Brides & Weddings of Northern Virginia Vol. 1 No. 25

At bridal shows I talk to many couples who have wedding dates – and nothing else. “Oh, I’m just here to get ideas,” is the mantra. But do you really have a wedding date? Not if you haven’t made up a budget and reserved your reception venue. What good is a date if you can’t get the place and vendors you want?


From the days of cave women carving on walls, there has been a wedding planning timeline. Yes, it may be old school – but it works. There is a sequence of steps to planning a successful wedding – whether you’re taking 18 months or eight months.

Over the years, there has been a tightening of planning timelines. I think one of the reasons is fear. The good news about the Internet is that it puts a gazillion vendors at your fingertips – and that’s also the bad news. Sometimes people believe if they don’t look at every website and read every review, they will make a mortifying mistake. And as much as everyone loves Pinterest, it can be a double edged sword as well. Brides will pin, and pin, and pin – and end up with a mishmash of ideas that may not fit the budget.

This guide is designed to help you pull it all together. We give you the knowledge you need to make your planning successful – and less stressful, along with showcasing some of the best wedding professionals in Northern Virginia.

So turn to page 20 to see where your plans fall on the timeline. And when it all gets to be too much, remember this: Put your time, energy and resources into the “must haves” for your wedding day and the rest will take care of itself. And if you can’t figure out your “must haves” – hire a planner.

Part of the fun of a wedding is the planning, so enjoy it!

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