Wedding Planning Timeline/Overview

When planning the wedding, work backwards from the ‘big day.’  Here’s the timeline that most wedding planning follows.

Six to twelve months before your wedding date is the time when you need to make most of your reservations and put down deposits.

You’ve got to get a rough but fairly accurate estimate of the number of guests you’ll have because each wedding location can accommodate a certain number of people and you want a location that can comfortably accommodate everyone.

Here’s what needs to be accomplished during this timeframe.

  • Select and reserve locations for the wedding ceremony and the reception
  • Interview and reserve your professional talent including: Musician or DJ, Photographer/Videographer, Floral arranger, Caterer, Wedding cake baker, Wedding official, Wedding planner or consultant (optional)
  • Select and confirm wedding party attendants for both bride and groom
  • Select wedding party attire and coordinate fittings
  • Arrange transportation for bridal party on the big day
  • Place engagement information in local newspaper

Four months before your wedding date is the time to make sure everything is in place.

  • Finalize your guest list including complete mailing address for invitations
  • Order wedding invitations
  • Select a destination for the honeymoon, make hotel and airfare reservations, get passports
  • Reconfirm that bridal party dresses are on order and menswear rental attire is coordinated
  • Begin planning the wedding shower
  • Register at bridal registries for shower and wedding gifts – if not registering at national chains, remember to register at stores that are local to the families of both bride and groom
  • Reserve suite for bride and groom’s wedding night
  • Reserve block of hotel rooms for out-of-town wedding guests
  • Shop for and order wedding rings
  • Make sure you both agree where you will live once you’re married

Two months before your wedding date:

  • Address and mail wedding invitations
  • Make preparations for rehearsal dinner
  • Coordinate details for marriage license in state where marriage ceremony will take place
  • Coordinate, order, or make decorations and favors for wedding
  • Select the music you want for the ceremony and the reception

One month before your wedding date:

  • Have the wedding shower
  • Complete final fittings for bridal dress and all bridal attendants
  • Coordinate and schedule all hair and make-up appointments
  • Purchase gifts for bridal party and groomsmen

Two weeks before your wedding date:

  • Get marriage license
  • Begin process of changing name on credit cards, social security card, driver’s license, bank accounts
  • Prepare seating arrangements and prepare place cards
  • Make sure accommodations for out-of-town guests are in order
  • Reconfirm all details with those who have been hired
  • Prepare change of address paperwork, pack and get ready to move (if applicable)
  • Give final count to caterer
  • Practice hair and make-up styles; grooms should get hair cut now

Day before wedding your wedding date:

  • Hold rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Get some rest

The Big Day

  • Make it to the ceremony on time
  • Bring wedding rings
  • Have a means of paying final tab for all services rendered and have cash for tips
  • Eat before ceremony so you don’t get sick
  • Smile pretty for your pictures
  • Be proud because you’ve just pulled off a major feat!!