The BIG question’s been asked and the “yes” gladly spoken. The bridal magazines have been consulted and grown dog-eared. And your grandmother’s wedding dress has been taken out of the old steamer trunk and laid out. You’ve done so many things in anticipation of your wedding later this year.

What you haven’t done yet is begin to properly plan your 2023 wedding.

We don’t just mean putting pen to paper and making lists, though you’ve probably done a bit of that already. No, we mean it’s now time to start taking some concrete action so that when the big day finally arrives later this year, you won’t wonder mid-ceremony if you forgot to get your marriage license.

The purpose of this post is to provide you with an at-a-glance checklist of all the tasks you need to do to truly get your wedding planning underway for your 2023 wedding.

Let’s get started!

Wedding Planning Activities: A Suggested Timeline

Set Your Wedding Budget: Six to 12 Months Out

While you may dream of having a wedding that would put the Imagineers at Disney to shame, you may not have the budget for it. And truth be told, even those who plan luxury weddings still have budgets. Before you do anything else, sit down with all the parties who’ll be paying for your wedding and nail down a budget.

Secure a Venue: Six to 12 Months Out

Finding the right venue for your wedding requires some legwork. Aside from your budget, no other aspect of your wedding planning affects as much of your wedding planning as your wedding venue does. This holds especially true if you’re looking into destination weddings.

Make a list of venues and make appointments to visit them. Once you’re there, ask about wedding elements, like:

  • Whether they allow your caterer to come in or if you must use an on-site caterer
  • How do they handle decorations and floral arrangements? Will they help you set up? Are there restrictions?
  • Will your color scheme and decorating ideas work in this venue?
  • Do you have the option of marrying outdoors? Or is it strictly indoors?
  • Can your pet be a part of the nuptials?
  • If it’s a destination wedding, then find out how many of your out-of-town guests the venue can accommodate.
  • Along the same lines, ask about local options for wedding entertainment, like live bands or on-site wedding portrait artists, floral arrangements, rentals of tables and chairs, etc.
  • Look into the types of wedding activities that your wedding guests can participate in if you’re doing a southern destination wedding. For example, is there horseback riding or golf or the possibility of afternoon tea?

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Book Vendors: Six to 12 Months Out

Once you know where you’re getting married, you’re in a position to start booking vendors. If you plan on a southern destination wedding, then ask the venue to make recommendations and/or start booking the venue’s on-site wedding professionals for your wedding date.

Decide Who Will Plan the Wedding: Six to 12 Months Out

Are you planning the wedding yourself? Or will you hire a wedding planner? Either way, you need to determine who will take care of this so that you can start getting things organized.

Make Guest and Wedding Party Lists: Six to Eight Months Out

Once you know where you’ll be getting married, you can then create a list of guests you want to invite and possible people who will be a part of the wedding party.

Destination weddings offer special challenges to guests and potential members of your wedding party. Traveling may be outside their budgets. In light of that, talk to all the people you want to be in your wedding party and do so far in advance. If someone can’t make it, then you have enough time to find replacements.

Do the Wedding Website, Invitations, and Photos: Four to Six Months Out

Because your wedding website and your invitations depend on your engagement photos as a part of their content, it’s best to do these three activities together. Technically, you could add a fourth element: a save-the-date magnet to send to your guests in your invitations. If you opt to send those, this is the time to make them, too.

By the five-month mark, your invitations and save-the-date magnets should go out.

Send Invitations: Six Months Out

The Pandemic put the kibosh on in-person weddings and the supply chains for a couple of years. In-person weddings are a thing again, but the supply chain still needs some time to bounce back. So get your invitations out sooner rather than later. 

Shop for Wedding Attire: Six to Eight Months Out

It’s time to rent the tuxes, buy the dresses, and secure the bridesmaids’ and groomsmen’s outfits. Go in for fittings. Ask about alterations, too. You may lose weight before the big day, so you need to know how much time you have to get your dress refitted.

Check RSVPs, Get Marriage License, Etc: Three to One Month Out

At this point, you’re very close to the “I do’s,” so you’ll find that there seem to be more and more last-minute things to do.

Below, you’ll find a list of tasks you should be doing at this point.

  • Check with your guests to see who’s coming and who’s not.
  • Get your marriage license within 90 days of your wedding day.
  • Book your honeymoon if you’re not doing a destination wedding and honeymoon package.
  • Talk to the photographer, videographer, and wedding artist about the images you want.
  • Book hair and nail appointments.
  • Buy gifts for your partner and write a note for them.
  • Schedule wedding activities for your guests at the venue.
  • Get the final alterations on your wedding outfits.
  • Talk with the wedding DJ, band, etc. about the entertainment line-up.
  • Confirm the headcount with the venue and make a seating chart.
  • Buy wedding bands.
  • Put together wedding favors.
  • Set up the rehearsal dinner.
  • Meet with the minister.

Final Thoughts on Planning Your 2023 Wedding

Twenty-twenty-three has finally arrived, and with it comes the promise of a new life with your intended. Now’s the time to start the serious planning your 2023 wedding will require. If you follow this checklist, you’ll be ready to go on the big day, whether you’re planning a luxury wedding at home or a fun, all-inclusive destination wedding someplace else.

If you need a venue and want help planning your big day, contact us today for a proposal! We’d love to be a part of your special day!

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