If He Put a Ring on It

Christopher ConferoThe simplest wedding planner timeline. 

by Christopher Confero   


Engagement season is always at a peak over the holidays. If your beau popped the question recently, you will soon find yourself with a mountain of decisions to make. Don’t let planning your big day turn you into a Bridezilla. If hiring a wedding planner is in the cards, start by giving me a call! If you are going to tackle the job yourself, don’t panic—use my 12-month guide to help you plan your perfect day.


12 Months: Set the date. Find a venue.

You should be looking at venues 9–12 months in advance. Go see your venue at the same time of year you plan to have your wedding to get a feel for how it will look. If you can’t visit at the same time of year, ask for pictures of the venue taken in the same season.


10 Months: Focus on the dress.

It might sound crazy, but given the number of designers and gowns out there, it might take you a while to find the right one. Keep this in mind, and do some extensive research to narrow down the type of dress you like. Take along a friend or your mom, but only if they really know your style and will encourage you.


Nine Months: Finalize your guest list and budget.

Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast breakdown of a budget. It all depends on you and what the most important elements are in your eyes. Prioritize where to spend your money by deciding what is important to you. Remember that every single guest will probably add at least $300 to the final budget.


Eight Months: Secure your creative team.

Start looking for photographers, caterers, bakers, florists, stationers, and entertainers. Decide quickly and book them. Now is the time for indulging in every wedding fantasy you’ve ever harbored. The Internet boasts a sea of beautiful blogs and dreamy design inspiration, but don’t limit yourself to wedding imagery. Look to fashion, architecture, and interior design; inspiration can come from anywhere.


Seven Months: Focus on the other dresses.

Start shopping for your bridesmaids› dresses and the attire for the groom and groomsmen. This is also a good opportunity to buy their gifts. By now you should have had your first fitting for your own dress, which will give insight to what bridesmaid styles and colors will complement you.


Six Months: Go shopping.

Remember to fill your list with a range of items, and be realistic about your guests’ budgets. If your grandmother wants to treat you to the high-end china set, that’s great, but make sure you choose some smaller gifts, too.


Four Months: Pay attention to the details.

Time for the last few pieces of the puzzle. Order your wedding rings and book transportation to and from the ceremony, reception, and honeymoon.

With only a few months left, are you feeling stretched yet? Remember that more than half of all weddings go over budget. Avoid feeling like your back is against the wall by allowing yourselves a contingency fund.


Three Months: Decide on your look.

Book the trial run with your hair stylist and makeup artist. Don’t be afraid to take pictures and ask them to imitate, but remember that not all styles suit every face, and the good artists will be able to interpret a look to suit you. A good rule of thumb is to ask for you as you naturally are, just better.


Two Months: Invite the guests.

Save the date notices should be sent six to nine months from the wedding date and the formal invitation six to eight weeks before. Try to order save the date notices and invitations at the same time if possible to reduce printing and freight costs. And don’t forget to factor in the cost of postage.


One Month: Iron out the party details.

Work out your seating plan and let your caterers know the final number of guests. Make sure there is ample space. (In the beginning, beware of falling in love with a venue that can’t support your guest list.)


Three Weeks: Secure your wedding license.

You will need to give notice of marriage at your local courthouse no less than 15 days before your wedding.


Two Weeks: Get ready to relax.

Order your honeymoon currency, check tickets, and passports and, if you’re feeling really organized, pack your suitcases.


One Week: Organize as much as possible.

Collect the wedding rings, dress, veil, and the groom’s and groomsmen’s attire. Call all participating vendors and confirm everything for the big day. Take as many preventative measures as possible to ensure that things go smoothly on your wedding day.


Day of the wedding: Breathe.

At this point all you can do is let it all happen. Learn to let go if anything doesn’t go exactly as planned. Hopefully you were able to hire someone like me, and I’ll be on site to make sure everything is picture-perfect. In the end, you’re going to be married. Remember you’re planning a marriage, not just a wedding.

One Response to “If He Put a Ring on It”

  1. And make sure you have the wedding rings! This is actually a very well written article, i am going to post a link to this from my blog. well done to the writer.

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