How to Prepare for A Wedding (Without Pulling Your Hair Out)

how to plan a wedding stress free

The perfect wedding is a lot easier to imagine than it is to actually plan. For engaged couples, the stress of putting everything together can be almost overwhelming. Is there any sure fire way to dodge the hassle while still making your big day a magical one to remember?

As it turns out, there is a simple way to fit the entire planning process into an easy to follow checklist. From budgeting to packing for the honeymoon, consider this your ultimate stress-free guide to wedding planning.

how to plan a wedding stress free

Get A Head Start

One of the most important pieces of information anyone can give you about wedding planning is to start early! How early you want to get the ball rolling is ultimately up to you, but taking the stress out of the process is easiest when you begin sixteen to ten months before the day of the wedding.

That’s a large gap in time, but it really is never too early to start planning. Begin by making a folder or binder that contains magazine clippings for dresses, designs, and food for inspiration. At the same time, sit down with your partner and thoroughly work out your budget.

When budgeting, don’t count on contributions from guests. Keep it to you and your significant other’s financial limitations, as well as any help from either of your families. Once that’s done, the two of you can pick out your wedding party to add a few helping hands to the preparations.

16-10 Months Prior:

  • Make a binder
  • Define the budget
  • Pick the Wedding Party

Making the Most of Your Time

Now that you have a solid head start, everything will gradually become easier. Sit down with your wedding party and work on the guest list by making a list of names with contact info. You will also want to pencil in information about RSVPs, gifts, or any other relevant information pertaining to your guests.

It might take a little while to come up with enough names, so take the time in-between to reserve a date and any venues. The further ahead you book, the cheaper your overall cost should be. You can hire a planner at this stage if you think it’s necessary. Don’t forget to book your officiant, too!

9 Months Prior:

  • Guest List
  • Reserve Date and Venues
  • Book the Officiant

Make the Stars Align

This is when you will start to lay the serious groundwork for your wedding by hiring photographers, booking any entertainment (live music, DJ), and caterers. Take your time to research which individuals or companies would be the best fit for the occasion.

During this time, you also need to purchase a dress. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, but heading over to can give you a better idea of what you’re looking for. Take your time, and don’t stress out. You have a whole month!

8 Months Prior:

  • Hire Services
  • Purchase Dress
  • (Optional) Start a Wedding Website

Getting Serious

By this point in time, you and your significant other should start planning the honeymoon phase, but just the simple aspects such as passports, places, and activities. Ladies, take your bridal party out to shop for their bridesmaids’ dresses. Gent’s, it’s tux fitting time.

Once the outfits are ordered, meet with the officiant to finalize any official documents for the wedding. That same day is an excellent one to compose a “day-of” timeline as well. You might also want to book your florist, reserve anything extra needed at the venue (projector, chairs, etc.), and send out save-the-date cards.

7-6 Months Prior:

  • Dresses and Tuxedos
  • Meet with the Officiant
  • Reserve Extras
  • Day-Of Timeline and Save the Date Cards

Putting It All Together

The next few months are all about bridging the gap between the foundations you’ve set and the final day. This is when all the pieces of the puzzle begin coming together to the form the final picture. Don’t panic, here are your checklists for the next few months.

5-4 Months Prior

During this time, all you need to do is order the cake, purchase your shoes, and book any rehearsal venues. Ladies, this is when you schedule any pampering/aesthetic services. Hair and makeup are essentials, but some prefer more exotic appearance makeovers like the ones at

how to plan a wedding stress free

3-2 Months

Month three is all about finalizing. Go over the readings, toasts, menus, and event schedule while making final revisions. Then, purchase the rings as well as anything you’ll wear beneath the dress.

Month two is when you should send out invitation, make any announcements, and meet with your photographer. After you check all of this off the list, it’s bachelorette and bachelor party time!

1 Month Prior

Alright, the fun is over! Go get your marriage license first thing in the final month of preparation (not that this isn’t a fun step, too!). Stock up that venue bar, send out as many final payments as you can, and reconfirm everything with everyone from the vendor to the makeup artist.

Make sure to get your bridesmaids gifts, but only after they help you pick out the seating order. Email directions for your guests, pick up your dress, and take the time to write your vows.

It’s Time!

The week of is mostly about double-checking what you’ve set in place so that things run smoothly. If you followed this checklist, they will. Check in one last time with everyone to confirm, break in your shoes, and pack for your honeymoon. Last, but not least, enjoy your special day!

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Owner and Editor at Week99er
Becky is Content Creator in metro-Detroit. She is also an interior designer, a former adjunct professor, a gluten free foodie, and world traveler. Week99er is a lifestyle site featuring real life reviews of the latest in entertainment, technology, travel destinations and even set visits. Her Youtube channel gives in depth reviews and travel videos. Contact her at [email protected]

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