February 18, 2020

You’re Engaged Now What? (Wedding Planning Timeline)

You’re engaged!! YAS! CON-FREAKING-GRATS!!

– but now what?

After you’ve shared the news, celebrated, pinned/Pinterest-ed all the things (which, let’s be real you’ve probably been doing for years. I still do it and I’m MARRIED.) You’re probably wondering when do I book or plan certain things? Is it too soon to pick a cake, book a photographer (*shameless plug), pick a theme, make a guest list, etc.

Let’s get this out of the way a hot second. You DO NOT need to do all the things. If you easily get stressed out, break it down, little by little. I want you to know and remember, this is YOUR big day. YOUR wedding. You get to do this how you want to do this. There is no right or wrong way to do it if you decide to cut some things or add some in.

I’ve put together a basic guide on the most common things people do for weddings and when they are typical booked and planned.

 

 

 

12+ MONTHS BEFORE:

  • Pick a date
  • Set a budget
  • Type of wedding (small, big, destination)
  • Rough guest list size (for venue picking)
  • Look at venues + book
  • Pinterest Inspo board (style/theme)
  • Decide if you’d like a planner/coordinator
  • Pick + Ask wedding party
  • Videographer
  • Photographer 😉 
  • Officiant

 

10 MONTHS BEFORE:

  • Wedding dress shopping
  • Bridesmaid dresses/flower girl
  • Wedding website (if you opt to have one. This is an easy way to get RSVPs and keep things organized. Check my Saving Money on Your Wedding blog post!)
  • DJ, Floral, Caterer  
  • Engagement Party
  • Honeymoon plan
  • Cake testing (Make a date with your fiancĂ© to go cake/dessert tasting!)

 

6-8 MONTHS BEFORE:

  • Register for gifts
  • Hotel rooms + accommodations 
  • Save the dates
  • Invites
  • Passports (if you need them for your honeymoon)
  • Hair + makeup trials + book
  • Think about + arrange rentals

 

4 MONTHS BEFORE:

  • Send invites
  • Wedding rings
  • Cake vision + book
  • Unity ceremony (I’ve got some unique unity ceremony ideas here!)
  • Ceremony processional + music

 

3 MONTHS BEFORE:

  • Rehearsal dinner plans
  • Showers
  • Rent men’s formal wear / ring bearer
  • Wedding day transportation
  • Finalize menu
  • Choose readers + readings (ceremony + reception)

 

2 MONTHS BEFORE:

  • Purchase gifts (each other, parents, bridal party, attendants, ushers)
  • Must have shot list for photographer
  • Apply wedding license
  • Name cards for table + seating chart
  • List of songs + dances

 

1 MONTH BEFORE:

  • Wedding photo timeline
  • Final gown fitting
  • Wedding programs
  • Wedding accessories
  • Check in with non-RSVP’s
  • Garter
  • Write each other notes or vows

 

1-2 WEEKS BEFORE:

  • Haircut + color
  • Supply venue with vendor requests
  • Confirm vendors + arrangements
  • Send family + vendors + party timeline
  • Give out day of wedding contact info
  • Pack for honeymoon
  • Gather place cards, table cards, menus, favors
  • Confirm arrival times for people
  • Final caterer head count
  • 3-5 days before nails

 

WEDDING DAY:

  • Remember: gifts, license, rings

 

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I'm Alex McCrary. Wedding + destination photographer based in Iowa. Helping every day couples get cozy and own their normal while bringing connection to the midwest + beyond.

@mrsalexmccrary