12 Month Wedding Planning Guide
(With Helpful Savings Tips!)
Planning a wedding can be exhausting especially since you don't really know what you need to plan. Besides seeing it as a guest you really don't know what goes on behind the scenes but we are here for you! With this guide you'll be able to plan you wedding with ease and even have ways to save money!
Find and book venue/Choose Wedding Date- Start with the venue because there is no guarantee that your venue will have the exact date you want available. You might get the same month but just a different day.
Set Wedding Budget- Get a rough idea of the budget you are trying to stick with. According to recent studies about 50% of your budget should be your venue.
Begin Making Your Guest List- Start with your immediate family and friends. From there you'll be able to make cuts according to how many people your venue can hold.
Book Your Photographer- Once you find a photographer you like, book them. Most photographers will book a year in advance.
Savings Tip: If you want videography but don't want to pay for a videographer, then you can use Animoto.com! All you have to do is collect all videos and pictures taken by your guests and use Animoto to put it all together. You can have anyone put it together for you!
Plan Your Engagement Party
Begin Shopping For Your Dress
10 Months Prior
Select Your Wedding Party
Choose Your Wedding Colors
Book An Officiant- Savings Tip: You can use a family member friend who is a notary.
Finalize Your Guest List/Gather Guest Addresses
Have Your Engagement Party
Choose Your "Save The Date"
8 Months Prior
Send "Save The Date"
Book Your Florist
Taste & Book Your Cake- Savings Tip: You don't have to go with a Bakery Cake, you can use a Grocery cake, a home-baked cake or even phone a friend!
Book Your Caterer-Savings Tip: Caterers usually range between $15-$40 per person. You can use a group package at your favorite restaurant and do a buffet style. Sometimes you might have a friend or family member who would cook your meal for just food cost.
Book Your DJ/Band- Savings Tip: DJ's can be great but sometimes they can be a little on the expensive side. You can save by creating your own playlist and use your venue's speaker system! Ask your venue if they have one and see if there are any hidden costs for using it.
Register For Gifts
Book Hair & Make-Up- Savings Tip: For all vendors that you do use, it is wise to get price quotes from 3 similar vendors. Even take advantage of using your venue's vendor list because most of the time they have seen their product and most of the time you might get a discount for using their vendors.
Find Groom's Attire
6 Months Prior
Shop For Attire- For Groomsmen, Bridal Party, Ring Bearers, and Flower Girls
Order Wedding Favors
Buy/DIY Wedding Centerpieces- Savings Tip: See what decor your venue has. They may have decor that is already included that can help you avoid buying unnecessary decor.
4 Months Prior
Send Out Invitations
Find Wedding Party Gifts
Schedule Alterations For Wedding Party
Buy Wedding Bands
Plan Rehearsal Dinner
3 Months Prior
Confirm With Vendors- Caterers, Venue, Cake, Hair, Music, Florist
Choose Music- If you go with a DJ all you really need to do is specify what type of dance music your are aiming for but you do need to choose specific songs for when you walk down the aisle, exit song, father/daughter & mother/son dances and your first dance as a married couple.
Create Your Wedding Program
1 Month Prior
Give Caterer Final Count
Call Guests That Have Not RSVP'd
Get Your Marriage License- A marriage license will require the both of you to get and is valid for 30 days prior of your nuptials
Complete Seating Chart & Create Placecards
Confirm Rehearsal Plans
Purchase Guest Book
1 Week Prior
Pack For Honeymoon
Pick Up Wedding Attire
Organize Final Vendor Payments
Review All Checklists