12 Month Wedding Planning Calendar for Chicago Brides
It's very common to begin the wedding planning process at least a year before the actual ceremony. Engagements are usually anywhere from twelve (12) to fourteen (14) months. With that being said, we've come up with a 12 Month Wedding Planning Calendar for Chicago Brides to assist with the wedding planning process.
At 12 months:
Establish Your Financial Comfort Zone
One of the first and most important things to do when it comes to our 12 Month Wedding Planning Calendar for Chicago Brides is establishing your financial comfort zone. Be sure to sit down with your fiance' and determine how much you want to spend on your wedding and who is going to pay for it.
Hire a Wedding Planner
Once you've established your financial comfort zone, consider hiring a wedding planner. Wedding planners handle all of the logistics of your wedding and are quite helpful when it comes to making sure you stay within your financial comfort zone. Wedding planners allow you to enjoy your wedding day without stressing over the details that's why hiring a wedding planner is on our 12 Month Wedding Planning Calendar for Chicago Brides.
Choose Your Venue
The most popular venues tend to book up very quickly so I would recommend booking the venue as soon as possible. It is not too early to book your wedding date a year in advance if it's available. Venues are somewhere around forty percent of the wedding costs. This is definitely something to consider when choosing your venue and staying within your financial comfort zone. Be sure to consult with your wedding planner before taking any venue tours.
At 11 months:
Create a Vision
Now is the time to start thinking about the design elements you would like to see at your wedding. This is the time to begin looking at magazines, wedding websites and going on Pinterest to get inspiration. Communicate your vision with your wedding planner.
Hire Your Vendors
If you have your heart set on a certain photographer, my advice is to book them early. It's wedding season for the photographers also and you want to be sure your date is available. Other vendors that you plan on using such as the wedding cake baker, makeup artist, etc. should be hired also.
At 10 months:
Go Dress Shopping
This is the time to get your Mom and girlfriends together and go try on some beautiful wedding gowns. Don't forget to make an appointment ahead of time and take plenty of photos.
Get Engagement Photos Taken
Yup, this is actually a thing! Having your engagement photos taken is becoming more popular. Your wedding photographer may offer this as part of your wedding package, so be sure to inquire.
At 9 months:
Save the Dates
At nine months, you or your wedding planner should send out your save the dates to those who are on your guest list.
At 8 months:
Find your bridesmaids dresses
You've already chosen your bridesmaids and maid of honor, so now is the time to go shopping for your bridesmaids' dresses and schedule those fittings. It's fun to have the girls along and make a day of it.
At 7 months:
Book Your Rehearsal Dinner
This is a good time to book your rehearsal dinner. Some couples have the rehearsal dinner at home or a nice restaurant depending on your financial comfort zone. Don't forget to find your rehearsal dinner outfit.
At 6 months:
Hire an Officiant
If you are not getting married at your church by your pastor, this is a good time to hire a wedding officiant. You can find one in the Chicago area anywhere from $200 - $450.
At 5 months:
Book All Transportation
Now is the time to book your limo or other means of transportation for the bride and groom. Also, if you need transportation for your guests, shuttles are a good idea since it allows you to make fewer trips back and forth between the venue and hotel.
At 4 months:
Book Your Honeymoon
If you plan to travel for your honeymoon, this is the time to book your travel accommodations. Consult with a travel agent or your wedding planner.
Purchase Wedding Bands
Some people purchase the band when they buy the engagement ring if it's part of a pair. However, if not, this is the time to purchase the wedding band for your future spouse.
At 3 months:
If you haven't opted to go the digital route, you should order your invitations at least 3 months before the wedding.
If you aren't the spontaneous type, writing your vows 3 months in advance is a good idea. This way you have time to practice and make any changes.
At 2 months:
Send out invitations
Wedding invitations should go out no later than 2 months prior to the wedding date. Doing so allows you to resend any invitations that may come back for any reason.
Get a Marriage License
You'd want to be sure to get the marriage license in hand at least 2 months before the ceremony.
At 1 month:
Pay Vendors in Full
Vendors should be paid in full at least one month before the wedding ceremony. This relieves stress on your part and gives you peace of mind.
Do a Final Walk-through
Conduct a final walk-through at the venue. Be sure your wedding planner is present for the final walk-through to ensure every detail is in place.
At One Week:
You're almost there! Now is the time to pamper yourself while getting all glammed up. Get your eyebrows waxed, a Mani/Pedi, and other waxing services. Also, if you are going on a honeymoon, now is the time to pack so that you are ready to go after the ceremony.
If you would like to learn more about the 12 Month Wedding Planning Calendar for Chicago Brides, contact us to speak to one of our wedding professionals.