12 month wedding planning timeline

12-Month Wedding Planning Timeline by Oregon Elopement Photographer Black Salt Photography

“12-Month Wedding Planning Timeline” by Oregon Elopement Photographer Black Salt Photography

On average, it’s recommended to have a 12-month wedding planning timeline.

(See why I recommend trying for an 18-month timeline, if possible, here).

If you’re just starting out, a full year can seem like a long time. But don’t get too comfortable. It’ll go by quicker than you think – especially when the rest of your life is still going on!

Take the first few days of your engagement to enjoy the bliss, then dive right into this wedding planning timeline and checklist.

Keep in mind that you’ll be making many decisions at the same time, so it’s best to create an organizational system from the beginning. Download my free Absolute Wedding Planning Checklist here. The checklist will help you stay on top of your duties before each deadline!

First, it’s time to do the basics.

12 months:

-Choose your date

-Browse Pinterest constantly

-Select the wedding party

-Hire a wedding planner

-Decide on the location (city/state)

-Begin contacting vendors

-Create a rough guest list

-Create your budget

-Plan engagement photos

Next, you’ll need to start booking your most important vendors.

When I was planning my own wedding, many of my first choices were already booked for my date over a year in advance!

11 months:

-Book vendors

(Find out how to decide on your elopement photographer here.)

-Choose your theme/colors

-Go dress shopping (try on a lot)

-Create a registry

-Choose the officiant

-Discuss honeymoon options

10 months:

-Go cake tasting

-Pick your wedding party’s attire

-Plan your bridal shower

-Discuss travel arrangements for out-of-town guests

-Buy your dress & the groom’s attire

8-9 months:

-Book your honeymoon

-Purchase wedding rings

-Select attendants’ attire

-Book hotels

Don’t forget! Your caterer might need additional rentals for their services. Be sure to check with them ahead of time!

6-7 months:

-Plan Bachelor(ette) parties

-Select linens/table decor

-Send save-the-dates

-Book equipment rentals

4-5 months:

-Make dress alterations

-Send bridal shower thank-you notes

-Purchase gifts for the bridal party, parents, and spouse

-Book rehearsal dinner

-Purchase/make accessories (candles, aisle runner, favors, etc.)

-Decide on hair accessories & jewelry

-Discuss music choices (ceremony, entrances, first dance)

-Decide on the menu

-Discuss day-of transportation

Lastly, confirm all the details and perform the smaller tasks.

2-3 months:

-Reconfirm all vendors

-Finalize the guest list

-Send wedding invites

-Create wedding programs/dinner menus

-Attend final dress fitting

-Have a hair/makeup trial run

-Book mani/pedi appointments

-Make final honeymoon arrangements

-Begin writing vows/speeches

1 month:

-Review shot lists with videographer/photographer

-Send music playlist to DJ

-Complete preparations for marriage license

-Confirm ceremony arrangement with officiant

-Create seating chart

-Make tip envelopes

-Confirm arrangements for everything you aren’t bringing

-Arrange rental returns

-Make final payments

-Confirm final head count

If this feels too quick, not to worry! Check out my 18-month wedding planning timeline here and learn all you need to know about planning your wedding long term.

If you’re feeling frisky and want to try an elopement timeline, click here and view my elopement-style wedding timeline! I got it all, baby.

-Download my free Absolute Wedding Planning Checklist here.

It’s the ultimate checklist and vendor list so you won’t forget anything (big or small) and can stay organized effortlessly. In the checklist, I guide you through everything you could possibly need to have a perfectly planned wedding. Check off each item with satisfaction knowing you are one step closer!

Black Salt Photography is an elopement photographer and intimate wedding photographer based in Portland, Oregon. Photographing in the surrounding PNW areas and traveling often for destination love stories. Specializing in intimate candids and editorial portraits to craft a one-of-a-kind wedding day for every couple. Her moody photography style plays with natural light and shadow, laced with raw emotional moments, to create an authentic narrative experience. She photographs you as you so you’ll love your photos authentically.

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