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Couples enjoy engagements anywhere from just a few months to many years before walking down the aisle. The average engagement lasts 15 months, with 40% of engaged couples waiting 13 to 18 months to get married.

The perfect wedding planning timeline is up to you and your fiancé. Before choosing your wedding date, and therefore your wedding planning timeline, take your answers to these 7 questions into consideration.

What season do you want to get married in?

Many brides and grooms want to have their wedding during a specific season. Depending on when you were engaged, this could mean either a very short or a very long engagement.

When do you want to honeymoon?

If you have a specific honeymoon destination in mind and would like to jet off immediately following your wedding, you’ll need to pick a wedding date that corresponds to your dream destination’s high season.

How exclusive is your dream venue?

Couples dreaming of a popular venue will need to book well in advance of their wedding date. Falling in love with an exclusive venue could mean choosing a date over a year away, especially for summer and early fall weddings.

The same is true for all of your vendors. The more in demand the caterer, photographer or DJ you want to hire is, the sooner you’ll need to start planning your wedding.

Does your work have seasonality?

Teaching, accounting and politics are just a few of the professions that will need to adjust their wedding planning timeline to fit their work schedule. Taking your busy season at work into account now will help you avoid wedding planning stress later.

How big is your guest list?

A large guest list, especially if guests are coming from further away, will require more planning time. Not only will you need more time to manage venue, catering and rental details, your guests will need more time to determine their travel plans.

Are you considering a holiday wedding?

Holiday dates are in demand at venues, caterers and florists. Family and friends who usually spend specific holidays with other groups will need plenty of time to make alternate arrangements for their own holiday celebrations.

How specific are your tastes?

Brides and grooms with unusual requests for their vendors will need to give those vendors more time to fulfil the couples’ wishes. The same is true for customization, be it on invitations, a wedding dress or rental décor.

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