It’s not every day you set out to plan one of the most important days of your life. And though it should be a joyous and exciting endeavor, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the day-to-day undertaking of wedding planning.
To help ease your stress and stay organized during the planning process, Ashley Porto, owner of Farthing Events, suggests breaking down your tasks on a month-to-month timeline.
10-12 months out
The average engagement lasts 12 months, which gives you plenty of time to plan your perfect day. First, Porto suggests selecting a wedding date, establishing a budget, hiring a wedding planner and booking your venue.
“One of the biggest mistakes couples make going into the wedding planning process is not setting a budget,” Porto says. “This is one of the many reasons why hiring a professional wedding planner can be so beneficial because they will walk you through the proper steps from the very beginning, help you set a realistic budget and craft a custom timeline to fit your specific needs.”
When it comes to choosing vendors, Porto suggests booking the “one-and-done” vendors 10-12 months out, too. Venue, photographer, videographer and entertainment are examples of one-and-done vendors. Once a particular date on their calendar is booked, you’ve missed out, as opposed to vendors who can service multiple clients on any given day, like florists, bakeries, car services, etc., Porto says.
6-9 months out
Katie Carpenter, co-owner and lead planner at Ever Something Style Co., says there really isn’t a booking season for wedding vendors, so after your larger vendors are booked, you can attend to the smaller items on your list. Engagement season peaks around the holidays, Carpenter says.
“Once you secure these vendors, you will be in a good spot and can focus on the other details: rentals, cake, hair and makeup, transportation, etc.,” Carpenter says.
Porto adds this also is a great time to secure guest accommodations, a wedding officiant and a caterer, as well as work on the wedding day design.
It’s never too early to start shopping for vendors. If your wedding falls in or between the months of April and June or September and November, Carpenter says to book sooner rather than later, as these months are considered wedding season in Oklahoma.
“You might feel like it is too early, but vendors book up further out than you would think,” she says. “You want the best vendor team surrounding you on your wedding day, so think through your top three to five priorities and book those vendors first.”
4-5 months out
Next on the list, ensure all of your design-related vendors are booked. These vendors include your florist, rentals, lighting/AV and specialty print products.
1-3 months out
It’s time to review design plans and layouts and make any final adjustments, mail out invitations (eight weeks out), finalize your wedding day timeline and finish those seating assignments. Obtain that marriage license 10 days prior to the wedding date.
Most importantly, when the big day arrives, try not to sweat the little things.
“Remember that your wedding day is only one day and truly the start to your lifetime together,” Carpenter says. “Remember that at the end of the day you will be married to your best friend, and that is why you are throwing the party of your life.”