Congratulations! You’re engaged and the future’s so bright. Once you’ve finished sharing the news (and the new jewelry), it’s time to start planning. Here’s a step-by-step guide to major wedding planning milestones in the coming months.
12+ months Before the Wedding
Insure and Size Your Ring
This is easily covered as a rider on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Just in case it gets lost at sea. Now is also the time to ensure your ring fits perfectly.
Tell The World
Call your VIPs—parents, relatives, forever friends—and share the good news. After you’ve made official calls, book engagement photos and spread those gorgeous pics via social media.
Create Your Vision
Now’s the time to daydream. Follow wedding photographers on Instagram, dive into decorators you love on Pinterest—then start a Pinterest board for inspiration.
Guest List & Budget
What’s the max you’d like to spend? Break down costs for categories like catering, dress, venue, photography, etc. Thumbtack offers a handy pricing guide here. These change as planning formalizes, but will guide your early choices. An easy rule of thumb is that fewer guests means fewer costs.
For DIYers, a paper binder or app for planning details is crucial. Feeling overwhelmed? Hire a wedding planner who knows the ins and outs of hiring vendors, navigating guest lists, and keeping on a timeline. Pro tip: Hire the planner before reserving your venue. They may have the perfect location that you don’t know about.
Reserve Your Dream Spot
This means settling on a date, too! Tour sites that interest you, read reviews, and study the fine print before signing any contracts. If you’re budget-minded—look into local parks, beaches, museums, or civic centers as unique venues.
8+ months Before the Wedding
Reserve Wedding Pros
Book a Caterer
Weddings aren’t all hard work! Sample tasting menus with caterers and enjoy each delicious bite. Let them know your theme and colors—see what personal touches they can create.
The people who love you need a place to sleep while they’re in town! Set aside blocks of rooms at three price point locations to provide options for guests.
2+ months Before the wedding
Send Invites to Reflect Your Theme
Send out the world’s most darling invites to reflect your theme—rustic, romantic, modern, you name it. Consider learning calligraphy to address your own invites or thank you cards for that extra personal touch. (Tip: Save-the-dates are sent at 6 months out—especially for long distance affairs!)
Hair & Makeup
Remember, it’s your special day—you can’t do it wrong. These guidelines will just help you as you navigate the action-packed world of planning a wedding. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!