Traditionally, planning timelines cater to planning about a year or more out, giving us time to space out vendors and really think through all the choices. This isn’t always realistic. It may be you are dreaming of an October wedding and you became engaged in April, or the only date your dream venue had available is a short half a year away. More and more we are starting to see couples beginning the planning process closer to 6 months out. While this can be a bit more challenging, it’s not impossible! Frankly, it gives you less time to second guess your decisions – just be ready to make them quickly.
So how does one go about planning a wedding in 6 months, you ask? Let me tell you!
Six Months Before Wedding Day
Hire a Planner!
Let’s make this process as stress-free as possible! Starting with a planner from the beginning will not only help you to stay on track in this sped-up process, your planner will also save you time by giving vendor recommendations and help you secure contracts, helping to create a budget & just being there to give you advice.
Create a Preliminary Guest List
You will want to have this done early on as you want to make sure the venue you choose can accommodate your guest count. A preliminary guest count also helps to get more accurate quotes upfront from vendors, hopefully, keeping you from getting big bills at the end!
Decide on a Budget
You’ll want to know who is contributing to your budget and how much. This will help you to pick priorities and see if any extra money is needed for your “must-have items”, like the hanging floral over your head table! When you have a general idea of how much you want to spend on each vendor and you are able to tell them, it helps to eliminate the back and forth on proposals. This also gives you a general idea of how much you’ll be spending in the next 6 months since you don’t have quite as much time to spread out payments.
Choose your Venue
A lot of venues book up a year or more out, but this doesn’t mean you won’t find an awesome venue. Consider alternative dates close to your desired one or try to be flexible with the day of the week (Friday wedding instead of Saturday). This is important to do right away as it’s the only way to truly have a date locked in. Now that you know your guest count and budget, you can narrow the venue options down to make this faster.
Interview and Start Booking Primary Vendors
Like the venue, these vendors can book up pretty far in advance and quite a few of your vendors will only be able to take one wedding a day. Start looking into these as soon as possible to give yourself time if you’re finding vendors are booked.
Primary Vendors include:
- Catering & Bar
- Photography & Videography
- Hair & Makeup
We include catering and bar in primary as it’s the biggest part of your budget and if you end up overspending, this gives you time to evaluate the rest of the budget!
Find Your Dress
We want you to have the dress you have been dreaming of and don’t want the limited time to get in the way. As custom dresses can take months to be made and that doesn’t include alterations, we recommend doing this early on!
Schedule Your Engagement Shoot
If you plan on using your engagement photo on your save-the-dates or to have some nice professional photos on your website, you want to get these done with enough time for editing and delivery.
Five Months Before Wedding Day
Secure a Hotel Block
You’ll want to have this done before you send out your save-the-dates so guests can start making arrangements right away when they receive the card.
Select your Wedding Party
Have some fun and make some cute boxes to ask your ladies, just make sure they have time to purchase and alter their dresses.
Create Wedding Website
This is the best way to give your guests information early on, so be sure to have this done before you send save-the-dates.
Send Save the Dates – Be Sure to Include Your Website Link!
This allows your guests to begin making arrangements, like asking for time off of work or saving money to travel.
Start Working on Your Invitations
There are so many color/style/shape/printing type options, you want to give yourself time to decide which suite is best for you and start working on the wording.
Finish Hiring Your Primary Vendors
You started this early on, now you just need to sign that last contract and hit send on that deposit.
Four Months Before Wedding Day
Interview and Start Booking Design Vendors
Also referred to as your secondary vendors, these vendors can usually take on multiple events a day, so you are more likely to find ones that are available. Let some stress go and play with some flowers or velvet linens!
Purchase Wedding Bands
This is a good time to start looking at in case you want something custom.
Give yourself time to assemble your invitations!
Three Months Before Wedding Day
Tastings are the best part of wedding planning! Finalize your wedding menu & cake flavors, and be sure to show up hungry!
Firm Up Your Honeymoon Plans
After planning in just 6 months, you deserve this. Don’t forget to book those tickets!
Assemble, Stamp & Mail Invitations
It’s getting real - get them put together and into the mail.
Two Months Before Wedding Day
Have Some Fun!
Go party with your guys and girls on your bachelor(ette) party and take your mind off of planning!
Hair & Makeup Trial
Make sure you and your glam guru are on the same page to help wedding day prep go smoother.
Start Following Up on Outstanding RSVPs
You’ll want to have a good idea of your final numbers to give your vendors in time for them to order products.
One Month Before Wedding Day
Get Your Marriage License
Let’s make this official! Head down to the county clerks office.
Finalize the Seating Chart
Give yourself some time for this as we all have weird family dynamics, and this could get complex. Don’t forget to account for shipping time if you order it.
Finalize Your Agenda (Including Arrival Times with Vendors)
Send your agenda and hop on a call with your vendors to firm up the wedding day timeline with each one.
Now that everything is finalized, go walk the venue and make sure everything is going where you pictured it! Do this with your planner so they can help make suggestions or changes with your vendors.
Give Vendors Your Final Counts
If you didn’t do this on the call with them, send your vendors the final guest count (Don’t forget to include your vendors for meals!)
Enjoy Being Engaged!
You did it, you planned your wedding in just 6 months, grab a drink and toast to getting married!