“Why do you have to start planning the wedding already – we just got engaged!”
My husband asked me that question when mere weeks – days even – after he proposed I began the planning process. I calmly explained to him that since we had both previously married in the spring I did not want a spring wedding – leaving summer, fall or winter. And summer and fall seemed too soon – it was already February and waiting another year was out of the question! – so that meant winter. And cruises are cheaper in December – our preferred honeymoon – which meant I had just barely 10 months left! He had absolutely no clue why I was so distressed.
So fellas, I am about to give you a little insight. Why do we need so much time to plan a wedding?
First you need to hire a Day of Coordinator. 😉 Wedding professionals book up to two years in advance. That means the venue she wants to get married or have your reception at might already be booked if you don’t give her enough time. Next July sounds really far away right now but I have already spoken to two venues that are already booked solid for June and July 2011.
Once the venue is booked you can rest a little easier, but not much. Because then she has to think of her gown. A gown can take months on order and then must be altered to fit her perfectly once it arrives. You can usually count on two fittings after the gown comes in – 6 – 8 weeks apart…you can see how that adds up on the calendar quickly. And trust me, you do not want a bride that has settled on a gown because she did not have the time to order the one she really loved. (PS she may have to get the gown before the venue to know what type of venue to look for – and that will really throw the calendar out the window.)
Now you can really take a breath. Florist, photographer, cake, food, DJ, etc all need to be booked, and the best of the best were booked a good six months ago. So don’t dilly-dally. You should have all of your wedding professionals booked at least 4 months (this is the absolute minimum) before your wedding day. With the bulk of your planning done, you now know how much money to save to pay for it all.
Lest you think “everything is booked, now we can relax” the details begin. You’ve chosen who will do your flowers but you don’t really know how you want them to look. You’ve chosen who will make your cake but you haven’t decided on the flavor or design. You’ve chosen the venue, but how will it be decorated? There are hundreds of details your bride will really start planning. And she can’t really start these details until everything else is in place.
If you don’t want a dreaded Bridezilla on your hands, give the go ahead to plan the wedding (and it helps if you have proposed already). She will be less stressed knowing not all of the best professionals will be booked before she calls them, allowing her (and you) to enjoy the planning process as you should.