The question’s popped, the ring is on, stars are in your eyes…but now what? With so many tasks to take care of and details to arrange, planning a wedding can seem overwhelming. But, if you give yourself enough time to plan and sort the tasks month by month with a wedding-planning checklist and wedding timeline, the job becomes more fun and less stressful, so here at Arbutus Hospitality, we have put together a little list to help you get planning!

Step 1. Make Your Biggest Decisions First

A lot of people say you need to choose a venue first. But it’s hard to do that without having a date in mind. Not to mention, a budget. In fact, so many of these decisions are codependent, that it would serve you best to tackle these choices first. As soon as you’re ready to start seriously planning, you should pick your date, set your budget, and pick a venue, all in relatively rapid succession. It might feel like a lot at once, but you’ll be so glad you have these three essential tent poles established once it’s time to build your dream wedding!

Step 2. Get Personal With Your Wedding Style

Once you’ve nailed down the big decisions, you can start getting more granular (think guest list, attire, flowers, etc.). But you don’t need to waste your time with a one-size-fits-all to-do list.

Step 3. Select the Other Essential Vendors

Guided by your simple wedding planning checklist, plus your wedding vision now’s the time you can make those essential and additional vendor choices. Find the dress, look into wedding party attire, and secure a tailor. Find your ideal DJ and caterer. Plus, book a florist who can find suggest lush alternatives when peonies aren’t in season.

Step 4. Send Out Your Invitations

Once you’ve secured your venue, date and wedding vision, send the invitations to your guests (or mail save-the-dates if you have more lead time). As a rule of thumb, wedding invites should be sent 8-10 weeks before the big day.

Step 6. Make Final Tweaks

The final portion of wedding planning is the time when you have to buckle down and get through the minutiae. Now that you have your guest count confirmed, finalize any rental orders and catering updates, plus your signature cocktails.  Go in for that final dress fitting and make sure it’s exactly what you had envisioned. Put together your thank-you gifts and get those favours together. Send through a detailed shot list to your photographer so that all your dream images are captured.

Step 7. Rehearse, Eat and Be Married

You made it! The days leading up to your wedding should be as stress-free as possible, so if you realise you forgot something at this point, let it go (especially if it’s small). Your wedding will be yours, truly, because you tackled the biggest decisions first. If something goes wrong during the wedding festivities, designate a point person in advance (a planner, a maid of honour or the best man) to suppress the stress. More than anything else: have a great time. Make it a priority to be present with your partner and enjoy the wedding you’ve planned

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