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How Far In Advance Should You Begin Planning Your Wedding?

If you’ve just got engaged, then congratulations! You’re probably super excited to get stuck into planning your big day! Chances are you’ll have given your dream wedding plenty of thought before you even got engaged, and will be dying to make it a reality.

But the date that you set for your wedding will determine what you can really tie down in terms of details, particularly if you’re having a slightly longer engagement. How far in advance is the right time to start planning your wedding? Read on for our advice!

Guest list

One of the very first things that you should start to plan is your guest list. Having at least a fairly good idea of how many of your nearest and dearest you want to have with you on your special day will help you with working out your budget, so this is definitely one part of the planning you can think about as soon as you get engaged.


Your budget is what will absolutely dictate most of the important elements of your wedding, so this is the key thing to work out and something you should focus on before thinking about venues or suppliers.

Sit down with your partner and have the conversation before you get too excited looking at your dream photographers or venues. Figure out what you have already saved and what you can save together before your big day, in order to get your final figure. Believe it or not, you may be able to afford a wedding planner with Alterkate offering a cheap alternative to traditional wedding planners.

If you need more in-depth advice your wedding budget, we love this post from The Every Last Detail. They’ve even included a handy spreadsheet to help you!


This is something that you really want to have nailed down before you start planning the rest as it will set the tone for everything else. There are so many different styles of wedding, from vintage, classic, rustic and much more.

Everything from the decor to your invitations will be influenced by this, so you can start thinking about the style you’d like to go for very early on! And, chances are this is something you’ve already given some thought to anyway.


Booking the venue is possibly the biggest aspects of booking your wedding, and we recommend booking as a first priority. This solidifies your date, and putting down a deposit will really make things feel real for you.

Don’t forget that venues can often be filled up a year or more in advance, so it’s a good idea to make enquiries early. 12 months to 14 months out is a good timeframe for viewing and choosing a venue, and anything over 2 years may be a little too far in the future for some venues to consider you.


Areas for which you need to hire a professional such as wedding planners, photographers and videographers, bands and DJs, and florists should be booked at least a year in advance, so you should start thinking about this early.

Book those vendors that are a high priority for you such as the perfect photographer to capture your memories early on to get them nailed down!

The dress

One of the things it’s generally safe to leave a little later is your dress, as you’d be surprised how many brides actually have dress regret.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t start looking at dresses as soon as you get engaged - indeed, resisting doing so would no doubt prove difficult! But ordering your dress and scheduling any fittings should generally begin around 6-8 months from the big day.

We hope this has been helpful to you if you have recently become engaged and are wondering when to start the planning process!

As a general rule, two years out is probably the earliest realistic point for the bulk of your planning, as a lot of vendors will be reluctant to speak to you before then, but there’s no reason why you can’t think about your style, budget, and guest list before then if you need to have a long engagement for whatever reason. And of course, it’s never too early to start saving up!

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