Wedding Planning Timeline

This Timeline Will Take You From Start
to Finish When Planning Your Big Day

A wedding planning timeline is essential to keep you on task as the big day approaches. Here's how to utilize a timeline to your advantage:

  • Start early; planning should begin up to 18 months before the wedding
  • Use the timeline as a checklist to keep you on track
  • Create a wedding emergency kit for your big day
  • Make time to pamper yourself just before your wedding
  • Relax and enjoy your wedding!

Stay On Task with a Wedding Planning Timeline

Ask any bride whose gone through the process of planning a wedding, and you'll soon learn just how much is involved in preparing to get married. Fortunately, a wedding planning timeline is a great way to stay organized and make sure that you complete all of the necessary steps before your big day.

Wedding Planning Timeline

12 to 18 Months Prior

  • Set a date: Give yourself plenty of time to plan. Visit different wedding and reception venues and make your selection. Start a wedding folder with all pertinent information and paperwork.
  • Decide on the type of wedding you want: Will it be small and intimate, or large and lavish? Decide how much do you want to spend with a Wedding Budget Planner.
  • Begin shopping for a wedding gown, especially if you are having a custom gown made.
  • Announce your engagement in the local paper, if you wish.

8 to 12 Months Prior

  • Select your wedding party
  • Choose attire for wedding party
  • Research and hire the following: officiant, caterer, photographer/videographer, band/DJ, musicians
  • Create your guest list
  • Create a gift registry
  • Have an engagement party so family, friends, and the wedding party can mingle and meet ahead of time.

6 to 8 Months Prior

  • Finalize your guest list
  • Arrange accommodations for out-of-towners who will come to the wedding
  • Choose your wedding cake
  • Shop for wedding stationary (announcements, invitations, thank you cards)
  • Begin making honeymoon arrangements

4 Months Prior

  • Choose your florist
  • Purchase wedding rings
  • If required for a wedding license in your state, get physical examinations

3 Months Prior

  • Send announcements and invitations
  • Select tuxes and arrange for rental
  • Finalize menu with caterer
  • Arrange transportation for ceremony and reception
  • Order or make wedding favors and decorations

2 Months Prior

  • Coordinate with musicians, band, and/or DJ for final music selections
  • Confirm measurements for tuxes, and final fittings for bridal party; schedule alterations as necessary
  • Arrange pre-wedding parties, including bridesmaid luncheon and rehearsal dinner
  • Confirm final order with florist

1 Month Prior

  • Obtain marriage license
  • Create wedding programs
  • Visit stylist and make up artist to finalize wedding day look
  • Arrange for final fitting of wedding gown
  • Take bridal portraits

2 Two Weeks Prior

  • Follow up with guests that haven't RSVP'ed
  • Finalize head count with the caterer
  • Obtain information on legal name and address changes for property, social security card, driver's license, passport, credit cards, bank accounts, and other important documents
  • Confirm dates and times for floral and rental deliveries
  • Create and finalize seating plan for reception

1 Week Prior

  • Try on and organize wedding day clothing one final time
  • Make any final adjustments to seating arrangements
  • Confirm reservations for out-of-towners
  • Pack and confirm honeymoon reservations; have travel documents ready

1 Day Prior

  • Create wedding day emergency kit (see Wedding Day Emergency Kit)
  • Pamper yourself with a manicure, pedicure, a relaxing bath, and a good night's sleep

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