If you’re recently engaged and beginning the wedding planning process it is important to establish a timeline very early in the process first to help guide you in your preparations.
According to the wedding industry survey company TheWeddingReport.com, the average couple spends 14 months planning their wedding. In essence that means many couples take more than 14 months and quite a few plan their wedding in less than a year as well. Your individual timeline can vary based on several factors including the vendors you wish to engage, and the time of year you select for your wedding. Couples might also plan their wedding dates to coincide with the best season at their desired honeymoon location.
Depending on when you got engaged and what time of year you want your wedding, your timeline may have to stretch or shrink from the recommended norms. If you can be flexible with your date, you may find you have more options when you begin the planning process. For instance, if you’d like a fall wedding after getting engaged in February, you’ll need to be willing to plan your wedding in eight months, but if you have two or three dates to pick from, you may find it works out well for your planning even with less than a year to put everything together.
“ There are advantages to both long-term wedding planning and short-term. ”
There are advantages to both long-term wedding planning and short-term. Planning with more than a year’s advance timing could allow the couple to lock in current reception venue prices before the next calendar year’s price increases.
But savings are also available for couples who plan their weddings with less than six months advance notice, since some top wedding vendors offer price breaks on ‘open’ wedding dates just a few months away.
And whether planning on a short timeline or longer timeline, If you’re willing to get married on a Friday or a Sunday you may find that you can plan your wedding with all the merchants you want who might otherwise be booked for a Saturday of that week. Many wedding merchants discount weddings on days other than Saturday too. This can help you stretch your budget as well as help you find merchants and venues with availability on a tight timeline.
Your dress should be one of the first considerations. Again, the time required to have your dress ordered and delivered varies greatly by dress designer company and then that dress made need extensive alterations that can stretch over several months. If you’re on a really short timeline, you may have to opt for a dress ‘off the rack’ that needs minor adjustments to have it ready for your wedding date.
Along with the dress, you should promptly choose your wedding planner, wedding venue, ceremony site, and wedding photographer and videographer too. A wedding planner will save you lots of stress and headaches, help you select other vendors and make sure you’re on track with all the details both large and small. If catering isn’t included in your venue’s services, engaging a caterer should also be high on your list of things to do first.
Once you decide upon a date (or a date plus an alternative or two) Identify the vendors that you think are most important to you for your wedding and check with them about their availability. From reception facilities to wedding planners to photographers and videographers, and even including the church, if you have your heart set on specific suppliers or venues, see if they’re available for your date or date(s). Many do book up long in advance, but sometimes there are cancellations during the season too. Selecting a less popular month for weddings like November or March may also help you get the services you want on a shorter timeline too.
Sharing your wedding date with your vendors helps them guide you in your efforts. You’ll find most wedding professionals to be exceedingly helpful. Many will draw up a schedule so you know what needs to be done and by when for their part of the wedding based on the time before your wedding.
Some of the wedding couples we interviewed said they were glad they planned in just a few months’ time, since it kept them from worrying about the tiny details, or getting impatient for the big day to arrive. They simply created a plan that worked best for them, and felt in control of the process and stressed less than some couples who took twice as long to plan their wedding.
It can be challenging to plan all the beautiful details of your dream wedding in just a few months’ time, but with an organized, efficient plan and the help of experienced professionals, it can be done well. You don’t want to rush or make hasty decisions you may later regret, which is part of why a well-formed timeline is so important.
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