How To Start Planning your Wedding 12 Months Out

Congratulations, lovebirds! You’ve finally found your perfect match, and now you’re ready to embark on an unforgettable journey towards tying the knot. But before you dive headfirst into a sea of tulle and wedding bells, let’s slow down, take a deep breath, and start planning your dream wedding! At Harvest Moon Pond, we love helping our couples create the wedding of their dreams through our tools, so we’ve prepared the ultimate 12-month countdown to make your special day a storybook affair. So, grab your partner’s hand, leave your worries behind, and let’s dance our way through this lighthearted and love-filled guide to wedding planning!

12+ Months Out

Congratulations on your engagement! It’s the start of an incredible journey filled with love, joy, and cherished memories. Cheers to your beautiful future together!

  • Decide on priorities and set a budget
  • Book your dream wedding venue
  • Choose your wedding colors and theme
  • Choose your wedding party
  • Consider hiring a planner
  • Research your vendors and book VIP vendors in high demand, prioritizing accommodations and independently owned businesses that can only book one event per day
  • Start your wedding guest list
  • Mark your calendar with important due dates

9 Months Out

As you approach the 9-month mark, it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty details. Find the perfect vendors and start curating your registry for the big day! The countdown is on, and the excitement is building!

  • Send out save-the-dates
  • Book a photographer if you haven’t yet
  • Book a videographer
  • Book a dj if you haven’t yet
  • Have engagement photos taken
  • Find and say ‘Yes!’ to a dress
  • Create a wedding website
  • Book a caterer
  • Finalize accommodations and/or your hotel room block
  • Create gift registries
  • Book your officiant
  • Book hair and makeup artist


6 to 7 Months Out

You’re halfway there and you’ve earned a day to pamper yourself.

  • Shop for wedding bands
  • Design and order your invitations
  • Finalize your guest list and guest addresses
  • Start planning your honeymoon 
  • Choose bridesmaids’ dresses
  • Book a florist
  • Arrange transportation
  • Select attire for flower girl and ring bearer

4 to 5 Months Out

With 4-5 months left, indulge in cake tastings, plan your bridal shower, and book the rehearsal-dinner venue. Fine-tune your playlist, arrange the first dress fitting, and complete the hunt for bridal accessories and groom’s attire, bringing your dream wedding look together!

  • Taste and order your cake/desserts
  • Plan bridal shower with host
  • Book a rehearsal-dinner venue
  • Make play and don’t play music list
  • Arrange your first dress fitting
  • Find bridal accessories
  • Choose groom’s attire
  • Book couples’ wedding night accommodations
  • Plan bachelor and bachelorette parties
  • Decide on decor rentals


3 Months Out

As you hit the 3-month mark, dot the i’s and cross the t’s!

  • Finalize catering menu and services
  • Print menus, programs, signage, etc.
  • Finalize floral order and services
  • Purchase your rings
  • Work on a wedding day schedule
  • Meet with your officiant
  • Coordinate ceremony details


2 Months Out

With just 2 months to go, it’s time to bring everything into focus!

  • Finalize plans with photographer
  • Finalize ceremony and reception music
  • Send out invitations with due date of 5-6 weeks before wedding date
  • Make final vendor payments
  • Touch base with all vendors
  • Confirm groomsmen attire


1 Month Out

With only 1 month left, it’s time to wrap up those last-minute details!

  • Secure your marriage license
  • Attend your final dress fitting
  • Send out rehearsal dinner invites
  • Finalize linen rentals based on final guest count/table needs
  • Confirm details with all vendors
  • Work with your vendors on your wedding day schedule
  • Assign guest seats if needed
  • Purchase wedding party gifts
  • Write your vows
  • Track rsvps
  • Contact those who haven’t rsvp’d
  • Establish and share final head count with catering
  • Send caterer special guest food requirements, allergies or requests


1 Week Out

Take a moment for yourself with a mandatory de-stress day!

  • Distribute final wedding day schedule to all wedding party and vendors
  • Outsource any small tasks possible
  • Carve out a mandatory de-stress day
  • Prepare vendor payments and tips
  • Dance around in your wedding shoes
  • Pack for your honeymoon


After the Wedding

Congratulations, newlyweds! As you step into this new chapter, there are a few post-wedding to-dos to wrap up the celebration.

  • Pay any remaining vendor balances due
  • Clean and preserve your wedding gown
  • Write ‘thank you’ cards
  • Change your name if you wish to do so
  • Write a review for your vendors


Additional things included when you book at Harvest Moon Pond:

  • Harvest Moon Pond Pinterest Boards for Inspiration
  • Real Wedding Inspiration on the HMP Blog
  • Access to the Client Hub, Resource Guide, & Online Planner
  • Preferred Vendor Lists
  • Optional Decor Packages through Harvest Moon Pond
  • Bar consultations with the HMP Team
  • Final Planning Call with HMP

And there you have it, lovebirds! Your 12-month guide to planning the wedding of your dreams. Remember, it’s not about achieving perfection, but cherishing the journey with your partner. Embrace the laughter, the tears, and the unexpected twists because, in the end, it’s all part of your beautiful love story.

If you’ve fallen in love with this planning tool and the photos in this post, why not book a tour at Harvest Moon Pond? Picture a breathtaking venue, surrounded by nature’s embrace, and let your love bloom in this enchanting setting. Take a moment to visit and let your wedding dreams take flight!

Wishing you both a lifetime of love, joy, and endless happiness.


Planner / coordinator – Event Gal
Photographer – Twig and Olive
Videographer – DiMaggio Productions
Stationary / signage – Fest Paper
Cake – The Baked Lab
Charcuterie – North & South Catering
Bride Dresses & Bridesmaid Dress – Brandi’s Bridal Galleria

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