or desirable hair dresser/make-up artist take care of this as early as possible
Order wedding favors
Finalize menu and day-of timeline
Get menu cards made if desired
Purchase wedding rings and have them sized
Choose photography package and finalize music
6-8 weeks before wedding, send out the invitations: This rule is a true wedding standard
Record RSVP’s and finalize guest list: Again, this is relative. It is quite normal for brides to change their guest count up to the day of the wedding itself, as children, illnesses, and weather are just some of the uncontrollable things that may pop up.
Assign Seating and table arrangements
Get your marriage license
Have your final dress fitting
Confirm EVERYTHING!… and then pay: Try to hold on off making your final payments until the week of the wedding. This prevents you from having to stress over a double-booked photographer or a sick DJ.
Pick up your dress
Make sure you have your something old, borrowed, and new
Send final guest count to caterer
Get ready for your honeymoon!