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It’s not long after you say “I do” that planning begins for your wedding. As important as it is to enjoy your engagement, it’s also important to recognize that wedding planning is a long-term process that can begin a year or more before you finally tie the knot. The hardest thing for many couples is knowing where to start, and how to prioritize each step of the process, which is why we are sharing a timeline that will bring you closer to your dream wedding, one step at a time!


Getting Started – 12 Months Out

Engagement Party – You’re engaged! Before you shift to the wedding mentality, take the time to enjoy the moment, and celebrate your engagement with your fiancé, family and friends.

Set the Wedding Date – Even if you don’t have an exact date in mind, talk to your partner to establish some potential dates while considering seasons and other life events.

Set the Budget – This is one of the most important factors in the planning process and will determine almost every decision you make. If you are relying on assistance from family or friends, work together to establish a realistic estimate of your wedding budget.

Create your Guest List – Critical to the next step.

Book a Venue – Read more about finding your perfect venue in our Venue Menu blog!

Hire a wedding planner (optional) – Not everyone has the time or the expertise to plan a wedding by themselves. If the process seems overwhelming, a wedding planner can be a huge help in guiding you through the process.


9 Months Out

The Wedding Dress – Aside from shopping for the perfect dress, this allows plenty of time for alterations, sizing appointment, etc.

Hire Your Photographer/Videographer – Capturing the wedding that you’ve planned to perfection is reliant upon the photographer and videographer you choose. Meet with potential candidates early to discuss your expectations and build a connection for a more personalized experience.

Hire Catering – No wedding is complete without good food!

Book Entertainment – Whether you plan on hiring a DJ or a live band, performers often book months in advance, especially for weekend dates.  

Set Up Your Registry – Decide what contributions will be the most beneficial to your future as husband and wife, and build your wish list from there.

The Halfway Mark – 6 Months Out

Order Stationary & Send your Save the Dates – Give your guests ample time to mark their calendars!

Order your Wedding Cake or Dessert – Wedding cakes are works of art and require significant time to create.   

Hire Your Florist – If you’re not ordering flowers, now is also a great time to finalize your theme and begin designing your centerpieces and decorations.

Choose Bridesmaid Dresses – Not nearly as time-consuming as the wedding dress, but give yourself time for alterations or changes since dresses can look very different on your bridesmaids.


4 Months Out   

Wedding Bands – Get some ideas on picking out the perfect wedding bands here!

Finalize the Menu – Keep in mind alternative options for guests with food allergies.

Make rehearsal dinner reservations – You’ve heard it before: Practice Makes Perfect

Book Your Rentals – This includes transportation, dinnerware, chairs, tables, etc.

2 Months Out

Write your Vows – Once completed, it’s a good idea to give them a test run through an objective 3rd party.

Decide Who You Want to Give Toasts and Speeches – Great speeches take time to write. You and all your guests will appreciate the end result if you give everyone ample time to prepare.

Order Favors and Wedding Party Gifts - For additional ideas, read more here!

The Countdown Begins – 30 Days Out

Get Those Wedding Invitations in the Mail – This is best done closer to the 6-week mark, so if you haven’t already, it’s time for a trip to the post office!

Check, double check, and triple check – If you have any questions or concerns, don’t delay in reaching out to your vendors to ensure everything is on schedule.  

Finalize the Seating Chart – Last minute cancellations and additions happen, but by now you should have a good idea of the final head count and enough information to make the finishing touches to your seating chart. Send your final numbers to your venue and vendors as they will need this information leading up to your wedding.

Get Your Marriage License – This process varies from state to state. Visit your local government website or office to find more information.


Your Wedding Day – Enjoy your Masterpiece!   

Wedding planning takes a ton of time and effort, but once it’s all said and done, there are few moments in life that are as fulfilling and fun as celebrating your marriage with those closest to you. This timeline isn’t an exhaustive list, but if you follow these key points, you will be well on your way to bringing your dream wedding to life!

Contact us for more information on how we can tell your love story. We would love to walk you through our amazing packages, wedding albums, canvases, and other print photography products. We look forward to providing you with more information on our Wedding Videography and Wedding Photography and the opportunity to introduce you to our team!

Paul Bolton