Wedding Planning Timeline
This comprehensive timeline provides you with a checklist that will help you plan a wedding to remember, without forgetting the most important
details. Keep in mind however, this is meant only as a general guideline
and there will surely be additional steps unique to your wedding.
Good Luck and Enjoy!
12 - 16 Months before the wedding
Choose a wedding date. Don't rush.
Give yourself enough time. The best way to do this is to visit ceremony
and reception facilities at which you would like to be married and have your
reception. Choose a date based on availability. If you give yourself
a year or more to plan, you have a much greater chance of booking your desired
venue on your desired date.
Start a wedding file.
This is a file or folder to keep all your wedding documents, contracts etc...
Organization is the key to staying sane during the planning phase.
& Choose the style and formality of your wedding.
Pick what best
suits your lifestyle, personalities and budget.
"Formal", "Semi-Formal" or "Informal".
There is no wrong choice. This is your day and you should make it your
own. This will also help in narrowing down which venues you will consider.
an announcement of your recent engagement in the local paper.
This is optional, but is a nice touch and memento.
Decide on a wedding budget.
Common sense dictates that you do not spend beyond your means. The last
thing you want is to begin your marriage in major debt because of your wedding.
a wedding consultant if you plan to.
Some brides choose to hire a wedding consultant to ease the stress of planning
or because their schedule doesn't allow enough time for planning.
location. Keep in mind that reservations are sometimes booked over a
year in advance, so if you find one that you like, put a security deposit down to
hold the date. Always check the cancellation/refund policies first and have
them in writing).
Select a reception site.
Many times the ceremony and reception will be held in the same facility.
If this is not the case, be sure that the ceremony and reception facilities are
available on the same date. also keeping in mind that they
sometimes book over a year in advance. Again, always check the
cancellation/refund policies first and have them in writing.
Start shopping for a wedding gown.
Custom gowns can take up to a year to prepare. Be sure to begin
this process as early as possible. Sometimes the wedding gown can become a
stress factor, so the more time you leave for this, the better.
Keep in mind that alterations and final dress
fittings can also eat up extra time. There are no refunds on wedding gown
purchases, so make sure your selection is 100% what you want. You
can also start looking for a coordinating
8 - 10
Months before the wedding
your bridal party and request their participation in your special day.
Interview and Hire the following: Don't forget that not all of these
service providers will be available on your wedding day, so be sure to have more
than one to consider.
find a wedding vendor in your
National Wedding Vendor Directory (returning soon)
Wedding officiant. This can be a religious or civil person depending
on your beliefs and preference.
Reception Caterer. if your reception site does not provide one,
you will need to arrange for your own. Once you have found one that appeals
to you be sure to secure your date with a signed contract and a security
deposit. As always, be comfortable with your selection, and know the
refund/cancellation policies in the event you cancel or change your date.
and Videographer. If your budget allows for it, hire a professional. There
will only be one chance to get this right.
Band or DJ. Interview several.
Review demo CD's to hear their sound and style. A good band or DJ can
make a reception, but a bad one can all but ruin it.
on bridesmaids dresses. When ordering your gowns for the women,
be sure to order them at the same time to assure an identical dye lot.
Be sure to bring this factor up to the person taking the dress order as
Start compiling names & addresses for the guest list.
Keep in mind that you still have to combine and refine your list, his
family's list, your parents' list and the final list. If you
are limited to the number of guests that can be invited to the wedding, be sure
to give your families the number of guests they may include in their list.
By requesting a certain number of guest beforehand, you alleviate a lot of
potential stress. Also, try to make the request even on both parents' sides.
Sign up for a gift registry.
Gift registries are a great way of ensuring that you get items you really want
and can use. It also makes your guests' shopping much easier. Be
sure to choose items for your registry from every price range to accommodate
each guest's budget.
It's a great way to get the families and friends together beforehand.
5 - 7 Months
before the wedding
Finalize the guest list. Determine the number of invitations
and thank you cards that need to be ordered.
Shop for your wedding
stationery. Invitations, thank you cards and
accommodations. Some guest (such as out-of-towners) may wish to
stay at a nearby hotel
after the festivities.
Select your wedding cake. Give careful thought to you
& your fiancι's favorite flavors, style, size, decorations and color.
preparations for your honeymoon. Consult with your travel agent and discuss possible
honeymoon destinations and prices. Make arrangements early to catch the
4 Months before
Book your florist. Once you have found one that
appeals to you be sure to secure your order with a signed contract and a
security deposit. Be 100% sure of your selection, and know the
refund/cancellation policies in the event you cancel or change your date.
Shop for your wedding bands.
You should do this with your fiancι. You will both be wearing these rings
for a long time, so you should both be happy with your selection.
Visit your physician. Get your physical examinations and blood
tests if required to obtain a marriage license in your
3 Months before the
Send out your invitations. Be sure to include everyone who received a save
the date magnet or card. Double check the postage required to ensure that the
invitations reach your guests.
Select tuxedos. Get all the groomsmen, best man and couple's
fathers together. Measurements should be taken at the tux shop (to ensure a
for rental of items needed for your ceremony and reception. This
includes but is not limited to, arches, candelabras, china, crystal,
flatware, flowing punch fountains, and silver if necessary.
finalized menu options and costs with your caterer. Confirm
arrival and departure times, as well as any added extras.
transportation/ limousine service for the wedding party to the ceremony
wedding favors and ribbons (imprinted). Don't forget the extra's
such as imprinted napkins, matches, and coasters.
for bridal party gifts.
any necessary counseling sessions with your wedding officiant.
2 Months before the wedding
Choose your wedding music and share your selections with your Band or DJ.
a location for your rehearsal dinner and make the necessary reservations
with formal wear shop that they have received all measurements of every
your alterations and final fitting for the gown.
fittings for the bridesmaids and flower girl.
arrangements for your "Bridesmaid Luncheon" and other
address labels with you & your future husband's new name & new
This adds a personalized touch when sending out your wedding thank you
Confirm your order with the florist.
1 Month before the wedding
Design your wedding programs.
You don't want to do this too much sooner than this because things
Apply for your marriage
a final gown fitting.
all of your wedding accessories.
There are many accessories that you will need to choose for your big day.
your hair stylist, work on a style with your veil.
your make-up artist the same day.
& make-up done, have your formal bridal portraits done.
and finalize details with wedding service providers.
2 Weeks before the wedding
Call any guests
that haven't sent back their response card (there
will almost always be a few).
the caterer a finalized head count.
Pick up your marriage license.
Give your DJ or Band a list of songs
that you may have come up with since your last contact with them.
Confirm rehearsal plans with your officiant and church
Obtain any legal information regarding changing your name
for: Drivers License, Social Security Card, Vehicle Documents, Credit Cards,
Bank Accounts, Investment Accounts, Passport, Change of Address Card with Post
Office, Insurance Policies, Voter Registration Card, Subscriptions, Employment
Records, Billing Address/Name Change.
Complete floor and seating
plan for reception.
Confirm all rental and floral delivery dates
Confirm arrival time for
Check parking arrangements.
Week before the wedding
Make any last minute seating
Organize your wedding day attire,
make sure you try everything on & it fits perfectly.
Confirm honeymoon reservations.
Confirm reservations for out-of-town guests.
Pack for your honeymoon.
Pick up passports
Gather all necessary documents
Confirm rehearsal plans with attendants
and request that they arrive on time.
Confirm reservations for the rehearsal dinner.
Pick up formalwear.
Be sure to try everything on & make sure all your accessories are there.
Your Groom's bachelor party
should be during this week prior to the wedding.
Remind him to be on his best behavior!
Have a relaxing massage.
Day before the wedding
Go through your list of things to do and make sure all your bases are
Pack your wedding day emergency kit.
Get a manicure and pedicure.
Take a steamy relaxing bath.
Put wedding attire and accessories
Give rings to best man.
Try to get a good night's sleep!
YOUR WEDDING DAY!
It will help the Pre-Wedding Jitters if you have
something in your stomach!
Get your hair and make-up done (wear a button up shirt to
keep everything perfect).
Have someone check the reception site. (as early as
Dress for your wedding.
Have candid photos taken with family.
you've worked hard !!
Most Importantly... If anything doesn't go according to plan, don't
worry, your guests probably won't even notice the difference.
your wedding gown and flowers preserved.
Announce your engagement
How to begin planning
Setting the date
Choosing your bridal party
Bridal shower games
Brides and bridesmaids
Groom and groomsmen
Getting parents involved
Marriage license requirements
Design your wedding programs
Who pays for what
Money saving tips
Frequently asked questions
related printable checklist:
Bridal or Wedding
and Rehearsal dinner
Introducing the new you
Save the date magnets
Bridal Party Gifts
All Wedding Accessories