A Wedding Planning Timeline
We know that it is sometimes daunting figuring out what needs to be planned when for your big day. So, we’ve put together a wedding planning timeline that is based on a yearlong engagement.
Of course, if you have a shorter engagement, this may put a few things into perspective for you, too (what items should be checked off the list first, etc.).
Here we go!
12 Months Out:
– Book your venue
– Create your budget
– Plan the engagement party – if you decide to have one
– Make a guest list. This doesn’t have to be perfect or set in stone, but make sure you have a general idea of how many people will be at your wedding. Most venues will want to know how many people you’re anticipating, so be sure to have a ballpark number to give them.
– Choose your wedding party
– Begin looking for vendors
– Book your officiant
– Start to think about your rehearsal dinner.
– Begin shopping for your dress
– Hire a wedding planner (if you choose to do so)
9 Months Out:
– Take engagement photos
– Block out hotel rooms for guests from out of town
– Begin planning the honeymoon and finalize any details that you can
– Secure all of your vendors
– Select your centerpieces and/or flowers
– Choose attendant attire
– Book any transportation you may want to hire for the day
– Gather addresses of the guests you plan to invite
– Pick your wedding dress and arrange any fittings that need to take place
– Select and order your invitations
6 Months Out:
– Finalize all details with your vendors
– Send out your save-the-dates
– Order your wedding cake (pick a bakery)
– Purchase your wedding bands so that there isn’t any mix up right before the big day
– Finalize the attire your bridal party will be wearing, including shoes and any jewelry you’d like them to wear
4 Months Out:
– Start looking for stylists in your area for hair and makeup trials
– Order your favors
– Generate your guest list
– Finalize the invitations that you’ve picked out
– You can begin writing your wedding vows!
– Confirm your catering menu
– Complete any honeymoon details that need to be worked out (flights, hotels, specific outings, etc.)
2 Months Out:
– Mail your invitations
– Finalize your vows
– Purchase any accessories you’ll be wearing on your big day
– Check in with your wedding party
– Check on the status of any bridal shower plans (It is etiquette to have someone in your family plan this for you. This person will be different for everyone)
1 Month Out:
– Obtain the marriage license
– Begin figuring out what documents will need to be updated once you change your name
– Make any final vendor payments that are still outstanding
– Generate a song list for the DJ
– Create a must-have photos list for the photographer
– Pick up your rings
– Call anyone who hasn’t RSVP’d so you can get a final head-count
– Have your bridal shower
– Make a seating chart (unless you plan to offer general seating at dinner)
2 Weeks Out:
– Have your bachelorette party
– Pick up your gown
– Pack for the honeymoon so that you have one less thing to worry about as the day gets closer
1 Week Out:
– Get any facials or waxing done
– Confirm your headcount
– Finalize your seating chart
48 Hours Before:
– Rehearsal dinner (usually planned by Groom’s family)
– Give wedding party their gifts
– Confirm your flight (if you are flying somewhere for the honeymoon)
– Compile a list of vendors with contact information for your day-of coordinator (whoever will be making sure the day goes smoothly)
So there you have it – a complete list of how to plan effectively on a timeline. Of course there are many little details that have not been included, but everyone’s big day is different.
If you’re the DIY bride, you may have more to do the last few weeks. Try making your centerpieces a couple months in advance so that you don’t have to wait until the last minute to complete those.
If you do decide to hire a wedding planner, he or she may also give you a timeline, and you’ll definitely have help at each step in your journey.
Whatever the size and complexity of your day, getting as much as you can done in the early months will save you time and stress as your wedding nears. The excitement of just getting engaged is also great motivation for completing tasks!
As the wedding nears, you may find yourself feeling like you can’t wait for the day to finally just BE HERE. That is normal. But, getting a lot done early can reduce stress in the weeks leading up to your big day.