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After the excitement of your engagement slows down, the next step is planning your wedding. But how do you even start this daunting task? From selecting the venue to picking out the perfect dress, there’s so much to do in so little time. Looking at everything in the “big picture” will quickly make you overwhelmed. We suggest you break it out into smaller, more doable chunks.

Here, we have everything mapped out in a 12-month timeline. Keep in mind that the ideal timeframe to plan out a wedding is one year to 14 months. If your timeline is shorter, you’ll have to consolidate.

10 to 12 Months from Your Wedding

Choose a Wedding Planner

Planning a wedding is a lot of work, which is why one of the first things you should do is hire a wedding planner. This person will be your right-hand person, and they will guide you through picking a venue, handling logistics, and tracking your budgets.

Pick the Theme

This is also the time to decide on a wedding theme and overall level of formality. Sit down with your partner and discuss what each of you has in mind for the special day. After all, you’ll want your wedding to match your personalities. Picking out your theme leads us to our next point: the venue.

Choose a Venue

It’s essential to have a few possible venue options early on, not only for the theme and formality, but also for the guest list. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to invite everyone you know, and tent weddings can only hold so many people. If you at least have an approximation of how large the venue will be, you’ll know how many people you can invite.

Decide on the Date

While you don’t have to send a save-the-date until the eight-month mark, you should send them out once you have a date picked. The earlier you provide this information, the more likely your guests will be able to attend.

7 to 9 Months Out

The earlier you pick your wedding dress, the better. But the seven-month mark is the latest we recommend picking out a dress. You may have to have slight alterations made to it, or there could be a delay in shipping it to you. Either way, the earlier, the better.

You’ll also want to start planning out your gift registry. When registering, it’s a good idea to ask for practical items, such as pots and pans or an air fryer. A lot of couples like to create a wedding website. The website should include the gift registry, the wedding venue, wedding attire, and contact information.

4 to 6 Months Left to Plan

You’re getting closer and closer to the big day, but there’s a lot left to do: buying or renting the groom’s tuxedo, planning the honeymoon, and choosing wedding bands. You may also want to consider transportation and accommodations for your guests, especially if you already asked them to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to the venue.

A staple of weddings is the cake, but don’t worry about pleasing everyone. This is your cake as a couple, and it should express you and your spouse. Once you pick a flavor, find a baker who has excellent reviews and can deliver your cake.

1 to 3 Months: The Final Stretch

You’re almost there, and it’s time to order and send out your invitations. A good rule of thumb is to order more than what you need. This will account for any mistakes when writing them out. Make sure you specify that you expect a response one month before the wedding. When writing out the invitations, it’s also a good time to plan the seating chart. You’ll have a list of who’s invited in front of you, so it should be relatively easy to plan one out.

Don’t forget to pick up your marriage license. You’ll most likely get this done at a county clerk’s office. The whole process, if you have all the documentation, should take about an hour. Remember that you’ll need the officiant and two witnesses to sign the license as well.

The Days Leading Up to the Wedding

The days and weeks leading up to the wedding will fly by. Get your hair and nails done, do your final dress fitting, and chase down any RSVP stragglers. The night before the wedding, it’s essential that you get plenty of sleep. You’re going to have a long and exciting day, and you won’t want to miss a second of it.

Plan Your Outdoor Tent Wedding at Windows on the Water

Wedding planning may seem like an impossible task. Then again, no one said it was going to be easy—but it can be, with the talented team at Windows on the Water. One of our expert tent wedding planners will help you every step of the way.

Call us today at (609) 208-9475 or complete a contact form. We can’t wait to make the wedding of your dreams a reality!