The question is popped, the ring is on, stars are in your eyes…but now what? With so many tasks to take care of and details to arrange, planning a wedding can seem overwhelming. But, if you give yourself enough time to plan and sort the tasks month by month with a wedding-planning checklist and wedding timeline, the job becomes more fun and less stressful. The ideal engagement length, in terms of planning, is 12 to 14 months. With a year or more to plan, brides will usually be able to book their venue of choice. Greenwood Springs is the perfect place to hold the wedding of any bride’s dreams!
12 Months Out
Make a Guest List
If only you could invite any and everyone, right? Chances are, you can’t, which is why you have to put a cap on dishing out invites. When deciding your headcount, consider your budget and your venue. Also, who’s paying for what? From there, figure out how you’re going to divvy up the list. If you and your partner are footing the bill, assuming you’ll get 70 percent of the invites, while both sets of parents will split the other 30. But if mom and dad are contributing, it’s the protocol to give all involved parties—your parents, your partner’s parents, you as a couple—one third each. Next comes cutting, negotiating, and cutting some more until you reach a final number.
Select the Venue
Okay, you know who you’re marrying. Now the real question is where? Trust us: Choosing the venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make right now. Seriously, the place affects almost everything else, from how many people you invite to what kind of flowers go on the table. That’s why we know that Greenwood Springs is the best choice for you! From our beautiful cottage to our twinkling lights, it’s sure to set the day up for success.
11 Months Out
Color Scheme and Design
Pull up your Pinterest boards, people. It’s finally time to gather inspiration, select a color palette, and create a mood board. If you’re struggling for inspo, we recommend taking a step back to look at things that are already in your world—like how you’ve decorated your house, what you are liking on Instagram, and weddings you have seen recently and loved— draw inspiration from that!
Hire Vendors Who Book Up Quickly, Including Your Photographer, Band, DJ, and Videographer
These are the people who will make your night fun—and all those memories last forever. Do your research before you hire, ask all the right questions, and maybe even date your photographer. Seriously, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
10 Months Out
Start Shopping for Your Wedding Dress
You may know exactly what you want or you might not, which is okay, too.
Create Your Wedding Website
Get your site running now because you’ll need to put the URL on save the dates next month.
Take Engagement Photos
Now is a great time to practice being in front of the camera, especially since most photographers include a session in your package.
9 Months Out
Buy Your Wedding Dress
It’s time to say “yes” to the dress if you want to avoid rush fees.
Send Save the Dates
Let everyone officially know when and where you’re making it official. And remember: Everyone who gets a save the date gets a wedding invite. No exceptions.
8 Months Out
Register for Gifts
Involve your better half in this one—after all, you two are building a life (and home) together. When registering, it’s smart to ask for staples—like sheets and pots and pans, and so on—but it’s even more genius to think about what you really want. Are you adventurers? Aspiring chefs? Charity givers? Consider your hobbies and tailor your registry to your soon-to-be-married lifestyle.
7 Months Out
Select the Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Schedule Fittings Within the Month
Ask your bridesmaids to come shopping with you IRL—if they live close by. It will be helpful for you to see them in the dresses, and you could even ask how they feel about the options you’re considering. With that said, we’re all about the trend of selecting a color palette—like yellow, grey, burgundy, or white—and letting your girls choose what they want to wear. Even better, mismatched dresses!
6 Months Out
Hire an Officiant
If you aren’t marrying in a house of worship, you’ll need to hire someone to make it official. Couples can use a professional (check local listings online on Thumbtack) or take a more intimate approach and ask a close friend or family member to do the honors.
5 Months Out
Book the Honeymoon
Traditionally, wedding etiquette states the groom plans a surprise honeymoon for the bride. But, if you guys are tag-teaming your honeymoon strategy, try to have things semi-sorted out by this five-month mark. That means being on the same page about budget, timing, travel arrangements, and a semblance of an itinerary. You don’t have to schedule every minute, but each of you should share the most important takeaways you want from this trip, and act to ensure those activities will happen.
Begin Premarital Counseling
Whether you come from a religious background or not, pre-marital counseling has worked wonders for countless couples. It’s helpful to have an objective third-party encouraging you to address issues that haven’t come up yet in your relationship. And, counselors can provide you with healthy conflict resolution tactics so you’ll be ready when the inevitable disagreement does present itself. Plus, some states offer a discount on your marriage license if you undergo counseling.
4 Months Out
Choose Your Cake
You and your partner should settle on a look and flavor profile, you both love. Don’t stress about pleasing every one of your guests. This is your cake as a couple; it’s about expressing you guys. (You can also consider a groom’s cake.) Got the cake(s) decided? You need a baker. Find a reputable one who’s available on your date, and happy to take on your dream design for an equally dreamy price.
Select the Grooms and Groomsmen’s Attire and Schedule Fittings Within the Month
Do you want the groom and his guys to be matchy-matchy? How can you ensure the entire entourage gets fitted on time if they live all over the place? What else could go wrong? Breathe. You’ve got this, and don’t be afraid to get the groom involved. He may be able to easily pull rank and get his men in line—a very neat, orderly, and well-dressed one, at that.
Hair and Makeup Trial
Help your stylists help you by researching some particulars before you come in for your trials. Look back at old photos of yourself so you can find something that’s worked before and ensures you still look like yourself. Next, feel free to search social media for other inspiration; just don’t delude yourself with highly-filtered Instagram expectations. Bring photos and be as specific as possible about what you want and don’t want.
3 Months Out
Order the Invitations
There are a few ground rules when it comes to ordering your wedding invitations: Order enough of them and account for some mistakes, make sure they will arrive in time, set up a system for recording RSVP replies, and confirm all addresses and spelling. But when it comes to design and wording, the options are endless. Need a little advice to rein it all in? Keep reminding yourself that the theme of your invites should match the vibe of your wedding and express you as a couple.
Write Your Vows
If you’ve opted to write your own promises to one another, start thinking about what those should sound like for you two as a couple. Traditional? Tear-jerking? Feminist? Millennial? Pop-culture inspired?
Meet With the Officiant and Invite Him or Her to the Rehearsal Dinner
Lots of things to consider when asking someone to marry you, but your main concerns are availability, eligibility, fee, and fit. Can your officiant of choice lawfully, affordably, and meaningfully help you two become one? Once you’ve chosen, make sure he or she is on the same page as you about your expectations and the overall tone you want for your ceremony.
Start Crafting Any DIY Items If You Haven’t Already
Whew! Let’s hope you were able to control yourself scrolling through our DIY inspo and only have a few projects to tackle at this point. Get to crafting—and make it anything but crappy with good friends, good music, good food, and good breaks regularly.
2 Months Out
Send the Wedding Invitations (With RSVPs Due One Month Before the Wedding)
You already did the hard part—the selection process. Now, just print, assemble, and send.
First Dress Fitting
We know you’ve been following along on our ultimate wedding planning timeline, but just to remind you: Your first fitting should be anywhere between two to three months after ordering, and your second one around the six-week mark.
Pick Up Your Marriage License
Ah, the fine print. There are four steps to getting your marriage license, and it’s important to know where to go, what to bring, how much it’ll cost, how long it’ll take, and how long it’ll last.
Every state has different laws and requirements, so Google yours. If you’re having a destination wedding, whether domestic or international, you’ll need to research those paperwork requirements as well. Then, make sure you as a couple, your witness(es), and your officiant sign it.
Buy Wedding-Party Gifts
How much you spend on your bridesmaids’ gifts is determined on an individual basis, but no matter your price point, your goal should be something that’s as thoughtful, functional, and personalized as possible.
Give the Song Selections to Your Band or DJ
This is crucial to a dancefloor with the right vibe, make sure your DJ knows all your likes and dislikes!
1 Month Out
Have a Final Venue Walk-Through
Make a list of questions beforehand, and bring your planner or another close friend or family member to bring up anything you forget, here at GreenWood Springs we want everything to be perfect!
Break-in Your Wedding Shoes
Walk around your hallways. Dance in your kitchen. Do everything in your power to avoid painful blisters on your wedding night.
Congratulations! You’ve made it all the way to the final week of your wedding planning. Deep breaths now, most of the hard work is over at this point. Now all that is really left is the nitty-gritty details. Take care of things like:
- Refreshing your hair color
- Getting your eyebrows done
- Getting a massage (why not make it a couple’s massage?)
- Final dress fitting (a friend or bridesmaid should come with you so she can learn how to bustle if your dress requires it)
- Pack your bags for the honeymoon (don’t forget your passport if you’re leaving the country), and confirm your travel arrangements
- Any edible crafting
- Clean your ring (head to your jeweler to get your engagement ring professionally cleaned so it’s extra sparkly on your wedding day)
- Chase any RSVP stragglers and deliver the final headcount
- Clear your work to-do list so you can only focus on wedding festivities and take it all in
- Practice your vows out loud
- Write your partner a note
Night Before and Day of the Wedding
The big day is finally here. All your careful preparation and creative planning have come to fruition, and it’s time to enjoy the wedding. Here’s what to do:
The Night Before:
- Pack a clutch or small bag of personal items
- Drink water
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Put any boxes, suitcases, bags, and survival kits to bring to the ceremony or reception in the car (you’ll thank us tomorrow)
The Morning Of:
- Stay off your feet as much as possible
- Eat breakfast
- Drink even more water
- Layout all the items (rings, invitations, etc.) that you want your photographer to capture
- Exchange notes with your partner
- Say thank you to everyone around you