Wedding Etiquette Forum

Preliminary 14-Month Timeline

Hello! 

FI and I sat down a week or so ago and drafted a timeline for our 14-month engagement. After lurking a while, we made some adjustments, and I think we have it nailed down providing that there are no date changes. 

We are targeting a mid-late September date.

August 2016

  • Set Budget

  • Get the parents “must have” guests

  • Our guest list


September 2016

  • Secure Venue

  • Hire event coordinator


October 2016

  • Order wedding bands


November 2016

  • Select officiant (NB’s grandpa)

  • Select vendors

    • Photography

    • Videography

    • Catering

    • Flowers

    • DJ

    • Hotel

    • String Quartet

    • Food truck

    • Transportation

  • Take engagement photos


January 2017

  • Dress shopping

  • Ask WP

  • Order wedding dress

  • Hotel room block

  • Cake + food tasting

  • Hair and makeup trials

  • Order STD’s

  • Register for gifts (too soon?)


March 2017

  • Send STD’s

  • Book honeymoon

  • Order BM’s dresses

  • Order invitations


May 2017

  • Select groomsman attire

  • Plan rehearsal dinner

  • Confirm vendors

  • Hair/makeup confirmation


July 2017

  • Mail invitations

  • Write vows

  • Purchase accessories

  • Confirm transportation

  • Bachelorette party (if offered)

  • Bridal shower (if offered)


August 2017

  • Apply for marriage license


Early September 2017

  • Final dress fitting

  • Shot list to photographer

  • Review music list with DJ

  • Final headcount

  • Finalize seating chart


Two days before

  • Nails done

  • Gift bags for hotel guests assembled and delivered to the location


Night before

  • Rehearsal Dinner

  • Give WP gifts


Wedding Day Timeline Details

4:00 pm start time

4:30 pm over

5-7 cocktails

7-12 reception

11:00 pm-12:30 am Barrio food truck 

Am I missing anything? Does anything look off?
Thank you!

Re: Preliminary 14-Month Timeline

  • I think you're putting the cart before the horse setting a day of timeline before getting a venue. I'd speed the initial part up- around here venues book quickly. If you know when you want to have it at least get through that step this month. 
    charlotte989875AddieCakesparklepants41
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Are your ceremony and reception in the same venue?  If so, I'd move things up so that cocktails start as soon as the ceremony finishes. 

    Regarding applying for your wedding license, check your state guidelines for timing.   
    And county guidelines. They may be different from the state.
    holyguacamole79
  • Are your ceremony and reception in the same venue?  If so, I'd move things up so that cocktails start as soon as the ceremony finishes. 

    Regarding applying for your wedding license, check your state guidelines for timing.   
    No, they are in two separate locations. It will be a 5-minute shuttle to the reception venue. 
  • I think you're putting the cart before the horse setting a day of timeline before getting a venue. I'd speed the initial part up- around here venues book quickly. If you know when you want to have it at least get through that step this month. 
    We called the venue to check dates that we want, and right now both the reception and the ceremony venues are available. We are currently living out of state and planning the wedding in my hometown, so we are not able to get to the location until next month to visit. I know the location, but we don't want to book until FI has a chance to take a look at it. 
    OurWildKingdom
  • That makes sense! I do think 2 hours is too long for a cocktail hour. I'd be fine with 1.5 but 2 is really pushing it. 

    Also November looks absurdly busy! I'd move at least some of those decisions to October and December. 
    OurWildKingdomNBSquared2017
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    2-hour cocktail hour is too long, and your cocktail hour should start as soon as the first guests arrive.



    OurWildKingdomNBSquared2017
  • Viczaesar said:
    2-hour cocktail hour is too long, and your cocktail hour should start as soon as the first guests arrive.
    So you recommend verbiage like "cocktail hour starting immediately after the ceremony"
    OurWildKingdom
  • Hello! 

    FI and I sat down a week or so ago and drafted a timeline for our 14-month engagement. After lurking a while, we made some adjustments, and I think we have it nailed down providing that there are no date changes. 

    We are targeting a mid-late September date.

    August 2016

    • Set Budget

    • Get the parents “must have” guests

    • Our guest list


    September 2016

    • Secure Venue

    • Hire event coordinator


    October 2016

    • Order wedding bands


    November 2016

    • Select officiant (NB’s grandpa)

    • Select vendors

      • Photography

      • Videography

      • Catering

      • Flowers

      • DJ

      • Hotel

      • String Quartet

      • Food truck

      • Transportation

    • Take engagement photos


    January 2017

    • Dress shopping

    • Ask WP

    • Order wedding dress

    • Hotel room block

    • Cake + food tasting

    • Hair and makeup trials

    • Order STD’s

    • Register for gifts (too soon?)


    March 2017

    • Send STD’s

    • Book honeymoon

    • Order BM’s dresses

    • Order invitations


    May 2017

    • Select groomsman attire

    • Plan rehearsal dinner

    • Confirm vendors

    • Hair/makeup confirmation


    July 2017

    • Mail invitations

    • Write vows

    • Purchase accessories

    • Confirm transportation

    • Bachelorette party (if offered)

    • Bridal shower (if offered)


    August 2017

    • Apply for marriage license


    Early September 2017

    • Final dress fitting

    • Shot list to photographer

    • Review music list with DJ

    • Final headcount

    • Finalize seating chart


    Two days before

    • Nails done

    • Gift bags for hotel guests assembled and delivered to the location


    Night before

    • Rehearsal Dinner

    • Give WP gifts


    Wedding Day Timeline Details

    4:00 pm start time

    4:30 pm over

    5-7 cocktails

    7-12 reception

    11:00 pm-12:30 am Barrio food truck 

    Am I missing anything? Does anything look off?
    Thank you!
    Just a few things:
    1) Hair and makeup trials in January seems really early for a September wedding. You may change your hair style, ideas about what you want, it may take you longer to find your dress which may change what you want for your heart. I'd wait until 6-8 weeks in advance. 
    2) Ordering rings in October also seems really early. Again, opinions and styles change, stores get new products in so again you may want to wait on that. 
    3) Be open about when the shower and bachelorette party (if offered) are scheduled. Two months is fine (some people suggest the month before is better) but be flexible with when it should happen. If the host can't have it in July, be prepared to adjust. 
    OurWildKingdomSP29
  • NBSquared2017NBSquared2017 member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited July 2016
    @charlotte989875, the reasoning for lots of early dates is because we are planning the wedding from out of state. We are trying to be light on our wallets by not taking too many trips back home for things, and FI job is demanding, and he can't travel certain times out of the year. I can totally rethink some of the timing, you all make valid points!

    The reason for the bands in October is because the jeweler is running a 50% off promo :blush: Trying to save as much as we can in certain places!

    ETA: correct spelling 
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Viczaesar said:
    2-hour cocktail hour is too long, and your cocktail hour should start as soon as the first guests arrive.
    So you recommend verbiage like "cocktail hour starting immediately after the ceremony"
    No, I'm saying that if your ceremony ends at 4:30 and the reception location is only a 5 minute shuttle ride away you should start the cocktail hour as soon as people start arriving at the location (e.g. 4:40-4:45, depending on logistics).



    OurWildKingdom
  • Viczaesar said:
    Viczaesar said:
    2-hour cocktail hour is too long, and your cocktail hour should start as soon as the first guests arrive.
    So you recommend verbiage like "cocktail hour starting immediately after the ceremony"
    No, I'm saying that if your ceremony ends at 4:30 and the reception location is only a 5 minute shuttle ride away you should start the cocktail hour as soon as people start arriving at the location (e.g. 4:40-4:45, depending on logistics).
    Der. Yes that makes complete sense. 
    Viczaesar
  • Spoonsey said:
    I followed TK's schedule and checklist.  TBH, most lists I made like this ended up not being followed anyways, but that may just be me - I enjoy making lists, but actually following them?  Not so much :wink:

    My hair and makeup trial wasn't until 6 weeks before, and I doubt my stylist would have done it much more in advance.  You also may want to purchase your hair accessories before the trial so you can get the full picture.

    Ooooh I never thought about that! That's a great point!! 
    [Deleted User]
  • If it's important to you to have your grandfather officiate, you might want to confirm the date works for him before you book the venue. Also, if you plan on doing any sort of marriage prep class, you should consider completing it before you apply for your marriage license. Some states and counties give a discount on the marriage license if the couple presents the marriage prep course certificate during the marriage license certificate.
    "Marriage is so disruptive to one's social circle." - Mr. Woodhouse
    OurWildKingdom
  • If it's important to you to have your grandfather officiate, you might want to confirm the date works for him before you book the venue. Also, if you plan on doing any sort of marriage prep class, you should consider completing it before you apply for your marriage license. Some states and counties give a discount on the marriage license if the couple presents the marriage prep course certificate during the marriage license certificate.
    Thanks for your input! Grandpa is all aboard no matter what date! :smile: 
    LadyCatherineDB
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    As a guest and as a person who has worked a lot of weddings, 2 hour cocktail hour is too long. even 1.5 hours is pushing it.  After about an 45-60 minutes in they are ready for the next step (i.e dinner).

    I had my wedding OOT also. I was living in the islands and didn't have the benefit of decent stores and stuff.  I got engaged around this time and got married in early Sept.  

     I only went back to the states twice. DH only once. First time was in October (with DH) where I bought my wedding dress, pretty much picked out my BM's dresses, had the food tasting and signed the contracts for flowers and photography.   

    The next time I went was at the first of June.  That time was my one and only dress fitting, shower, met with the venue to go over things, met with the baker (came with my package), met with the rental company to pick out the plates and such (had to rent everything), finalized things with the florist and picked the caterer for the RD.  I'm sure there were more.

    Since I was from OOT  I narrowed my vendor choices from looking online and getting references from the venue/coordinator before I got to town.  I was basically able to pop in, sign and leave in a few days.  My trips back were very efficient.


    Everything else I did online.   I didn't really follow a timeline per se.   Just when I had time or found something I liked I booked/ordered things.


    Definitely find out about your license.  NJ requires you apply for your license at least 72 full hours before.  So that meant we had to apply on Tuesday to get a license for a Saturday wedding.   






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    SP29
  • lyndausvi said:
    As a guest and as a person who has worked a lot of weddings, 2 hour cocktail hour is too long. even 1.5 hours is pushing it.  After about an 45-60 minutes in they are ready for the next step (i.e dinner).

    I had my wedding OOT also. I was living in the islands and didn't have the benefit of decent stores and stuff.  I got engaged around this time and got married in early Sept.  

     I only went back to the states twice. DH only once. First time was in October (with DH) where I bought my wedding dress, pretty much picked out my BM's dresses, had the food tasting and signed the contracts for flowers and photography.   

    The next time I went was at the first of June.  That time was my one and only dress fitting, shower, met with the venue to go over things, met with the baker (came with my package), met with the rental company to pick out the plates and such (had to rent everything), finalized things with the florist and picked the caterer for the RD.  I'm sure there were more.

    Since I was from OOT  I narrowed my vendor choices from looking online and getting references from the venue/coordinator before I got to town.  I was basically able to pop in, sign and leave in a few days.  My trips back were very efficient.


    Everything else I did online.   I didn't really follow a timeline per se.   Just when I had time or found something I liked I booked/ordered things.


    Definitely find out about your license.  NJ requires you apply for your license at least 72 full hours before.  So that meant we had to apply on Tuesday to get a license for a Saturday wedding.   
    Thank you! We will be getting married in NE Ohio, but I will totally check into that. Silly of me to not think of checking the states timelines. Newley engaged brain I suppose! 
  • i have about the same amount of time as you left (our date is Sept 15 2017), but i planned alot of things early. i.e., i already purchased my dress and veil 2 weeks ago, booked our ceremony/reception venue (same building, 2 floors) back in dec 2015, purchased our cake and cupcakes last week, and my wedding band is on layaway right now. i booked alot in advance because i don't want to risk prices going up, or unavailability, etc. 

    cocktail hour should only been and hour at the most because yes people get hangry (lol, yes!), and if kids are invited they'll get antsy.


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