Wedding planning can be overwhelming. There are so many decisions and purchases to be made to get ready for the big day. Not all couples have a long engagement for planning a wedding. Whether you have six months or two years, the ultimate wedding planning timeline can assist you by providing a checklist and general times to set up the essential elements for your wedding.
A wedding planning timeline can act as a To-Do list for the happy couple. This helps to ensure that details are not forgotten until the last minute. When looking at the ultimate wedding planning timeline, you may need to make adjustments according to how much time remains before the wedding day. Destination weddings may require additional preparations and travel to secure the venue and documentation.
Up to One Year Before:
Set a date for the wedding.
Discuss the budget and decide on a spending limit.
Announce engagement to family and friends.
Hire a wedding planner if one is being used.
Book a venue.
Choose the members of the wedding party.
Begin the guest list.
8 Months Before:
Hire the necessary professionals such as the officiant, florist, caterer, photographer, and the band or DJ.
Plan the honeymoon.
Register for gifts.
Find the perfect wedding dress, veil, and shoes.
Select the bridesmaids’ dresses and shoes.
6 Months Before:
Order wedding invitations.
Choose the traditions and rituals to be included in the ceremony such as the unity candle and selected readings.
Obtain passports if necessary for the honeymoon.
Purchase wedding night lingerie and any additional clothing and personal care items needed for the honeymoon.
Arrange the music for the ceremony and hire an organist.
4 Months Before:
Finalize the guest list and send out wedding invitations.
Shop for wedding cakes and place the order.
Purchase the cake knife, topper, and stand.
Buy the wedding rings and any additional wedding jewelry.
Create or purchase the centerpieces.
Arrange for parking if extra parking is necessary.
Buy a guest book.
2 Months Before:
Get the marriage license.
Purchase gifts for the bridal party.
Find makeup artist and stylist or do the necessary planning and purchasing to do your own.
Reserve tuxedos for the groom and groomsmen.
Finalize the menu with the caterer and the flowers with the florist.
1 Month Before:
Create a seating chart.
Print seating cards and programs.
Final dress fitting for bride and bridesmaids.
Finalize vows and details for the ceremony.
Have rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
Get a manicure and pedicure.
Confirm arrival times for the professionals involved with the wedding.
Clean engagement ring.
Confirm that the professionals have arrived and are setting up.
This wedding planning timeline can be helpful for any time frame. Though your wedding planning may be rushed, you can still use the list as a basic checklist. Add additional items to this list as needed. Weddings are not one size fits all. Therefore, some weddings may require adjustments to the order of events. For example, a couple who is having a destination wedding would want to give guests extra notice about the wedding date and location. A destination wedding can be a beautiful choice for a memorable wedding, but the process of planning this kind of wedding is more demanding. For tips on planning a destination wedding, please visit this article about destination wedding tips.