6 Months Out

The average wedding takes 18 months to plan, however, with careful planning 6 months is plenty of time to arrange your special day. Here’s how to do it:

Determine Your Budget

First things first. Start by determining the budget for your wedding and figuring out who will be contributing (and how much). Now is a good time to make a list of your must-have items (like a certain photographer or a live band, since you might want to allocate extra funds toward these items. Sit down separately and list your top 5 non-negotiables, you would be surprised how different these can be.

Choose your Venue

While most traditional wedding venues book a year or more in advance, you can still find a fabulous venue on a short timeline. First, consider alternative dates like a Friday or Sunday, which might get you that Country House you’ve been eyeing up. It’s also a great idea to look in to non-traditional spaces, like a local farmers field or even your parent or family friend’s garden. You may also be able to get a last-minute deal if there is availability in the venue/supplier’s diary. Also, think about low season dates (ie March or April).

Secure Your Main Suppliers

Just like venues, a lot of wedding suppliers get booked pretty far ahead of time, so you’ll want to get yours lined up fast. Get in touch with caterers, photographers, videographers, florists, bands or DJs, and cake bakers ASAP so that you can consider your options and keep looking if the people you reach out to are booked up.

Choose Your Dress

Custom-made wedding dresses should usually be ordered six or more months in advance, but they can be purchased in a shorter time frame- just know you’ll have to pay a rush fee if you go that route. For a more affordable option, check out ready-to-wear bridal shops, salon sample sales, non-bridal ready-to-wear designers, or even rental sites for options you’ll be able to take home the same day or opt for delivery. Schedule fittings closer to your wedding date so your dress fits like a glove.

Send Your Save the Dates

As soon as you have your venue selected, get those save-the-dates sent. You can opt for digital save the dates (since you’ll have plenty of time for custom invitations, but not quite enough for custom save the dates) or semi-custom printed designs from companies with a quicker turnaround time (think Minted or the Wedding Shop at Shutterfly). Some will even print your guests’ addresses on the envelopes for you, making mailing as easy as peeling and sticking stamps. For your wedding invitations, get working on the design early so that you can have them ordered and delivered with plenty of time to mail. And don’t forget to get your wedding website set up before those save-the-dates go out.

Create Your Wedding Website

It’s key that your wedding website is up and running before you send the save-the-dates, given that you’ll want to include your site on the save-the-dates for your guests to reference. In addition to your love story and cute photos, make sure to include key information for your wedding guests, like maps, a dress code, venue details, and registry information.

Book Accommodation for Guests

If you have a lot of guests coming from out of town, you’ll want to secure rooms at local hotels if they don’t have them onsite. Ask to reserve a block of rooms that only your guests can book, often at a discounted rate since a potentially large number of people will be reserving them. Think about alternatives such as glamping pods, bell tents or Airbnb’s in the area.

5 Months Out

Figure Out Your Guest List

In order to properly prioritize your budget (and choose a venue), you’ll need to know how many people you’re hoping to have at your wedding. Sit down with your fiance to make a preliminary list, then talk to your parents about any other gusts they’d like to add. Think about the size and style of the wedding you’re hoping for, and keep your budget in mind-more guests mean more people to feed and a bigger venue to rent.

Consider Hiring a Wedding Coordinator

There are a lot of details to address when planning your wedding, and a short timeline can make all those specifics feel a little overwhelming. Set yourselves up for success by hiring a planner who can help arrange your planning documents and to-do list, and recommend vendors. Even if you’re taking care of most of the specifics on your own, knowing there’s a pro you can turn to will ease a lot of pressure and keep you moving along at a good pace. I would always consider an on the day Co-Ordinator at the very least, as you really want to be able to enjoy your big day and not be worrying about the tiny details when you are getting ready.

Establish Your Wedding Party

You’re not the only one heading down the aisle. If you’re asking friends to stand by your side at the altar, get them on board early. While bridesmaids’ dresses can be purchased and delivered on a shorter timeline than a wedding dress, they still take a while, so consider ready-to-wear alternatives or ask your ‘maids to pick their dress in a specified colour palette.

Get rental orders for suits or morning suits placed quickly or go the same route with groomsmen and let them wear their own suits in a certain colour.

4 Months Out

Hire the Rest of Your Suppliers

You’ve booked the major ones already, but there are other suppliers to consider. Now’s the time to hire hair and makeup stylists, rental companies, and transportation for you and your loved ones. You will also want to look at table decorations at this stage.

Get Your Wedding Bands

Whether you’re getting married in six months or a year and a half, this is the latest you should shop for wedding bands. Like engagement rings, many are made-to-order, meaning it could take 45 days (or up to 90) for your wedding band to be make and delivered. Start by shopping where your partner purchased your engagement ring, especially if you’re interested in a matching set, or devote an afternoon to visiting a few different jewellery shops to find the one you love.

Order Your Marriage License

If the venue isn’t licenced, then you will need to apply for a marriage licence. Book an appointment at your local register office. Meet with the Superintendent Registrar and present them with your required documentation, they will then chat to you to make sure that you are legally free to marry and know what you are agreeing to. The Registrar will put up your intention to marry on display in the register office for 28 days before you can hold your ceremony.

3 Months Out

Do Your Menu and Cake Tastings

You’re halfway through planning a wedding in six months, and it’s time for a treat to reward yourself for all the whirlwind planning you’ve accomplished. What better way to celebrate than one of the most exciting wedding planning tasks: tasting your menu and cake.

Plan Your Honeymoon

After all of that wedding planning, you’ll be ready for some R&R after your wedding day. Try looking on sites like Airbnb anywhere across the world, as these spaces tend to take less time to book than many hotels or resorts. Also consider a mini-moon and honeymoon at a later date, so that you can save up for somewhere really special.

Send the Invitations

You’ve already designed and ordered your invitations, so now it’s time to get them in the mail. Give a final date for RSVP’s no later than 6 weeks before the wedding day as this  will give you plenty of time to adjust your final numbers for catering and venue.

2 Months Out

Party

Now’s the time for your Hen and Stag do’s. You shouldn’t have too much planning to do when it comes to these parties, but you want to make sure they’re scheduled a month or two before your wedding so you’re not distracted by last-minute stress.

Do a Hair and Makeup Trial

Your wedding day is not a time for surprises. Schedule a hair and makeup trial so you can make sure your glam team fully understands your wedding day vision.

1 Month Out

Confirm All the Details

Confirm timing and orders with all of your vendors. Make sure to create a wedding day timeline so all vendors (plus parents and bridal party members) are on the exact same page.

Finalise Your Seating Plan

By now, all of your wedding RSVPs should have rolled in, so you can finalise your seating plan and have your name places printed. We have a great online floor planning tool that is very simple to use and all done to scale, you simply choose your structure (style and size of tent) and drag and drop the furniture into place.

Enjoy the Moment

Your engagement will have literally flown by, an you’ve managed to plan a wedding in six months (no small feat). This is your last month of being a fiance(e) instead of a spouse, and it’s a special time. Savour it and try not to stress.