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wedding planning

How Long Does it Take to Plan a Wedding

The wedding planning process usually takes different lengths of time depending on many factors. Here is our guide to determining how long it will take to plan your wedding.

When determining the average time to plan your wedding there are many factors involved. It’s understandable that every bride is in a rush to get married after they get engaged. Most couples take between 12 and 18 months to plan their wedding.

There are so many fun elements to the wedding planning process that you want to get started on! But sometimes it is good to be realistic on just how long the average wedding takes to plan. 

Even if you have been dreaming of your wedding since you were a little girl, and you think you have every little detail picked out already, the wedding planning process often has lots of surprises along the way. Get yourself prepared for just how long planning your dream wedding may take! 

Can I Get Married in Five Months or Less?

wedding planning

The general consensus among wedding planners is to give yourself at least a year to plan your wedding. Some believe that it is possible to get married in under five months, but if you want a traditional wedding with a venue, vendors, and a long guest list… It is better to plan on the process taking about a year. 

An elopement is a better option for the couple that just wants to get married very quickly. If you decide on getting eloped, then the wedding planning process is much more simple.

The most common stereotype of getting eloped is going to Las Vegas, but you can elope at your local courthouse too. 

For the bride who wants a traditional, fabulous wedding with all of the other associated events like the bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette party, and a honeymoon, it is important to give yourself enough time to plan all of these things. The wedding planning process is a journey! 

5 Misconceptions About Wedding Planning

When brides first start planning their wedding, there are often lots of misconceptions they have about it. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about planning your wedding. 

1. I Need More Time to Make It Perfect!

wedding planning

Lots of brides feel the pressure to make their wedding the most perfect day of your life. Even though your wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, you need to keep in mind that not everything will go to plan. Some couples even plan their weddings in three months or less!

Sometimes things happen along the way that you need to adapt to, and if you are trying to plan your wedding by a certain date, you must remember to let go of some of the control. Having a wedding planner can alleviate some of the pressure to make your wedding day completely perfect.

2. I Need More Time to Save up Money!

hand holding money

Money and your budget are the most important factors in determining several aspects of your wedding. If you have family members that are willing to help you pay for your wedding, you may not feel as though you have to worry. But many brides find themselves having to stick to a specific budget. 

You must remember that your wedding is just one day of your life. Even if you want an extravagant wedding, remember that it is just the first day of your marriage. It is meant to be a celebration, but do not feel pressure to wait until you have saved up enough money to have an elaborate wedding day. 

Ask yourself if it is worth working for another year to save up money for one single day of your life. There are many options for DIY or more budget friendly options so you can make your wedding of your dreams a more reasonable reality in a shorter amount of time. 

3. I Need to Get Married at a Specific Venue!

wedding venue

Another conflict that many brides run into is having their heart set on a specific venue. Sometimes popular venues will not have availability for years. Ask yourself if it is worth waiting an unreasonable amount of time just to have your wedding at your dream venue. 

If you believe that it is important to have your wedding at the venue, go ahead and wait. Most of the time brides do not regret changing their location to one that fits their needs differently with more availability than popular venues.

There are thousands of venues to choose from, and using your imagination will make your dream wedding come to reality faster than if you hold out for a specific venue. 

4. I Need to Find the Perfect Dress!

wedding planning

One of the most important decisions you make for your wedding is what dress you wear. Many brides worry that they will not have enough time to find the perfect dress before their wedding day.

It is important to remember that you must have enough time to not only find the dress, but also enough time to make alterations to the dress and have it designed perfectly for you. 

Traditionally, most wedding dress retailers will tell you that anything under the six month mark is a rushed order. Make sure that finding your wedding dress is the first step you take in your wedding because it is one of the most time sensitive decisions of your wedding. 

5. I Want to Do It All DIY!

wedding planning

With the popularity of DIY weddings and brides wanting to use Pinterest ideas at their wedding to make it personalized, many brides have found themselves overwhelmed with having to do a DIY wedding with not enough time.

A wedding is usually a huge event with up to several hundred guests. Do not underestimate the planning and hard work that goes into planning a wedding.

It may seem simple when you are pinning ideas to your inspiration board, but writing out custom signs, doing custom projects for decoration, and being a bride is hard to handle alone. We recommend hiring a wedding planner to help with bringing your DIY dreams to reality! 

Things that Affect Your Wedding Timeline

There are several different questions to ask yourself before determining how long it will take to plan your wedding. These questions will help you determine an accurate wedding timeline to follow. 

When Did You Get Engaged?

backyard engagement

Ask yourself what time of year you got engaged and what time of year you would like to get married. For example, if you got engaged during the holiday season and you want a summer wedding, you may have to wait until the following summer to have your wedding.

Always plan for a longer amount of time than to rush it. There are so many other events involved with weddings that you need to give you and your guests more time to prepare.

Also remember to take some time and celebrate your engagement because this is a huge step in your relationship! Be open to being engaged for some time before going straight into the wedding planning process. 

When Do You Want to Go on Your Honeymoon?

Another thing that every newly engaged couple needs to think about when planning their wedding is when you want to go on your honeymoon. Depending on your careers, there may be a specific time period where you have time off that you would like to use to take your honeymoon. 

Plan your wedding timeline around this if you are really into taking the trip of a lifetime straight from your wedding day. If you are more flexible and want to wait for a while after being married to go on your honeymoon, this may not be as much of a determining factor as others.

How Long to Save for Your Wedding?

wedding planning

If you know that you need time to save up for your wedding, enjoy being engaged while you work to save up some money. Although there are many budget-friendly options for weddings nowadays, many brides decide to save up for a while before tying the knot. 

If you would rather be engaged for a few months and save up for your dream wedding or even save up for your honeymoon, just remember that your wedding is only one day of your life.

Although it’s nice to save up extra cash for your special day, don’t let it keep you from having a lovely wedding within your desired time frame. 

How to Start Planning

When beginning the wedding planning process, there is a specific order of importance of certain things you need to consider. Some aspects need to be planned further ahead than others. Here is your guide on what to tackle first during the wedding planning process!

1. Venue

wedding planning

Start your wedding planning process by deciding on the venue and booking it. This task is very time consuming, as you and your partner will have to explore different options by going on tours and looking online. 

It is also important to secure your venue because the calendar that the venue has may be booked up and it may make you plan your wedding date farther ahead than you would have hoped originally. 

2. Dress

getting wedding gown fitted

The next important step towards planning your wedding is to find a dress. This is an exciting step for every bride. As stated before, wedding dress orders are considered rushed if they are ordered anything under six months before your wedding.

Make sure you give yourself adequate time to shop around for the perfect dress while keeping in mind how long it will take for the dress to get it sized correctly.

Some designer brands of wedding gowns take even more time to custom make wedding dresses so if you do want a specific dress, make sure you do your research on how long it will take to be made. 

3. Vendors

 wedding planning

Finding the vendors for your wedding is a pretty big task. There are many different vendors to pick for your wedding, but it is important that if you really want a specific person at your wedding, you must book them first.

For example, if you have a specific photographer that you really want to have at your wedding, you must book them and make sure they are available on your wedding date. 

Other vendors to think about booking are your caterer, musicians for your reception, makeup and hair stylists, and florists. All of these people that you hire make your wedding just the way you want it, so make sure they are available for your date you have chosen. 

4. Save the Dates

wedding planning

The next step is to send out your save the dates to your guests. This will make sure your guests are aware of when your wedding is and can prepare for your big day.

It is important to give your guests adequate time to get ready for your wedding, find accommodations if necessary, and make sure that they are free on your wedding day. 

5. Wedding Party

bridesmaids and groomsmen

Make sure you choose your wedding party and give them plenty of time to prepare. By choosing your bridesmaids and groomsmen early, you make sure that you have exactly who you would have first chosen to be in your wedding party. 

6. Honeymoon

inexpensive honeymoon ideas

The final step of planning your wedding is planning your getaway as husband and wife after. If your honeymoon is extremely important to you, this may be higher on your list of wedding preparations than other couples.

You must plan the honeymoon before the wedding to make sure that you have it lined up and ready for some much needed relaxation after the stressful wedding planning process!

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Caroline Kinsley

Caroline Kinsley is a recent graduate from the University of Delaware. With a degree in media communications, Caroline’s passions are marketing and journalism. Caroline has always loved the wedding planning process, being the daughter of an event planner. In addition to contributions to Yeah Weddings, Caroline Kinsley has published articles in Delaware Today Magazine, Her Campus, and YOUR Magazine.

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