From Bride to Bride: A Two Year Guide to the wedding of your dreams
There's a lot that goes into the planning process for the bride to be. Where to start? What to do and when? If you're planning a long engagement or just know you want to wait a while, we created our two year version of how we planned our dream wedding!
Keep in mind, there isn't a right way or a wrong way to go about the planning process. After all, this is YOUR wedding, you and your fiance should do what you want and when you want to! This is just a look at how we succeeded in ours!
It was quite a success that we were featured in "bride planning weddings" on Desiree Siegfried's blog. Check out our feature on Desireehartsock.com.
Here is a PDF version to print out and check off along the way.
|The Break down|
20-24 Months Before...
ANNOUNCE ENGAGEMENT | Share the exciting news with your close friends and family!
BUDGET| Determine how costs will be divided
WEDDING FILE | Shared folders + calendars are a great way to stay organized
IDEAS + INSPIRATION | Create a mood board to share with vendors, family + bridal party, so everyone is on the same page
PRELIMINARY GUEST LIST | Organize by name, couple, family, address, likeliness of attending
16-20 Months Before...
WEDDING PLANNER or DAY-OF COORDINATOR | Need help from an expert? Interview planners + get quotes
VENUE FOR CEREMONY + RECEPTION | Where do you want to have the ceremony? Do you want the reception to be at the same venue? Find one that suits your guests; keep in mind that the venue will also determine how many guests will allowed to be in attendance
RESERVE YOUR DATE | If you book a little earlier, you will most likely get to choose a date, rather than choose from what's available if you book later
VENDOR RESEARCH | Caterer, Photographer, Videographer, Officiant, Florist, Transportation
ENTERTAINMENT | Band, DJ, Photobooth?
12-16 Months before...
DRESS | Do you know what silhouette and material you want? Schedule a few appointments to see what styles you love and go from there. Also consider shoes and accessories
BRIDAL PARTY IDEAS | What's the theme? Do you have colors? Start thinking about this... How will you ask them? You have a lot to think about, getting a head start is always a good idea!
HAIR + MAKE UP | Research ideas, schedule trials 2-4 months before the date
PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER | How do you want to capture the event? Have an engagement session with a Photographer. it can double as material for your wedding website and save-the-dates
SAVE-THE-DATE IDEAS | What style do you like? Do you want to use a photo, illustration, or font?
WEDDING REGISTRY | Begin brainstorming gift ideas! Do you want housewares or would you prefer a donation for your honeymoon?
HONEYMOON | Begin researching places you'd like to relax at once the madness is over
10-12 months before...
WEDDING WEBSITE | Create a website for your guests to learn more information about the couple, accommodations + events
RENTALS/CATERING/RESTROOMS/SHUTTLE/FLORIST | If these vendors aren't provided in-house, start requesting menus and schedule appointments for tastings
INSPO | Theme, florals, decor
8-10 months before...
SEND FLORIST | Mood boards for centerpieces, arch, cake, etc.
RENTAL QUOTES + AGREEMENTS | Rental quotes are great to compare different vendors. Make sure to organize these in your wedding file and keep them up-to-date with the most current payments and information
WELCOME DRINKS + REHEARSAL VENUES | Create a list of venues and brainstorm ideas
BRIDAL PARTY | Now's the time to pop the question! Who will be standing with you at the alter?
SEND OUT SAVE-THE-DATES | Get your save-the-dates out a bit early if you are having a destination wedding. This will help guests better prepare flights and accommodations
7 Months before...
HOTEL ROOM BLOCKS | Reserve room blocks at nearby hotels for your guests or provide hotel recommendations for their stay
MEET WITH ENTERTAINMENT/DJs | Request quotes + schedule appointments
INVITATION IDEAS | Casual/formal invites? Brainstorm ideas and search for printing companies. Do you want vintage stamps? Start shopping around for them now and start collecting!
6 months before...
SONG LIST | Create your wedding playlist, include songs you prefer + songs to be avoided
DESSERT or CAKE | Create a list of bakeries and dessert styles you love
SHOP FOR WEDDING RINGS | Shop for rings and bands, make sure to get them properly sized
5 months before...
FINALIZE FLORIST DETAILS | Floral photo inspo for cake, decor, etc. to give to the florist or your planner
FINISH UP DIY PROJECTS | Finish up any DIY projects that you have been working on
HAIR + MAKE UP TRIALS | Schedule trials + make sure you love the final results!
PURCHASE INVITATIONS | Pick up formal invitations and start addressing envelopes
4 months before...
SHUTTLE TRANSPORTATION | Confirm transportation with the driver + your planner
SHUTTLE PICK-UP LOCATIONS | Confirm where your guests will be staying
VOWS | Start writing your vows or find \vows that represent your love
MEET WITH OFFICIANT | Go over the timeline with your officiant and any extras you would like to be included in the ceremony
3 Months before...
SUNDAY BRUNCH | Request menus, quotes + schedule tastings
FINALIZE GUEST LIST | Finalize guests and plus ones
RSVPs | Get a final confirmation + reach out to the guests that have not sent a response
FINAL DRESS FITTINGS | This varies by bride; depending on the location you purchased your dress, how busy the seamstress is, or how elaborate the alterations are. You should set a schedule with your seamstress for your final dress fittings (1 to ?), it's always easier to have things on a schedule
2 Months before...
BEVERAGE LIST | Finalize the list for the bartender + make any purchases if you are providing your own
SHUTTLE PICK-UP LOCATIONS | Finalize the locations for pick up + drop off
VENDOR CONFIRMATIONS | Pay final vendor bills + coordinate delivery schedules
VIEW CENTERPIECES | Meet with the florist to view and approve centerpieces
INVITATIONS | Send out formal invitations
MENU STATIONARY | Once the menu is confirmed, you can finish up the menu stationary or display menu
1 month before...
VENUE WALK | Finalize coordination between property owner/manager, wedding planner + vendors
PURCHASE MISC. ITEMS | Accessories, gifts, etc.
Month of Wedding
PHOTOGRAPHY SHOT LIST | Create a shot list for your photographer
SPEECHES | Provide a list to your MC/DJ + Planner of the speeches that will be given at the reception
FINAL HEAD COUNT | Make sure lists are up-to-date: guests, vendors, etc.
REHEARSAL | Coordinate rehearsal walk at the venue with the bridal party
TIMELINE CHECK LIST | Go over your check list and make sure you're not forgetting anything!
FLOOR PLAN + SEATING CHART | Finalize the floor plan + seating arrangements. Send to planner + caterers
PROCESSIONAL + RECESSIONAL | Finalize details + coordinate with planner, officiant + MC/DJ
TABLE PLACE CARDS + PROGRAMS | Start working on place cards and getting programs printed
CONFIRM ALL VENDORS | Confirm vendor arrival and departure times
COORDINATE PLANNER + ON-SITE MANAGER | They should be in sync on vendor delivery schedules and up-to-date with any contact numbers
CHECK IN WITH BRIDAL PARTY | Make sure your bridal party has scheduled fittings
CHECK IN WITH GROOMSMEN | Make sure the groomsmen have scheduled their suit pick up + returns
2 Weeks Before...
WEDDING INSURANCE | In case of any loss or damage, it is important to have insurance to cover any loss
FINAL NUMBERS | Confirm guest count with the planner + venue
CHECK-IN WITH CATERING | Confirm meals, guests + seating charts with the catering staff
SCHEDULE A MANICURE + PEDICURE
1 Week Before...
EXPECT A LOT OF LAST-MINUTE THINGS TO COME UP | Try not to save anything that could've been finished sooner
CHECKS + TIPS | Prepare these to give to your planner to distribute on the day-of
FINALIZE TASKS + UPDATE WEBSITE | Make sure guests have your wedding planner's information for last minute questions or have all pertinent information on your website. This will be handy for the bride and groom, no one wants to bother the bride and groom on their big day.
Don't forget to have fun! Having a long engagement can feel like it's dragging on endlessly... If you enjoy each step of the way, it can also turn out to be a fun two year adventure!
Happy planning! xx
If you want a PDF version to print out, click here.