The following checklist is an “ideal” timetable. Couples who do not have as much time as shown should plan their wedding in much the same order, using the checklist as a guide. Some choices are optional, such as a caterer, videographer, hotel accommodations for guests, bridal registries, etc. Be sure to check things off your list as you complete them. Have fun together!
Immediately After the Engagement:
- Discuss a budget & the size & style of the wedding with all parents if possible.
- Decide who pays for what.
- Consider using a wedding consultant.
- Choose a clergy member or other wedding “officiant.”
- Consider pre-marital counseling.
- Reserve wedding and reception sites.
- Choose a caterer (check references).
- Register at local bridal registries.
- Choose a photographer (get references).
Six Months or More Before the Wedding Day:
- Compile the guest list.
- Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.
- Choose engagement & wedding rings.
- Send your engagement announcement to newspapers.
- Select & order wedding gown.
- Select the attendants (bridesmaids & groomsmen).
- Choose & order bridesmaids dresses.
- Select one usher for every 50 guests.
- Choose a videographer (get references).
- Make arrangements for the music at the wedding & reception.
- Check out bakers for cake, etc. Get estimates. Book the date.
- Bride makes plans for beauty preparations
(nails, diet, hair, skin care & makeup).
Four Months Before the Wedding Day:
- Complete the guest list & confirm final details with the caterer.
- Order invitations (25 extra) & personal stationery or “Thank You” notes.
- Order napkins & purchase any other items needed for the ceremony & reception.
- Check with the caterer to see what is included.
- Visit the photographer again to discuss specifics. Use a “Photographer Checklist.”
- Get estimates & order flowers & floral arrangements for wedding & reception.
- Get estimates & order balloons, decorations & favors for wedding & reception.
- Make all transportation arrangements to & from the wedding & the reception.
- Consider hiring a limousine, party bus, trolley or horse-drawn carriage.
- Book your room for the wedding night.
- Make honeymoon plans.
Three Months Before the Wedding Day:
- Order wedding rings. Allow time for any final engraving.
- Order tuxedos for the groomsmen & fathers.
- Complete all honeymoon plans.
- If traveling outside the country, check on visas, passports & inoculations.
Two Months Before the Wedding Day:
- Mail invitations (six weeks before the wedding; eight weeks to out-of-town guests).
- Make appointments with the hairdresser for the bride & attendants or out-of-town guests.
- Buy a wedding gift for your future spouse & gifts for attendants and helpers
(bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, flower girls, ring bearers, etc.).
- Finalize arrangements of accommodations for out-of-town attendants & guests.
One Month Before the Wedding Day:
- Choose all accessories, shoes & lingerie for bridal gown.
- Have final fitting for bridal gown & bridesmaids’ dresses.
- Have beauty consultant do a trial run with bride’s hair & makeup.
- Schedule this appointment on the day the bridal portrait is taken and/or a party is planned.
- Have bridal portrait taken.
- Register all tuxedo sizes with the formal wear store.
- Check with the newspapers on wedding announcement requirements.
- Finalize plans for rehearsal dinner.
- Plan seating arrangements for the rehearsal dinner & reception.
- Arrange bridesmaids’ luncheon. Often, that is when the bride gives them their gifts.
- Complete name-change documents.
- Complete change-of-address information for post-office.
- Keep current with “Thank You” notes for shower & early wedding gifts.
Two Weeks Before the Wedding Day:
- Get the marriage license. Be sure to bring all needed documents.
- Inform or send invitations including exact time & location to those who will attend the rehearsal & rehearsal dinner.
- Inquire about where you & your attendants will dress for the ceremony.
- Walk through the entire event in your mind. Consider things like parking, access for handicapped guests, etc.
- Confirm all transportation plans.
- Check in with caterer, photographer, videographer, musicians, DJ, florist, etc. to confirm all arrangements.
- “Break in” wedding shoes at home.
One Week Before the Wedding Day:
- Appoint someone to act as an “organizer” to handle any last minute problems.
- Give a final guest count to the caterer.
- Review final details for those in the wedding party.
- Confirm honeymoon arrangements.
- Pack for the honeymoon. Know what you’ll wear from the reception.
- Enjoy a day with your family and friends.
- Visit a day spa, have a massage, a facial and relax.
One Day Before the Wedding Day:
- Attend the rehearsal & rehearsal dinner.
- Give the rings & clergy member’s fee to the Best Man.
The Wedding Day:
- Enjoy the day!
- Mail the announcements of your wedding after the honeymoon!