Here is the start of a hopefully very helpful list for you as you prepare your wedding. It includes some helpful tips for you and the groom. What I learned is to keep the group up to date with information, and tell him what's going on to make him feel involved.
This to do list is based on a 12 month lead time, but can absolutely be modified.
According to Easy Weddings, the actual cost of a wedding is $36, 200 so you want to make sure it's done right.
12 Months before your special day.-11 months before your special day.
Look around for wedding venues
Book wedding venue
Book reception venue
Choose bridal party
Invite bridal party to be a part of your wedding
Pick wedding planner if this is appropriate to your wedding.
Start thinking about what you can spend on your wedding (budget)
Start an excel spreadsheet with costs so you can keep track of all your expenses
Start looking at wedding invites and stationery providers
Attend some wedding expos if you can for ideas
Start a Pinterest board and get some ideas happening for hair, accessories, bridesmaid dresses etc.
Start to formulate a wedding invitee list
Start looking through magazines and online for wedding dress ideas.
It may seem like the locking in of your bridal party is not crucial this far out, however for us being strong on communication we wanted the journey to be a transparent one for our bridal party so they felt included from day one. That did come back to bite me in the backside but the intention and delivery of information was definitely there.
In terms of catering, florist and the photographer you would generally lock this in a year out or as soon as possible, however as our wedding was a destination wedding we were locked in to certain wedding services therefore they were locked in once we secured the venue.
10 - 9 months before the special day.
Finalise the guest list.
Order the bridesmaid dresses - this is giving you time should anything happen.
Find an amazing MC
Order your invitations and envelopes. Where possible include an invitation that has an RSVP form for return to make it easier for people to be able to send you their RSVP.
Book hair and make up artists - your Pinterest board can help you with hair inspiration.
Organise the suits for the groomsmen - again lots of time here just in case anything happens.
Make the commitment and order your wedding dress -This can be done around the 8 month mark depending on the provider. I had three people look at my dress but don't over do it or there are too many opinions.
Book your florist
Book your caterer
Start thinking about creating your wedding playlist or locking in your entertainment.
Book your photographer - look at different photograph options and think of where you would like your photos taken whether that be off venue or at the venue, and who you would like in them e.g. family, friends etc.
Start looking for decorations - table and venue. Again Pinterest can help here!
Hope this helps you out to start with, and can't wait to bring you part 2.
Happy planning! x