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Wedding Planning Timeline

Bride laying on the grass with wedding bouquet.Keep your wedding planning on schedule and your stress level to a minimum with this handy list. A wedding planning checklist is a useful tool as you navigate the details of your wedding. It will tell you what you will need to do as you begin the planning process, when you should be doing it and also give you an idea of how your planning is progressing. Simply print this page and check off items as you complete them. 

AS SOON AS POSSIBLE:

    • Tell relatives and close friends of your plans to marry.
    • Choose a date and time for the event.
    • Set your budget and decide who will pay for what.
    • Draw up a guest list and discuss with fiancé and families.
    • Reserve the wedding and reception locations.
    • Choose your wedding party; bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, special guests, etc.
    • Interview and book an officiant.
    • Interview and book a florist.
    • Interview and book a caterer and/or drinks supplier if venue doesn't offer one.
    • Interview and book a photographer and/or videographer.
    • Interview and book a DJ or other wedding entertainment.
    • Send out engagement announcements.
    • Make any rental reservations (tent, chairs, etc.).
    • Discuss honeymoon and make reservations.
    • Arrange for time off work, if necessary.
    • Develop a record-keeping system for invitations, gifts, etc.
    • Check that passports and inoculations are valid.
    • Plan and book the honeymoon. Note: be sure that ticket names match the passport names.
    • Optional: Get wedding insurance.
    • Optional: Hire a day-of coordinator.

6-9 MONTHS IN ADVANCE:

    • Decide on your wedding dress, headpiece, and accessories.
    • Choose bridesmaids attire.
    • Create a wedding website.
    • Arrange transportation.

4-6 MONTHS IN ADVANCE:

    • Plan for your new living arrangements.
    • Make & send out save-the-dates.
    • Finalize the guest list.
    • Register for your wedding gifts.
    • Select color scheme.
    • Choose your wedding rings.
    • Reserve wedding transportation.
    • Order dress, undergarments and accessories.
    • Order your wedding cake.
    • Order bridesmaids' dresses, shoes and accessories.
    • Organize tuxedo rentals.
    • Ask parents to select their attire.
    • Choose and order wedding stationery, or make your own!
    • Arrange for physical examinations and dental appointments, etc.
    • Begin a beauty regime for hair, skin and nails.
    • Choose ceremony readings and readers.

2-3 MONTHS IN ADVANCE:

    • Reconfirm all prior bookings.
    • Send out invitations with gift list details.
    • Send out thank you notes as gifts arrive.
    • Choose presents for attendants.
    • Write your vows.
    • Choose your site decorations (centerpieces, guestbook, etc.).
    • Make or purchase wedding favors if you are having them.
    • Draw up the reception seating plan
    • Print seating cards.
    • Optional: Print programs.
    • Optional: Order traveler's checks if applicable.
    • Plan a ceremony timetable.
    • Plan rehearsal dinner, and/or bridesmaid luncheon.
    • Make lodging arrangements for any out-of-town guests.

1 MONTH IN ADVANCE:

    • Check state/county marriage license requirements.
    • Check the fit of wedding attire.
    • Follow up with guests who have not RSVP'd.
    • Confirm date of wedding rehearsal.
    • Book hairdresser and makeup appointments for the morning of the wedding.
    • Build your music selection for ceremony/reception. 
    • Optional: Determine your "something old, new, borrowed, blue".

1 WEEK IN ADVANCE:

    • Hold bachelor and bachelorette parties and/or bridal shower.
    • Put tips/fees for the officiant, organist, etc. in marked envelopes and give them to the best man for distribution on the wedding day.
    • Confirm the final number of guests with your caterer.
    • Confirm arrival times with vendors and wedding party.
    • Check seating plan and amend as necessary.
    • Hold wedding rehearsal.
    • Check travel details.
    • Pack honeymoon clothes.
    • Ensure that the best man, groom and father are preparing their speeches.
    • Have a quiet dinner with your fiancé and just relax.
    • Schedule mani/pedi.

THE DAY BEFORE:

    • Double check everything.
    • Arrange for the cake to be delivered.
    • Arrange your wedding day attire and get to bed early.

YOUR WEDDING DAY:

    • Give yourself plenty of time to get ready.
    • Delegate any last minute tasks to your wedding party.
    • Have the flowers delivered.
    • Congratulations! Enjoy yourselves and don't sweat the small stuff. :)