Wedding Planning Timeline/Checklist

Written by wedding-planner  |  30. June 2003

Print out the timeline below and check off each item as you and your fianc go along! This list may seem like an overwhelming amount of things for you to do, but we guarantee you that it will help make things go smoother. Nine Months and Earlier: Announce engagement to family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. Plan engagement party Select a date and time for your wedding Hire a professional wedding consultant Determine the type of wedding you want (location, time of day, formality, number of guests, etc.) and your wedding budget. If sharing expenses, decide who will pay for what. Consolidate all guest lists Decide if you want to include children as guests Reserve ceremony/reception site and select/meet officiant Attend bridal shows Select and order bridal gown and headpiece Determine color scheme Book photographer and videographer Decide who will be in the bridal party and ask them Order passport, visa or birth certificate if needed for honeymoon or marriage license Start comparison shopping Gather ideas for reception: menu, beverages, entertainment, favors, etc. Six to Nine Months Before Wedding Reserve wedding night bridal suite Select and order dresses, shoes, and accessories for the bridal party Select and book caterer, if needed Select and book ceremony/reception musicians/DJ Schedule fittings and delivery dates for yourself, attendants, flower girl, and ring bearer Book florist Four to Six Months Before Wedding Shop for each other's wedding gifts Reserve rental items for ceremony and reception Order wedding invitations, announcements, and other stationery (thank-you notes, wedding programs, seating cards, scrolls, napkins) Finalize guest list and address invitations Set date, time, and location for your rehearsal dinner Start planning your honeymoon Book all miscellaneous services, i.e. gift attendant, valet parking, etc. Register for gifts (www.marriagebeforeandafter.com) at dept. stores Purchase shoes & accessories (begin to break in those shoes!) Shop for wedding rings and make arrangements for graving. Two to Four Months Before Wedding Order wedding & groom's cake, party favors, and room decorations Purchase honeymoon attire & luggage Book transportation Check with local authorities about requirements for marriage license and blood test. Visit doctor for physical. Get necessary travel documents (passport, visa, birth certificate) Purchase gifts for wedding attendants Reserve blocks of rooms at hotels for out-of-town guests Draw maps with directions to the ceremony and reception site Touch base with bridal consultant Meet with caterer to discuss reception menu Review music selections with musician Arrange for an engagement picture for the newspaper Meet with florist to discuss floral budget and decorations Begin addressing inner and outer invitation envelopes Six to Eight Weeks Before Wedding Mail invitations (include a map to ceremony and reception sites as well as directions) Keep a record of RSVPs and gifts received - send thank-you notes upon receipt of gifts Schedule to have hair, makeup, and nails done the day of the wedding Finalize shopping for wedding day accessories Reserve wedding attire for groom, ushers, father of the bride, and ring bearer Mail rehearsal dinner invitations Obtain marriage license Finalize your menu, beverage, and alcohol order with banquet manager. Ask for banquet room floor plan Consult a party rental store if equipment is needed Meet with photographer for formal bridal portrait. Order wedding programs Order favors Two to Six Weeks Before Wedding Confirm ceremony details with your officiant Arrange final fittings Finalize all plans - rehearsal dinner, floral selections, photography, musicians Begin packing for honeymoon Contact guest who haven't responded Pick up rings Determine ceremony seating for special guests and plan reception room layout (write names on place cards for arranged seating) Seating plan for rehearsal dinner Make a detailed timeline for wedding party and service providers Give copies of timelines to appropriate people Hand out responsibility cards to the members of your wedding party Purchase gifts for attendants and wrap Dye shoes all in one lot-use swatch from dresses If attendants live out-of-town, send dresses so they can be fitted and altered Purchase bridal garter, guest book, pen, cake knife, and toasting glasses. Take formal portrait Send wedding announcement to the local newspaper Do trial hair and make-up run and set date with them. Set date for manicure/pedicure Finalize arrangements for the rehearsal dinner Verify attendants have accessories Final fitting of gown Select wedding gifts for each other Arrange transportation for the wedding party Plan receiving line Write place cards for the reception Write out thank-you notes Get marriage license Confirm with all service vendors Attend bridal shower Have bridesmaid luncheon Ask a friend to handle the wedding gifts at the reception and to take home Hire a house sitter for the rehearsal dinner and reception Ask someone to be the guest book attendant Check with cleaners about preserving your gown-and ask someone to take your gown there. Plan welcome package for out-of-town guests. Attend bachelorette party The Last Week Pick up wedding attire (make sure it all fits!!!) Do final guest count and notify your caterer or reception site manager Confirm honeymoon reservations and accommodations. Pick up tickets and travelers checks Give addressed and stamped announcements to someone who will mail them the day after the wedding Finish honeymoon packing Review timeline with service providers Go over last minute details with consultant and bridal party Pay balances due on services required before the wedding Have checks in envelope for your consultant to give to service providers the day of wedding. Have the bridesmaid luncheon Give out attendant gifts Have something old, new borrowed and blue ready Check weather report and make any necessary adjustments The Rehearsal Day Put suitcases in getaway car Give checks to service providers via best man Arrange for someone to bring accessories such as guest book, ring bearer pillow, flower-girl basket, toasting glasses, napkins and cake-cutting knife Arrange for someone to return rental items such as tuxedos Lay out clothes and accessories The Wedding Day Eat a good breakfast Review timeline with bridal party Give groom's ring to maid of honor and bride's ring to the best man Follow your detailed schedule of events Relax and enjoy your wedding!!! If this list seems too overwhelming-consult with a wedding planner for help. They can be of great assistance and keep you sane during this period.

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