A wedding planning timeline
The typical engagement length is between 10 to 18 months (or 24 to 36 months if you were planning in 2020 or 2021). Let’s assume a typical length without postponements! Your best tool for time management is organization. Decision fatigue is a real thing so stick to your gut and your first decision. The good news is you don’t have to make all of the decisions right away.
Once you’re engaged it’s time to take your relationship to the next level. Money baby! If you’re not already having finance talks in your relationship, get ready. Determining your wedding budget and who will be contributing will impact every other decision you make. With your budget in place you can begin to prioritize and visualize then take on what we refer to as the fundamental five or “fun 5”.
These are the vendors you’ll want to book in the first 10-12 months of planning. Many of these book out far in advance and will be some of the largest investments.
The venue and date will go hand in hand. If you can be flexible with the date of your wedding, you will have many more options for venue. This may also mean being open to shoulder days like Friday and Sunday weddings. Again, this comes down to prioritizes. Which is more important? A specific date or a specific venue?
Some venues also provide catering as well. So in that case you can cross off two from the list. You will want to consider the style of service and cuisine when selecting your caterer. Do you want a formal plated sit down meal with preset butter and bread at each setting? Do you want a more free flowing cocktail style reception with stations and tons of passed bites? What about a pig roast or a collection of food trucks? There are many options to suit your tastes and compliment the venue you select.
This is the stuff that lasts forever. The framed photos that will hang on your wall, the album you’ll bring out years from now. The video you’ll re-watch on anniversaries. These vendors are an investment and rightfully so. Consider the style you like. Maybe it’s light and airy or dark and moody or bright and saturated. Once you’ve found a few professionals with the aesthetic you’re into start interviewing. You’ll spend a lot of time with them on your wedding day. You want to make sure you jive personally too!
This one is all about the look. A great florist will take your vision and make magic happen on the tables, in your hand and perhaps hanging from the ceiling! The floral should complement and enhance the other design elements of the day.
This is how you set the mood. From the ceremony songs, to the dinner music to the dance party. Having the right entertainment will be key. Perhaps a full 10 piece band isn’t in your budget but you still want some live music. You might consider a smaller band for the cocktail hour. Maybe you have a killer vinyl collection and you want a DJ spinning the same. Think about how you want you and your guests to feel.
With the fun five in your pocket you can start to tackle the next steps. Take it month by month to avoid overwhelm. Browse through the checklist for key items to mark off one by one.