So you’ve found your venue, decided on catering, invited the people with whom you want to share your big day, made reservations for the most romantic honeymoon, and picked out your dream gown at Best for Bride. That was a lot, and we know wedding planning isn’t always effortless. And as if that wasn’t enough, there is still more to be done. As you approach the date to say “I do,” you’ll also want to focus on making a beauty regimen.
Feeling good—inside and out—is not only for the photos, your family and friends, or even your new spouse, but rather, for yourself. You will always remember this day, hopefully in the best light. Confidence about your appearance shines from within, no matter how much highlighter you apply. Keeping a beauty checklist can give you time and offer a guideline so you have one less thing to worry about.
Depending on how far away your wedding date is, you could have more time for all of these preparations. Haircuts, dermatologist appointments, manicures, and spray tans are often required a week or month before the big day. Fitting all of that into your lengthy list of responsibilities can be somewhat overwhelming. However, we’re here to give peace to your anxieties.
Refer to this checklist we’ve created just for you to ensure you’re on track:
Only a handful of brides have the unbelievable ability for successful short-term wedding planning. However, if you are like most women, you may take a year or more to sort out all aspects of wedding planning.
So, there is no exact timeline to plan a perfect wedding.
Nonetheless, you need a plan! Even if you are an easy-going bride who somehow gets things done in the nick of time.
If you have already planned a wedding, you will need some direction and guidance on what needs to be done.
Don’t you agree?
So, here is a practical wedding planning timeline and month-by-month checklist of all the different tasks that it involves. Use it as such or as a reference to create your own personalized wedding plan and you simply cannot go wrong.
Note: This wedding planning timeline is created for the “average” engagement period, which is a whole year. However, you can adjust it to divide and conquer all the relevant, tasks even if your engagement is longer or shorter.
When you have 12 months left
Freshly engaged and still reeling from the thrill of the beautiful proposal? Indulge yourself in the ecstasy of this milestone chapter in your life, for it happens just once.
Have a party, take a holiday; all you need to celebrate! Then, get down to business!
Start your wedding planning process with the following tasks.
Prepare the Wedding Budget
Weddings are expensive affairs, and this is the right time to discuss finances with your fiancé.
Calculate the maximum amount you can afford to spend. Then, divide the funds into different expenses. Some of the important factors to consider at this point are:
Who pays for the wedding? Are your families/other generous relatives contributing? If so, how much will they be paying?
What are your priorities—venue, décor, entertainment, food, honeymoon?
What tools will you use to jot down and track expenses? Do you prefer the pen and paper route, spreadsheets or a budget planning app?
Wedding bells are ringing! Love is in the air! Isn’t your engagement one of the most beautiful phases in life? So, you want to remember it fondly.
No bride wants to look back on this phase in her life and regret the memories. Unfortunately, wedding planning is not a walk in the park. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself stressing over the details and slowly turn into the dreaded “Bridezilla!”
Wedding planning often brings out the worst in a woman. It is only normal that you want the perfect wedding in every way. However, this entails spending enormous amounts of money, planning things to the smallest possible detail and getting everyone in your wedding to perform as expected. Definitely not an easy feat! And as you struggle to cope with the zillion details, your stress levels naturally go up and you may lash out in ways you later regret.
The sad part is that you may not realize that you are turning into a bridezilla until you have hurt hearts and strained relationships. However, there are warning signs that tell you of where you are headed. Scrutinize how you’ve been behaving lately. If you notice these red flags, you better stop before it goes too far and the damage cannot be undone!
Everything you say contains “my wedding”
Talking endlessly about your wedding can irritate those you spend time with. Who would like it if even casual inquiries about the wedding end up in monologues on wedding plans, dress shopping and other wedding details. You will sound wedding-obsessed, and it can really make people dread being around you. Whether it is your excitement or apprehension that causes you to talk about the wedding and nothing else, curtail it. Don’t bring up the topic of your wedding unless necessary. If you are asked about it, keep your answer brief and to-the-point. Leave some things to be seen, rather than spill the beans and kill all the fun.
You are certain nothing is going your way
There is often a time in every bride’s life when she believes things are getting nowhere. You may be frustrated with the lack of options or unhappy with what are available. It may seem that nobody, but you, is concerned about the wedding. In this tryst for perfection, it is likely that you will push your well-wishers away. You may also believe nothing is up to your expectations. Before you freak out and drive everyone away, just sit back and analyze what is going on. With a calm and composed mind run through the different options once again. Some of them may not be as bad as you initially thought they were. Be flexible and open-minded and you will see better progress.
You cannot stop adding details
Pinterest and glossy picture-perfect weddings on the internet can agonize a bride who strives for perfection. Every page you turn, every link you click leads to more eye-candy that you must have at your wedding. This can pose a problem! If you continue to add more details to your wedding, your expenses will spiral out of control. You may also lose control over what is more important as you obsess over several small details. So, stay focused and stop before you go overboard. Once you have enough inspiration, close the picture books once and for all. There will always be another detail that you could add, but remember that it isn’t really necessary. Keep your priorities clear and move on to the next task. Procrastination will only delay you and cause frustration.
You barely spend time with your fiancé
Wedding-obsessed brides often forget the most important person in their life—their fiancé. This is a big tragedy, as your engagement is a golden period when you should celebrate your love and commitment to each other. It is the time to connect, bond, plan your life together and dream of a beautiful tomorrow. If the wedding overrides this need to be with each other, it is time you took a break from the wedding tasks. Take time away from all the mad wedding planning and simply enjoy the feeling of being in love. Remember that this chance doesn’t come again. So, make memories while you have time.
Your bridesmaids are uncomfortable in your presence
Your bridesmaids are often your best friends, sisters and cousins. They are the women who you share your biggest joys and sorrows with. If they seem to be on edge, every time they are around you, it is time to take stock of the situation. Analyze if you have become very demanding, irritable or obsessed with the wedding these days. Do your single friends prefer to stay away from you? Is it not because they are jealous, but because they are tired of you bragging on and on about your wedding. Avoid rifts and unpleasant situations as far as is possible. Be considerate and accommodating, and they will be eager to participate in your wedding. Don’t be pushy, as it can spoil the fun in your relationship. After all, you want these girls to stick around you even after you are married.
It is normal for parents to be emotional when their daughter gets married. After all this transition in status is a big change in their lives too. However, joy will normally overcome the sorrow. If you are always discussing the wedding and not spending any quality time together, it will only distance you further from your parents. Involve them in the wedding planning, welcome their suggestions and appreciate all that they do for you. Also spend time with each other without discussing anything about the wedding, and relive fond memories from the past. Understanding each other at this stage in life will help you remain closer even after your marital status changes forever. It will be immensely helpful if you acknowledge what they are going to, instead of obsessing over the wedding.
Now, if you are worried about family drama ruining your wedding day, here are some tips on how you can avoid it.
You are obsessed with diets, workouts and weight loss regimens
Brides want to look their best on the most special day of their life. However, don’t stretch yourself to the extent where you sacrifice your happiness and health to look great. Dieting, changes to meal plans and new exercise regimes will help you get in shape and look great in time for your wedding. Nonetheless, tackle everything in moderation. Crash diets and extreme exercise regimens will only do harm. With this approach, you put your well-being at stake. Drastic changes to diet and intense workouts can leave you dissatisfied and unhappy. So, think of whether it is really worth it.
Your fiance fell in love with the present you. He doesn’t want to get married to a whole other you! So, stay healthy and happy, and you will look fantastic on your wedding day.
Every waking minute involves wedding planning
Wedding planning can be laborious and time-consuming. However, it shouldn’t be the only thing in your life. If you find yourself constantly struggling with wedding-related tasks and worrying over the planning timeline, re-evaluate your approach. A well-rested and relaxed bride is better equipped to tackle wedding planning challenges than one who is exhausted. So, do your research first and set priorities. Create a realistic timeline for all wedding tasks and also factor in buffer time. This will allow you to approach the tasks in a systematic and organized fashion. Also accept help from those who offer it. More on this below.
You feel you have to do everything yourself
You may feel that nobody is capable of doing the wedding tasks perfectly. If this means you undertake more than what you are capable of, you are in for big trouble. Having a perfect wedding is not about all the things you successfully did, it is more about the joy and happiness you feel on the day. This won’t be possible if you attempt all the tasks yourself. There will be plenty of friends and family members who are eager to help. Delegate responsibilities to them and trust them to do it right. You should also trust your vendors, especially if you chose them after enough research. So, make your decisions with care, and leave the rest of the job to those concerned. It will take a huge load off your shoulders and leave you more time to enjoy yourself as a bride.
Your vendors don’t look enthusiastic
Do your vendors seem to be doing their job only because you paid them? This could be a sign that they don’t consider you a good client. It is likely to be true if you have particularly signed them up for the job through a referral from a friend or contact. If your contact was extremely happy with their service, it is because they are professionals at what they do. So, it may be time to think of whether you’ve been rude towards them. If you’ve been mean in what you said or the emails you sent, this bad attitude will cause them to be less excited about your wedding. Unless you are certain they are incompetent, look at why they aren’t so keen on doing their job.
If you expect your vendors to do their job with full gusto, it is important you treat them well, show respect, be responsive and open to suggestions and concerns.
You aren’t happy with your fiance’s ideas
If you seem to dismiss every idea your fiance comes up with, it is a sure sign you are turning into a bridezilla. Just in case you forgot, it happens to be his wedding too. However, if you think you have the last word in all the wedding decisions and ruthlessly reject all that he has to offer, you’re in grave danger. Your fiance will also have certain expectations for your wedding day. After all, it is a lifetime opportunity for him too. So, it is only right that you accommodate his ideas and suggestions as well. Don’t stress out over how his suggestions go with the theme or match your vision. Give him his fair say and let him have some fun too.
We know it is hard to keep calm and stay sane when your wedding day is approaching. It is only normal to get all wrapped up with your wedding plans and make mistakes along the way. Nonetheless, try to keep it under control or it won’t be any fun going forward. Remember that the wedding is just a day in your life, but you need your relationships for the rest of your entire life. Is it worth the drama?
For all your wedding-related needs, such as your dream wedding dress, bridal party dresses, accessories and more, Best for Bride has the solution. Visit our website today and come one step closer to realizing your wedding vision in the easiest possible way.
Planning your wedding is hard work! You may plan to be your own wedding planner for budget reasons or because you believe you are up to the task. In either case, let me warn you that it is not as easy as it seems. There are numerous decisions to make, deadlines to meet and several lists to create. Nonetheless, it is do-able.
One thing you should remember is to stay focused, calm and optimistic always, once you make the decision to plan your wedding. As long as you are organized and not tensed about the whole thing, you will be able to tackle the potential challenges without difficulty.
To help you along, we have some useful tips. Keep them in mind and you will be able to plan the wedding of your dreams without much ado!
Recognize your strengths and weaknesses
Wedding planning involves a lot of work. You will have to pick and negotiate with vendors, schedule appointments and create financial plans for each aspect. Although you may be great at some of these tasks, it is likely there are areas you have no clue about. Before you start planning, try to get a clear picture of what you can and can’t manage yourself. Be realistic as there is a lot of work and limited time. Analyze the tasks that you have very little knowledge about. You may have to find someone to share responsibilities for these tasks. So, it is better to plan for it in advance, than attempt it yourself and end up with poor results.
Begin with a budget
All that wedding planning is going to cost money. Also, it is easy to get carried away or let some numbers slide when you handle finances yourself. To avoid this, set up a budget right in the beginning. Create an estimate of how much you can afford to spend. Make sure it is the maximum amount that you will spend, and that you cannot exceed it at any cost. This realization will help you find solutions that are affordable, when you plan your wedding details. Once you have a total amount in mind, split it among the different aspects of your wedding.
Hear what your fiancé has to say
You must know at least one bride who feels she is the only one involved in planning her wedding! The funny thing is if you ask the broom, chances are he will say it is because the bride refused to let him in the plans. It is easy to end up shouldering all the responsibilities, and there is no going back once you are deep into it. Don’t make this mistake. Instead, sit down with your fiance before you start anything. Discuss your ideas and take note of his suggestions. It is his wedding too, so encourage him to participate. The more open you accept his suggestions, the more inclined he will be to involve himself in the plans.
Create a system to get your wedding plans organized
Some of us prefer the book and paper route, while others are better off with technology. Choose what works for you. You need a system to jot down notes, write down expenditures, note down deadlines and save contacts. The simplest working solution is to set up a folder with a calculator, notebook and diary. Use the diary to mark your planning timeline and detail tasks. You can use the notebook to write all other information. Also note down calculations and all relevant details in it. Use this system frequently and make sure you save everything, and you won’t lose track of the progress you make.
Before you dive into wedding planning, separate the notebook into sections for each wedding planning aspect. This will allow you segregate relevant information about each aspect in the right place. We also recommend dedicating a folder on your desktop for this. Most communication that is shared online can be saved into this location for future reference.
Make a master-list and many sub-lists for each category
If you are good with lists, wedding planning will be a lot easier. Start with a master checklist, which you can find online. This will provide an overview of all the tasks you have to do for your wedding. However, each wedding is different, and you may have to edit your list to fit your ideas. Once you have your final master-list, create sub-lists of tasks for each aspect. Note it down and it is unlikely you will forget or overlook any task. You can even create this list using an online tool. This will enable you to access it anywhere, and check or cross out tasks on-the-go.
Make the most of free wedding planning tools
There are several tools that make planning easier. From creating checklists for the wedding timeline and entering your expenses and budget, to sharing pictures with the rest of your team, these technical applications streamline the entire wedding planning process. This makes it easier to tackle. When you set up such an app on your mobile, it allows you to indulge in planning your wedding from anywhere. Some examples include the Knot wedding planner app, Capsule for photo sharing and the Knot lookbook app for wedding outfit planning. You could even update your plans with a simple weather and calendar app from Yahoo to avoid any last minute unexpected changes to plan. For more details on the apps and websites that can be your best friend while making wedding plans, take a look at this post on the Knot website.
A quick word of advice: If you decide to use any of these apps, make sure you start ASAP! This will help you narrow down your choices to ones that are easy to use. Get used to the method right from the start and the entire process will be way easier.
Be prepared for challenges
If you have been involved in project planning at some level, pulling off a wedding will be easier. This is because there are numerous things to stay on top of, all at the same time. Things can and do go wrong! So, prepare yourself to tackle the situation with a cool head and also have a Plan B for every scenario. This will help you have an alternate solution at short notice, whenever required. The best way to handle all challenges is to be prepared for worst outcomes. Apart from making a comprehensive checklist for every single thing to do at your wedding, also consider likely glitches. Then have a solution in mind, in case things go downhill.
Take time to think before making decisions
When you are on your own, you will have to depend on reviews and word of mouth to choose vendors, make décor decisions and more. So, do not make any decision in haste. List out your options and properly research before you commit to a contract. Make sure you take time to analyze every aspect and are fully sure of every choice, before you confirm. Where necessary, obtain references and definitely contact them. The most reliable choices are usually recommendations from friends and family, who have done it before you. So, try this path first. From picking the wedding date to choosing the cake design and florist, make sure you won’t have to rethink your decision.
Segregate your research
Organize everything neatly and in its right place to make things much easier. Whether you use organization tools like Pinterest or sort things into folders on your desktop, do it in a systematic way. Create multiple folders or boards for each type of information, rather than just amassing it all in one place. This will allow you locate exactly what you want in no time. You can also share information easily when it is organized well, and save a lot of time.
Think well before you ask your friends and family for help
Many of your friends and family may seem eager to help with your wedding plans. However, be cautious of who you entrust with what. You need people who will stay objective and follow your instructions to complete tasks. When it is family and friends, remember that you should also maintain your personal relationship with them. This can come in the way of expressing dissatisfaction when you aren’t happy with how they handle things. Also, unless you entrust the job to the right people, there are chances that they will make decisions without consulting you. This may not always be in your best interest.
Get things done ahead of time
Don’t set your deadlines too close. It is always safe to have some buffer time for everything, in case there are delays or hassles along the way. When you discuss timelines with vendors, ask them to deliver ahead of the actual time. This will ensure everything is in place on time. Follow a wedding planning checklist to get a clear idea of what is to be completed and when! Stick to it and you should be fine. If you will be doing things like the centerpieces or favors yourself, get them ready as early as is possible. The last thing you want is to spend your wedding eve completing these tasks, because you didn’t get around to it earlier.
Get your priorities straight
Wedding planning involves numerous decisions, that you can end up procrastinating and reaching nowhere. Try to stay focused by giving more importance to certain tasks over others. Have a clear idea of how you want your wedding to be, and don’t change it along the way. Set priorities for the tasks you should complete, and handle them in that order. Do the important ones with gusto. Leave the others for when you have time. Also, wisely limit the finer details to what is practical and can be achieved within the given time span.
Run your plan by someone who has already been there
Always get a second opinion if you are unsure. You should have someone who can recognize if you’ve missed anything. This is possible when this associate has been in your position before you. Throughout your wedding planning, consult with your fiance and preferably another bride or couple who have planned their own wedding. They can advise you on anything you may miss or overlook. Similarly, make sure you run your list by the person who will be in-charge of your duties on your wedding day, so you are both on the same page. Read ahead to find out more about who that person ought to be.
Find someone to take responsibility on your wedding day
Although you can fully involve yourself in wedding planning till the day of your wedding, you have other things to do on this day. You shouldn’t be the one who follows up with vendors or checks if everything is progressing on schedule. Instead, you should enjoy yourself as the bride. So, you simply must find someone to shoulder all the responsibilities on your wedding day. This could be a trustworthy friend or relative. Nonetheless, the person you choose should be reliable, punctual and have the capacity to take charge of everything wedding-related. It wouldn’t hurt if this person is a tad bossy, if necessary. This trait will ensure that he/she won’t hesitate to get people on track when necessary. If there isn’t someone you know who can take over all this, consider hiring a professional for just the day.
Planning a wedding is a Herculean task, more so when you do most of it yourself. However, a wedding that is done well, is a blissful and satisfying experience. So, involve yourself in all the planning if you must! But don’t stress yourself out so much that you forget to enjoy it. For more wedding planning tips, fashion advice and all things wedding-related, keep visiting this space on Best for Bride.