Introduction: Wedding Planning Timeline
Planning a barn wedding can be a daunting task, but with a little organization and advance planning, it can be a breeze! This 12-month wedding planning timeline will help you plan the perfect barn wedding, from booking the venue to sending out invitations.
Our goal at Belle Oaks Barn is to make sure your wedding is seamless, stress free and fully reflects your love. We are sure this is something you most likely haven’t done before, and like anything new to us it can seem overwhelming. Which can lead to you missing details and creating more stress. That is what we want to avoid.
Well, good news for you: we have years of experience planning and bringing weddings together at our Florida barn venue. We are happy to share a breakdown with you on what to expect and to focus on when your wedding is 12 months out. Then if you want to work with a venue that provides a full service experience to take the load off of you so you can fully enjoy your engagement at the end of this post we share how to reach out to us.
12 Months Before: Set A Budget, Choose A Venue, Start Guest List
It’s never too early to start thinking about your wedding. In fact, the sooner you start planning, the better. Here is a wedding planning timeline of some of the important things you need to do when you are around the 12 month marker.
Set a budget: This is one of the most important things you need to do when planning your wedding. Figure out how much money you have to work with and start allocating funds for different aspects of the wedding. This will help you make clear decisions moving forward knowing what will work and what won’t.
Choose a venue: Once you know how much money you have to work with, start looking at potential venues for the ceremony and reception. Keep in mind that the time of year and location will affect the cost of renting a venue. Then get your tour booked as soon as possible. Belle Oaks offers private venue tours to make sure you get all your questions answered and so we can fully understand your vision. We also typically are booking a year out, so the sooner you get through this process the better. Especially if you have a preferred date.
9-11 Months Before: Book Vendors, Send Save The Dates
Typically when you get into this time range it is good to start thinking about reserving your vendors. Especially your catering and photography. This will help you avoid possible fees as well by booking too late and giving the vendor short notice.
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, so you want everything to be the way you want it. That includes choosing the right vendors who will help make your dream day a reality. Belle Oaks Barn works very closely with top vendors that provide high quality service and know everything about our venue.
Why is that important? When you not only work with quality vendors but ones that know our venue it means everything will run smoothly. Working with a vendor that has never been to our venue can create hiccups in the flow. We have spent years dialing in our vendor list to take all the guesswork out for you, so we always strongly encourage our couples to go with our preferred vendors to ensure the quality of the wedding experience.
Save the dates are also an important part of any wedding planning timeline. They give your guests a heads up about when your big day is and ensures that everyone can block off that date in their calendar. It is good etiquette to provide enough notice for your wedding day. To be considerate of the family or friends that could be traveling from further distances or need to request time off. It also is an exciting time to send those out, it is when the wedding is starting to become real! We love seeing the different ways couples choose to do their save the dates from magnets to scratch offs or fun photos.
6-8 Months Before: Finalize Menu, Choose Bridal Party
As the wedding day approaches, the excitement increases, and along with that come some important details to finalize. One of the most important decisions is choosing the menu. This should be done 6-8 months before the big day.
Choosing the menu can be a daunting task, but there are some tips to make it easier. First, decide what type of food you want to serve. Will it be a sit-down meal or buffet? What kind of cuisine do you want? Once you have an idea of the type of food you want, start looking at different caterers or restaurants.
To make this process completely stress free for you we have top caterers for you to choose from that provide excellent food options that will leave your guests raving about it.
Along with the catering, another important detail to finalize 6-8 months before the wedding is choosing the bridal party. This can be a difficult decision, one that can be filled with emotion. But, the most important thing to remember is this is your wedding and however big or small your wedding party is it is up to you. But, this would be the time frame you want to be able to ask who you wish and make sure they are able to. If any are not you will have plenty of time to make adjustments.
3-5 Months Before: Send Out Invitations, Start The Dress Fittings
When it comes to planning your wedding, there are a lot of things that need to be done in order to make sure everything goes smoothly. Now that we are getting down to the home stretch, 3-5 months before the big day you should be sending out invitations and starting the dress fittings.
If you wait too long to send out invitations, you run the risk of not having enough time to properly address them all. It can also affect getting an accurate count of who is attending. That can affect your catering especially if you are doing a plated meal. And if you wait too long to start the dress fittings, you might not have enough time to make any alterations that might be needed.
So, if you want everything to go as smoothly as possible, it’s important that you take care of these two things 3-5 months before your wedding day. Trust us, it’ll be one less thing for you to worry about and help minimize those unexpected surprises.
1 Month Before: Finalize Remaining Details, Wedding Rehearsal
We are just about there at this point and the anticipation and excitement is really building! Before we go into full celebration mode we need to make sure everything is good to go. That includes the wedding rehearsal. Here is a checklist you can use to make sure the rehearsal covers everything it is supposed to.
-Confirm the date and time of the rehearsal with all participants.
-Choose who will lead the rehearsal (usually the officiant or coordinator).
-Send out a reminder to everyone about what to bring to the rehearsal (guests’ list, marriage license, etc.).
-Plan for a run-through of the ceremony, including any readings or special songs.
-Rehearse the processional and recessional.
-Work out any kinks in the plan so that everything runs smoothly on the big day.
-Make sure everyone knows where they should be and when they need to be there on the day of the wedding.
When you are a month out it is also the time to make sure all the vendors are good to go. Just quickly check in with them and make sure they have everything they need and have the correct times. A simple email can avoid a lot of stress on the day of the wedding.
1 Week Before: Pack For Honeymoon, Enjoy The Day!
At this point everything major should be done. So, the week leading up to your wedding will be a whirlwind from packing for the wedding, packing for the honeymoon, and welcoming any family or friends that traveled in for your special day.
The biggest suggestion we share with our couples during this week is to at least set aside one night for the both of you the week before your wedding. To have time to just have a moment to be together, take a breath, connect and check in with each other. Weddings can be a lot, but through it all we need to stay focused on the purpose of all of this. It is about celebrating your love and union. It is a whole new chapter of life.
Conclusion: Wedding Planning Timeline
In conclusion, following a 12 month wedding timeline will help to ensure that your big day is everything you’ve ever dreamed of. By starting to plan early and delegating tasks, you can avoid becoming overwhelmed as the date approaches. Most importantly, remember to enjoy the engagement period and savor every moment leading up to your wedding day.
As we mentioned in the beginning, if you are looking for a venue that is picturesque, and brings an experienced staff to take all the heavy lifting off of you then we encourage you to book your private venue tour with us. When you book with Belle Oaks Barn you don’t have to worry about a thing with our full service options our team and vendors will bring your vision to life.
The first step is to access our investment sheet first, by clicking the link below we will send that over to you. Then our wonderful team will be in touch to help you book your private venue tour.
Access Wedding Packages Price Sheet
Let’s celebrate your love,
Michelle & Doug