Your 12 Month Wedding Count Down
It’s hard to believe that in just 12 months, you’re getting married. Although that may seem far away, in wedding terms, it’s just around the corner. Instead of waiting until the last minute, you’ve got to start planning now so you can lock in your venue and vendors, and ensure your night is one of the best of your life.
10 to 12 Months
- Pick a Date: Find a few different dates and check with your important guests to see what works best.
- Decide Your Theme and Colors: Deciding this sooner then later will assure everything comes together nicely.
- Develop a Budget: Before you start looking at dresses and DJs, you must know your budget. Figure out how much you can spend and where you want to splurge.
- Ask Your Wedding Party: Get ready for tears and hugs because it’s time to ask all those important to you if they’ll stand beside you on your big day.
- Start the Preliminary Guest List: You’ll need to know an approximate number of guests (are you thinking 100, 200, 300?) before deciding on a venue.
- Book the Venue & Ceremony Site: Start looking at venues for both the ceremony and wedding reception. Don’t hesitate; get the ones you want booked before someone else steals your date.
- Book the Vendors: Almost as important as your venue, you want to book with your vendors as soon as possible. Start talking to DJs, photographers, videographers, and caterers and sign a contract. You want your vender to be a good fit for your wedding. So don’t just book over the phone or email, meet them in person if you can.
- Talk to Your Officiant: Regardless of if you’re getting married by clergy, a District Magistrate, or your best friend, you want to talk to the officiant as soon as possible to ensure the date is saved.
- Consider Wedding Insurance: Now’s the time to talk to your future spouse about wedding insurance and decide if it’s something you’ll utilize.
- Start Dress Shopping: Finding the perfect wedding dress isn’t always easy so be sure to leave yourself enough time to find the one that’s right for you.
- Throw an Engagement Party: If you’re planning on one, you should do it now.
6 to 9 Months
- Taste Cakes: Meet with different wedding cake designers and start tasting cakes before deciding on the style you’d like.
- Meet with the Florist: Meet with your wedding florist to discuss what your flower needs are for both the bouquets and for decorations.
- Design Invitations: Start working on the design of your wedding invitations, including wording, style, and colors. If you’re going to hire a calligrapher, begin looking around.
- Register for Gifts: It takes longer than you may think to register for wedding gifts, so you want to start now before people start shopping for your bridal shower.
- Block Rooms: If you have a lot of guests coming in from out of town, or you’re having a getaway wedding, it’s time to block hotel rooms.
- Book the Suite: And while you’re on the phone, you might as well book the honeymoon suite so you won’t have to worry about where you’re going to spend your wedding night.
- Find Transportation: Decide on what type of transportation you’re going to want for the evening and get it booked. You may want a limousine between the wedding and reception and a van or small bus for taking wedding guests back to the hotel.
- Continue Dress Shopping: If you haven’t yet decided on your wedding gown, do it now. And then start looking at bridesmaids and flower girl dresses.
- Send Save the Dates: Send out those save the date cards to give your friends and family the time to plan around the event.
3 to 5 Months
- Determine Party Rentals: If you need to rent tables, chairs, or linens, now is the time to find your vendor and get your rental order secured.
- Finalize Guest List: Finish out the final version of your guest list and ensure you have the addresses that you need. If not, get on the hunt.
- Order Favors: Now that you have an estimated number, you can order your favors to ensure they arrive in time and with the correct wording, names, and dates.
- Order Men’s Formalwear: Get the men moving to order their formalwear and get fitted for their tuxes.
- Complete Ceremony Options: Determine what your vows will be, what readings are going to be said, and who’s going to do them. Know the versions you want to use and be sure you have multiple copies of each.
- Organize the Timeline: It’s time to figure out what’s going to happen when and get it down on paper.
- Finalize Menu and Bar: Meet with your caterer and bartender to go over the final menu and bar options.
- Pick Out Rings: Go shopping together to pick out wedding bands and decide on engravings.
- Ensure Honeymoon Documents: Get that honeymoon booked and make sure your passports aren’t expired.
6 to 8 Weeks
- Send Invites: Load up on stamps and send out those wedding invitations.
- Confirm Vendors: Check in with your vendors, go over times, deposits, and what, if anything, they need from you.
- Get Your License: File for your marriage license and get the documentation you need for a legal name change.
- Final Dress Fitting: Bring your maid of honor and your undergarments and try on your dress one last time. Make sure your maid of honor learns how to build your bustle.
- Book Hair and Make Up: Schedule both your hair and make-up test run and your appointment for the big day.
- Plan the Rehearsal: Schedule the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
3 to 5 Weeks
- Finalize Music: Get your final song lists to your DJ, along with a list of “no plays.”
- Meet with Photographer: Sit down with your photographer to discuss the timeline of your day.
- Print the Program: Get your timeline down on paper and print out your wedding program for guests.
- Order Welcome Baskets: If you have out of town guests or a getaway wedding, now’s the time to order your guests’ in room welcome baskets.
- Buy Accessories: Have one last big shopping trip to get your wedding accessories including candles, guest book, champagne flutes, and cake servers.
- Find Gifts: Purchase the gifts for your wedding party and have them personalized.
- Find Last RSVPs: If you still have guests you haven’t heard from, it’s time to reach out and find out if they’re coming so you can get a final number.
- Gather the Traditional: If you’re going to, make sure you have the traditional wedding items: something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.
1 to 2 Weeks:
- Final Hair Preps: Get your last hair trim and color about two weeks before the big day.
- Complete Seating Chart: Make the final changes to your seating chart and prepare name cards.
- Press Dress: Take your dress in for the final press or steam.
- Prepare for an Emergency: Build your own, personal wedding 911 kit. Include needle and thread, band-aids, breath mints, super glue, safety pins, and whatever else you may need to ensure everything goes okay on the big day.
- Finalize Transportation Plans: Go over the timeline as well as pick up and drop off times and locations with the transportation services.
- Relax: Your big day is almost here. Take a deep breath and relax with a massage or facial.
The Day Before
- Gather: Double and triple check you have everything you need from your dress to the rings to the license.
- Prepare Payments: Have all the final payment checks written and tips ready, giving you one less thing to worry about.
- Put People in Charge: Whether it’s your best man or your mother in law, put someone in charge of getting the left behind things after the ceremony and reception. Also ask someone else to return the groom’s tux, as he’ll be on his way to the honeymoon.
- Get Pampered: Celebrate your final day as a single girl with your bridesmaids and get a mani/pedi.
- Practice: Go through the wedding rehearsal and dinner. Give the bridal party their gifts and thank everyone for being part of your wedding day.
- Early to Bed: You don’t want to have bags under your eyes, so get to bed early. Tomorrow’s going to be a big day.
Are You Planning a New Jersey Wedding?
If you’re planning a New Jersey wedding, let Limelight Entertainment be a part of your special day. Our wedding services include DJs, photography, videography, and photo booths. Contact us today by calling 888.900.0042 or check out our website to see how we can make your wedding magical.