What would brides do without a wedding planning timeline and a checklist of all that needs to be done to organize a wedding? Arm yourself with these lists and plan away!
Congratulations, you’ve set your wedding date! Now, what? Planning a wedding is not a task for the faint of heart. After all, it is a big event. So, unless you can afford to hire a wedding planner, organizing the whole shindig will fall completely on your shoulders. Do not despair, though! We are here to support you and remind you of details you may not have thought of with a wedding planning timeline we put together just for you!
Not all couples plan their wedding within the same timeframe. Although most of them fall in the 16-month, 12-month and 6-month wedding planning timeline. Therefore, we compiled wedding planning checklist for all of these timelines. If your wedding is, say, 8.5 months away, you may need to merge a few tasks into a shorter timeframe to come up with your very own planning checklist! 😉
Breaking your wedding planning down into concrete deadlines will help you make important decisions in time to ensure everything gets done on time and with minimal pre-wedding stress! Find out what needs to be done and when depending on how much time you have before the big day!!
The 16-Month Wedding Planning Timeline: Taking it Easy
Sixteen months sounds like plenty of time to plan everything, but you won’t want to waste any time getting organized, as venues, caterers, DJs, and photographers book well in advance. The first thing you will want to do is to start a wedding binder. Then follow the yellow brick road outlined on this 16-month wedding planning timeline and hit your deliverables like the best of planners!
16-months before the wedding
- Announce your engagement.
- Discuss your wedding ideas.
- Decide on the wedding budget. Who’s paying for the wedding? Find out exactly what you have to work with before you start looking at venues and vendors.
- Start saving for the big day.
- Start a fitness plan if you intend to lose weight.
- Set a date.
- Start a wedding file.
- Look at venues.
- Hire a wedding consultant or day of coordinator.
- Select ceremony location.
- Start compiling names and addresses for the guest list. Having a rough idea of how many people to expect is critical when choosing a venue.
- Insure the engagement ring.
- Take engagement photos.
12-months before the wedding
- Book your venue.
- Pick your wedding theme, colors and style.
- Hire a photographer and videographer.
- Send out your Save-The-Dates.
- Decide who will be in your wedding party. Maid of Honor, bridesmaids, best man and groomsmen.
- Look at dresses with your bridesmaids.
- Discuss initial wedding ideas.
- Sign up for wedding registry. If you haven’t already had an engagement party, now’s the time.
- Finalize guest list.
- List family traditions to incorporate.
- Book officiant.
- Make wedding map.
At 9 months out
- Order wedding invitations & on the day stationery.
- Find a caterer, if your venue doesn’t offer one.
- Book the caterer, florist, transport and band/DJ.
- Order your wedding dress. One year out allows ample time for fittings and alterations.
- Order the wedding cake.
- Book your honeymoon.
- Decide on bridesmaid’s dresses.
- Find and order veil.
- Find shoes for bride and bridesmaids.
- Create a wedding website.
- Consider other entertainment options. Go and see them perform. Book them.
6-months before the wedding
- Mail out your wedding invitations and RSVP’s.
- Buy the wedding party attire.
- Have a wedding dress fitting. select your readings for on the day.
- Visit physician.
- Select tuxedos.
- Arrange for rental items (linens, tables, etc.) if needed.
- Discuss menu options with caterer. order alcohol.
- Find wedding night lingerie & garter.
- Finalize ceremony in writing with the wedding officiant.
- Confirm delivery details with wedding dessert provider.
- Finalize wedding decor, backdrops and photobooths.
At three months out
- Confirm wording for all on the day stationery.
- Buy the wedding rings and favors.
- Create a seating table plan.
- Think about your table decorations.
- Arrange transportation/limousine service.
- Begin any necessary counseling with wedding officiant.
- Purchase the wedding guestbook, cake knife, cake stand, cake topper.
- Assemble welcome bags.
Two months before the wedding
- Reserve a block of hotel rooms or other accommodations for out of town guests.
- Finalize the seating and order the table plan.
- Order you thank you cards.
- Confirm the menu with your caterer.
- Confirm with the registrar.
- Choose your music for the day.
- Buy gifts for all the wedding party members.
- Select a location for rehearsal dinner.
- Confirm with formal wear shop.
- Schedule alterations.
- Schedule fittings for the bridesmaids and flower girl.
- Order address labels with couple’s new names and new address for thank you cards.
- Confirm order with the florist.
- Apply for marriage license after the 90 day mark.
- Decide on centerpieces and bouquets.
- Pick your wedding arch, if you choose to have one.
- Buy shoes for groom and groomsmen.
- Meet with venue to finalize details.
One month before the big day
- Copy supplier contracts and give them to the venue.
- Have your bachelorette and bachelor parties.
- Final dress fitting.
- Indulge in a few spa treatments.
- Design wedding programs.
- Choose all wedding accessories.
- Get hair (get final haircuts) and makeup done and have formal bridal portraits done.
- Discuss and finalize details with wedding service providers.
- Write ceremony vows.
- Prepare toasts.
- Create place settings.
- Find something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Two weeks before the wedding planning timeline
- Pack honeymoon clothes, buy sunscreen etc.
- Relax with your fiancé.
- Call any non rsvp guests.
- Give caterer finalized head count.
- Pick up your marriage license.
- Give the DJ or band a list of songs.
- Confirm rehearsal plans.
- Obtain any legal information.
- Complete floor and seating plan.
- Confirm all rental and floral delivery dates and times.
- Confirm arrival time for all attendants.
- Check parking arrangements.
- Confirm final payment with all vendors.
- Put together tip envelopes and designate someone to hand them out.
- Break in the wedding shoes.
1 week to go! Here’s the checklist!
- Final honeymoon checks such as flights and gather all necessary documents for travel.
- Re-confirm numbers with venue/caterer.
- Hold a wedding rehearsal at the venue.
- Arrange delivery times for florist and cake, etc.
- Make any last minute seating arrangements/adjustments.
- Organize wedding attire.
- Confirm reservations for out of town guests.
- Pick up formalwear.
- Delegate tasks to the wedding party.
The day before the wedding! Wow!
- Get a manicure/pedicure with your maids.
- Have your luggage ready at the hotel/venue.
- Relax and don’t drink too much champagne.
- Go through the things to do and make sure all bases are covered.
- Park wedding-day emergency kit.
- Give the rings to the best man.
- Make sure all wedding accessories and decor have been dropped off.
- Clean the engagement ring.
- Have a good night’s sleep.
On the wedding day
- Eat something – avoid sugars, salt and caffeine. The last thing you want is to be bloated or jittery.
- Get hair and makeup done.
- Have someone check the reception site.
- Dress for the wedding.
- Have candid photos taken with family.
- Get married!
After the Honeymoon (it’s not over yet!)
- Have your wedding gown and bouquet preserved.
- Write thank you notes.
- Change your name, if you so desire.
- Check on outstanding registry items.
How to Prepare a 12-month Wedding Planning Checklist
To help get your wedding planning organized, develop a 12-month wedding planning checklist by adding the 16-months tasks to the 12-months one. This will comprise everything you need to plan your wedding. These no-nonsense tips will help you organize your wedding like a pro.
Remember that if you’re set on a particular date, you may need to be flexible with your venue. If you know exactly where you want to get married, you might have to pick from the dates they have available. Decide if the ceremony and reception will be at the same location or if you need to secure two different venues.
Don’t forget to dream about your honeymoon and apply for or renew passports if needed!
The 6-Month Wedding Planning Timeline
If you only have 6 months or less to plan your wedding, consider having a Las Vegas wedding or an adorable civil ceremony followed by the coolest of brunch weddings! Or even the latest trend, skipping the whole thing and elope!
But if you still want to have it all, you’ll have to work extra hard but you can do it. Here’s a 6-month wedding planning timeline for you to download!
With careful planning in the months leading up to the ceremony, you’ll be able to get hitched without a hitch!
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Photo Credits: stylishwedd, Bridal Musings, Deer Pearl Flowers, himisspuff