Wedding Planning

Timeline, Checklist, Advice

Congratulations on your engagement! You are about to embark on a whole new phase of life. Most couples feel a wide range of emotion once the proposal is accepted...excitement, fear, hope, anxiety and so on. Once you catch your breath, it is time to get started planning the most meaningful event in your life.

We are here to help with Wedding Planning 101!

The best place to begin is with an overview of the timeline that most engaged couples follow, starting at about one year before the big day. Now, some couples have a much longer engagement, while others have a much shorter engagement period. This wedding planning timeline is just a guide to keep you "on track and in control". You should tweak it to suit your individual situation.

Click on any of the links within the timeline for additional guidance or advice on that topic. We have many years of experience in the wedding planning business, and we are very excited to share our insights with you.

We have also gathered many useful wedding planning links to other websites that we know you will find helpful during this exciting process.

9 to 12 Months Before the Wedding Day

  • Announce your engagement
  • Set wedding date and time
  • Reserve ceremony location
  • Reserve reception location
  • Set the wedding budget
  • Determine size of guest list
  • Choose maid of honor and bridesmaids
  • Choose best man and groomsmen
  • Shop for wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses
  • Book a photographer (and/or videographer)
  • Book a florist
  • Book transportation
  • Choose a color scheme
  • Choose a wedding theme
  • Hire music for ceremony
  • Book a DJ and/or Band
  • Choose a honeymoon destination
  • Obtain a passport

6 to 9 Months Before the Wedding Day

  • Decide on rentals for ceremony and reception
  • Decide on ceremony and reception decorations
  • Order wedding cakes

4 to 6 Months Before the Wedding Day

  • Purchase bridal shoes
  • Finalize guest list
  • Determine the number of invitations needed (Do not forget Thank-you’s, Place Cards, RSVP Cards, etc.)
  • Plan rehearsal dinner
  • Get a block of hotel rooms for out of town guests

2 to 4 Months Before the Wedding Day

  • Purchase accessories (veil, tiara, jewelry, guestbook, toasting flutes, ring bearer pillow, flower girl basket and petals, place cards and place card holders, guest book, garter, candles, etc.)
  • Purchase lingerie and undergarments
  • Schedule dress fittings
  • Begin writing vows
  • Choose tuxedo style and begin ordering
  • Book hair appointments

2 Months Before the Wedding Day

  • Address and mail invitations
  • Shop for attendants' gifts
  • Decide on gift for bride
  • Decide on gift for groom
  • Finalize tuxedo order
  • Book a make up artist
  • Research marriage license requirements
  • Arrange ceremony rehearsal
  • Purchase cake toppers and cake cutter
  • Plan menus
  • Finalize honeymoon plans

1 Month Before the Wedding Day

  • Obtain marriage license
  • Confirm major details with all wedding professionals that you are working with
  • Pick up rings
  • Pick up wedding attire
  • Schedule final fittings for bride and bridesmaids
  • Send thank-you notes for gifts already received
  • Plan receiving line location
  • Decide on guest book location
  • Finalize music for ceremony and reception
  • Finalize rehearsal details
  • Coordinate transportation

1 to 2 Weeks Before the Wedding Day

  • Pack your wedding day bag and emergency kit
  • Confirm beauty appointments
  • Pick up tuxedos
  • Attend rehearsal
  • Give gifts to attendants
  • Prepare checks
  • Give caterer final guest count
  • Finalize seating arrangements
  • Complete place cards
  • Confirm honeymoon reservations
  • Pick up tickets
  • Pick up travelers checks
  • Pack
  • Have mail forwarded or stopped
  • Purchase a wedding gown preservation kit

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Helpful Wedding Planning Links

Unique Wedding Ideas - Every bride's guide to planning a unique, dazzling wedding with ideas on centerpieces, flowers, themes, honeymoons and much more. 

The Wedding Ideas Guide helps busy brides and grooms find ideas for their wedding.