Have No Clue Planning Your Wedding, Here’s A Definitive Guide On How To Plan Your Wedding 1 Year Ahead

by Onyeka Ben
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Planning for your wedding is not an easy task, so some brides tend to hire people who we call wedding planners to do the heavy jobs so they can worry less on their journey in planning for their big day. Some brides would prefer to plan their big day with the help of their maid of honor or best friend. Planning for your big day should begin a year to the big day, yes you read right, your ultimate day is just going to be for a day but trust it takes a lot to go into planning that big day and if not well planned can bring a whole lot of headache on you as a bride and your husband to be, now no one wants to be in that shoes when they are expected to be at ease. So here are a few tips to get your big day to be memorable for yourself and your invited guest.

Twelve To Nine Months To Time; 

  • Start a wedding folder or binder, begin leafing through bridal lifestyle, fashion, gardening, design and food magazines for inspiration.
  • Work out your budget. This is very important to determine how much you have to spend, based on the budget you have set on spending on your wedding.
  • Pick your wedding party. As soon as you’re engaged people will start wondering who’s in. ‘
  • Start the guest list. Make a head count database to use throughout your planning process with columns for contact info, RSVPs, gifts and any other relevant information. If you want to keep costs low, the best way to do it is to reduce your guest list.
  • Hire a wedding planner, if desired. A planner will have relationships with vendors and also have insights about vendors. This helps to reduce the pressure and stress off you when planning for your wedding.
  • Reserve your date and venues for your ceremony. Decide whether to have separate locations for the ceremony and the reception, factoring in travel time between the two places.
  • Research photographers, make-up artists and caterers. Keep their contact information in your binder.


  • Hire the photographer and the videographer. No need to talk specifics yet, but be sure that the people you hire are open to doing the shots that you want.
  • Meet caterers. If your wedding venue doesn’t offer its own catering service, look for one now and hire the service this month or early next. You can even search and find a cheap table runner also.
  • Purchase a dress. You’ll need to schedule time for at least three fittings. Veil shopping can be postponed for another two to three months if you are into veils.


  • Select and purchase invitations. Hire a designer, if desired. Addressing cards is time-consuming, so you need to budget accordingly and it helps.
  • Start planning a honeymoon. Make sure that your passports are up-to-date and schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need.
  • Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses. Allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and sized.
  • Meet with the officiating ministers. Map out the ceremony and other information that may be needed to make the wedding program.
  • Arrange transportation, consider transportation that suits your budget and you on your wedding day for both you and your bridal party.
  • Start composing a day-of-timeline. Draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component eg. Cake-Cutting, the first dance.


  • Check on the wedding invitations. Ask the stationer for samples of the finished invitations and revise them to suit your needs.
  • Select and order the cake. Some bakers require a long lead time. Attend several tastings before committing to any baker.
  • Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings. Bring the shoes along to your first fitting so the tailor can choose the appropriate length for your gown.
  • Schedule hair and make-up artists. Make a few appointments with local experts to try them out. Snap a photo at each so you can compare results.
  • Choose your music. What should be playing when the wedding party is announced, during dinner to kick off the dancing, keep a running list of what you want and do want played.


  • Purchase your undergarments and schedule your second fitting.
  • Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception.
  • Purchase the rings. This will give you time for resizing and engraving.
  • Send your event schedule to the vendors, giving them a first draft now allows ample time for tweaks and feedback.


  • Touch base again with all the vendors. Make sure any questions you or they had on your first draft have been answered.
  • Meet with the photographer. Discuss specific shots and walk through the locations to note spots that appeal to you.
  • Review the playlist with the band or deejay. Though you probably wont be able to dictate every single song played, you should come prepared with a wish list.


  • Visit the dressmaker for (with luck!) your last dress fitting. For peace of mind, you may want to schedule a fitting the week of your wedding. You can always cancel the appointment if you try on the dress then and it fits perfectly.
  • Stock the bar. Now that you have a firm head count you can order accordingly.
  • Send out the invitations. Give out your invitations before the ceremony, setting the RSVP cut off at two weeks after the day the invitation was handed to the guest.
  • Send out as many final payments as you can.
  • Confirm times for hair and makeup and all vendors.



  • Enjoy bachelorette party, Arranging a night out with your girlfriends generally falls to the maid of honor, but if she hasn’t mentioned one to you by now, feel free to ask for scheduling purposes of course if a celebration is in the works.
  • Reconfirm arrival times with vendors.
  • Delegate small wedding-day tasks if you don’t have a coordinator or planner. Choose someone to bustle your dress, someone to carry your things, someone to be in charge of gifts especially the enveloped sort, someone to hand out tips and someone to be the point person for each vendor.
  • Send a timeline to the bridal party, include every members contact information, along with the point people you’ve asked to deal with the vendors, if problems arise.
  • Pick up your dress or make arrangements for a delivery.
  • Check in one last time with the photographer, supply him or her with a list of moments you want captured on film.
  • Set aside checks or the vendors and put tips in envelopes to be handed out at the event.
  • Book a spa treatment  for a manicure and a pedicure the day before the wedding. You might want to get a stress-relieving massage.
  • Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events.
  • Break in your shoes, new shoes feel tight around the toes, they rub at the heel and they pinch with every step. Its the dreaded break-in period, when a new shoe rubs against tender feet causing blisters and abrasions until shoe and foot find a way to conform to each other in harmony. They might have felt great at the store, but to feel comfortable on your big day should break in your shoes. Wearing chunky socks or blow drying your shoes can help in breaking your shoes.
  • Pack for your honeymoon.

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