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How to Start Wedding Planning

4 min read

Wedding planning isn’t easy in the best of times, and in the COVID-era, it’s even more complicated. Even an entertaining expert like India Hicks admits there’s nothing easy-breezy about it.

When it comes to laying down the foundation for your wedding day, there’s a certain order of business to follow. Finding a venue and securing the date are at the top of the list, and then everything else will flow from there.

The magic question when it comes to wedding planning today is how much time do you need to give yourself? Some pandemic weddings have come together in less than six weeks, and while this compressed time is doable, it’s not optimum. “Generally speaking, a year is an ideal amount of time to plan your wedding; however the pandemic has caused mass saturation for 2022 weddings,” says Shealyn Angus, principal planner at Shealyn Angus Weddings & Events (she’s also a licensed wedding officiant). “As a result, the bookings process for things like venues needs to happen sooner rather than later.”

Here, we share some key considerations and timelines for planning a wedding in the year (or more!) ahead.

Know That 2022 Is Already Stacked

Angus says she, like so many of her contemporaries, is at client capacity for weddings in 2022. She has more than 30 events on the cards between herself and her team. If you do want to say ‘I do’ this year, she says late fall and winter are your best chance at securing a venue and vendors. “At this point, we are not only talking about available dates, but available vendors who have the capacity to take on an increased workload. We’re finding it extremely difficult to find hair and makeup availability, photographers and officiants.”

Book Now For A 2023 Wedding

If you are considering a 2023 wedding date, booking your venue and your wedding planner as far as 18 months out is an extremely smart move. “This is also the time in the wedding planing process that we would book key vendors like photography, videography, entertainment and bridal beauty. We then take a pause before doing any sort of wedding design work until we are within the 10–12-month window,” Angus says.

Compartmentalize Your Wedding Planning Stages

Don’t think about everything all at once; it’s far too overwhelming. There’s a time for decisions about flowers, hanging installations, photo booths and stationery, but it’s not at the beginning of your wedding planning. “We like to break the wedding planning process into three pillars: Design, production and co-ordination,” Angus says. In the design phase, which happens about eight to 10 months out from your wedding day, you will decide the theme, decor and overall look of your entire wedding. Production follows and is the work period of putting things together for the day and getting all goods and services organized. Co-ordination is focused on building schedules and bringing all the details together, and that happens around the three-month period leading up to the big day.

Hiring a Wedding Planner Is Essential

“I think the pandemic showed couples that having a planner is vital to the success of planning a wedding,” Angus says. “The knowledge we have regarding vendors and how they react in times of challenge is imperative and invaluable. Our problem-solving skills have been supercharged over the past two years, and I have no doubt there is literally nothing we can’t handle! Having a planner vet your wedding contracts is also vital in my opinion. Vendor contracts have become increasingly more complicated, but we look at them every single day and know how to deal with them accordingly. As I always say to people who ask why a planner is so important: Would you represent yourself in court rather than hire a lawyer? Hire experts to do their job and save you some major stress!

Say Yes to Your Wedding Dress ASAP

Wedding gowns do not happen in a bibbity-bobbity-bo instant. Typically, a gown can take up to eight months to produce from the time you order it. With a massive strain on the global supply chain, it can take even longer today. Consider it will take time to find it, manufacture it, and fit and tailor it to perfection. The earlier you find it the better, and let’s be honest, immersing yourself in a cloud of tulle and yards of lace is really the first thing you want to do post-engagement.

 

How to Start Wedding Planning