How Long Does It Take To Plan A Wedding?

Getting married is one of the most enriching experiences of life. The trouble is, most couples don’t have a clue regarding how long does it take to plan a wedding.

A wedding is, all things considered, a big deal; even more so if you’re a couple with a large number of family and friends between the two of you. What with planning for the ideal venue, getting the wedding attire just right, and sending out invitations, getting great wedding gifts, it’s easy to get confused and mess things up.

But that doesn’t have to be your story!

Today, we’re here to give you the complete lowdown on how long it actually takes for planning a wedding. Once you’ve gone through the following, you’ll know how to plan a wedding like an expert wedding planner.

Well, let’s not dally any longer and get into the thick of things so you can send out your wedding invitations as soon as possible.

How To Plan A Wedding In Easy Steps

What’s The Ideal Time To Plan A Wedding?

In general, it’s best to give yourself as much time as possible when planning a wedding. The more time you have, the better organized your wedding plans would be. While most experts suggest starting preparations with at least a year in hand, some couples start planning a wedding even two years in advance.

When you start planning your wedding, it’s best not to hurry—most engagements across the US last anywhere from a year to a year-and-a-half. The bottom line is this: make sure you have enough time for planning your wedding comfortably according to your needs. The extra time will help you reduce stress and relish each step leading up to your big day.

However, weddings can be planned within shorter time frames as well. In the following sections, we’ll be breaking down the steps you need to follow in order to plan a wedding within different time durations.

Planning A Wedding With At Least A Year To Spare

Since this is the ideal time frame to plan a wedding, you don’t want to hurry and get things messed up. Take your time, enjoy the process, and make sure that you take every decision together. It’s going to be a big day for you both, and there’s absolutely no need to rush; take as much time to plan as required.

When you have a whole year (or more) in hand, it’s best to break down your plan for a wedding into distinct, actionable steps. In the following sections, we’re going to give you a step-by-step guide to planning a wedding within a year. But do keep in mind that every wedding is different, and you might want to add to the list as well.

1. Create A Wedding Timeline

You have a lot of time on your hands, but it’s also true that time flies faster than thought. That’s why it’s best to create a concrete timeline outlining each of the tasks you need to get done, and when you intend to finish these tasks.

When creating a timeline for getting married, make sure that your dates don’t clash with any major occasions or family events. Often, couples prefer to plan to tie the knot during the holiday season, so this is something you’ll need to plan in advance.

2. Prioritize Your Preferences

Along with creating your wedding timeline, you’ll also need to pay attention to prioritizing your preferences. Having a clear vision of the kind of wedding you plan to have can go a long way towards helping the wedding planning process.

This is the step where you decide which are the most important elements of the wedding according to you. Do you want to dazzle guests with brilliant decorations? Or is your focus on pleasing the palate with an expert selection of food and drinks? Do you want a loud and ruckus party, or a quiet family affair with only your near and dear ones?

These are some of the things you’ll have to think and decide. And while you’re doing so, you’ll also have to take time out to decide that most crucial factor of all: the budget.

3. Fix The Budget

For the wedding day to be the dream event you want, you need to make sure that the wedding planning goes according to budget. Sit down with the entire family, and decide how much you can afford to spend on the event. Although this may be a tad uncomfortable, you have to get this cat belled before starting on the specifics.

Once you have the budget fixed, you’ll find that the wedding planning process becomes a lot easier. As you now know how much you can afford to spend in total, dividing the budget and allocating funds for the different tasks can be done more systematically.

4. Settle On The Venue

This is perhaps the most important step of the wedding planning process. The decision of where you’re going to tie the knot depends on your personal preferences, budget allocation, and of course, availability.

By this point, you should have already envisioned exactly how you’d like your wedding day to be. Are you going for a small, local affair or a lavish destination wedding with hundreds of guests? Whatever you choose, your venue should match the theme you have in mind.

When looking for inspiration for selecting the venue, be ready to get creative. Brainstorm with friends and family, take to social media and even go through wedding magazines and online publications. The important thing is to keep an open mind and let the creative juices flow.

5. Fill In The Guest List

Here, the venue of your wedding will play a significant role. For example, if you’re getting married at the local church, you won’t be able to fit in 400 people. Also, catering costs are usually calculated on a per-head basis, so the amount you’re ready to spend will also have to be factored in.

Selecting the guest list can be tricky, as both you and your significant other would like to include guests from among the respective friends and family. In case you have a large budget and a massive party in mind, you don’t have to think much before putting everyone you know on the list.

If, however, you’re limited by your budget, make sure you include all your near-and-dear family members in the wedding party. Leaving out someone close could be hurtful on both sides, so sit down together and make the list as inclusive as you can without overshooting your wedding budget.

Original vintage wooden board with guest list

6. Settle On The Professionals

When you start to plan your wedding day, you’ll realize that there’s only so much that you can do on your own. You’ll have to rely on professionals for everything from the videography and flower arrangements to catering and venue decorations.

On average, a couple needs to hire 13 to 15 different vendors to plan their wedding party the right way. In case this seems like a lot to you, you can simply hire a wedding planner who’ll plan your wedding without bothering you about the specifics.

7. Create A Wedding Website

This is not a must-have, but since you have a lot of time on your hands, you can choose to create a website that counts down to your wedding date. This website can disseminate important information such as the venue, the exact wedding date, and even wedding invitations.

In case you’re hiring a wedding planner, ask them whether a website comes as part of your wedding planning package. And in case it doesn’t, you can just do it yourself: after all, how long does it take to put together a simple website? Not more than a day at most, we wager.

8. Buy Your Wedding Attire

Both the bride and the groom want to look their best on the wedding day, so it’s no wonder that when one plans wedding details, the attire occupies a prime position. We recommend consulting with your significant other and deciding on the outfits you both will be wearing.

Several factors such as the season you’re getting married in, your physical frame, and personal preferences will come into play here. Be advised: the task is easier said than done, so it’s best if you start on this a few months before the actual wedding date.

9. Settle On Your Wedding Bands

Along with your wedding day attire, you’ll also want to spend considerable time selecting your wedding rings. Make sure the rings for the bride and groom complement each other, match the engagement rings, and above all, are comfortable to wear.

Wedding rings are usually expensive, so we recommend getting the pair insured as well. In the hustle and bustle of preparing for your wedding, it’s easy to lose the rings or get them stolen. So, better to be prepared beforehand.

10. Attend Pre-Wedding Events

We get it: you’re busy with your wedding planning. But that doesn’t mean your friends and well-wishers will let you off the hook. In the days leading up to the wedding, you’ll have to attend bridal showers and bachelor parties that your near-and-dear ones arrange for you.

You don’t have to plan these events, but you’re the guest of honor, so clear your schedule for being there.

11. Settle On The Honeymoon Location

In the complexities of the wedding “how to” plan, don’t forget the honeymoon! In case you’re planning to zoom off for your special time together just after the wedding, honeymoon planning is as important as settling on the guest list.

That’s why we recommend selecting the honeymoon location at least six months in advance before the big day. You can include your family members in the decision, but at the end of the day, it should be a destination that you both want to visit.

12. Get Ready For The Big Day

From the day of engagement to the night before the wedding, you’ve done a lot. Now, sit back, relax, and get ready for the wedding. One of the best ways to shake off the pre-wedding jitters is to enjoy the rehearsal dinner the night before. This can help to calm your nerves before you take that big step forward.

Can You Plan A Wedding In Six Months?

You’ll notice that we’ve divided the timeline to get married in a year into twelve easy steps. While it’s not mandatory that you undertake one step every month, we still think it’s best to distribute the tasks evenly.

But what if you don’t have that much time to spare?

In this day and age, faster weddings with as few as six months between the engagement and the wedding are becoming increasingly common. While this expedited timeline does increase the pressure of planning, it also means the wedding party will be better energized and ready for the wedding.

Since you have less time, it’s best to combine several steps and settle on the budget and venue at the very outset. The guest list is one of the major things you’ll need to get out of the way. It’s essential to give your guests plenty of notice beforehand, so send out invitations as early as possible. If required, you can turn to technology and use e-vites.

You can use planning technology such as Trello to divide tasks among family members in the form of cards. Such digital planning tricks will allow you to get the job done faster and in a more systematic way.

Another way to save some time would be to go with a piece you already have as the wedding dress instead of getting one made from scratch. The same can be applied to the wedding bands, and you can go with family heirloom rings instead of custom-made ones.

Overall, getting a wedding planned in under six months is not impossible. True, you’ll have to cut a few corners to get the job done, but the important thing is that you’re getting hitched fast.

But can you do it faster?

Can You Plan A Wedding In Three Months?

Planning a wedding in under three months is tough, but many couples manage to get the job done. There can be many reasons for doing so, ranging from venue availability to getting the whole family together. Whatever the case, three months is enough time to get a wedding that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

The important thing when planning on such short notice is not to panic. Take one step at a time, and use technology to speed things up. Besides venue selection and budgeting, make sure to keep the wedding party small, as larger venues can take more time to book.

Right from the time of your engagement to the day of marriage, keep your friends and family in the loop. Include all guests in the planning process, and if you’re short of funds, maybe ask everyone to pitch in instead of spending on gifts.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you’re emphasizing the priorities. Research well, don’t go for something overly lavish, and keep to your budget. That way, you can get the most out of the short time that you have for planning.

Bridal background with planner checklist

How Early Is Too Early To Plan A Wedding?

If you ask us, the sooner the better. Right from the moment of your engagement, everyone will be pestering you to get married anyway. So, the earlier you start the planning process, the more time you’ll have to arrange everything as per your preferences.

Committing to spend a lifetime with your special someone is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your life. So, it’s vital that you begin the process with as much time on hand as you can. Delays and obstacles can crop up anytime, so you’ll need enough time to appropriately deal with them.

That being said, in case you don’t have much time on hand, that’s okay too! Just remember to keep calm, make logical decisions, and involve everyone in the process. And in case all this seems too much for you to handle, take your case to an expert wedding planner who can help take the burden off your shoulders.

After all, you do need some rest before you say ‘I do’!

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