Weddings can be hard work! But there’s a way to stay calm and collected when it comes to planning the perfect Denver wedding. Take a look at this wedding planning timeline. While it’s based on a 12-month period, the same steps apply even if you’re short on time. Check off each task as it’s completed and feel a sense of satisfaction and control over the Big Day!
Why Do I Need a Wedding Planning Timeline?
A beautiful wedding doesn’t appear out of thin air. Ever since a cave couple carved a Save the Date, there’s been a “method to the madness” when it comes to wedding planning. Each planning step builds on the previous one. Think of it this way: you may have some wonderful ideas for decor, but until you nail down your venue, you can’t decide which ones to implement.
By using this sequence, you can rest assured your Denver wedding planning timeline will keep you on track with all the details. And even if you don’t take a full year to plan, if you follow the order you can still pull off an amazing wedding on short notice.
First Things First for Your Denver Wedding (12 months)
Couples typically spend a year when it comes to planning a wedding. During the first three months, you’ll want to focus on these areas.
Set a Date: It may be one that has personal significance to you as a couple. Or it might just be a date that’s available at your dream venue. If your date is not set in stone, you’ll have more flexibility in finding just the right ceremony and reception locations. Think of the season rather than a specific day you want to exchange your vows.
Many couples love an outdoor wedding. At Meadows Event Center, our outdoor celebrations are centered around a charming gazebo and can accommodate up to 200 guests.
Find Your Site(s) and Officiant: You’ll need to decide if you want your ceremony at a separate location from your venue. Many couples opt for the convenience of having the ceremony and reception in one place. But either way, you’ll need someone to perform your ceremony. This is also the time to look for a caterer if needed. Once you’ve found your venue, ask for referrals.
Get Started on These Timeline Tasks, Too!
Start that Guest List: You don’t need to nail down every invite, but you do need an idea of how many you want to invite. This impacts not only your venue selection, but also heavily influences the next step.
Determine a Budget: The more detail you can give your budget, the better. A spreadsheet is probably the simplest way to keep up. Make a list of all the products and services you’ll need – even the little details, because they add up! And don’t forget to allow some “wiggle room” to cover unexpected expenses. Make a column for estimated expenditures and then one for actual. Bridal Musings has a spreadsheet template. Just download and input your numbers.
Hire a Wedding Planner: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, pressed for time, or just not into all the details, this is the time to hire a full service wedding planner. This professional will help you prioritize what’s important to you as a couple, making sure you’re spending your budget on what’s right for you. A great Denver wedding planner will give you peace of mind.
Time to Shop (9 Months)
Now that you’ve nailed down your wedding venue, date, guest list (for the most part) and budget, you’re ready to shop. And you’ll want to get out those Save the Date announcements.
Bridal Attire: Yes, you can get a gown off the rack on short notice, but why not enjoy the process and discover all your options? And if you are ordering a gown, you do need to allow time for garment construction and shipping. Plus, don’t forget your partner and bridal party.
Select a Photographer and Videographer: Referrals from recently married couples always come in handy when selecting these wedding pros. Wedding expos are another great resource for finding a photographer and videographer. Remember, while price is important, your comfort level with these professionals is paramount. After all, they’ll be with you all day capturing every moment.
Your venue manager is another important referral source. At The Meadows, we believe each couple should have the ability to select their caterer and vendors. Ask for our recommended vendors list and choose from a variety of local options.
Determine Your Honeymoon Destination: Your honeymoon will probably be the most expensive trip you ever take, so planning early gives you time to save and pay. There are tremendous advantages in using a travel professional specializing in honeymoons and destination weddings. They regularly tour and experience hotels and resorts and know the hidden gems.
Into the Swing of Things (6 Months)
You’re on a roll with your timeline. Now that you have some of the “big ticket” items under control, turn your attention to these wedding day memory makers.
Book Ceremony & Reception Entertainment: Music literally sets the tone for your wedding day and there are many different possible arrangements, such as a quartet for your ceremony and cocktail, then a DJ for dinner and dancing. You’ll also want to take a look at entertainment enhancements like lighting effects. And if you’re not working with a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, you’ll find your DJ is a timeline guru when it comes to the flow of your reception.
Choose Decor & Florals: Don’t get hung up on specific flowers, but rather focus on colors and textures. Give your designers artistic license and let their creativity shine through. Ask how you can repurpose decor, like your using your ceremony arch behind your sweetheart table.
More Details for Your Denver Wedding Planning Timeline
Take a Look at Invitations: While many couples are opting for digital Save the Date announcements and even wedding invitations, there is something quite special about receiving that oversized envelope in the mail. Your invitation not only gives your guests vital information, it reflects the vibe of your day. Take a look at these beautiful and eco-friendly invites.
Let Them Eat Cake: Again, referrals and bridal shows are excellent ways to find your baker. Some all-inclusive wedding venues include a wedding cake in their packages. This is also a good time to think about a dessert table or after-party sugary treats.
The Homestretch (3 Months)
The last few months are when you need to be at your detail-oriented best. Divide and conquer these tasks with your soon to be spouse. And take a break to discover some hair and makeup options and secure those services.
If you don’t have a full service planner, this is a good time to check out Day Of Wedding Coordinators. Think of your DOC as your personal assistant who allows you to have a relaxed, stress free, wonderful day. Pair your DOC with your venue manager and you have a dynamic wedding duo!
Finalize Honeymoon Plans: Passports, vaccinations, final payments – your travel agent will make sure you have what you need for this trip of a lifetime.
Find a Rehearsal Dinner Location: The rehearsal dinner is usually a casual affair and it gives families a chance to get to know one another a little better. To make the guest list easy, anyone who is involved in the rehearsal should be invited to the dinner. Martha Stewart has some great advice on who gets a dinner invite.
Reserve Room Blocks: While you’re under no obligation to pay for guest accommodations, it’s thoughtful to have a block of hotel rooms reserved. You may want more than one lodging option, depending on your guests’ needs (and budget). And by reserving a block, your guests get a discount.
Choose Wedding Day Transportation: Or at least figure out how you’re getting from Point A to Point B. If you have a lot of out of town guests, you may want to consider some sort of shuttle service for them. Often hotels at nearby wedding venues offer this service.
You’re Almost There!
Arrange for a Marriage License: Here’s how to apply for one in Denver. Your certificate must be signed within 35 days of issuance, but it doesn’t hurt to know what’s required and what you will need.
Buy Wedding Rings: This gives you time to have them engraved with a special sentiment. Make a lunch date out of it and enjoy selecting!
Work on Your DIY Decor: Have some fun with all those little details if that’s your thing!
Mail Invitations: Typically, these are sent six to eight weeks before your wedding. And since destination weddings require some extra planning for your guests, you’ll want to get those in the mail about three months out.
Final Countdown (1 Month)
If you’ve followed your wedding timeline, you should be in great shape! Treat your attendants, Mom and future MIL to brunch or host a luncheon. Check off these final items and you’re good to go down the aisle.
Final fittings and vendor confirmations: For the couple’s attire as well as the wedding party. Confirm your vendors and provide them any last minute changes.
Purchase gifts: You’ll get your share, so spread the love with thoughtful gifts for your bridal party. Think out of the box with a unique outing or experience.
Confirm hair and makeup appointments: You may have tentatively booked these when you tried new styles, but make sure you are on the books.
Let Us Help You Plan the Perfect Day
Just getting started with your wedding planning? Count on the staff at Meadows Event Center to guide you in all your ceremony and reception needs. Contact us today to schedule your tour.