Wedding planning is full of tiny details. It can absolutely be overwhelming for any couple, especially if the wedding you are planning is a larger one. Even small weddings have their related stress. However, there are five major priorities to keep in mind when you start to prepare for the big day. Once you have these taken care of, you can breathe a little easier.
Venue: The venue, including the ceremony and reception area, should be top priority. Give yourself at least three months to look around and see what works for you. Also, always keep in mind that some popular venues in your area may be booked up to two years in advance. So, choose your wedding date wisely and give yourself plenty of wiggle room in case desired locations are booked. Try and reserve the venue at least one year ahead.
Bridal Party: Choosing who is going to be in your bridal party should be second on your list. This makes way for selecting wedding attire, gifts, and more. Brides often have trouble choosing bridesmaids, but you need to do so at least a year in advance so that your gals can reserve that date and be fully prepared. Same concept goes for the groom and his groomsmen.
Wedding Attire: Finding your perfect wedding attire can take time. Brides need to start shopping for their wedding gown at least a year, if not more, before the wedding. Ordering wedding gowns takes time, as does ordering bridesmaid dresses. In some cases, it can take up to six months to receive your gown, especially if it is a designer wedding dress or custom-ordered bridesmaid dress. Then, you must consider alterations and how long that will take. You do NOT want to be rushed in this process. It can be one of the most stressful aspects of your wedding.
Caterer: Many couples overlook or underestimate how long it will take to find the right caterer for them. If you don’t already have one in mind, you will need to do some research, go to tastings, weigh your budget, and still manage to reserve the caterer at least six months prior to the big day. Make sure they are reputable and very professional.
Photographer: During prime wedding season (May through September), good wedding photographers can be booked solid up to a year in advance. Start this process soon—right at the beginning of the planning. It is a good idea to use a photographer that you know or that someone you know has used. What would be worse that having less than stellar shots to show off and display for years to come after your wedding day is over?