One Year Plan
Best Ever Wedding Planning Timeline
This comprehensive timeline provides you with a checklist that will help you plan a wedding to remember without forgetting the most important details. Keep in mind however, this is meant as a general guideline. Good Luck and Enjoy!
1 YEAR BEFORE THE WEDDING
First things First .determine your wedding date
Put an announcement of your recent engagement in the local paper. Print your engagement form
Discuss & Choose the style and formality of your wedding, pick what best suits your lifestyle, personalities and budget. "Classic Formal", "Formal", "Semi-Formal" or "Informal".
Meet with families & come to agreements on a wedding budget. "Who will pay for what?"
Choose a color scheme / and possibly a theme for your wedding.
Hire a wedding consultant to save time, money and mix-ups while simultaneously avoiding stress, fighting and gray hairs.
Begin the search for a possible chapel, church or synagogue location. Keep in mind that reservations are sometimes booked up to a year in advance so if you find one that you like, put a security deposit down to hold the date. (Always check the cancellation/refund policies first and have them in writing).
Select a reception site, also keeping in mind that they sometimes book up to a year in advance. If you find one you like, and it happens to be open for the same day that you booked your chapel, church or synagogue, then leave a deposit to hold that date for you. (Always check the cancellation/refund policies first and have them in writing). You don't necessarily have to book the chapel, church or synagogue before the reception site, this would mainly apply if you have a special chapel, church or synagogue you belong to and insist on being married there.
Hire an officiator for your special day.
Interview caterers, if your reception site does not provide one. Print our Caterers Checklist / Interview Sheet. Once you have found one that appeals to you be sure to secure your date with a signed contract and a security deposit. Be 100% sure of your selection, and know the refund/cancellation policies in the event you cancel or change your date.
Select your bridal party and request their participation in your special day.
Interview for photo/video needsl. Print our Checklist / Interview Sheets for Photographers & Videographers.
Audition bands and DJ's: when you find one that you like, leave a deposit to hold that date for your wedding. (Always check the cancellation/refund policies first and have them in writing). When booking your band or DJ be 100% certain of your date and time before placing your reservation and leaving a deposit. Print our Checklist/ Interview Sheet for Bands/DJs.
Decide on attire for bridesmaids. When ordering your gowns for the women, be sure to order them at the same time to assure an identical dye lot. Be sure to bring this factor up to the person taking the dress order as well.
Shop for your gown, headpiece, veil, and lingerie. When you find the perfect gown for you, order it immediately. Some gowns may take up to 5 months for a special order. Keep in mind that alterations and final dress fittings can also eat up extra time. THERE ARE NO REFUNDS ON WEDDING GOWN PURCHASES, so make sure your selection is 100% what you want.
Start compiling names & addresses for the guest list. Keep in mind that you still have to combine and refine your list, his, his family's list, your parent's list and the FINAL LIST! WOW! If you are limited to the number of guests that can be invited to the wedding, be sure to give your families the number of guests they may include in their list. By requesting a certain number of guest beforehand, you alleviate a lot of potential stress. Also, try to make the request even on both parent's side.
Sign up for a gift registry.
Engagement parties are appropriate during this time.
Consult with your travel agent and discuss possible honeymoon destinations and prices. Make arrangements early to catch the lowest airfares.
6 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
Obtain completed guest lists from fiance' and both families. Determine the number of invitations that need to be ordered.
Order your wedding invitations, thank you cards and personal stationary.
Select your wedding cake. Give careful thought to you & your fiance's favorite flavors, style, size, decorations, and color.
4 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
Interview and reserve your florist. Once you have found one that appeals to you be sure to secure your order with a signed contract and a security deposit. Be 100% sure of your selection, and know the refund/cancellation policies in the event you cancel or change your date.
Choose your wedding music, secure your musicians and soloists. Once you have found one that appeals to you be sure to secure your order with a signed contract and a security deposit. Be 100% sure of your selection, and know the refund/cancellation policies in the event you cancel or change your date.
Shop for your wedding bands.
Visit your physician. Get your physical examinations and blood tests if required to obtain a marriage license in your state.
Select Mothers gowns and accessories. Order immediately if not in stock.
3 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
Select tuxedos for your groom (if he hasn't), his attendants and fathers of the couple. Measurements should be taken at the tux shop (to ensure a proper fit).
Arrange for rental of items needed for your ceremony and reception. This includes but is not limited to, arches, candelabras, china, crystal, flatware, flowing punch fountains, and silver if necessary.
Discuss finalized menu options and costs with your caterer. Confirm arrival and departure times, as well as any added extras.
Arrange accommodations for your out-of-town guests. (check with fiance' to make sure he hasn't made previous arrangements).
Arrange transportation/ limousine service for the wedding party to the ceremony and reception. Our limo service interview checklist may help.
Order wedding favors and ribbons (imprinted). Don't forget the extra's such as imprinted napkins, matches, and coasters.
Shop for bridal party gifts.
Confirm your order with the florist.
Make arrangements at a spa for your bridal party for the bachelorette party.
Begin any necessary counseling sessions with your wedding officiant.
2 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
Address and mail invitations.
Book/Confirm wedding-day transportation arrangements.
Finalize your "Order of Service" for the ceremony and design and order the wedding programs.
Print up directions to the ceremony and reception - include these with the invitations.
Prepare music selection list for band or DJ.
Set up a system for guest responses such as including reply cards with the invitation.
Select a location for your rehearsal dinner and make the necessary reservations & deposits. Be sure to secure your reservation with a signed contract and a security deposit. Be 100% sure of your selections, and know the refund/cancellation policies in the event you cancel or change your date.
Confirm any last details with your wedding day professionals that we may not have mentioned.
Confirm with formal wear shop that they have received all measurements of every male attendant.
Schedule your alterations and final fitting for the gown.
Schedule fittings for the bridesmaids and flower girl.
Make arrangements for your "Bridesmaid Luncheon" and other "Pre-Wedding Parties".
Order address labels with you & your future husband's new name & new address. This adds a personalized touch when sending out your wedding thank you cards.
1 MONTH BEFORE THE WEDDING
Finalize honeymoon plans and make confirmation with travel agent.’
Make necessary transportation arrangements to be taken to the airport & picked up when you return from your honeymoon.
Get blood test results from the physician, and apply for your marriage license.
Have a final gown fitting.
Choose all accessories.
Write thank-you notes for any gifts received.
Submit wedding announcements to local paper.
Make sure your bridal gifts are received (if any were sent out to be engraved). Wrap & address them so they are prepared.
Visit your hair stylist, work on a style with your veil.
Visit your make-up artist the same day.
Hair & make-up done, have your formal bridal portraits done.
Discuss and finalize details with: Pastor/ Officiant Church Soloist. Bridal Shop, Limo Services, Tuxedo Shop, Caterer, Florist, Bakery, Travel Agent, Photographer, Videographer, DJ/Band, Rehearsal Dinner Plans.
2 WEEKS BEFORE THE WEDDING
Pick up your marriage license.
Confirm rehearsal plans with your officiant and church wedding coordinator.
Obtain any legal information regarding changing your name for: Drivers License, Social Security Card, Vehicle Documents, Credit Cards, Bank Accounts, Investment Accounts, Passport, Change of Address Card with Post Office, Insurance Policies, Voter Registration Card, Subscriptions, Employment Records, Billing Address/Name Change.
Arrange to begin moving into your new residence if applicable.
Give approximate guest tally to caterer.
Complete floor and seating plan for reception.
Confirm all delivery dates.
Make preliminary seating arrangements.
Prepare lists for ushers, band, photographer/videographer.
Confirm arrival time for all attendants.
Check parking arrangements.
Purchase a wedding gift for your soon-to-be spouse & wrap it.
1 WEEK BERORE THE WEDDING
Call any guests that haven't sent back their response card (there will almost always be a few).
Give the caterer a finalized head count.
Make any last minute seating arrangements/adjustments.
Give your DJ or Band a list of songs you would like to have played on your wedding day.
Send out more Thank You notes to guests that won't be attending the wedding but have sent you a gifts since you wrote out the previous group of Thank You notes.
Organize your wedding day attire, make sure you try everything on & it fits perfectly.
Confirm honeymoon reservations.
Confirm reservations for out-of-town guests.
Pack your honeymoon suitcase.
Pick up passports (if necessary).
Gather all necessary documents for travel.
Confirm rehearsal plans with attendants and request that they arrive on time.
Confirm reservations for the rehearsal dinner.
Pick up formalwear. Be sure to try everything on & make sure all your accessories are there.
Your Groom's bachelor party should be during this week prior to the wedding. Remind him to be on his best behavior!
Get your wedding day emergency kit ready to go!
Have a relaxing massage, pedicure, manicure, but no tanning or facials this close to the big day!
1 DAY BEORE THE WEDDING
Decorate for the ceremony and reception, early in the day, or at least be there to give decorating orders. Confirm the delivery times with your party rental shop.
Get a manicure and pedicure.
Take a steamy relaxing bath.
Put rings and license in a safe place. Put note on exit door with reminders and leave message on cells and/or voice recorders.
Try to be at least 20 minutes early to your rehearsal dinner to greet your guests.
Give out bridal party gifts at the rehearsal dinner.
Make sure that the Best Man is given the officiant's fee in a sealed "Thank You For Your Services" envelope (if it hasn't been given to the officiant at the rehearsal).
Try to get a good night's sleep! Avoid alchohol and drink plenty of water.
YOUR WEDDING DAY!
Eat Something! It will help the Pre-Wedding Jitters if you have something in your stomach!
Get your hair and make-up done (wear a button up shirt to keep everything perfect).
Have someone check the reception site. (as early as possible)
Dress for your wedding.
Have candid photos taken with family.
Have your ceremony music start half-an-hour before you make your BIG entrance.
Enjoy, you've worked hard !!
AFTER THE HONEYMOON
Make sure your wedding announcement was sent out.
Have your wedding gown and flowers preserved.
Write Thank-You notes.
Change your name over to your married name.