Have you recently become engaged or decided to set a date and "tie the knot"?
If so, you are probably feeling a lot of different emotions, and one of them might be panic.
After all, choosing the date is easy; it is bringing together the millions of little pieces that make up the wedding day that can be such a challenge. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who showed you their perfect wedding timeline, or you've already gone online looking for a template for the perfect wedding timeline instead?
Either way, it probably did very little to ease your worry. In fact, it might have made it worse.
Well, let's start with the phrase perfect wedding timeline.
Since there is no such thing as perfect, we can begin to address the issue of your unique needs by accepting that a perfect wedding timeline is really just a timeline that allows you to feel more in control and on top of things.
With that said, it is also important to consider that what one person thinks of as a perfect wedding timeline may be all about the wedding day or the weekend of the wedding.
On the other hand, your vision of a wedding timeline includes everything from setting the date and starting to make plans to sticking a stamp on that final thank you note and organizing your photos into an album.
In other words, there are many ways you can develop and plan the perfect wedding timeline.
In this article, we are not going to build a flawless and overly generalized plan. Instead, we are going to consider the details that would be put together in order to provide you with the perfect wedding timeline for your particular needs.
In the end, you will have a schedule that neatly outlines every step needed to relieve you of the stress or worries that typical wedding planning creates.
To plan a perfect wedding timeline for your goals, we need to begin with a question: What is your time frame?
In an ideal scenario, you would have from nine to 16 months in which to plan. This would give you more than enough time to do everything from saving a bit of money to making all of the formal plans.
Do you have that much time in advance of the date selected?
Even if you don't, these steps can help you develop a workable timeline:
Create an online file or folder in "the cloud"
- Why the cloud and not a real world binder?
The wisest way to plan a wedding is to begin by saying aloud "I am not the Lone Ranger or do-it-all for this wedding…I have others to recruit and ask for help and support."
When you do that, you can see the need to have a readily available, easy to access and update set of plans and a folder in a site like Google Drive or Dropbox is a perfect solution.
Everyone involved in planning can drop calendars, documents, images, and other information. They can also help keep track of budget details.
The budget is a huge part of the perfect wedding timeline because it shows you which expenses appear at specific dates, enabling you to see whether or not you can realistically cover and/or meet them.
The next foundational "first steps" include picking the wedding party, and enlisting them to help as needed. Beginning to build a guest list, and narrowing down your options in venues and dates are also part of the initial planning phase.
With this all set in place, you have:
- Date and time
- Basic idea of how many will attend
- Team of people to help
- Cloud based folder or files to keep track of everything from inspirational images to actual, working documents
And it is here that one of the biggest decisions must be made - to hire a professional planner or do it DIY. This is a huge issue, but you cannot really know whether it is a good choice for you until you know the details above.
If you have a team of friends who can really step up and help, and you keep things relatively manageable in terms of size and budget, DIY is entirely possible. In fact, when you do a timeline, you'll see just how manageable it can be…with help.
Does it seem that you won't be able to rely on the wedding party to help with a lot of details?
Does it seem that the guest list is a bit larger than you anticipated?
What about the budget?
Does it seem that you have a higher (or lower) amount than you thought?
Booking a wedding planner to support you is actually a good way to control costs, remain on budget and build a workable timeline. And nine months to a year ahead is the perfect time to find a planner to help. If it is less than six months, you can still work with a pro, but your calendar will be very full.
What's next in making a perfect timeline for a wedding?
Eight months or less from a wedding event, you'll need to solidify the vendors (including the photographer, band or entertainment and so on) and venue, host an engagement party and photo shoot, hire the officiate, select caterers, purchase the wedding dress, register (if you choose to do so), book accommodations for out of town guests, and build your wedding website.
Other activities on the timeline have to include invitations, honeymoon planning, transportation planning, and day of the wedding timeline creation. In fact, give yourself a lot of time for that last point as the wedding day timeline itself is an amazing thing with dozens of moving parts and essential steps.
Clearly, there is a lot to do and you actually have to plan for the planning! Begin with that foundation we discussed above as it is one way to make it easier to see if you can do it on your own or if you need an expert to help.
A wedding day is not just that one day but a series of memorable events and activities. Start with the date you chose and work back to figure out a workable amount of time to make the right choices and create the day of your dreams.
It is perfectly natural to have help and whether it is from your family and friends or a wedding planner, it is smart to plan your wedding timeline based on that fact alone.