Today we have a guest blogger, Jeanne from Bogath Events here to help you plan the wedding of your dreams!  Wedding planning can be quite hectic so this should help you out quite a bit!  :)

jacnjules photographs nj wedding details in natural light

There is a lot that goes into planning a wedding and it can be incredibly time-consuming and stressful… but it doesn’t have to be!  No matter if you are planning a simple affair with just a few family members and friends or a huge bash for hundreds, planning takes time and a lot of attention to detail.  My job as a wedding planner, is to save you all that time and stress (and a lot of time I save couples money as well).  So, while there is no standard amount of time it takes to plan a wedding, most couples are engaged for, more or less, a year.  I am often asked if a wedding can be planned in less time, and the answer is absolutely!  And seriously, it’s a great way to save money (a blog post for another time, perhaps).  But today I thought I’d share with you a quick guide to planning your NJ wedding in 12 months.  I’ve also created a guide with lots more incredible information on the highlights listed below, and you can also use it to keep notes while planning!  Download the BWE 12 Month Guide to Planning Your NJ Wedding here.  You’ll also find it on the Bogath Weddings & Events website.  Planning a wedding isn’t so hard, but it can be pull-your-hair-out-stressful trying to manage and plan all the details and small tasks that come together in the end to create the wedding day of your dreams.  And no one wants to pull out their hair, you’ll need it for that gorgeous up-do you have pinned!

jacnjules and bogath events talk about wedding planning

THE FOLLOWING LIST IS MEANT TO HELP YOU PLAN THE WEDDING OF YOUR DREAMS. If you don’t get something done during the time period it’s listed in, it’s ok.  I’m not saying that you have to do any of these things during the time period, but I’m willing to bet that holding off on some of these items will cause you undue stress. And nobody ever said they wanted to get married as stressfully as possible, right?!  My job, as a wedding planner, is to help you have the most stress free wedding possible. In fact, I believe every single couple (Every. Single. One.), no matter their budget, deserves a stress free day that was as stress-free as possible to plan.

LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE OF AN ITEM YOU MAY NOT WANT TO PUT OFF. Your wedding dress. I recommend that you order your wedding dress 9-12 months before your wedding as most wedding dress boutiques will recommend. You can also order a wedding dress 6 months before your wedding, but will have a more limited selection and may end up paying a rush fee. You can order your wedding dress three months before your wedding date, but your choices will be dramatically different and you may not get the dress you dreamed of; or, you may find an incredible deal...if that’s a chance you’re willing to take. You may also find that you can prioritize items on the list. If you’re not having an engagement party, by all means, cross it off. But don’t skip out on registering early, because many people may still want to give you an engagement gift.


  • Send out Engagement Announcements

  • Insure your engagement ring

  • Plan and Throw an Engagement Party

  • Do an Engagement Photo Shoot

  • Create a wedding hashtag

  • Book your wedding planner

  • Book Your Photographer

  • Set-up Your Wedding Registry

  • Decide on your budget. Start your guest list. And select your wedding venue.

  • Choose your wedding party

  • Book your church and/or ceremony space

  • Do you need a caterer?

  • Set-up your wedding registry

  • Begin researching your wedding dress & order your dress as soon as you decide on one


  • Create/Order/Send Save the Dates

  • Order your wedding dress

  • Reserve hotel rooms for your out of town guests

  • Book your wedding night hotel room

  • Research and book wedding transportation

  • Begin researching and thinking about a theme, even if it’s just a color

  • Begin researching and book a florists

  • Begin researching and book a videographer

  • Research your officiant

  • Research and decide on ceremony music


  • Hire a Calligrapher

  • Find Hair and Makeup; book hair and makeup trials

  • Plan and book your honeymoon!

  • Finalize your guest list

  • Find and order:

    • Bridesmaid dresses

    • Grooms wear

    • Flower girl dresses

    • Ring Bearer outfit

    • Mother of the Bride dresses

    • Mother of the Groom dresses

  • Research and book event rentals and lighting

  • Research wedding bands

  • Find and order invites

  • Design and order custom postage stamps

  • Order Ceremony Accessories

  • Find your baker and order your cake

  • Candy Bar


  • Book a wedding planner for Wedding Day Management (sometimes this is called Day-of Coordination)

  • Plan your “Big Exit” from your reception

  • Do you need dance lessons?

  • Plan your after party (if you wanna party after the big party!)

  • Address & Send out your invites

  • Find and order wedding accessories

  • Research and order favors

  • Order thank you notes.

  • Research and plan welcome bags for your out of town guests

  • Research venues and book your rehearsal dinner

  • Research wedding insurance


  • Schedule your dress fittings

  • Purchase your wedding bands

  • Research, design, purchase your guest book

  • Research and order bridal party gifts

  • Research and order “getting ready” robes

  • Order champagne first toast glasses

  • Write, design and order ceremony programs and dinner menus

  • Order Ceremony Accessories

  • Are you writing your own vows?

  • Plan out your ceremony

  • Send out your rehearsal dinner invites

  • Design your sweetheart table

  • Design your escort & place cards so that once your guest list is finalized you can have them created immediately

  • Schedule your final walk through at your venue for 2 weeks before your wedding date

  • Meet with your florist for a final review of details


  • Bathroom Baskets

  • Create your wedding day and wedding weekend timelines

  • Make spa and nail appointments

  • Research and obtain your marriage license

  • Call those who have not RSVP’d

  • Order escort cards and/or place cards


  • Contact all vendors to confirm; review contracts & services with them

  • Create your seating chart, floor plan and escort cards

  • Order Table Numbers


  • Put vendor tips aside

  • Pick up Grooms wear

  • Final dress fitting

  • Confirm all final deposits with all vendors

  • Get your nails done

  • Pack for your honeymoon

  • Drop off your décor at your venue

jacnjules photographs wedding at sunset in Belmar NJ

Remember, planning your wedding should be fun!  If you found the above list helpful, but you want more, head over the Bogath Weddings & Events website and download our FREE 12 Month Guide to Planning Your NJ Wedding. The guide will give you even more  information on the items listed above, and you can use it to keep your notes while planning!  Good luck and have fun!  If you would like to speak with me more about planning your wedding, please contact me here.