Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking, and it can be overwhelming to keep track of all the details and deadlines involved. One of the most important aspects of wedding planning is securing vendors and making key decisions at the right time. Creating a wedding planning timeline can help you stay organised and on track.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on when to book vendors and make crucial decisions leading up to your big day. With this timeline, you can ensure that you have all the necessary arrangements in place to make your wedding day a success.

12-18 Months Before the Wedding

The 12-18 month mark is typically when most couples begin their wedding planning journey. During this time, there are several key decisions that need to be made and vendors that need to be booked. This section of the article will outline the tasks that should be completed during this time period, including:

  1. Set a budget for the wedding
  2. Create a guest list
  3. Choose a wedding venue
  4. Book a wedding planner (if desired)
  5. Hire a photographer and videographer
  6. Start researching and booking caterers, florists, and musicians
  7. Begin shopping for wedding attire (wedding dress, tuxedo, bridesmaid dresses, etc.)
  8. Create a wedding website or save-the-dates to inform guests about the wedding details.

By completing these tasks early on, couples can set a solid foundation for their wedding planning and ensure that they have ample time to make informed decisions and book in-demand vendors.

9-12 Months Before the Wedding

During the 9-12 months period before the wedding, couples should have a clearer vision of their wedding day and start making more concrete decisions. Here are some tasks that should be completed during this time frame:

Book vendors

This is the time to start securing vendors for your wedding day. It’s important to research and book vendors such as the photographer, florist, caterer, and DJ or band to ensure availability on your wedding day.

Settle on a wedding style and colour scheme

Having a defined wedding style and colour scheme will help with the decision-making process for other aspects of the wedding, such as decor and attire.

Start dress shopping

Brides should start trying on dresses and deciding on their bridal look, while grooms can begin shopping for their suits or tuxedos.

Create a wedding website

A wedding website is a great way to keep your guests informed about the details of your wedding day, including the date, time, location, and registry information.

6-9 Months Before the Wedding

During the 6-9 month period before the wedding, there are several key decisions and vendor bookings that should be made. These include:

  1. Choose your caterer and menu: Start researching and meeting with potential caterers, and finalize your menu choices.
  2. Select your florist: Meet with several florists to discuss your vision and budget, and select one to create your floral arrangements.
  3. Book your photographer and videographer: Research and meet with potential photographers and videographers, and book your preferred ones for your wedding day.
  4. Hire entertainment: Decide on what kind of entertainment you want at your wedding, whether it’s a DJ, band, or other performers, and book them for your date.
  5. Order your wedding invitations: Start designing and ordering your wedding invitations, and plan to send them out 6-8 weeks before the wedding.
  6. Choose your wedding party attire: Decide on what your wedding party will wear, and start the process of selecting and ordering their attire.
  7. Book your hair and makeup artists: Research and book hair and makeup artists for yourself and your wedding party.
  8. Plan your honeymoon: Start researching and booking your honeymoon, including travel arrangements, accommodations, and activities.

By taking care of these tasks during the 6-9 month period, you’ll be able to secure your preferred vendors and ensure that everything is in place for your big day.

3-6 Months Before the Wedding

3-6 months before the wedding is the time when you start finalizing the details and making arrangements for the big day. Here are some important tasks to consider during this phase:

Finalize guest list

By now, you should have a clear idea of who will be attending your wedding. Finalise your guest list and ensure you have all the necessary contact information.

Choose and order bridesmaid and groomsmen attire

Once you have chosen your wedding dress and the attire for the groom, it’s time to focus on your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Decide on what you want them to wear and place your orders.

Hire vendors for flowers, music, and photography

You’ll want to book your florist, band or DJ, and photographer/videographer around this time. You’ll also want to schedule an engagement photo session.

Start planning the honeymoon

Now is the time to start planning your honeymoon. Decide on a location, book travel and accommodations, and make sure you have all necessary travel documents.

Book transportation

Book transportation for the wedding day, such as limousines, party buses, or other vehicles.

Create wedding invitations

Choose your invitations and have them designed and printed. Make sure to include RSVP cards.

Schedule a hair and makeup trial

Schedule a hair and makeup trial with your chosen stylist to make sure you’re happy with your look on the big day.

1-3 Months Before the Wedding

With the big day fast approaching, there are several important tasks that you’ll need to attend to in the final months leading up to the wedding.
Here are some key decisions and vendor bookings to make during this period:

  1. Finalise the Guest List: With RSVPs in, finalise your guest list and confirm final headcounts with your vendors.
  2. Meet with Your Vendors: Schedule final meetings with your vendors to confirm details, timings, and expectations for the day.
  3. Order Your Wedding Cake: Schedule a cake tasting appointment with your chosen baker and place your order.
  4. Finalise the Music: Confirm your playlist with your band or DJ, and discuss any special requests or requirements.
  5. Purchase Wedding Rings: Shop for and purchase your wedding bands.
  6. Confirm Transportation: Make sure all transportation arrangements are confirmed, including transportation for the bridal party, guests, and newlyweds.
  7. Confirm Honeymoon Details: Finalize all travel arrangements and reservations for your honeymoon.
  8. Plan the Rehearsal Dinner: Decide on the location, menu, and guest list for the rehearsal dinner, and make all necessary reservations.
  9. Obtain the Marriage License: Apply for and obtain your marriage license, ensuring you have all necessary documentation and meeting all requirements.

Wedding Week

The final week leading up to your wedding day is both exciting and nerve-wracking. There are a lot of last-minute details to take care of to ensure that everything goes smoothly on your big day.

Here are some important tasks to tackle during the wedding week:

Confirm with all vendors

Make sure you touch base with each of your vendors to confirm that everything is on track for the big day. Confirm the date, time, and location of their services. This is also a good time to settle any outstanding balances.

Finalise seating arrangements

Make sure you have a finalised guest list and seating chart. If you’re having assigned seating, print out or create the seating chart and provide it to your wedding planner or venue.

Pack for the honeymoon

If you’re leaving for your honeymoon right after the wedding, make sure you have all your travel documents and have packed your bags.

Final dress fitting

Schedule a final dress fitting to make sure everything fits perfectly.

Get a manicure and pedicure

Take some time to relax and pamper yourself with a pre-wedding mani-pedi.

Finalise wedding gifts

Make sure you have gifts for your wedding party ready to go.

Create a day-of schedule

Create a detailed timeline of the wedding day, including the ceremony, reception, and any other events or activities. Share this schedule with your wedding planner and vendors to ensure everyone is on the same page.

It’s important to keep communication open with your partner and remain adaptable, as unforeseen obstacles may come up during the process. By adhering to this timeline, you can relish the experience of organizing your dream wedding and concentrate on making unforgettable moments that will be cherished for a lifetime.

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