Every bride has been there- wedding planning is an important step after getting engaged, and you just want the big day to arrive and for everything to go as planned. But how long does it take to plan a wedding? According to recent studies, the average engagement lasts between 6 and 12 months. This timeline allows couples to secure their dream venue, lock in their guest list, and finalize all of the details of their big day.
However, some preoccupied couples prefer to extend the wedding planning timeline to 18 months to allow for some wiggle room. This extra time can be used to save up for additional costs, book vendor appointments well in advance, or simply enjoy the engaged life before the craziness of wedding planning sets in.
No matter how long you choose to spend planning your wedding, the important thing is that you take the time to enjoy the process and create lasting memories along the way.
How Long Does Wedding Planning Really Take?
The timeline for planning a wedding depends on several factors, including the size of the wedding and the amount of help you have. If you’re planning a large, formal wedding with dozens of guests, you can expect to spend at least six months to a year on the planning.
You can get away with three or four months of planning for a smaller, more intimate affair. And if you have a lot of help from family and friends, you can pull off a fantastic wedding in just a few short weeks.
The average engagement lasts around 13 months, and during that time, couples juggle a wide range of tasks, from finding the perfect venue to selecting the right flowers.
Then there are the more minor details, like choosing bridesmaids’ dresses and sending out invitations. All of this can add to a lot of work, and it’s no wonder many couples feel overwhelmed by the planning process.
How To Plan Your Wedding With No Fuss
After the engagement party, the next step is the wedding. The wedding planning process can be daunting, but it’s manageable if you break it down into small steps. Here is a guide to planning your wedding in six months.
One of the first things to do is set a realistic budget. This will help you focus your spending and avoid overspending on unnecessary items. Once you have a budget in mind, start shopping around for deals.
When it comes to wedding expenses, there are some areas where you can save and others where you should splurge. For example, investing in a good photographer who will capture your special day forever is important.
However, you can save on other things, like table decorations or centerpieces. The key is to focus on what is most important to you and your fiancé and make sure those items are given priority in your budget.
Drawing Up a Guest List
The first step in drawing up a guest list is to decide who you absolutely must invite. This includes immediate family members, close friends, and anyone else who played a significant role in your relationship. Once you have your Must Invites, you can start working on your Nice to Invites.
Finally, you’ll need to come up with a Cut-Off Date. This is the date you will not accept any more RSVPs (répondez s’il Vous plait). By setting a Cut-Off Date, you can avoid having too many last-minute guests and ensure that everyone on your list has plenty of time to plan for the big day. With these steps in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect guest list for your wedding.
Find a Venue
Choosing your dream wedding venue is one of the most important decisions. Keep a few things in mind as you begin your search. First, think about the size of your guest list.
You will want to find a venue that can comfortably accommodate your guests. Second, consider the location. Choose a venue close to your home or your guests’ homes; if you have the budget, destination weddings are also a nice idea.
Third, think about the vibe you want to create on your big day. Will it be a formal setting or something more traditional? Once you have a good idea of what you are looking for, you can begin searching for venues that meet your criteria. Book it as soon as possible when you find a venue you love to ensure it is available on your wedding date.
Pick The Members of Your Wedding Party
A wedding party consists of a group of your closest friends and family who will support you on your big day. When choosing who to ask, there are a few things to remember. First, consider the size of your wedding. If you’re planning a small, intimate affair, you may only want a maid of honor and best man.
However, if you’re inviting dozens or even hundreds of guests, you may want to have a larger wedding party with multiple bridesmaids and groomsmen. Second, consider who you want by your side as you exchange vows.
Finally, remember to consider logistics. If someone cannot travel or doesn’t get along well with others, they may not be the best candidate for your wedding party. Selecting your wedding party carefully ensures that your big day is everything you’ve ever dreamed of.
Find a Wedding Dress
Deciding on a wedding dress can be one of the most exciting and difficult tasks on your big day. There are so many different styles and designs to choose from that it can take time to know where to start. But with some research and patience, you’re sure to find the perfect dress for your special day.
Once you’ve found ‘the one,’ it’s time to start thinking about accessories. The right veil, shoes, and jewelry can help bring your whole look together.
And don’t forget the little details, like your hair and makeup! With all these elements in place, you’ll be sure to look and feel like an actual princess on your wedding day.
Hire Wedding Vendors
Hiring the right vendors ensures your wedding goes off without a hitch. But with so many different vendors, here are a few tips for choosing the best vendors for your big day:
- Start by creating a list of the essential vendors you need, such as a photographer, caterer, and florist. Once you have your essential vendors lined up, you can start looking into other optional vendors, such as wedding bands or photo booths.
- As you begin researching different vendors, pay attention to reviews from past clients. This will give you a good idea of what to expect from each vendor. You should also ask for recommendations from friends or family recently married.
- Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential vendors, set up consultations with each one. This will give you a chance to get to know the vendor and Ask any questions you may have about their services. It’s also an excellent opportunity to see if there is chemistry between you and the vendor—after all, you’ll be working closely with them on your wedding day!
Set Up Your Wedding Registry
Your wedding registry is a list of gifts you would like to receive from your loved ones on your wedding day. It is typically created with the help of a consultant at a store, such as Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s.
There are so many items to choose from, and it can take time to know where to start. Here are a few tips to help create a wedding registry that will please you and your guests. To begin, take some time to think about your lifestyle and how you plan to use the items on your registry. Once you know what you need, start making a list of must-haves. From there, you can add things you would like to have but could live without them if necessary.
Send Out Invitations and “Save the Dates”
When it comes to wedding planning, you’ll need to send out wedding invitations and “save the dates” to your guests. But what is the difference between the two, and when should you send them out?
Invitations are typically sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding, including all the important details about the big day, such as the date, time, and location. “Save the dates,” on the other hand, are sent out much earlier-usually 4-6 months before the wedding. They alert guests to hold the date of your wedding, so they can make sure they’re available.
Of course, you’ll want your invitations and “save the dates” to be stylish and reflect your overall wedding theme. Fortunately, there are several great websites like Canva and online retailers that offer a wide variety of design options to choose from. Once you’ve selected your design, enter all relevant information and hit print or download. It’s as easy as that!
How to Manage Wedding Operations and Stay on Track
A wedding is a significant event that takes time, effort, and planning to pull off successfully. For couples who are getting married, the process of planning their big day can be both exciting and overwhelming. There are many moving parts to a wedding, and staying organized and on track is important to avoid any last-minute disasters.
Hire A Wedding Planner
A wedding planner can help manage operations and stay on track. A good planner will have a network of vendors they work with regularly, which means they can get discounts and wholesale prices for you. They will also be able to negotiate contract terms with vendors, saving you time and money.
In addition, a wedding planner can provide valuable advice on managing your budget, handling guest list management, and dealing with potential problems that may arise. While hiring a wedding planner is an important step in ensuring a smooth-running wedding, it is also important to research to ensure you are getting the best possible value for your money.
Create A Wedding Operations Timeline
This timeline should be shared with all the people involved in the wedding, including the venue staff, vendors, and wedding party. This can be done with any project management app or roadmap app. By having everyone on the same page, you can ensure that everything runs smoothly on the big day.
Make A Checklist Of All The Tasks That Need To Be Completed
This will help you stay organized and on track. To make a checklist, start by listing all the major tasks that need to be completed, such as booking a venue, hiring a photographer, and ordering invitations. Then, break each task down into smaller steps. For example, if you’re booking a venue, you’ll need to decide on a location, find a caterer, and reserve the space.
Appoint A “Day-Of Coordinator”
The “day-of coordinator” will be responsible for making sure everything runs according to plan. This person can act as a liaison between you and the various vendors and service providers, and can handle any problems that may arise. By taking these steps, you can minimize stress and ensure that your wedding day is everything you’ve dreamed of.
Planning A Destination Wedding
Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular, as couples look to add a sense of adventure to their big day. If you’re considering a destination wedding, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your big day goes off without a hitch.
- First, choose a location that has meaning for you and your partner. A place that holds special memories or that is particularly beautiful is sure to make your wedding all the more memorable.
- Second, be sure to do your research when it comes to the logistics of planning a destination wedding. Make sure you understand the requirements of getting married in your chosen location and allow plenty of time to ensure that everything is in order.
- Finally, don’t forget to factor in the cost of travel for you and your guests when planning your destination wedding.
Post-Wedding Winding Down
The wedding is over, and the dust has finally settled. It was a beautiful day, filled with love and laughter. But now that it’s over, you may be feeling a bit… lost. After all, planning a wedding is a full-time job, and you may have been working on it for months. So what do you do now that it’s all over? How do you wind down after the big day?
- First, take a deep breath. The wedding is done, and it’s time to relax. Enjoy being married! Spend time with your spouse, enjoy your honeymoon and savor this special time in your lives.
- Second, if you can, take a little break from wedding-related things. If you have any unfinished business, such as thank-you notes or returning rentals, delegate it to someone else or just set it aside for a little while. You deserve a break!
- Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is a big transition in your life, and it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed. Talk to your friends and family members about how they coped with post-wedding blues. They’ll be more than happy to help you through this tough time.
Benefits of Planning Weddings in Advance
There are some benefits to starting your wedding plans early.
- More time to research different vendors and compare prices.
- More time to save up for the big day.
- It can help avoid stressful last-minute scrambles to get everything done.
- It gives you a chance to take your time and really think through all of the details.
- It can help you avoid being burnt out and overwhelmed.
- You’ll also have more time to book popular venues and square up all the details.
- It helps you sort out and reserve accommodation plans for out-of-state guests and also destination weddings.
- You can avoid the stress of last-minute scramble.
Wedding planning can take anywhere from six months to a year, and the benefits of beginning the process early are many. By taking the time to plan your wedding in advance, you can avoid stress and last-minute scrambles, enjoy the process more, and have a beautiful day that reflects your unique personality and relationship. If you’re just starting out on your wedding planning journey, these tips should help get you started on the right track.