When to Start Planning a Wedding 

The ideal time to start planning your wedding is typically 12 to 18 months before the date. This enables you to secure vendors, service providers and your desired venue, which can book out more than a year in advance, as well as plan your wedding details in a timely manner without feeling rushed or stressed. If you have a shorter engagement or are planning a simple wedding, you may be able to start planning closer to the date, but it’s still important to give yourself ample time to plan and organize, at least 6 months before the wedding.

Can You Plan Your Own Wedding?

Yes, it is possible to plan your own wedding, and many couples do so in order to save money, have complete control over the details, and make sure their wedding day is unique and personalized. However, planning a wedding can be a complex and time-consuming task that requires a lot of organization, attention to detail, and communication with vendors and service providers. It’s important to have a clear understanding of your budget, timeline, and priorities to ensure a successful and stress-free planning experience.

It’s helpful to use some sort of wedding planning checklist or timeline to keep track of important tasks and deadlines, and consider enlisting the help of family and friends to assist with everything from planning the special day to creating decorations and centerpieces or addressing invitations. If you have room in your budget, we highly recommend hiring a wedding planner or a coordinator; you can also hire a part-time consultant or coordinator to help you devise a blueprint including budget, schedule, vendor and site choices, before you launch solo into the preparations. 

Another option is to utilize a day-of wedding coordinator, who will make sure everything goes smoothly on your special day. While you can absolutely plan your own wedding, having the expert guidance of a planner or coordinator will make your experience much more enjoyable and stress-free. Remember, the most important thing is to enjoy your wedding day and celebrate your love with your partner and family, not be caught up orchestrating the event.

Wedding Planning Timeline

There are a lot of details to consider to plan a wedding, some things need to be done well in advance and others can wait until closer to the date. Keep in mind some popular wedding venues and vendors may be booked a year or more in advance, especially during peak season, so it’s important to start researching and booking these services as soon as possible. Ultimately, the best time to start planning your wedding will depend on your individual circumstances and priorities, and it’s helpful to create a wedding planning timeline that works for you, so you can have the wedding day of your dreams.

A wedding planning timeline typically starts anywhere from 12 to 18 months before the wedding day. Here’s a general timeline to help get you started with your planning:

12 to 18 months before the wedding:

  • Set a budget for your wedding and determine the size and style of the event.
  • Choose a wedding date and start creating a guest list.
  • Book a wedding planner, venue, photographer, and caterer.
  • Begin looking for wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses.
  • Start thinking about your wedding theme and decor.

10 to 12 months before the wedding:

  • Choose your wedding party and ask them to be part of your special day.
  • Hire a band or DJ and start planning your music selection.
  • Order save-the-date cards and start planning your invitations.
  • Start an online or in-store wedding registry.
  • Begin planning your wedding ceremony and reception.

6 to 9 months before the wedding:

  • Book your florist, hair and makeup artist, and rental equipment.
  • Order your wedding cake or desserts.
  • Choose and order your wedding rings.
  • Reserve accommodations for out-of-town guests.
  • Start planning your wedding favors.

4 to 6 months before the wedding:

  • Send out your invitations and consider creating a wedding website with all of the information for the big event. 
  • Plan your wedding ceremony and reception details, such as the ceremony order, reception seating, and menu selection.
  • Schedule your wedding dress fittings and purchase accessories.
  • Plan your honeymoon and make travel arrangements.
  • Finalize details with all vendors and service providers.

2 to 3 months before the wedding:

  • Attend pre-wedding events, such as the bridal shower and bachelor/bachelorette parties.
  • Plan your wedding rehearsal and dinner.
  • Purchase wedding day essentials, such as guest books, favors, and thank-you cards.
  • Finalize your wedding day timeline and seating chart.
  • Schedule hair and makeup trials.

1 month before the wedding:

  • Confirm all details with vendors and service providers.
  • Obtain marriage license and other legal documents.
  • Finalize wedding ceremony and reception details, such as readings, music, and speeches.
  • Finalize details with your wedding planner and venue.

Week of the wedding:

  • Pack for your honeymoon and prepare for the wedding day.
  • Confirm all details with vendors and service providers.
  • Attend the wedding rehearsal and dinner.
  • Relax and enjoy your wedding day!

Everyone has different priorities when planning a wedding, but creating some sort of timeline whether you’re doing it yourself or working with a professional wedding planner will ensure that everything on your lists gets done so you can enjoy your big day. Historic Acres of Hershey offers a beautiful setting for rustic and modern weddings alike. Contact us to learn more about our event spaces or to book a tour of the property.