Wee Three Sparrows Photography

While every couple has their own unique and magical wedding planning experience, there are ten familiar phases that pretty much everyone will go through. From the shiny and new phase down to the frantic final stages, you’re going to encounter them all.

Here are all the stages you’ll go through while wedding planning.

Stage One: It’s All Brand New
You just got engaged, your stomach is filled with butterflies and you’re so pumped up with joy that you want to shout about your love from the rooftops. You try to fit the word fiancé(e) into every conversation - maybe even at times when it’s not necessary - and your engagement ring has become a staple in your Instagram photos. But you’re not the only one making a big deal of it - you’re inbox and answering machine are most likely flooded with well wishes and your friends are cheersing you every time you have a wine glass in hand.

Stage Two: Pinterest Queen/King
Your engagement glow is still strong, but you’re beginning to realize that you need to get down to business. No, you’re not ready to sign any contracts or put down any payments, but your Pinterest account is alive and well. You’ve begun creating boards dedicated to catering, flowers, venues and decorations, and you’re not stopping anytime soon. Your mom is sending you wedding planning articles in the wee hours of the morning and your bedside has been overtaken by bridal magazines. In short, you’re in the exploratory phase and you can’t wait to uncover the hidden gems that will make your wedding memorable.

Stage Three: Cutting Down
After spending a few weeks - maybe even months - collecting all the essential data, you’re ready to start making some decisions. You’re not quite ready to start reviewing the paperwork, but you’re beginning to become a bit more realistic with your vision. You’ve realized that strapless dresses aren’t exactly the best idea for outdoor fall weddings and that steak frites might push you over budget with your estimated guest count. You’ve got some general ideas, like your colour scheme, wedding budget and season nailed down, but you aren’t crazy committed to any specific details.

Stage Four: Getting Real
No, you haven’t dedicated hours to finding deals on Groupon and you aren’t exactly begging your parents for money (yet) - however, you have started to become aware of your budget. You’re crunching the numbers and you’re starting to get more realistic about what you can and cannot have at your wedding. You’ve also chosen your wedding date, location and bridal party and begun working on your guest list, considering contracts and choosing your vendors.

Stage Five: Committing
You’ve already accepted a ring, so you obviously know a thing or two about commitment. Now you’re starting to say yes to people other than your fiancé(e), namely your vendors. You’ve begun signing contracts for your venue, stylists, photographer and other core members of your wedding team. Heck, you may have even sent out your save-the-dates. Your wedding now feels like less of an idea and more of an actual thing. Get pumped!

Stage Six: Dressing It Up
You’ve sorted out all of the scheduling and contract details, so now it’s on to obsessing about style. You’re well-versed in lighting fixtures, you know every type of centerpiece vessel on the market and you’ve woken up in a hot sweat after dreaming about choosing the wrong bouquet at least once. You’ve also filled your DVR with episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, Four Weddings and The Great British Bake Off. Your mission is creating the most aesthetically pleasing wedding on earth and nobody can stand in your way.

Stage Seven: Consumed by Planning
You’re slowly beginning to realize that your life now revolves around your wedding. You’ve swapped girls night outs for wedding planning nights in and you fill your days with dress fittings, cake tastings and appointments with your stationer. It may be time to take a step back and do something unrelated to your big day, maybe plan a weekend getaway with your BFFs or do bellinis and brunch with your pals. You don’t want to forfeit your entire social life in the name of your wedding!

Stage Eight: It’s Go Time!
Time to tick off all those boxes on your to-do list because your wedding is approaching - fast. Hash out all those unfinished details and get ready to get married. Remember, you’re not in this alone, so assign some tasks to your crack team (AKA your wedding party) to make sure everything gets done and goes smoothly.

Stage Nine: The Beginning of the End
You’ve got everything planned and paid for, so now you’re on to tying up the last of the loose ends. You’re sad to say goodbye to wedding planning but you’re excited to walk down that aisle. Savour your last few moments as a fiancé(e) and prepare to embrace being a newlywed.

Stage Ten: Keep Calm
Use the wise words of James Bay and just “let it go, just let it be”. You’re in the final stretch, there’s no time to change your floral arrangements or buy new table linens, so just sit back and relax. Dedicate your time to getting excited for your big day, not freaking out about all the little things. It’ll all work out.

Keep organized with WeddingWire's FREE wedding planning tools »