If you're getting married, you probably know you've got a lot of plans to make. Like, so many plans it's probably overwhelming. Fortunately, many have successfully walked this road before, and there's a ton of help available for you. Here at the Savoy we've hosted hundreds of weddings and have had the privilege to work with some of the best in the business. One of them, Mary Douglas, is a wedding planner with Bringing It Together in Springfield and offers this timeline as a surefire way to make sure your perfect day goes off without a hitch. (Well, except the hitch where you get hitched!)
10 to 12 Months before the Big Day
Secure your venues, photographer and/or videographer, and wedding planner. (Yes, you should have a wedding planner. See more below.) Many vendors only handle one wedding per day, so if you have a favorite vendor you really want, the sooner your book them, the better. The longer you wait, the less likely they will be available.
Ultimately, the three questions that will decide your vendors are: 1.) How popular is that vendor? 2.) How much do you have your heart set on that vendor? and 3.) Is it a peak wedding month?
9 to 10 Months before You Walk the Aisle
Hire and make plans with the caterer, florist, and DJ and/or band. Decide on linens and all things related to tables. Think dishes, flatware, and decorations. And chairs--chairs are important.
8 to 9 Months before You Say "I Do"
Purchase your dress. Have the "save-the-date" cards ready to mail. Secure guest accommodations. (You don't want everyone staying on your uncle's futon.) Hire an officiant.
7 Months before You Pay for All That Food and Don't Even Get to Eat It
Make sure the dresses for your bridesmaids are ordered. You'll probably want one to (if you're a bride). Decide on ceremony music. Order the cake!
6 Months before You Cut the Cake We Just Talked about
Figure out who's going to do hair and makeup for everyone. Send out invitations. (This is important if you want people to actually be at your wedding.) Firm down all rentals.
5 Months before Your First Dance
Decide on accessories (ear rings, garter, etc.) and men's attire. Also, what about transportation? Oh, and about that first dance--you may want to start learning how to dance if you haven't already. (You really can't start too soon.)
Lastly, Remember You Don't Have to Do This Alone
Again, consider hiring a wedding planner. Mary says, "The planner is the one person whose sole purpose is to make sure everything and everyone is on track. They see the whole picture from the rehearsal to the cleanup and are there by the bride's side to deal with any issue that arises. A lot of times they find and fix problems before the bride and family even know what's happening. (You want this.) They allow the bride and her family to enjoy the day rather than work the day."
Okay, One More Thing
Many thanks to Mary for all her help with this blog. Please consider working with her. Also, if the Savoy can serve you or answer any of your questions, feel free to contact us or comment below. No matter what, here's to your big day!