Planning a wedding isn’t easy at the best of times, and in the age of COVID, it’s even more complicated. Even an entertainment expert like India Hicks admits there’s nothing easy about it.
When it comes to laying the groundwork for your wedding day, there is a certain order of things to follow. Finding a location and setting the date are top of the list, and then everything else will flow from there.
The magic question when it comes to planning a wedding today is how much time do you need to give yourself? Some pandemic weddings have come together in less than six weeks, and while that compressed time is doable, it’s not optimal. “Generally, a year is an ideal amount of time to plan your wedding; however, the pandemic has caused mass saturation for 2022 weddings,” says Shealyn Angus, Senior Planner at Shealyn Angus Weddings & Events (she is also a licensed wedding officiant). “As a result, the booking process for things like venues needs to happen as soon as possible.”
Here, we share some key considerations and timelines for planning a wedding in the year (or more!) ahead.
Know that 2022 is already stacked
Angus says she, like so many of her contemporaries, is at full capacity for weddings in 2022. She has more than 30 events on the cards between her and her team. If you want to say “yes” this year, she says late fall and winter are your best chance of finding a venue and vendors. “At this point, we’re not just talking about available dates, but about available vendors who have the capacity to take on an increased workload. We’re having great difficulty finding hair and makeup artists, photographers and officiants.
Book now for a wedding in 2023
If you’re planning a 2023 wedding date, booking your venue and wedding planner up to 18 months out is an extremely smart move. “This is also the time in the wedding planning process where we would book key vendors like photography, videography, entertainment and bridal beauty. We then take a break from doing any type of wedding design work until ‘until we’re in the 10 to 12 month window,” says Angus.
Compartmentalize your wedding planning steps
Don’t think of everything at once; it’s way too overwhelming. There’s a time for decisions about flowers, hanging installations, photo booths, and stationery, but it’s not at the start of your wedding planning. “We like to divide the wedding planning process into three pillars: design, production and coordination,” says Angus. In the design phase, which takes place approximately eight to 10 months after your wedding day, you will decide on the theme, decoration and general look of your entire wedding. Production follows and is the work period of putting things together for the day and organizing all the goods and services. Coordination focuses on building schedules and bringing all the details together, and this happens around the three-month period leading up to the big day.
Hiring a wedding planner is essential
“I think the pandemic has shown couples that having a planner is critical to successful wedding planning,” Angus says. “The knowledge we have of suppliers and how they react in times of challenge is imperative and invaluable. Our problem-solving skills have been supercharged over the past two years, and I’m confident there’s literally nothing we can’t handle! Having a veterinary planner for your prenups is also vital in my opinion. Supplier contracts have become more and more complicated, but we review them every day and know how to deal with them accordingly. As I always tell people who ask why a planner is so important: would you represent yourself in court rather than hiring a lawyer? Hire experts to do their job and save you a lot of stress!
Say yes to your wedding dress ASAP
Wedding dresses don’t happen in an instant bibbity-bobbity-bo. Typically, a dress can take up to eight months to produce from the time you order it. With massive pressure on the global supply chain, it may take even longer today. Consider that it will take time to find it, make it, adapt it, and adapt it to perfection. The sooner you find it, the better, and let’s be honest, stepping into a cloud of tulle and yards of lace really is the first thing you want to do after the engagement.