Every wedding has at least one vendor, but most have about ten. If you are eloping with an officiant on the beach, you might only require that one team member to pull off your vision. Planning a wedding is about planning an experience, a perfect experience. This requires imagination, an extraordinary vendor team and an organized wedding timeline.
A Year to Plan
If you are beginning your wedding planning journey, you probably have a very important date in mind. This date did not just leap from a hat of fate. It is probably a significant date on your calendar. Nonetheless, every detail you are planning will revolve around that magical date. Most couples take about a year to plan their weddings. You might be the outlier, which is perfectly okay. Just make sure you modify your timeline for your future date.
Hiring a Wedding Planner
One of the first questions most couples have is about whether they should have a wedding planner. A wedding planner is not required, but there are multiple benefits to having one. On the pro side of things, a wedding planner can help you plan your entire event on your budget. They usually have connections to get the best rates by using a network of vendors. Wedding planners offer full-service planning, limited service and consulting services to match your specific level of need. On the con side of things, a full-service wedding planner usually costs between 20% to 30% of your wedding budget. Wedding venues with free in-house planners can provide you with different levels of service for absolutely free. Ask your venue if they have an in-house wedding planner or concierge service to help you book with all of your vendors on the right wedding timeline.
The Venue on the Wedding Timeline
Booking the wedding venue is the magical event that starts the clock on the wedding timeline. You should try to book your venue at least a year prior to your event. It can be challenging to secure your date at the last minute. Book your venue as soon as possible. Once your venue is secured, you have a real date set in stone. After you book your venue, you should begin prioritizing your vendors and booking them in order.
Within Three Months of Booking the Venue
Wedding photography and videography are essential vendors. Even if you choose to elope, you will want wedding photography to capture the magical moment. Consider their style, cost, experience and personality. This is the case that you will get what you pay for. The most expensive artists have developed a reputation and have a tight calendar. Flowers are part of almost every wedding. Even if you are not filling an entire venue with live flowers, you will probably choose to have a few bouquets. If you are attempting to achieve the look found in the magazine, you will probably want to hire a professional florist for the job. Create a collage of ideas and take your gallery with you to a florist that can bring your vision to life. Catering is essential to your wedding reception. Think about your theme and the type of dining experience you want to create on your wedding day. You might choose full-service catering with plated meals and banquet staff or drop-off catering for a buffet-style event. You will save more with drop-off service, but think about the way you want your wedding day remembered and create the experience with the appropriate level of service. During a tasting you should pay attention to the entire package. Consider the presentation, experience level, reputation and flavor.
Nine Months on the Wedding Timeline
When you reach the mark with nine months to go, you will have your venue booked, your flowers ordered, your catering choices made and your photography and videography secured. This is the time to direct your attention towards creating your reception experience with the entertainment. Decide whether you want to have a live band or DJ. Live music will always create a different atmosphere, but a DJ will keep the club-style music going without breaks between sets. The live band is not a decision based upon budget. It is about the type of experience you want to create. A live band costs significantly more than hiring a DJ. Regardless of the choice you make, make sure you prepare your playlist and have all the details of your entertainment locked down early.
Book a block of rooms for your out-of-town guests to guarantee availability. Booking in advance will help your guests save on accommodations. Check with your wedding venue to determine whether they have special discounts at local hotels for booked clients.
Hire your officiant. Never wait to the last minute to hire your officiant. This is the most important part of your wedding ceremony. Choose a professional officiant with experience. An officiant is the director of your rituals and the one that makes it all legal. Officiants offer different levels of assistance. Some help you plan your rituals, special readings and help you write your wedding vows. Your wedding dress will be one of the most important elements of your wedding day. Finding the perfect dress takes time. You should choose the silhouette and color to match your theme, body type and the tone of your wedding venue. Allow time for fittings and necessary adjustments.
Six Months on the Wedding Timeline
Six months before your wedding day, you should order invitations and stationary. Give yourself time to choose the wording and the style. You should allow enough time for proofs and to receive the final order. This is also the time to order place cards and thank you cards.
The wedding cake is essential to weddings and must be planned on the wedding timeline. The chance of hiring a professional cake designer with a reputation at the very last minute is slim to none. Most reputable cake designers fill their calendar quickly. Since creating a wedding cake can be such a tasking project, cake designers are limited to the number of projects they can schedule. Six months on the wedding timeline is usually a safe place to hire your wedding cake designer. Have fun with tastings and design a cake that conveys your theme.
Your other wedding attire, such as the bridesmaid dresses and tux will not take as long to choose. A day in a boutique or exploring online is all that is required. Make sure you have enough time to receive the order and for any necessary fittings and adjustments with a tailor. Do not forget to plan your honeymoon. The honeymoon should be planned no less than six months prior to your wedding day. You will need to choose a location, book hotels and transportation, and plan an itinerary full of romance.
Your perfect look can be achieved with a professional wedding hair and makeup stylist. Like everything else, hair and makeup has a place on the wedding timeline. You will need to secure your date with a professional stylist about six months prior to your wedding day. This is also the time to begin prepping your skin with monthly facials. Avoid chemical skin treatments just prior to your wedding day. Transportation is important. You will want to arrive in style and make an unforgettable grand exit. You might want a limo for the wedding party or a party bus. Out-of-town guests might require a shuttle. Plan in advance to guarantee travel arrangements on your wedding day. This is not a last minute item on the wedding timeline.
The Last few Months of Planning
The last few months of planning should be reserved for small tasks and confirming your date with your vendors. This is the time to purchase wedding favors, gifts for your wedding party and a gift for your partner. You should purchase your wedding rings. You will probably attend a bridal shower and other celebrations a few weeks prior to your big day. You should send out invitations about six weeks prior to your wedding day. Do not forget to apply for your marriage license a few weeks in advance of the wedding. Make sure you confirm with all of your vendors a week before the big day. If you are not planning with a wedding planner, it will be up to you to confirm the details with all of your vendors.
Planning with Crystal Ballroom BeachPlace
Plan your magical moments with Crystal Ballroom BeachPlace. This all-inclusive wedding venue includes all of the furnishings, designs and services to bring your dream moments to life. Planning with Crystal Ballroom gives you access to master designers, planners and an incredible team of professional vendors. Plan your dream wedding with the free concierge service and create unforgettable moments in a ballroom designed just for you.