You might think the trip down the aisle seems like a lifetime away, but the months between ‘I will’ and ‘I do’ are certain to fly by. Use this helpful timeline to keep the party planning on track.
A year or more
- Select a wedding date and back up date.
- Determine budget.
- Select wedding party. (Including bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer, house party, ushers and guest book attendants)
- Reserve ceremony site and reception venue.
- Book your officiant.
- Hire a wedding planner, if desired.
- Start organizing guest list.
- Begin researching caterers, photographers, bands and florists.
Eight months before
- Hire photographer and, if desired, videographer.
- Take engagement photos.
- Book the entertainment.
- Schedule food tastings and select caterer.
- Purchase a dress.
- Reserve a hotel room block for wedding guests.
- Register for gifts.
- Create wedding website.
- Finalize guest list.
Six months before
- Send out save-the-date cards.
- Order invitations.
- Select and order bridesmaids’ dresses.
- Book a florist.
- Reserve structural and setting elements (tents, tables, chairs, lighting).
- Arrange wedding day transportation.
- Begin planning honeymoon. Be sure your passports are up-to-date and vaccines are current, if traveling abroad.
Four months before
- Reserve rehearsal dinner location.
- Send wedding invitations to calligrapher, if desired.
- Select and order the wedding cake.
- Purchase wedding shoes (bride and groom).
- Schedule and select hair and makeup artists.
- Choose your music.
- Arrange dance lessons, if desired.
Three months before
- Finalize menu selections.
- Finalize floral selections.
- Order favors, if desired.
- Purchase bridal undergarments.
- Schedule dress fitting.
- Compose day-of timeline.
- Select ceremony readings and music.
- Print programs and menu pages.
- Purchase the rings and buy insurance.
- Send event schedule and important contact numbers to vendors.
- Send photographer a list of any specific shots you want taken.
- Mail invitations.
- Schedule second dress fitting.
- Total RSVPs and reach out to guests that haven’t responded by cutoff date.
- Mail rehearsal dinner invitations.
- Schedule final dress fitting.
- Send caterer final guest count.
- Map out seating arrangement, if having a seating dinner.
- Purchase attendant gifts.
Week of wedding
- Reconfirm schedule with vendors.
- Send a timeline to bridal party.
- Pick up dress and grooms’ attire.
- Set aside checks for vendors.
- Pack for your honeymoon.
- Have manicure and pedicure.
- Attend ceremony rehearsal.
- Hold rehearsal dinner, gift gifts to parents and wedding party.
Day of wedding
- Relax and enjoy yourself!