First thing’s first: planning a wedding can feel pretty overwhelming at first. While recruiting a professionals to help out can be pretty ideal, maybe you’re working under a tight budget, or maybe you simply love going the DIY route. It may be a lot of work, but it is possible to plan your own dream wedding!
You’ll make things so much harder on yourself if you try to plan and oversee every detail and try to do it all at the last minute. A longer timeline is your friend here—aim for around a year if possible. Now, where do you begin? Here you find the To Do List for your first 12 months of planning your wedding day!
Determine your budget
It’s time to do the math and crunch some not-so-fun numbers. What’s a priority? What’s not?—and start allocating funds accordingly. Since these numbers will change as you plan, it’s smart to start a detailed spreadsheet from the get-go. This will help you keep track of your spending and make it easy to adjust numbers along the way.
Select the venue
OK, you know who you’re marrying. Now the real question is where? Trust us: Choosing the venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make right now. Seriously, the location affects almost everything else, from how many people you invite to what kind of flowers go on the table. This decision is about how you feel when you’re there.
Select a Theme
Pull up your Pinterest boards, people! It’s finally time to gather inspiration, select a color palette, and create a mood board. Whether it’s a few colors or an actual theme (like the Roaring Twenties or Festival Chic, for example), choose something to design your wedding around. It will be much easier to make design decisions and will make things look cohesive.
Create Your Guest List
This can be a pretty harrowing process and one that will depend largely on your venue and budget. Sit down with your fiancé and family and create a wish list of guests. Chances are you’ll need to make some cuts. You should also decide whether you’re inviting children and who will be allotted a plus-one.
Choose Your Wedding Party
Your bridesmaids and groomsmen are there for emotional and tactical support through your wedding planning process. Choose friends and family you can trust and who you truly want standing next to you during this monumental occasion.
These are the people who will make your night fun—and all those memories last forever (AKA, they’re important). Do your research before you hire, ask all the right questions, and maybe even “date” your photographer. Seriously, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Select the caterer
Your wedding is the best (and largest) dinner party of your life. So start with hiring people you trust to deliver—whether that’s the venue’s in-house caterer, a preferred caterer recommended by your planner, or even your favorite taco truck. And don’t be afraid to get creative with your menu!
Consider a Day-Of Coordinator
Even when a full-service wedding planner isn’t in the cards, hiring a professional to oversee the day-of details can be a game changer. This person can keep track of vendors, keep everything on schedule and do all the tasks you won’t have time to do while you’re getting ready and having the time of your life.
Start shopping for your wedding dress
You may know exactly what you want or you might not, which is OK too.
Take engagement photos
Now is a great time to practice being in front of the camera, especially since most photographers include a session in your package.
Start looking at invitations
The wedding invitation is a guest’s first impression of your big day! That’s why you want to put your best foot forward with a personalized preview.
To be continued…