How Long Does It Take for The Wedding Planning Process 

woman in white wedding dress holding bouquet of flowers

By Eivan’s Wedding Team

The thought of planning your special day can either excite or make you feel stressed. However, by following a guide like the one we will discuss below will ensure that you stay on top of the checklists.

If you just got engaged, it can be super tempting to dive straight into wedding planning. That’s why engaged couples should hold on to the news before sharing.

They should only share once they have enjoyed their engagement for a good amount of time. Most pressure comes from family members within seconds of announcing your engagement.

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The wedding planning process typically commences about a year prior to the big day, especially for a dream wedding or a destination wedding, offering a longer engagement period and ample planning time to ensure every item on the wedding planning checklist is covered. This checklist includes tasks like choosing wedding bands, sending wedding invitations, selecting a makeup artist, arranging rentals and centerpieces for the wedding reception, and more. However, the ultimate wedding planning timeline may drastically reduce in the case of a short engagement or a last-minute decision to get married, resulting in loved ones taking on more active roles and full-time dedication to planning your own wedding. A Pinterest board can prove to be invaluable in such scenarios, speeding up decisions about the bridal party attire and other elements. However, the emergence of unexpected situations like a pandemic might necessitate alterations to the to-do list, often reducing the required planning time, particularly if you opt for a smaller, more traditional wedding. Nevertheless, irrespective of the time frame, it’s important to relish this unique experience that encapsulates your love story, and remember to include some time to select the perfect wedding gift for your future spouse.

No matter how hard it is to hold on to the good news, give yourself and your fiance a little time to enjoy being engaged. Before you delve into the wedding planning details, take enough time to absorb it.

While we don’t recommend starting to plan your big day within seconds after engagement, it is important to start as soon as you are ready. Start by choosing the wedding date so that you work with a planning timeline.

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If your wedding is 18 months away..

Having a long wedding timeline is excellent! You will have enough time to relax and take on the wedding planning much slower with less stress.

You will have plenty of time to pick wedding vendors as well as wedding venues for that perfect wedding.

With all this time in your hands, there is no need to rush in planning. Spend at least one month enjoying a long engagement without any pressure.

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If your wedding is 12 months away…

The average couple gets engaged for 12-13 months; this is a great platform to work with. Take about three weeks enjoying your engagement before jumping into wedding planning. Once you are ready, start planning by taking it step by step. Here is a checklist to help you stay organized and keep on top of things

  • Draw the wedding budget and an estimated guest count
  • Hire a wedding planner (Optional)
  • Research venues around you that interest you
  • Think about the theme, color palette and style of your wedding
  • Send save the date cards to your guest list – let them know of the venue later on
  • Visit venues to view them and get to interact with them
  • Meet with the officiant/minister
  • Book the venue that you like best
  • Appoint bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, flower girls and ring bearer
  • Book entertainment
  • Get a photographer and videographer- Try them out through random shots
  • Book a DJ/ a band
  • Taste the caterers cooking
  • Book the best caterer you settle on
  • Discuss menus and finalize
  • Book a florist or DIY your homemade
  • Research wedding dresses
  • Start your wedding website
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If your wedding is three months away or lesser…

If you are planning to say I do in a somewhat abbreviated timeframe, you cannot risk waiting too long.

Take a couple of days to get your bearing from the engagement before you jump into the wedding planning.

It can be intense with a little more pressure to get everything in three months. Recruit your best friend to help you with some tasks.

Start with the biggest tasks narrowing down to the smaller details. Here is a list to guide you month by month and help you stay organized.

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Three months out…

  • Book a wedding venue
  • Get a wedding planner/ wedding coordinator
  • Order a wedding dress and suit
  • Create a wedding website and registry
  • Send your invitations to your wedding guests with all details enclosed
  • Choose the formal wear for the wedding party
  • Schedule makeup trials and book a beauty vendor
  • Buy wedding rings
  • Consult your minister/officiant and finalize things out
  • Order decorations
  • Buy gifts for groomsmen and bridesmaids with a personal touch
  • Choose wedding music playlist
  • Buy wedding day accessories and shoes
  • Get a wedding photographer and videographer
  • Book your honeymoon
bride and groom standing on hallway

Two months out…

  • Write your vows
  • Plan stag and hen parties
  • Buy your wedding favors and guest book
  • Go for a dress fitting – any final alterations carried out now
  • Share the wedding day program with your family, wedding party and your photographer
  • Buy gifts for parents

One month out…

  • Create a photo list for your photographer
  • Follow up on missing RSVP’s
  • Pick your dress and the groom’s suit

Two weeks out…

  • Make a seating chart
  • Print out a large seating chart to tell your guests where to seat as they walk into the reception
  • Make a final visit to the venue
  • Have a final sitting with the service providers and wedding planner
  • Apply for your local marriage license
  • Honeymoon packing
  • Complete any beauty arrangements asap like waxing, spray tan etc.

A few days out..

  • Hair done
  • Grooms haircut
  • Manicure and pedicure
  • Wedding rehearsal and dinner
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