Hi, all! I am just getting started on trying to plan my wedding and wow is it overwhelming! My fiance and I are currently tentatively setting 9/23/23 as our day. How early is too early to start planning? It feels a little weird reaching out to vendors since it's not for another 2 years. Also, what is the etiquette for sending Save the Date vs. Invitations? Is it appropriate to just send invitations and if so, when should they be sent out?
Not too early!! I got engaged in the middle of October, booked our venue at the beginning of November for 2/25/23, and did NOT have my choice of dates. All of March and all of February and most of January were booked solid on Saturdays. (March is prime wedding season in Florida.) so at least look at venues now so you have the luxury of time and having a good shot of getting your preferred venue and date.
It's not too soon at all! We have a nearly exactly 2 year engagement and started booking vendors immediately. Save the dates are sent out 8-10 months out, and invitations are sent 6-8 weeks out. You can definitely just send invitations, but if you're having a wedding where many of your guests have to arrange travel it's courteous to send save the dates, even if they're electronic.
Two years is definitely not too early! I actually think it is the perfect time to start planning - lots of time to make well researched decisions, plenty of time to save money, but not too much time that you get bored with the process. I would start by creating your guest list, then looking for venues that can accommodate that many people in the location you wish to be married. Many venues/vendors typically would not accept deposits or book dates more than one year out; but with the number of weddings and couples getting married doubling due to the pandemic and all the cancellations, a lot of them have begun booking much further out, so you may even be able to start scheduling walk-throughs for venues! You can also start researching other vendors like caterers, photographers, videographers, HMUA, etc. Even if they are not booking this far out, you will at least have all the research done and know who your top selections are when it’s time to start booking. If you are paying for your wedding (or even just some of it) it might be helpful to create a spreadsheet with your budget and how much you need to save out of every paycheck, to ensure you stay on track with your savings. If you don’t already have one, you could also create a wedding Pinterest board where you can save ideas on color palettes, flowers, decor, etc.
This is actually a perfect time to start now because a lot of people are getting married in 2022 and 2023. By speaking to them NOW and locking them in a contract can ensure that they will be booked with you on your special day.
That’s my birthday good choice in day I would start planning now since everyone who gets engaged during the holidays will want 2023 dates . I got engaged 7/4/20 and started planning for my 4/23/22 shortly after, my fiancé family has to fly in so we sent them out on April 23 2021 so a year out
Just came to agree with everyone else! For venue, photographer, and other big ticket vendors two years is definitely not too early. Having two years to spread it out will also lessen your stress and probably give you a little bit less sticker shock!
Make sure you start with your budget - we combined how much we COULD spend/have saved with research about typical prices in our area and made our budget from there. As for save the dates and invites - regardless of how far in advance your get your wedding planned, you'll still want to send save the dates 6-8 months in advance for a local wedding and 8-12 months in advance for a destination wedding. Invites will go out 4-6 weeks before a local wedding and anywhere between 6-12 weeks for a destination wedding.
Not too early at all! I got engaged towards the end of October and set our date for 10/07/2023. We already booked the venue because we knew it was the one - they also only had 2 weekends left in for October 2023, so it's a good thing we did!
I felt crazy for inquiring so early - I did even ask some caterers, which to my surprise were also already booking for 2023. It's definitely good to inquire and weigh your options!
View Quoted Comment
Thank you for the advice and encouragement! I'm struggling with keeping up on vendor research because so many details are unknown and it's exhausting. I'll have to make a spreadsheet to keep everything straight in my mind and having a budget for savings is a great idea, so thanks for that! Also, what is HMUA?
View Quoted Comment
Yes, I definitely had a bit of sticker shock during my initial research and that made it hard to want to continue planning. Thanks for the info about invite timelines. That's a relief since it sounds like I have much more time and should focus on the big ticket vendors for now.