How Much Time Should You Devote to Planning Your Wedding?


words by // Eve Green

During your engagement, wedding planning will inevitably take up a lot of your time. According to Martha Stewart Weddings, a typical engagement length ranges from 10 to 18 months. “Couples who are not working with a planner will spend between 200 to 300 hours planning their wedding.” If you don’t have the time, or simply don’t want to devote that much time to plan a wedding, consider hiring a wedding planner. He or she can help you navigate you through wedding planning with expert recommendations, essentially cutting your time commitment in half. However, you may be wondering just how much time is typical to devote to wedding planning when you’re going it alone. Whether the length of your engagement is short or long, consider our breakdown of how much time you may expect to devote to wedding planning.

1 Year Before Your Wedding

Immediately following your engagement, you can expect to spend a lot of your time kicking off wedding planning. On average, couples may spend multiple hours each week while working on setting a date, researching venues, and determining the style of wedding you want. If you already know where you want to get married your search may be simplified. However, if you’re considering all options, including a destination wedding, it may take more time to narrow down your top choices. If your wedding date is a year or less away, it will be necessary to begin wedding planning almost immediately. It may come as a surprise to some that wedding dresses can take up to 6 months to make, so it’s also time to get shopping! If you have a year-and-half or more to plan, you can give yourself a little time to soak up all the happy engagement vibes before you jump into planning.

3-6 Months Before Your Wedding

With 3-6 months of wedding planning left, you should already have your primary wedding vendors booked, such as the venue, photographer, caterer, and stationery designer. With all of these details secured you may find yourself with a little more downtime. There will still be tasks to be completed, such as finalizing the guest list if this hasn’t already been done, or making your honeymoon plans. You can expect to have follow up meetings with your vendors, including dress fittings, cake tastings, and making final meal selections with the caterer. You will likely also be working with your stationery designer to finalize and mail out the invitations. During this time the number of hours spent wedding planning each night vary drastically, with some weeks requiring little to no planning, and other weeks booked up with appointments.

0-3 Months Before Your Wedding

This final phase of wedding planning can sometimes feel like a fulltime job. Managing the incoming RSVPs and finalizing every last decision and detail ensures that these last few exciting months will fly by! This time can be stressful, which is why we recommend hiring a wedding day-of coordinator. Day-of coordinators typically begin their work about 30 - 60 days prior to the wedding. Their role is essentially to organize and coordinate everything having to do with the actual wedding day. A day-of coordinator will not only plan your wedding day timeline, but he or she will also coordinate with the vendors, oversee setup, and make sure everything runs smoothly throughout the event, from the ceremony to reception.

While wedding planning may seem a little daunting, there will be plenty of downtime in the weeks and months leading up to your big day. Staying organized, prioritizing tasks, and utilizing professionals such as a wedding planner or day-of coordinator can help ensure your wedding planning process is a smooth and enjoyable one.