Essential Tips For Anyone Planning A Wedding Next Year

November 01, 2023

couples walking in wedding attire
Few life events require as much planning, coordination, and attention to detail as exchanging wedding vows with your beloved partner. To craft the perfect celebration and bring your vision to life within budget, extensive preparation is required. If a wedding is on your horizon, utilize this checklist covering all the key bases 12+ months out from your big day.

Set Your Budget

After you've enjoyed the engagement bliss, determine your overall wedding spending budget. It’s not your imagination: prices have been going up. So, get quotes for venue, catering, entertainment, attire, photography, and other expenses. Decide how costs will be shared by your families. Be sure to leave 10-15% extra for incidentals. Establish fiscal guidelines early to define priorities and trade-offs.

Pick Your Wedding Party

Determine who will stand beside you during the ceremony and help plan festivities. For traditional weddings, this includes the best man, maid of honor, groomsmen, bridesmaids, and flower girl/ring bearer if having. Don't feel obligated by convention - friends of any gender make wonderful bridesmaids and grooms-women. Pick trusted, organized allies.

Book The Venue And Officiant

Leading venues and high-demand officiants get reserved 12-18 months out. Prioritize venue selection to determine the setting, date, capacity, and flow shaping your event. Consider hotels, banquet halls, churches, outdoor spaces, or non-traditional places special to you. Lock this in ASAP after budgeting.

Hire A Planner (Optional)

Unless you possess immense organization skills, splurge to hire a wedding planner, especially for larger weddings. They'll oversee and orchestrate every detail - contacting vendors, managing timelines, wrangling RSVPs, and making day-of everything perfect. Months of complex planning get handled by the pros.

Create Your Guest List

List every person you'll invite. Consult parents if they're contributing financially - families often want extended relatives and business associates invited. But remember, it's your day. Only include who you truly want to share it with. Be ruthless cutting the list if needed to hit venue capacity and budget. You can't please everyone.

Don't Forget The Little Personal Touches

Beyond major items, small personal flourishes make weddings meaningful. Display special photos of your relationship and deceased loved ones. Give favors representing your personalities. Arrive in vintage vehicles. Infuse your values into the ceremony script. Add your favorite professional sports team logo to the cake! Personalize joyfully. Wedding neon signs are a great way to customize your space in a way that shows your personality. If you want a great range of custom neon signs, head over to Echo Neon. They can help you to create the perfect neon sign for your special day.

Shop For Your Attire

Give yourself 8+ months for attire to accommodate ordering, resizing, alterations and accessory coordination. Take loved ones with you for honest feedback and fresh perspectives while dress shopping. For suit rentals, reserve early with groomsmen's measurements. Don't forget shoes and accessories that pull the whole look together!

Hire The Photographer And Videographer

Photography and videography simultaneously capture the big day's sights and emotions. Review photographer portfolios for lighting quality, posed/candid ability, and wedding delivery packages. Book videographers versed in shooting important moments without interrupting the flow. Securing the right visual pros makes memories last.

Order Save The Dates And Invites

Send save-the-date cards to guests 8-12 months pre-wedding informing them of the date to hold on calendars. Follow with formal invitations 4-6 months out detailing event particulars. Research beautiful designs with details matching your theme. Custom touches demonstrate care invested in loved ones.

Book Catering, Rentals and Bar Service

With venue and date booked, engage caterers to provide food, drink, linens, tables, lighting, and other rentals. Compare wedding packages versus à la carte offerings to control costs. If permitting alcohol, arrange for bartenders to serve beer/wine/cocktails. Remember that people are drinking less booze these days, so plan for some alcohol-free options too. Secure top vendors with wedding experience ASAP.

Hire a Florist, DJ And Other Vendors

A florist will provide bouquets, arrangements, and ceremony/reception decor per your vision. Meet DJs to ensure musical taste alignment - mood and energy rely on the playlist. Book hair/makeup pros, transportation, cake bakers and other niche vendors as budget allows. Reliable specialists pull everything together.

Plan The Ceremony Order Of Events

Map out the ceremony agenda from start to finish, planning each ritual, reading or other activity and order. Communicate plans clearly to the officiant. Decide musical preludes and processionals. Select readings or poems to include. Craft your own vows if desired or work with the officiant preparing traditional verbiage.

Finalize Guest List And Send Invites

Make any final adjustments to guest numbers if needed after collecting input from families. Order enough invites with thoughtful enclosures like maps, accommodation options and registries. Have invites hand-calligraphed for elegance. Mail invitations 8-12 weeks out. Follow up as RSVPs come in so that you can tally the headcount.

Practice The Ceremony And Reception

Rehearse standing and pacing choreography to feel comfortable exchanging vows. Do multiple run-throughs if needed. Provide reception seating charts and day-of guides to vendors to facilitate their roles. Break in shoes and attire. Scope out hair/makeup trial appointments. Address any final logistical questions.

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Hello, I'm Lorita. Hoping to inspire you to explore and create things that make life a bit more fun and beautiful.