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From Yes to I do... The Ultimate Wedding planning timeline

He popped the question and you said yes! Here is the ultimate timeline for planning your dream wedding. These tips will help make sure your planning goes smoothly and make it as stress free as possible.

12+ Months before Wedding

  • Sit Down with your significant other and discuss your ideal wedding.

  • Set a budget.

  • Start planning a guest list ( This will come in handy when choosing a venue ).

  • Discuss potential wedding dates. Have a few to choose from in case your dream venue is booked. Also consider Sunday and Friday dates if your guest list is more local. Many venues discount these days since they are less popular.

  • Research potential wedding venues that can accommodate your guest list. Also decide if you would like ceremony and reception at the same venue.

  • Start researching wedding vendors ( photographer, videographer, florist, caterer, cake, invitations, officiant, hair and makeup, DJ, Decor and wedding planners ).

10 to 12 Months before Wedding

  • Hire a wedding planner or enlist friends and family to help if you are going with a more DIY approach.

  • Book your wedding photographer and have your engagement session done. (Engagement sessions are a great way to get to know your photographer better and you will also have great photos for your save the date announcements!).

  • Book your videographer.

  • Visit and book your venue.

  • Start your wedding dress research.

  • Decide on the wedding party.

  • Schedule taste testing for caterer and cake.

8 to 10 Months before Wedding

  • Book DJ/Musicians.

  • Order Wedding Cake.

  • Book caterer.

  • Contact rental companies if you need to rent anything ( tables, chairs etc... ).

  • Hire officiant and schedule pre-marriage counseling if required.

  • Book honeymoon and renew passports if needed.

  • Order Save the Date announcements.

6 to 8 Months before Wedding

  • Send Save the Date announcements

  • Order Invitations

  • Order wedding dress

  • Choose Bridesmaid dresses

  • Organize wedding transport

4 to 6 Months Before Wedding

  • Finalize menu with caterer.

  • Rent men's formalwear.

  • Organize a trial and book Hair and Makeup Artist.

  • Choose and order wedding rings.

  • Set up a wedding website

  • Meet with and book your florist.

2 to 4 Months before Wedding

  • Purchase accessories ( jewelry, shoes etc... ).

  • Send invitations.

  • Attend dress fittings.

  • Organize bridal party and parents gifts.

  • Complete any DIY wedding projects.

4 to 6 Weeks before Wedding

  • Pick up wedding dress.

  • Schedule Bridal photography session ( This is also a great time to have a trial run with your hair and makeup as well ).

  • Review RSVP list and call any guests that have not responded.

  • Create your table plan.

2 to 4 Weeks before Wedding

  • Deliver must have shots to photographer.

  • Give venue and caterer final guest head count.

  • Call all vendors and confirm arrangements.

  • Supply wedding coordinator with vendor set up requests.

  • Give venue a schedule of vendor delivery and setup times and include vendor contact numbers.

  • Print place cards

  • Create a wedding day timeline.

1 Week before Wedding

  • Send wedding day timeline to vendors.

  • Pick up marriage license.

  • Get manicure, massage, waxing ( all prepping needs ).

  • Make last minute changes to table plan if needed.

  • Reconfirm details with vendors and make any last minute substitutions if needed.

1 to 3 Days before Wedding

  • Pick up all Groom and Groomsmen formal wear.

  • Print off a copy of the wedding day timeline for Maid of Honor and Best man. Make sure to include all vendors contact information.

  • Provide all vendors with emergency contact info for day of wedding.

  • Ensure cake is on track to be delivered at reception venue.

  • Rehearse ceremony with entire bridal party including officiant.

  • Sort out any payments and write checks for any remaining balances due.

  • Drop off place cards, table arrangements, favors and table plan to reception coordinator.

  • Get a good nights rest the night before your wedding day.

Your Wedding Day

  • Give parents and bridal party gifts.

  • Assign a family member to the photographer so they know who is who.

  • Give rings to best man.

  • Give officiant's fee to best man ( to be given at the reception ).

  • Have bouquets delivered to where the bride is getting ready and boutonniere's delivered to the groom and groomsmen.

  • And lastly, have fun and Enjoy YOUR day!

Allison Hutchins Art and Photography || Winston Salem Wedding Photographer

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