wedding planning closeup on bouquet

Let’s Start Planning

Congratulations! You have accepted his proposal. You have envisioned your dream wedding. You have set your budget (if you’re not there yet, head over to our previous blog post “Here Comes the B… Budget). And now you are ready to dive right into planning. Below you will find the best planning tips from our industry insiders.

I first want to remind you that popular venues and vendors do get booked quickly so try to plan as far in advance as possible. If there is a popular photographer or trendy baker that you know you want to use you can book them earlier than the “traditional” planning timeline suggests.

If you are hiring a wedding planner, they will assist you through this process. If you are going it alone use this guideline to keep yourself on track.

12 months prior to Wedding
  • Make your initial Guest List.
  • If you are having a religious ceremony, schedule a meeting with the clergy. At this meeting you will schedule your date and discuss any counseling or requirements that may have for you to marry in their church.
  • If you are having a civil or contemporary ceremony, book your date and your venue.
  • If you are having your reception at a location other than where your ceremony is held, visit venues for possible reception locations.
  • Book your photographer and videographer. Do not procrastinate – many leading professionals book a year in advance.
  • Begin shopping for wedding dresses.
  • Choose your bridal party and attendants.
  • Set up an appointment with your florist, decide what type of bouquets and centerpieces you need.
  • Book your caterer.
9 months prior to Wedding
  • Finalize your Guest List (update any vendors that need to be made aware of number changes).
  • If you have not bought your dress yet, do so now. Arrange any alterations that may be needed.
  • Choose ceremony and reception music.
  • Set up gift registries.
  • Plan and book your honeymoon (if international)
  • Consider any rentals that need to be made (tables, chairs, linens, etc).
9-6 months prior to Wedding
  • Invitation Suites. Don’t forget envelopes and stamps.
  • Finalize any rentals you need.
  • Book your band and/or DJ.
  • Choose groom’s attire.
  • Plan and book your honeymoon (if local).
  • Send out Save the Dates.
6-3 Months prior to Wedding
  • Do a few run-throughs on hair and makeup.
  • Finalize any alterations that need to be made (groom’s attire, bridesmaids’, etc).
  • Purchase bridal accessories – shoes, lingerie, jewelry, etc.
  • Send out invitations.
  • Book wedding night accommodations.
  • Finalize catering menu, including drinks – book a bartender if necessary.
  • Hire or assign a Day-Of Coordinator.
3 Months to 6 Weeks prior to wedding
  • Purchase wedding bands.
  • Confirm details with all vendors.
  • Finalize and schedule Hair and Makeup.
2-6 Weeks prior to wedding
  • Finish any DIY projects.
  • Get your marriage license lined up.
  • Create a wedding day schedule and pass it out to important parties.
  • Confirm all vendors’ arrival or delivery times.

This list is not all inclusive and varies from couple to couple and vendor to vendor. Wedding Planners will help you throughout the entire process and Wedding Coordinators will help you the week of, night before, and the day of wedding. Utilize one or both to suit your needs.

For more information on Wedding Coordinating services offered at Wedding Belles, contact us by email at