The answer is many, many hours.
For most brides, it will take somewhere between 9 and 12 months to plan a wedding. This all depends on your taste, the extravagance of your wedding, the availability of your suppliers and where you’re getting married. The more extravagant? Well, the longer it’s going to take on average.
It also depends on what kind of help you have in planning the big day. If you’re doing it all by yourself (with the occasional bit of help from your groom) it will take longer. If you can rely on your mum or bridesmaids, you should be able to cut it down a little. We’ve found that nearly half of our brides will spend up to fifteen hours per week on wedding related tasks, so keep that in mind.
If you are time poor, we recommend finding a Wedding Planner right away. We can’t stress how much easier this will make your life, particularly if you are planning a particularly large affair. Many ceremony and reception venues will have their own team of Wedding Planners and if you can take advantage of them, do it. A lot of the planning is focused in these locations, so even for you girls determined to do it on your own, it’s worth considering. They do this for a living and have come across every request four times before. And if you’re planning a destination wedding? Then we think a Wedding Planner is essential. They will know all the local suppliers and be in the right timezone (and speak the right language too!)
It also depends on you personally. Some brides are quick to make a decision, can try on two wedding dresses and know which one they want. Others take more time. Only you can know what you’re like, so take a good look in the mirror and be honest with yourself. The same goes for your groom. If the two of you aren’t good at making quick decisions, factor that in. It might take you a little longer than another pair to find a venue for example.
Also keep in mind, the opinions of your loved ones can make the process just a little harder. Perhaps you don’t need to invite your cousin to your dress fittings or your chef brother to a meeting with the caterers. If you ask for too many opinions, you might simply drag out the process and confuse everyone. When you are making big decisions, take along the people you know who understand your taste, style and most importantly your budget!
Give yourself a buffer zone for any problems that might interrupt the planning process. You might change jobs or get sick, so that extra time will help ward off those overwhelmed feelings. Also, if you get six months into the process and feel overwhelmed, it’s never too late to ask for help. This might be the key to getting everything organised on time.
In the end, you want to enjoy the planning process. This is one of the biggest days of your life and you don’t want to be a bundle of stress for the year leading up to it. Do things at your own pace and don’t listen to anyone. Your wedding is your wedding – everyone will be there at the date you select anyway!