Wedding planning timeline: what needs to happen and when
26 Oct 2017
Give yourself peace of mind with a year to go until the big day with this handy wedding planning timeline
The love of your life has finally popped the question, now what? Feeling overwhelmed by the wedding planning process and completely confused by what you need to do and in which order to keep your inner bridezilla at bay?
Alyssa Ho, planner, stylist and wedding invitations designer at Adorn Wedding Invitations, has put together a timeline to give you an overall idea of the important things to tackle and the basic steps you need to take. Remember this is simply a guide; you may have a supplier you’ve got your heart set on that may need more notice for a booking so be sure to lock them in from the beginning. Once you've had a read through of this timeline, set up your own to-do list with Bride.
12 months to go
First things first, set the budget right from the very beginning to make sure you and your partner are on the same page and that you stay on track. This is a time where you will both be making the most important decisions, together – deciding upon the important people you want to be a part of your special day – your bridal party and guests and securing the venue so that everything else can be styled and planned around that.
8 months to go
Time to nail down a style for your wedding, as this will influence the other aspects of your wedding, for example your attire, floristry, cake and décor. You’ve probably started swooning over your dream wedding photographer and videographer – being drawn to their unique style and personality, so book them straight away to avoid any disappointment. Now, for the fun part… dress shopping. Round up your bridesmaids, pop some champagne and begin the pursuit for the dream dress. Book essential suppliers such as your caterer and transport - allowing them plenty of time to execute your brief and deliver your vision.
6 months to go
You’ve had time to find 'the one' (the dress, not the man), so don’t forget to place your order to allow time for any customisation or alterations. Now glam it up and begin your hair and make-up trials. Remember, you want them to get this right on the day itself so don’t risk winging it. Source and start to book your florist, cakemaker and entertainment.
4 months to go
Dress your bridal party, giving enough time to fit in any necessary alterations for each person. Send your save the dates and start buying thankyou gifts for your parents, ushers/best man, bridesmaids and anyone else in the party that you'd like to treat. Book your honeymoon and also spend some quality time with your partner choosing your wedding rings.
2 months to go
Please keep in mind, bookings for your transport in between venues may need to be done up to four months before the wedding, but at this point you should be finalising the booking confirmation. Put together the little things so you don’t have to stress with a couple of weeks to go: wedding favours and final accessories. Don’t forget to finalise your vows and start rehearsing them; this isn’t something you want to leave until the night before.
6 weeks to go
Your big day is on its way. Use this precious time to confirm all guest details and to confirm your bookings with all suppliers. Ensure your ceremony and reception plan of the day is succinct and streamlined and finalise the full schedule of the day, making sure all your key suppliers have been briefed and are in line with your vision of how the day will unfold. We suggest preparing a master brief for all suppliers with the contact details of a member of your bridal party and brief the chosen member of the bridal party in plenty of time. Don’t forget to let your hair down for some well-deserved celebrations too.
4 weeks to go
Time to pamper yourself. After your final dress fitting, go to your hair appointment (if you're having a fresh colour or cut) and get yourself a facial or massage to truly unwind. Sit down with your bridal party to chase up any RSVPs and then more time to celebrate with your nearest and dearest.
1 week to go
Time to bring together all the small things for the big day. Finalise who’s sitting next to who and pass the final numbers onto the venue and caterers to ensure everyone is accommodated for. Spend this time running around picking up any special orders and packing the gifts for your bridal party.
2 days to go
Treat yourself to a fresh manicure and pedicure and a spray tan if you want that extra glow (allowing it time to settle so it doesn’t stain your dress.) Your bridal party needs to have your back and help you pack an on-the-day emergency kit, filled with essentials for any issues that may pop up. Lastly, beauty sleep.
Now, perhaps the most important step of all: You’re finally getting married, enjoy the day and embrace every single moment. Don't forget to share your story with BrideMagazine.co.uk.
Styled shoot images: Sephory Photography