There’s no denying that weddings come with a lot of planning and preparation. Deciding to do it on your own alongside your partner is fun, but can come with its fair share of challenges. When there are so many things to do before the big day, it can feel overwhelming. However, creating a timeline of events leading up to your wedding can help streamline the planning process. Here’s a general outline of what your DIY wedding timeline could look like.
Congratulations on your engagement! Now, the preparations begin. Start by finalizing your budget and coming up with potential wedding dates. Begin to research wedding venues that pique your interest, match your prospective dates, and fit your budget. Take this time to speak with friends and family that will be closely involved in your wedding. Find out their financial expectations and determine who will pay for the wedding. Feel free to celebrate your upcoming marriage by hosting an engagement party and getting excited about the main event!
12 Months Before Your Wedding Day
Once the initial excitement surrounding your engagement has passed, it’s time to plan the logistical elements of your wedding. Begin by putting together your prospective guest list and obtaining addresses to send invitations. This should be the time you hire your wedding photographer and schedule your engagement photo shoot.
You should also have your venue selected to book your dates and lodging amenities for out-of-town guests. Consider finalizing your wedding party and searching for wedding attire to give everyone enough time to prepare for your special day.
This should be the period of time where you figure out details related to your ceremony and reception. Find out whether you’d like to hire any vendors, borrow any rental equipment, or accomplish some of these tasks on your own. Book your florist and caterer and work with each of them to find out what your options are. You should also book your officiant and entertainment, whether that be a DJ or live performance. Officially finalize your guest list and create your registry.
The 9-month period should be primarily devoted to attire, makeup, and hair. If you haven’t already done so, order your wedding outfit to have enough time for alterations and production. Decide whether or not you’d like to get your hair and makeup done professionally. If so, you’ll need to figure out which salon will be providing these services and if they can come to your wedding venue. Talk to your wedding party to find out if they’d also like professional hair and makeup services or if they’d prefer to do it on their own.
This is the perfect opportunity to have an engagement photo session! You can also plan and book your honeymoon during this time. Proofread and edit your wedding invitations before sending them out to your guests. Check in with your wedding party to make sure they’ve all ordered their wedding attire. Consider providing a color scheme to help them make a final decision.
Try out some delectable desserts to figure out what you’d like to serve at your wedding. You may decide to go with a traditional wedding cake or keep it simple with cupcakes! This is also the time to see if you need any further rental equipment like tables, chairs, or linens. Follow up with your entertainment to see if you need to rent any additional sound equipment. Send out your Save the Date cards at the 4-month mark.
This is your opportunity to work out any final odds and ends before your special day. If you haven’t already sent out your wedding invitations, now’s the time to do so. This also applies to lodging and venue accommodations. Feel free to call these locations for any final questions as you’re getting closer to the date. The same applies to food and catering. If something is missing on the menu, ask about it to confirm if you can bring in your own food and/or drinks.
You’ll need to wait until you hear back from all your guests before making a conclusive seating chart. However, if you can manage to get a rough idea of how you’d like to seat your guests, this can be a good time to do so. In the meantime, confirm how many boutonnieres, centerpieces, and bouquets you’ll need from your florist. Order your wedding bands and finish up the last of your DIY projects.
There are only two weeks before your wedding – this is an extremely exciting time! Even so, make sure everyone is prepared and be prepared to solve any last-minute problems. Create an itinerary for your wedding party and finalize your seating chart. Talk to your vendors to give them a confirmed arrival time and headcount for food. Finally, make sure the logistics surrounding your marriage license are settled.
Day of the Wedding
The only thing you should be worried about at your wedding is having one of the best days of your life! You might want to consider giving your vendor’s checks to a trusted family member or friend to make sure everyone is paid on time. However, this can be done 1-2 weeks before your wedding if need be. At this point, you’ve made it – enjoy your wedding day and have fun!
If you’re looking for the perfect wedding venue for your special day, consider Esperanza Ranch! Schedule an appointment with us to learn more about our wedding accommodations.