An engagement can be one of the most exciting times for a couple; it can also be very overwhelming. It means you have about a year to plan what is probably the biggest event of your life. It’s important to take the time to organize yourself so you can keep calm and enjoy the process.  We’ve put together a wedding checklist to help you prioritize your time and get your show on the road!

First three months:

Style: With so much to do you could easily find yourself drowning in too much information. To make things easier for yourself, it’s best to start with the big picture ideas like your wedding theme. What style do you want your wedding to be? Formal? Country? Outdoors? Picking the style you’d like to have will help you narrow down your venue search.

Guest list: Your next step is to figure out how many people you want at your wedding. It’s very important to do this early as it will determine the venue you book.

Budget: Creating a budget for your wedding is one of the most important tasks to get done. It will help you figure out how much you’d like to spend on each element of the wedding. Most of your cost will probably go towards the venue, something to keep in mind when figuring out your limit.

Venue: You can now start booking appointments with different venues and officiants to find the right ones for you. It’s good to have a few dates in mind for your wedding, as venues tend to book up very quickly. The venue will probably take up a big chunk of your budget, so it’s always good to get that done first so you can determine the rest of your costs with the leftover money.

Nine months until the wedding:

Bookings: This is the time to start booking your photographers, entertainment, florists and caterer. It may seem very early but they can book up very fast. Ask friends and search the web to get good recommendations in your area. Speak with a few vendors from any given category to compare packages, prices, and to see what kinds of options are available to you.

Wedding dress:  In an ideal world, most wedding gown stores and designers want between eight months and a year to order, make, and tailor your dress.  It’s never too early to start looking and trying gowns on to figure out which styles you prefer, and within nine months you should be up to date on the latest styles and options for your season.  At the very, very least make sure to order around that eight-month mark to save yourself the risk of running into rush charges.

Six months until the wedding:

Decor: Now that all the main things are taken care of, it’s time to start ironing out your decor. This is the time to start figuring out exactly how you want your wedding to look, like your table settings, centrepieces, and any other details you want to contribute to the big picture.

Rings: Purchase your weddings rings with your partner, giving yourself plenty of time for sizing.

Written by Four Weddings Canada.