Wedding planning is different for every single bride. No two brides have the same planning experience.
What works for some, may not work for you and that’s 100% okay.
So today, I really want to talk about realistic timelines for planing your wedding.
When you’re planing your wedding, you’ll run across oodles and oodles of different timelines telling you when to do what and sometimes, those just aren’t realistic. For example, I distinctly remember a certain big name website telling me to start packing for my honeymoon two weeks before our wedding day. My first thought was, “what am I going to wear for the next two weeks then?”
Just NOT realistic.
So, how I’m going to do this blog today is I’m going to hit the highlights on a few things I see brides confused about all the time. Then at the very bottom, I’m going to attach three different timelines for different engagement lengths.
Side Bar: Put together an estimate guest list before you do anything.
This is usually the biggest pain in wedding planning. Its long, its tedious, if an argument was going to ensue its here. Nobody likes doing this. But this is SO SO SO important. Before you go venue shopping, have a rough number of guests in mind. You don’t want to fall in love with a venue that holds 150 but you absolutely can not get your list below 200. This will also help you determine your budget from the get go.
Booking your Photographer + Venue:
In my opinion, whether you’re engaged for 6 months, 12 months, or three years, these two should absolutely be the first two on your list. Your photographers will book WELL in advance and if you have your heart set on one, act fast. Same with your venue. If you’ve always dreamed of a May, September or October wedding then you need to spend exactly five minutes enjoying your engagement and then IMMEDIATELY look at venues. ESPECIALLY my long engagement brides. You think you have time, but here’s a bit of insider information for you: personally, HALF of our October 2020 dates are spoken for. That’s a full 18 months in advance. So do not hesitate friends.
When should I ask my Bridesmaids?
So, I would recommend asking your gal pals between the 8-10 months before your big day. Maybe a year if you’re absolutely SURE about your picks. This gives you tons of time to think about your choices and to come up with a cute bridesmaids proposal gift 🙂
My reasoning for this is because SO much can change between the day you get engaged and your wedding day. You may get a new coworker or neighbor who you would LOVE to have in your bridal party. You could also have a break up with someone you thought was your absolute greatest friend. Things happen and the last thing you want to do is have to break up with a bridesmaid or do a last minute addition.
Save the Dates & Invitations: When do they go out?
This is something that everyone has a conflicting answer about, so take my answer with a grain of salt if you will.
Save the Dates:
- If you’re looking at a popular weekend (Memorial Day, Labor Day, right after Thanksgiving or the month of December): 8-10 months before the big day. I’d 100% recommend doing magnets rather than paper for these. People will leave a magnet up on their fridge for longer periods of time and the whole point of a Save the Date is for people to constantly see your smiling faces and not forget about your big day 😉
- Any other time of the year: 6-8 months before the big day. The simple truth is VERY few people are thinking and planning much further than 6-8 months out. If there’s someone specific you know that needs ample time, shoot them a text and let them know when the wedding is and to put in their request for time off. Word of mouth is a lot more useful than you would think.
Every time I see someone in one of the numerous wedding planning groups on Facebook say they sent their invitations out 6 months in advance I CRINGE knowing their impending RSVP issue. Here’s the basic facts about sending Invitations.
The earlier you send out your invitation the more likely people are going to forget to RSVP.
I know. It’s annoying. And you may be saying “But my RSVP is online, its so easy.” That’s great. But, I’m telling you right now, when you send your invitations out 6 months early and I see your RSVP date isn’t for another three or four months? I’m going to plop that RSVP on my kitchen counter and FORGET about it until you come chasing me down a month before.
People see deadlines, and they think “Oh! I have time! I’ll do it later.” They just do. So, save yourself the time, trouble and stress and wait to send your invitations.
Send your invitations 10 weeks out and RSVPs are due 40 days before.
10 weeks is just enough time for people to get the invite, see the RSVP is due in a few WEEKS and think “oh! I better do that now!” This works great if you’re operating on an A/B list (which I’ll do a whole blog post on that later) because you’ll get your responses much quicker than you think.
SO, those are my highlights on wedding planning. Don’t forget to download your timelines below and enjoy them! Pin them on your Pinterest, print them, use them to your advantage. If you see something and think “oh no, I can’t wait that long.” Then no worries, adjust it to your preferences. Wedding planning is different for everyone and you should tailor the experience to your needs.