The day you get engaged is one of the happiest days of your life. But then the questions ensue: When’s the date? Where are you registered? Will there be a vegan meal option? Argh. To help alleviate at last some of the pressure, we’ve put together this down-and-dirty to-do list of what needs to take priority 12 months out.

Wedding Timeline 2

Confirm your budget
Whether it’s $10K or $50K, having a concrete budget is one of the first steps to successful wedding planning. It's the foundation for every subsequent decision—from the head count to the venue type. This is also a good time to sit down with your fiancé and decide what takes priority when it comes to budget distribution (e.g., band > food > flowers). 

Decide on a head count
Know it. Love it. Your “number” affects everything from the venue to the food. FYI, the head count doesn't have to be exact (seriously, a ballpark at this point in time is fine), but estimating the number of people in your family and jotting down an ideal list of friends you'd like to include should be enough to give you a general sense.

Scout and book the venue
Maybe you want a classy winery...or a rustic barn. Block out some time to make some calls and schedule in-person visits right away. You'd be amazed how quickly in-demand locations book up. But booking at this time is key, because you can't talk flowers, food or music before you know where everything is taking place.

Pop the wedding-party question
“Will you be my bridesmaid?” cards are the best. We know it may seem a bit early, but you want to give your BFFs time to plan. So pinpoint whom you'd like to invite to be in your wedding party, then come up with a thoughtful way to make the ask. (An email with a hilarious wedding-themed gif is also totally OK.) 

Start a Pinterest board to show vendors
Just remember: Pinning is free; peonies are not. Your Pinterest boards should be a space to bring all your wildest bridal fantasies to life visually...then scale back based on your budget.

Hire a wedding planner…or not
Maybe you can't even fathom coordinating a million wedding-related details over the next 12 months. Maybe you're type A and can't wait to do it all on your own. Now’s the time to decide.

RELATED: How to Plan a Wedding for $10K (No, That’s Not a Typo)

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