Getting engaged can be one of the most exciting moments of your life! But being married after months of planning your wedding will be even better if you are prepared and give yourself enough time to enjoy it.
The time leading up to your wedding can be exhausting and stressful so we have created a stress-free overview timeline with only a few things to do each month to help get you (and keep you) organized.
Of course not everyone wants to be a planning rock star, which is why DBY does offer their experienced wedding planning services. It can be really nice to sit back a little bit and be completely worry free during the planning process and then be able to just enjoy the big day.
For now, here are the big milestones you may want to mark down as planning goals:
Immediately after your engagement:
Enjoy the Moment and Share with friends and family! You're getting married! Bask in the glow and just start gathering a few magazines. Talk to your fiancee about your ideas and start thinking about the planning.
approx. 18 Months until your Wedding:
Count your people. Get a good handle on your guest list, as it will guide an overall budget based on meal costs and the number of 'things' you need to order (favors, invitations, thank you cards, etc.) Will you have an intimate affair, or are all the second cousins invited? Gather your close family to discuss these questions early in the planning process...
Create a Budget. Decide what you would like to spend on this event. There is a wide range of wedding costs, and for reference the 'Average' wedding cost in 2016 for 200 invited guests was $29,750 in the surrounding Chicagoland area. In the city proper, the overall average was approximately $65,400
Now is the time to think about hiring a planner, if you want that service.
DBY has a one event per weekend policy, and can book up to 18 months in advance.
14 - 16 Months
Research your venue. A venue selection will be the next major to-do - and based on the number of guests you are inviting / the budget your would like to stay within, there is almost an unlimited number of options. Narrow things down on paper and then visit a few in person. Be sure to contract at this point - popular dates for popular venues can fill up to 2 years in advance.
12 - 14 Months
Wedding Dress. Start looking for the dream gown(or suit!) to give you the fairy-tale feeling for your big day. Gather your magazines, check silhouettes, and then schedule a dress appointment at your favorite salon. It can take up to 9 months for a dress order to arrive to the shop, so don't wait to start the process if you are thinking couture...
Select your vendors. Now is the time to visit and choose your Floral Decor company, a photographer and videographer and the stationery selections are made. Be sure to order your Save the Dates at this point from DBY - we'll design something amazing for you and it will be ready to mail at the 10 month mark, when people will be able to plan to take the time off work to attend your wedding.
Invite your wedding party. Ask those people who are most important to you to stand alongside you the day of your wedding. Maybe have DBY create a cute 'Will you be my..." Box for you to fill with little gifts and a card asking them to be part of your party that day.
Order your invitations. DBY is ready and waiting to help you design something amazing to set the tone for your big day. Consider having the contract completed and a design direction chosen by now. Then you'll be able to concentrate on a few of the other details left.
Register for gifts. There will be family and friends who send gifts in honor of the engagement, and the shower may be coming up soon - so choose your favorite few stores to register, and think of a wide variety of both high and low priced items. Be sure to choose items that you really want to use in your future married life.
Select your wedding bands. You may already have an engagement ring - talk with each other about what the wedding bands may look like and ooking at cut, clarity, store reviews, and price
Finalize Accommodation Details. Many hotels will be available to block a group of rooms at a special rate for your guests. And not just the out of town guests may take advantage. So check into the recommended hotels near your reception venue and get this nailed down.
Wedding Clothes Fittings. The final guest count for meals is usually due 5 days prior to the big day.
Start Thinking about the Honeymoon.
Tastings. Now is the time to schedule and complete the cake and dinner tastings. Reach out to the catering manager at the venue (or catering firm) and choose your selections for serving the day of the wedding.
Make Dinner Rehearsal Arrangements. Take a bit of time to decide how many guests, what type of atmosphere and where to have the dinner. Then make those reservations!
Finalize Honeymoon. Confirm everything with your travel agent and be sure that you buy your plane tickets and book your excursions in advance.
Make Appointments for Day-of Hair and Makeup.
Mail out Invitations. Be sure to send a sample to yourself to confirm postage before mailing, and for a posal primer - visit our facebook page.
Arrange Transportation Book the party bus or limosine for the Big Day.
Write Thank You Letters for Early Gifts.
Schedule a Hair and Makeup Dry Run. You will want to ensure that your vision fits with the stylist's skill, so make sure it's going to be perfect - and dont forget the accessories or veil, if you have them.
4 Weeks Left
Confirm Flowers, Photographer, and Transportation.
Plan the Seating Arrangements.
Schedule your mani/pedi and hair Appointment. This is for the last minute hair cut an color.
Final Venue / Catering Payment. The final guest count for meals is usually due 5 days prior to the big day.
Schedule your mani/pedi and facial appointment. Allow at least week before the wedding for any facial or aestheticians' visit and hit the nail salon about 3 days before your wedding.
Catering Head Count. The final guest count for meals is usually due 5 days prior to the big day. Remember that if the number is higher than the final payment made, the credit card on file will be charged for the overage. And don't forget to feed your day of event vendors - they work really hard for you the day of the celebration.
Pick up Wedding Clothes. Get the gown, confirm the tuxes, final fit the wedding suit... be sure everything is ready to wear and relax.
Wedding Day - time to CELEBRATE!
Enjoy the day. Everything you have worked for is here. We always say that the train left the station, let it get to the destination and enjoy the ride.
Oh, and if DBY was part of the planning - let Kasey and her team manage all the day's specifics so you can relax and float on a cloud of happiness.
Send 'We've Moved' and 'Thank You' Cards then settle into post-wedding married bliss!