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Etiquette

Timeline

I wasn't totally sure where this would best fit, but does anyone have a decent, socially and etiquettely (?) acceptable timeline they could share? Like when to send save the dates, when to order a dress, etc? I have a general idea but my mom is starting to get a little nutty, so I'd like to have something I can refer to in order to take some of the stress away.

The ones I have seen on the  knot and wedding wire vary so much, so i was looking for "real life" time lines.

Re: Timeline

  • STDs: 6-12 months before wedding
    Invites: 6-8 weeks before wedding
    RSVP date: ideally less than a month before the wedding. Generally 1-2 weeks before final numbers are due to caterer

    Everything else is kind of variable. The dress it depends where you buy it. Some places they say it takes 6 months and it really does... some places say 6 months but it's really 2.
    OurWildKingdom
  • It depends on a lot of things. You can plan a perfectly gorgeous wedding in 2 months, or 2 years. There's a huge variation in timelines. I would say the big factors are: personal preference, wedding size, venue and vendor availability, and, mostly, how picky you are. For example, if you absolutely have to have BM dresses in a certain shade and fabric from a certain designer, you're going to wait at least 6 months in some cases, plus time for alterations. If you're ok with off the rack dresses from a department store, you could probably pick them up tonight. See what I mean? 

    Our engagement was 14 months and we invited approximately 220 people to our wedding in a city where stuff usually books up 6-10 months out, more for high-demand vendors. This is approximately how we timed things:

    - 14 months - determined a budget and a guest list
    - 13 months - booked a reception venue, a photographer, and a caterer
    - 10 months - sent STDs and secured a hotel block and booked our hotel suite, booked a DJ, hired a chocolatier to do dessert
    - 8 months - ordered a wedding dress, hired a personal trainer - ha!, booked an officiant, booked transportation
    - 7 months - booked a ceremony venue, booked a photobooth, created a registry; booked a bed and breakfast for my family/morning of brunch and photos with bridal party/bride's getting ready area
    - 6 months - booked a salon and secured appointments for hair/make-up, submitted custom menu and alcohol requests to our caterer (there were some things we specifically wanted that they needed advance notice on)
    5 months - decided on and booked honeymoon stuff, created baseline day of schedule
    - 4 months - booked a florist, booked a ceremony equipment vendor (tent, chairs, arch, plant stands, etc.), hired a DOC, had my shower and bach, booked a rehearsal dinner venue
    - 3 months - picked a BM dress (Ann Taylor, only took a week to ship), bought WP gifts, picked out dress accessories/shoes/bag/undergarments/etc., gave DJ final music choices, did a walk-thru with reception venue coordinator on day-of layout and decor
    - 2 months - sent invites, had first dress fitting, made final confirmation calls to vendors for date/time/service
    - 1 month - had second dress fitting, created detailed day of schedule and made info packets for vendors, WP and immediate family (I'm an organization freak)
    - 2 weeks - tallied RSVPs and gave final #s to caterer, final fitting and dress pick up, put together bathroom baskets
    - 1 week - prepared/labeled stuff/boxes for the DOC and had one final call with her about day of details; packed for the HM
    - 3 days - re-emailed info packets to vendors with a reminder of the day-of schedule

    I'm probably forgetting stuff. Also peppered in there are DIY projects and other details.
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    OurWildKingdomjaprincess24
  • Ok, this is a little more in-line with what I was thinking. Mom wants photographer, dj, venue (done) STDS, and dress all done by the end of May. We are planning on getting married May 2018, and although she already knows this, I can't afford to do all those deposits so quickly, so I'm trying to talk some reason into her but I also want to make sure I'm not leaving things til later than I should be.
    SP29
  • Overall we followed the Knot's timeline as it worked for the length of our engagement and the way our area booked.  The only really important dates are the ones people stated above.  I did try to book my major vendors (in order of importance to me) as soon as I could mainly because I was working in a tighter budget but still wanted quality vendors and those are the ones that book the quickest.  We booked: Venue and Catering (Food and Drink), then Photographer, DJ, the florist.  Everything else came later.  I did get my dress early but that was something my mom wanted to pay for so it wasn't a strain on the budget.
  • Ok, this is a little more in-line with what I was thinking. Mom wants photographer, dj, venue (done) STDS, and dress all done by the end of May. We are planning on getting married May 2018, and although she already knows this, I can't afford to do all those deposits so quickly, so I'm trying to talk some reason into her but I also want to make sure I'm not leaving things til later than I should be.
    Is your mom paying for the wedding or any of those things? If not, the timeline is none of her business.
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    InLoveInQueensernursej
  • Ok, this is a little more in-line with what I was thinking. Mom wants photographer, dj, venue (done) STDS, and dress all done by the end of May. We are planning on getting married May 2018, and although she already knows this, I can't afford to do all those deposits so quickly, so I'm trying to talk some reason into her but I also want to make sure I'm not leaving things til later than I should be.
    Is your mom paying for the wedding or any of those things? If not, the timeline is none of her business.
    Yes-- we are both paying. So some of these items that she wants decided on and wants to pay the deposit for is fine. But my dress, for example, I won't have the money for by May, so I was wanting to do that around July/August. I also am feeling that sending STDs in May for a May 2018 wedding is a bit soon (I'm also still waiting for her to confirm and finalize her guest list).
  • I would tell her that you are planning on getting your dress in July/August because that is when you will have the money.  I would also tell her that it's proper to send STDs around 8 months out, so you want to that since everyone who gets a STD must get an invite (if you send them too early, you may send them to people you end up not wanting to invite).  If you schedule your engagement session in late summer, you can tell her STDs need to be sent after that so you can include a pic of the two of you.

    If she's paying for deposits, book away. 

    OurWildKingdomernursejcowgirl8238
  • Ok, this is a little more in-line with what I was thinking. Mom wants photographer, dj, venue (done) STDS, and dress all done by the end of May. We are planning on getting married May 2018, and although she already knows this, I can't afford to do all those deposits so quickly, so I'm trying to talk some reason into her but I also want to make sure I'm not leaving things til later than I should be.
    Is your mom paying for the wedding or any of those things? If not, the timeline is none of her business.
    Yes-- we are both paying. So some of these items that she wants decided on and wants to pay the deposit for is fine. But my dress, for example, I won't have the money for by May, so I was wanting to do that around July/August. I also am feeling that sending STDs in May for a May 2018 wedding is a bit soon (I'm also still waiting for her to confirm and finalize her guest list).
    I agree with you and see where you're coming from. 

    Bottom line and the important take away for the rest of wedding planning, if she's not paying, it's not her call. What I would do finance wise with her that I think will save you A LOT of stress... For her contributions, I would ask her what *specifically* she wants to pay for. So in other words, she's paying for flowers, or your venue cost, or your cake, or your food cost. 

    So she only gets a say in THOSE things, nothing else. If she's only paying for those things, she can't overreach into/control other aspects of planning. It's much harder if she's just giving a dollar amount to everything - then she's going to feel like she has a say in all of it. Know what I mean?
    *********************************************************************************

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    ahoywedding
  • Ok, this is a little more in-line with what I was thinking. Mom wants photographer, dj, venue (done) STDS, and dress all done by the end of May. We are planning on getting married May 2018, and although she already knows this, I can't afford to do all those deposits so quickly, so I'm trying to talk some reason into her but I also want to make sure I'm not leaving things til later than I should be.
    Is your mom paying for the wedding or any of those things? If not, the timeline is none of her business.
    Yes-- we are both paying. So some of these items that she wants decided on and wants to pay the deposit for is fine. But my dress, for example, I won't have the money for by May, so I was wanting to do that around July/August. I also am feeling that sending STDs in May for a May 2018 wedding is a bit soon (I'm also still waiting for her to confirm and finalize her guest list).
    STDs can be sent out a year ahead, but also fine to wait a bit, too. I was married Memorial Day weekend (last weekend in May) and we sent out STDs the first week of August and it was enough time. I will say since I was getting married on a pretty busy weekend some things did fill up that early (venue, and one of the photographers I was interested in), but other than that I never had any problems planning in last than a year for a May wedding. 
    OurWildKingdom
  • I'm getting married this May, and from my experience (in Cleveland) things fill up pretty fast. I think by around the year mark, I had my venue (venue does catering), DJ, and photographer. I plan way ahead though. If there are vendors you're interested in, before I set up meetings with them, I'd ask them how soon ahead of time they usually book up this time year. (I've also asked my photographer plenty of non-photography related wedding questions) It was pretty helpful. I also had a specific place I wanted cake and I had to book them way ahead of time, like this past summer. And a year is fine too for STDs, but if I were you, I'd maybe wait a little while longer and make sure your guest list is exactly how you want it, because if you send someone an STD, you have to send them an invitation. I bought my dress around a year out. But, don't rush finding the right one just to meet a deadline. Good luck, and happy planning! :) 
  • Ok, this is a little more in-line with what I was thinking. Mom wants photographer, dj, venue (done) STDS, and dress all done by the end of May. We are planning on getting married May 2018, and although she already knows this, I can't afford to do all those deposits so quickly, so I'm trying to talk some reason into her but I also want to make sure I'm not leaving things til later than I should be.
    Is your mom paying for the wedding or any of those things? If not, the timeline is none of her business.
    Yes-- we are both paying. So some of these items that she wants decided on and wants to pay the deposit for is fine. But my dress, for example, I won't have the money for by May, so I was wanting to do that around July/August. I also am feeling that sending STDs in May for a May 2018 wedding is a bit soon (I'm also still waiting for her to confirm and finalize her guest list).
    I agree with you and see where you're coming from. 

    Bottom line and the important take away for the rest of wedding planning, if she's not paying, it's not her call. What I would do finance wise with her that I think will save you A LOT of stress... For her contributions, I would ask her what *specifically* she wants to pay for. So in other words, she's paying for flowers, or your venue cost, or your cake, or your food cost. 

    So she only gets a say in THOSE things, nothing else. If she's only paying for those things, she can't overreach into/control other aspects of planning. It's much harder if she's just giving a dollar amount to everything - then she's going to feel like she has a say in all of it. Know what I mean?
    This is kind of what we are doing. I'm paying for the dress, transportation if we have it, DJ, decorations (we are not doing flowers but will have something) and alcohol. So she has full freedom to book a photographer she wants, and I'm hoping to have some input on caterer but if I don't that's not a big deal for me. We are both paying for the venue, which I put the deposit in for already. I just started feeling a little overwhelmed because not having had a wedding before, I wasn't quite sure how soon I needed to get things done but at the same time, having it all by May this year seemed a little much. 

    Thanks everyone for your responses!
  • Ok, this is a little more in-line with what I was thinking. Mom wants photographer, dj, venue (done) STDS, and dress all done by the end of May. We are planning on getting married May 2018, and although she already knows this, I can't afford to do all those deposits so quickly, so I'm trying to talk some reason into her but I also want to make sure I'm not leaving things til later than I should be.
    After the budget and guest list, focus on the things that are limited quantity or will actually take time to make.

    There are only so many wedding venues and hotels in a given area. We were shopping for a venue about 16 months ahead of our date, and half of the weekends were already full. So get that venue booked soon! If you're planning to stay in a hotel or are looking for hotel blocks, can't hurt to do that early too...there are only so many hotels in the area.

    Things like photographers and DJs are a pretty unlimited supply in most area. Obviously don't wait until the last minute, but you don't need to book them as early as a venue.  

    Since a dress often has to be made it's good to make sure there's plenty of time for that. The guidance that you should start dress shopping at least a year ahead of your date is under the expectation that you're going to be shopping for at least a few months. I shopped in January, and purchased my dress at the end of January, for my November wedding and it was more than enough time with months to spare. 
  • I used the checklist option from The Knot and it gave a great schedule of when to start dealing with different tasks. You do have to have some room for flexibility, like if you are having a DW, then STD might need to go out sooner to allow people time to plan. But it was super helpful to keep me from forgetting things. You can also edit the list to add things on that might not be included. Another huge factor you have to take into consideration is if you are getting married in what would be considered "prime wedding season" in your area and you want a venue/vendor that is high in demand. You will need to book those earlier then normal.


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