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Wedding Planning Timeline

Jan 25, 2017 11:00AM ● Published by Kendra Kaiserman

All in Good Time

Special Wedding Section 2017

10-12 months to go

Work out your budget and establish your top priorities— where to save/where to splurge. 


Find ideas. Start browsing on Pinterest, bridal blogs and magazines to identify your wedding style and color palette. 


Compile your preliminary guest list.


Choose your wedding party—who do you want by your side at the altar? 


Find a venue for your ceremony and reception, and reserve your date.


Now that you have a date, tell everyone to save it! Consider sending out save-the-date cards or emails. Or create your own wedding website, and let your invitees know about it.


Find a dress and begin assembling the perfect accessories.


Assemble an all-star vendor team (caterer, photographer/videographer, officiant, etc.).


Already feeling overwhelmed? Consider hiring a wedding planner.


6-9 months to go

Decide on arrangements with your floral designer.


Do a tasting and choose your wedding cake with your cake designer.


Hire the DJ/entertainment for your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. 


Create your gift registry (and don’t forget to update your wedding website!). 


Shop for bridesmaid and flower girl dresses. 


Go over bridal shower/bachelorette party details and the guest lists with the person(s) hosting your parties.


3-5 months to go

Book the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner location(s). 


Order or make wedding favors for your guests.


Shop for and reserve men’s formalwear.


Finalize guest list. Get everyone’s mailing address.


Do a makeup and hair trial and book your stylists.


Finalize honeymoon plans and obtain all necessary documents (are your passports up to date?).


6-8 weeks to go

You’re getting close... Mail out those invitations!


Touch base with your vendors to confirm date, deposits and details.


Start researching marriage license requirements and name-change paperwork. 


Begin your dress fittings. Be sure to buy the appropriate undergarments.


3-5 weeks to go

Finalize and confirm: 

• Wedding vows and readings with your officiant. 

• Photo list with your photographer/videographer.

• Song list for ceremony, cocktail hour and reception with your DJ and/or band/musicians.

• Timeline for the reception and who’s giving the toasts.

• Wedding night and honeymoon accommodations.


Obtain marriage license and complete  name-change documents, if applicable. 


Pick up your wedding rings and proofread any engraving!


Buy gifts (optional) for the wedding party and parents of the bride and groom. 


Have your final dress fitting. Bring  your shoes and accessories for the full impact.



1-2 weeks to go

Arrange seating and create the seating chart and/or place cards.


Pick up your gown.


Put together your own bridal emergency kit. 


Speaking of emergencies: Check the weather report, and if things look iffy, contact your venue to make sure a contingency plan is in place.


Day before

Figure out tips and final payments for vendors. Put them in clearly marked envelopes and give them to the best man or another person you trust to hand out at the reception. 


Assign someone to pack up your gifts/belongings after the reception (don’t forget the top tier
of  your cake!). 


Enjoy a mani-pedi.


Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Now’s the time to give out wedding party gifts.

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