Have you been dreaming about your wedding for years now? Know that you’re not alone!
According to one recent survey, most Americans start thinking about their weddings by the time they turn 21. Even though many of them haven’t met their future spouses yet, it doesn’t stop them from starting to plan out what they want their weddings to look and feel like.
Even if you’ve been planning out your wedding in your head for a long time, you might still need our wedding guide which includes tips on how to plan an unforgettable wedding. If you’re starting to plan a wedding and already feel stressed out by the process, even more reason to keep reading. Our wedding guide will help you keep your composure from beginning to end.
Take a look at our wedding guide below and use it to plan out the perfect wedding timeline.
Begin Planning a Wedding ASAP
Most couples don’t get engaged and then get married right away. More often than not, they’ll get engaged and then wait anywhere from 12 to 18 months on average to tie the knot.
You might think you’ll have plenty of time to plan a wedding after getting engaged. But the sooner you can start planning your wedding, the better off you’ll be.
You might have a tough time finding a venue for a wedding reception if you wait too long to start looking for one. You might also struggle to fit everything that’ll be on your wedding planning checklist into just a few months if you put things off for too long.
Ideally, you’ll want to dive headfirst into planning your wedding so that it’s every bit as perfect as you want it to be.
Choose Your Desired Wedding Date
Do you have a specific wedding date in mind? If so, this will be even more of a reason to begin planning a wedding ASAP. It’ll help you lock in this date and find a venue that can accommodate you on it.
You should also hurry up and choose a wedding date quickly if you haven’t settled on one yet. There are going to be a million and one people asking you, “So, when is the big day?” when they hear you’ve gotten engaged. It’ll be nice to be able to have a wedding date you can give them.
Create a Wedding Party
Almost all couples will create wedding parties when they get married. A bride will choose a maid of honor along with a group of bridesmaids, while a groom will select a best man and a group of groomsmen.
You and your soon-to-be spouse should sit down and decide who you would like to be featured in your wedding party. You should then come up with a clever way to ask all the people you’d like to be in your wedding party to be a part of it.
You should give those who will be in your wedding party plenty of advanced notice for it. It’ll enable them to get all their ducks in a row when it comes to setting aside money to pay for wedding-related events and other purchases.
Put Together a Wedding Guest List
Whether you plan on having a gigantic wedding with 300 people in attendance or a small wedding with just a few family members and friends, you’ll need to create a list of the wedding guests you’d like to invite. This is yet another thing you should do on the earlier side if you can.
The total number of people you plan to invite to your wedding will play a part in everything from the venue you choose to the type of food you decide to serve. It’s why you should start creating a wedding guest list almost as soon as you know when your wedding will be.
Select a Wedding Venue
One of the most important things you’ll do while planning a wedding is pick out a venue for it. The wedding venue you choose could ultimately make or break your wedding.
The good news is that there are tens of thousands of wedding venues scattered throughout the country. The bad news is that it can be overwhelming trying to narrow down all your options to just one.
You should begin taking tours of wedding venues as soon as you can so that you can start to see what you do and don’t like. You should eventually be able to find a wedding venue that’ll check all the right boxes and serve as the perfect place for you to get married.
Mail Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations
When you reach this point in the wedding timeline, you’ll know when your wedding is going to be, who will be invited to it, and where you’ll hold it. You’ll officially have enough information to send out save the dates so that people know the basics when it comes to your wedding.
Save the dates for your wedding should typically be mailed out anywhere from six to eight months in advance of it. You might also want to give people even more of a heads-up than that if your wedding will be a destination wedding or even just a wedding in a place other than your hometown.
At this time, you can also start designing wedding invitations and getting them ready to mail out four to six months in advance of your wedding. It’ll provide wedding guests with even more details about your wedding and allow you to start accepting RSVPs.
Shop for a Wedding Dress and Other Wedding Attire
Some of the steps found in this wedding guide are going to make you want to pull your hair out at times. It can be stressful doing things like looking for the right wedding venue.
But you’re going to have so much fun when you start this step. You’ll really love shopping for a wedding dress and any other attire you’ll need for your wedding day. You should embrace this fun and use it to destress from all the other wedding planning you’re doing.
Pick a Wedding Caterer
Nothing will ruin a great wedding quicker than bad food. If your wedding guests aren’t satisfied with the food you serve at your wedding, it might leave a bad taste in their mouths in both a figurative and literal sense.
For this reason, you should scour your area for wedding catering options. Consider which kinds of food you might want to serve at your wedding and find caterers who are capable of preparing and serving them for you.
Most wedding caterers will let you sample their foods in advance. You should try to taste test as many foods as you can so that you’re able to decide which catering option will be your best bet.
Order a Wedding Cake
While you’re on the hunt for a great wedding caterer, you should also look around for a bakery to create the perfect wedding cake for you. You might want to spend some time sifting through wedding cake ideas online before visiting a bakery with any wedding cake concepts you have in mind.
Many couples are moving away from having grandiose cakes made for their weddings these days. They’ll sometimes do one smaller wedding cake for show and then serve a sheet cake to wedding guests in an effort to save some money.
Whether you choose to take this approach or go all-out when creating a wedding cake, it’ll be imperative that you put an order in for it fast. This will be especially true for those who would like bakeries to create elaborate cakes that might take time to make.
Hire a Wedding Photographer and Videographer
We hate the be the bearer of bad news, but no matter how awesome your wedding day is, you might not remember half of the things that take place during it.
Why? Well, there will be so much going on that you’ll feel like your head is spinning at times. You’re going to struggle to keep up, and you might not see everything that happens on your special day.
But not to worry! That’s where a wedding photographer and videographer can step in and help. They’ll be able to capture photos and videos for you that will last a lifetime.
Some people overlook the importance of hiring a wedding photographer and videographer or even skip doing it altogether. But it’s one of the most underrated aspects of planning a wedding.
You’re going to love looking at all the photos and videos from your wedding once you get them back a few weeks after your big day. You’re also going to love looking at them for years to come as you share your memories of your wedding day.
Decide on a Wedding DJ or Band
Your wedding guests are going to judge your wedding based on so many factors. They’ll take everything from the food you serve to the decorations you put up into account when determining whether or not they had a good time at your wedding.
But one of the most important factors of all for wedding guests will be your wedding music. One interesting survey actually found that about 95% of wedding guests think the music played at a wedding reception will make or break it.
Whether you choose to buy into this theory or not, it’s clear that it’s going to be very important to bring the right person or group on board to provide music for your wedding reception. You should look around at different wedding DJs and wedding bands to see which ones you like the most.
Your wedding DJ or wedding band will be largely responsible for communicating with your wedding guests and getting the party going at your wedding. Make sure you put more than enough thought into selecting the best wedding DJ or wedding band of the bunch.
Make Other Wedding-Related Decisions
In this wedding guide, we’ve already included most of the big decisions you’ll have to make regarding your big day. But there are also a host of other wedding-related decisions that’ll need to be made. This will include:
- Hiring a transportation company to drive you and your wedding party around on your wedding day
- Choosing a wedding theme and/or wedding colors and using them to decorate your wedding venue
- Thinking about setting up a photo booth at your wedding reception
You will also, of course, have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to your actual wedding. You might want to hold your wedding somewhere other than your wedding venue, such as at a church or on the beach. You might also want to write your own vows or work special family traditions into your wedding.
These will all be things you’ll need to consider as you inch your way closer to your wedding day. They’ll also all be additional reasons to start the wedding planning process as soon as you can.
Use This Wedding Guide to Make Your Big Day Amazing
Planning a wedding can be a huge challenge. You’re going to feel stressed out at times while you’re doing it.
But by following along with the steps listed in this wedding guide, you should be able to remove some stress from the equation. You should also be able to put together the wedding you’ve been dreaming about for so long.
Browse through the other articles published on our blog to get more tips on planning weddings and other big events.