12-18 Months Prior to Your Big Day
12-18 months prior to your wedding, you should have a good idea as to the type of the wedding that you are anticipating. Start off by selecting a date for the Big Day. Have a backup date in case the reception venue or the churches do not have availability. Also, set a projected budget along with an estimated quest list to determine the size of the wedding.
-If you are planning on hiring a Wedding Planner, this would be a good time to do so since they can assist you with the initial planning and also recommend vendors. Couples are limited with timing as to planning and having everything exactly the way they want. That is why they turn to wedding planners/consultants. There are different levels of planners, which you can hire. You could have them initiate the planning and finalize deals or have them for the day of the wedding to ensure that everything goes the way planned. If this is an option for you and your fiancé, start interviewing different planners and decide on which level and how involved the planner will be. I truly enjoyed planning my wedding even though it creates much stress. But regret not hiring a planner for the day to assist with the details.
-Select Floral Designer
-Select your Band/DJ or other Entertainment. If you are planning on having a well known singer/band, set up an appointment as soon as you book the reception location. If you must have a particular singer/band then you might need to work with their availability and see if reception location is available.
-Plan for your Honeymoon – Decide on what type of honeymoon you two prefer. Travel agencies are usually able to book trips no more than 12 months prior. The reason is that resorts (especially Sandals and other major all inclusive resorts) work with annual contracts with airline and lodging companies. My number one recommendation is to go all out! You will always remember your honeymoon and you will most definitely need the time away. Cut down your costs in other areas that might be possible and splurge on your honeymoon adventure.
Once you are ready to book, make sure you shop around. You can get the same package for the same resort from different types of agencies. For example, if you are looking into Sandal Resorts, you might get a package for $10,000 from a regular travel agent. However, there are specialized agencies, (such as in this example) which will get you the same package for a lesser amount. Spend some time researching on this. Make sure you have your documentation available and ready to be presented when booking. For international honeymoons, look into passports, birth certificates, visas, vaccinations, white pass, etc.