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Resources: Wedding Guide: Wedding Planning Timeline

Nine to Twelve Months Before

  • Determine who will officiate at the ceremony.
  • Select a wedding date and time.
  • Announce your engagement in the newspaper.
  • Determine how many guests may attend.
  • Determine the type of wedding you want (size, formality, style, color scheme).
  • Select and order the bridesmaids' dresses.
  • Establish a preliminary budget.
  • Select and secure a photographer.
  • Select a caterer if not already provided by the reception.
  • Select and secure your reception location.
  • Select and secure your ceremony location.
  • Begin choosing your wedding cake baker, videographer, musicians, and florist. Sign necessary contracts.
  • Pick out engagement ring with fiance.

Six to Nine Months Before

  • Start compiling the guest list (inform your families to do the same).
  • Select the attendants for your wedding party.
  • Shop for the wedding dress, headpiece, veil, etc.
  • Start planning for honeymoon.
  • Register with a gift bridal registry in your favorite store.

Four to Six Months Before

  • Make appointments for a physical exam with your doctor/dentist.
  • Check requirements for blood test and marriage license in your state.
  • Shop for wedding rings.
  • Select and order the invitations and stationery.
  • Make sure all the men's attire has been ordered.
  • Decide where to live after the wedding.
  • Complete the guest lists.
  • Begin shopping for trousseau.
  • Send your engagement announcement to the newspaper.
  • Inform mothers to select their dresses.
  • Select and order the men's attire.
  • Finalize honeymoon details and make the necessary reservations.

Two to Four Months Before

  • Confirm the menu and catering details with the caterer.
  • Prepare all maps and directions for the ceremony and reception.
  • Select your wedding rings.
  • Buy a wedding guest book.
  • Set the dates and times with the officiant for the rehearsal.
  • Plan the bridesmaids' luncheon and any other parties.
  • Determine your resources for designing and printing the program for the ceremony.
  • Finalize the florist details, photographer, videographer, musicians, etc.
  • Arrange the necessary accommodations for out-of-town guests.
  • Plan a rehearsal dinner, time and place.
  • Confirm the wedding cake details with the baker.

Six to Eight Weeks Before

  • Mail invitations and announcements.
  • Prepare a portrait for the newspaper. Check your local newspaper for details and timing.
  • Set appointment with photographer for your formal bridal portrait.
  • Select gifts for all your attendants.
  • Set appointments with any hairdressers and/or makeup artists.
  • Hire the limousine or other forms of transportation for the wedding.

Four to Six Weeks Before

  • Decide what your menu is going to be for the reception. Estimate the expected number of guests.
  • Buy a gift for the groom.
  • Schedule a final fitting for your gown so it can be ready for your formal bridal portrait.
  • Purchase a going away outfit.
  • Pick up your wedding rings.
  • Purchase (borrow) all wedding accessories such as the ring pillow, goblets, garter belt, candles, etc.
  • Confirm florist details and delivery times.
  • Plan the seating for the reception as well as other details for the ceremony and reception. Start writing placement cards.
  • Make sure all bridesmaids' attire has been fitted.
  • Buy a gift for the bride.

Two Weeks Before

  • Make arrangements to have your wedding gifts moved to your new home.
  • Handle business and legal details such as name changes, address changes, etc.
  • Prepare the wedding announcement for the newspaper.
  • Reconfirm your guests' accommodations
  • Make sure all clothing and accessories for you and the bridal party are ready.
  • Get your marriage license and any blood tests which are needed.

One Week Before

  • Review any seating details with the ushers.
  • Make sure all wedding attire fits.
  • Finalize the seating arrangements.
  • Reconfirm your honeymoon reservations. Ensure you have any necessary plane tickets.
  • Start packing for your honeymoon.
  • Call any guests who have not responded yet.
  • Finish all the place cards for the reception.
  • Review all the final details with your photographer, videographer, etc.
  • Give a final head count to the caterer.
  • Confirm the availability of the musicians and vocalists.
  • Delegate responsibilities to reliable individuals on your wedding day
  • Wrap and present the wedding party gifts.
  • Finalize your rehearsal dinner arrangements or other plans.

One Day Before

  • Get a manicure or massage to relax yourself.
  • Stay with your family the night before and sleep early.
  • Review and rehearse all the details of your participants.

The Big Day

  • Make sure the best man and maid of honor sign the wedding certificate.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to get dressed.
  • Enjoy your wonderful wedding and cherish each and every moment!!!
  • Be sure to eat properly.
  • Rest and relax with a good bath.
  • Prepare for your hairdresser and makeup appointments.

Additional Resources
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