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How Long Should You Wait to Plan Your Wedding Once Engaged?

by Craig

While some women start planning their wedding day at the age of five, most of us don’t have a solid idea of what our special day is going to entail until well after the ring is on the finger. So how much time do you have to plan the wedding of your dreams once you say yes? Well, it really depends on your date. Most people will say you need a year to plan a wedding right, but that doesn’t really mean you have to spend the entire year engaged in the planning process.

The trick is to set a few dates right off the bat. First and foremost, you need to set a wedding date. Whether it’s a year or two down the road, six months from now, or next weekend, the date of your nuptials will determine how fast you need to get on with the planning. Your best bet is to choose a date that’s at least a year from the time you become engaged since popular venues for the ceremony and reception can get totally booked as far as a year out.

Next, you need to make deadlines for yourself. There are a couple of significant ones that should be jotted down in the calendar. One is the deadline for mailing invitations. You want to give people plenty of time to make travel arrangements and save up vacation days, so you could send them out as early as six months in advance (although about 3 months before the blessed event is standard). If you’re sending save-the-date notices, you can ship them out as soon as you choose the date. You’ll also want to set a drop-dead date for your dress. Consider if you’ll be ordering it and allow plenty of time for delivery so that you still have a window of several weeks for fittings and alterations.

Other than that, you can take the planning at a leisurely pace. With a whole year to kill, you don’t have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off. You have lots of time to pore over flower arrangements, taste-test cuisine, and change your mind. Of course, your schedule will get bumped up with a shorter engagement, so consider all that you have to accomplish (and how fast you can reasonably do it) before you set your date. In truth, you really should start planning right away, regardless of your time-frame, so that when your day arrives, you are totally prepared and stress-free, allowing you to enjoy every moment.

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