(Closed) When to start planning?

posted 4 years ago in Engagement
Post # 2
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Until you have a venue and officiant, you don’t have a date. Start by making an approximate budget and guest list (so you don’t set your heart on a 30-capacity venue for a guestlist of 300!), And think about where you want to get married. From there, do your research into venues to find the right one and see what dates they have free.

2019 seems like ages away but I booked my venue for 2018 in 2016 and struggled for Saturdays (prime wedding day!). Summer is a really popular time too. Until you have your date, you’ll find it difficult to book vendors (eg the photographer might already be booked that day). With the increasing popularity of long engagements, vendors can get booked up really quickly. My priority was venue, photographer, videographer, cake, florist and musicians, and I’m moving on to hair and makeup next. 

Post # 3
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Agree with PP – A sit-down about what you both want and the things that are most important to you is a great first step. Then you can prioritise things for your budget and rough guest list – this will help set expectations and realistic goals.

Get looking at venues and book – they do go quickly!

There are lots of infographics/checklists online with timelines to help guide you too – I love the budget tracker at http://www.offbeatbride.com and this timeline  https://www.realsimple.com/weddings/weddings-planning/wedding-planning-checklist

Congratulations and best of luck.

Post # 4
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I agree it is never to early to book your photographer and venue as these can book up pretty quickly. I already have these booked for my September 2018 wedding.

Post # 5
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I agree with all PP’s! Create a rough draft of your guest list so you know how many people your venue needs to accommodate. Then book your venue and choose your date! From there, you can book photographer, caterer, etc.

I’ve learned that basically everything hinges on your venue and wedding date. For example, we chose a wooded outdoor mountain venue with a river flowing through it. I had a handful of photographers I was interested in, but we ended up choosing the photographer whose style fit best with our wedding venue and shooting photos with a woodsy vibe. 

Also, I’m not sure where you live, but I live in Colorado, where mountain venues are super popular and book up more than a year in advance. So I wouldn’t stress about it, but make sure you choose your venue on the early side so you can also have your pick of the date you want! I’d say you probably would be able to take your pick of venue/date if you plan to get married in 2019! 

CONGRATS on your engagement!!! 🙂 

Post # 6
1029 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

We got married on a Friday and saved a chunk of change. Venue and some vendors gave us discounts. Keep that in mind!

Post # 7
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

I would suggest booking your venue in the next couple of months or atleast by the end of the year – here in Australia the venue’s book out 1.5-2 years in advance during peak wedding season but not sure about where you are?

Next – start following photographers on instagram and find a style that you like that will suit the venue and start putting a list together of your favourites and email them for approximate quotes so you can see if any of them are in your budget.

Start a spreadsheet of your budget/guest list/vendor quotes etc 🙂

Good luck!!

Post # 8
501 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I got engaged Sept 2014 and we knew we wouldn’t be able to afford anything until I graduated college and we both got good job and that finally happened in Aug 2016 so in Dec 2016 we decided we could get married summer of 2018 so here’s what we did

Dec 2016: decided on 3 possible dates, came up with an idea of the guest list, booked venue tours

Jan 2017: Booked venue and date (July 27, 2018)

Feb 2017: Booked Photographer and DJ

April 2017: Asked Bridal party

June 2017: took engagement photos and finalized guest list

July 2017: Created Room block


For August we will send save the dates, book our Officiant and I’ll go dress shopping


Hope this helps!

Post # 9
19 posts
  • Wedding: May 2018

Never too soon to start planning! We got engaged December 2nd 2016 and two weeks later we were looking at venues, most of which were already booked for the date we wanted! People had been asking us what the rush was and acting like we were crazy but I’m glad I started when I did. Everything else I have been doing when I have the time, because there isn’t a rush, and it has taken a lot of the stress out. 

We waited until May to have our engagement photos done (a year out) becasue I wanted them to have a spring look to match our spring wedding. I booked my photographer in January and videographer a year out in May. I also just made an appointment with a florist, bought my dress, and received our Save The Dates 11 months out. 

I’d say start researching venues ASAP as this will help set the tone for your wedding, and places are booking so far in advance now. Before you go see them, you’ll need to know approximate guest count, possible dates, and what type of reception (indoor, outdoor, sit-down dinner). 

Hapy planning!

Post # 10
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

book your venue asap, you would be surprised at how most of them are already booked a year in advance on every weekend! I booked mine a week after engagement, a year and a half before the wedding date and it was the only day they had available that year!

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