Wedding Timeline Checklist

calendarThe wedding timeline checklist is the main checklist most couples search for when planning their wedding. The To-Do-List is organized from 9-12 months before the wedding until the first days after the wedding.

Don’t feel overwhelmed by all the To-Do-Things pointed out here. Just pick the ones that best suit your dream wedding.

9-12 months before the wedding

  • Officially announce your engagement
  • Decide on who pays for what and set an overall budget
  • Set a wedding date (consult with registry office and officiant)
  • Decide on the type of wedding (formal, semi-formal, informal…)
  • Book reception site (liability insurance necessary?) and arrange parking
  • Book ceremony location (liability insurance necessary?)
  • Decide whether you need/want pre-marital counseling
  • Hire wedding planner if you wish
  • Start first draft of your guest list

6-9 months before the wedding

  • Announce wedding date (especially for out-of-town guests)
  • Start shopping for wedding dress, shoes, jewelry etc.
  • Decide on bridesmaids dresses
  • Organize (flower) decoration and bouquets
  • Hire catering service
  • Hire wedding photographer/videographer
  • Hire DJ/band
  • Choose officiant and discuss ceremony process
  • Start thinking about gift registry options
  • Reserve hotel rooms (in varying price ranges) for out-of-town guests
  • Have an engagement party if you wish
  • Book honeymoon

4-6 months before the wedding

  • Select and order wedding invitations and stationery
  • Choose wedding cake
  • Discuss menu ideas with catering service
  • Arrange for rental items (arches, candelabras, china, crystal, flatware…)
  • Buy wedding rings
  • Organize groom’s tux and decide what groomsmen will wear
  • Make sure bridesmaids ordered their gowns and decide on accessories
  • Look for wedding favors
  • Confirm dates for bridal shower and decide bachelorette party themes
  • Start registry (before sending bridal shower invitations)
  • Get ideas for wedding hair and makeup
  • Organize helpers (readers, musicians, guest book attendant etc.)
  • Organize additional management staff, babysitters etc.
  • Give guest list to shower hostesses
  • Decide whether you want wedding insurance

2-4 months before the wedding

  • Finalize guest list and send invitations
  • Select place for rehearsal dinner
  • Finalize rehearsal dinner plans
  • Finalize menu
  • Select music for ceremony, reception etc.
  • Book makeup artist and hairstylist
  • Check tuxes for groom and groomsmen have been ordered
  • Organize wedding transportation (for you and your guests)
  • Order wedding favors
  • Find gifts for each other, your attendants, shower hostess, parents etc.
  • Purchase bridal party gifts
  • Purchase wedding accessories (candles, baskets, ring pillow etc.)
  • Check registry regularly (there always have to be enough options left)
  • Joint bank accounts, insurance, merging of money…
  • Start preparations for honeymoon
  • Send invitations 8 weeks before wedding date

1-2 months before the wedding

  • Have first bridal gown fitting
  • Schedule a final fitting for your gown so it can be ready for formal bridal portrait
  • Finalize ceremony readings, songs, etc.
  • Design wedding programs
  • Meet with officiant to finalize ceremony
  • Arrange “Bridesmaid Luncheon” and other “Pre-Wedding Parties”
  • Write vows
  • Set appointment with photographer for your formal bridal portrait.
  • Prepare photo and video shot list
  • Check requirements for blood test and marriage license in your state
  • Discuss and finalize details with wedding service providers

3-4 weeks before the wedding

  • Get marriage license (normally no earlier than 30 days before wedding)
  • Arrange name change
  • Mail rehearsal-dinner invitations
  • Meet with stylist to discuss makeup and hair
  • Confirm hotel arrangements for out-of-town guests

1-2 weeks before the wedding

  • Call guests who have not responded to invitation
  • Make final payments for all services that require payment
  • Have final wedding gown fitting
  • Finalize wedding-day schedule and share with attendants, parents and all vendors
  • Pick up wedding dress and make sure all accessories are together
  • Reconfirm all wedding plans: ceremony, reception site, florist, photo-/videographer, musicians, DJ, baker, honeymoon
  • Give caterer/reception site final head count
  • Provide wedding party and out-of-town guests with itinerary and maps
  • Prepare emergency kit with needle, thread, safety pins, tape, mirror, etc.
  • Give someone at home emergency numbers of honeymoon locations, credit card numbers etc.
  • Finalize seating arrangements
  • Prepare place cards
  • Prepare “wedding box” for ceremony accessories
  • Prepare “reception box” for reception accessories
  • Prepare wedding favors for transportation
  • Complete seating plan for reception
  • Confirm all rental and floral delivery dates and times
  • Confirm arrival times for attendants
  • Pack for wedding night and honeymoon

The day before the wedding

  • Prepare payment envelopes, choosing who is responsible for each one
  • Hand out assignment lists and checklists to ensure everyone knows their tasks
  • Hand out ceremony box to appropriate person
  • Hand out reception box to appropriate person
  • Hand out favor box to appropriate person
  • Give rings to best man
  • Gather wedding dress and all accessories
  • Get a manicure, pedicure, massage
  • Rehearse ceremony with officiant and wedding party
  • Confirm flight arrangements for honeymoon
  • Compile an emergency list of all wedding vendors with phone numbers

The wedding day

  • Try to eat breakfast
  • See hairdresser
  • Have makeup applied
  • Don’t forget rings (if you haven’t given them to best man) and wedding license
  • Take a relaxing bath

After wedding

  • Get wedding gown cleaned and preserved
  • Preserve bouquet
  • Write and send thank-you notes
  • Complete process of name change
  • Finalize gift registry
  • Meet with photographer/videographer to finalize albums/video

If you already feel like having a look at some of the best wedding vendors out there, check our recommended wedding suppliers to find what you are looking for from the comfort of your home.

Please share the love...

11 Responses »

  1. Great list! This will help many brides and grooms save time and stress. A plan is a must when getting married. The better the plan, the better the result.

  2. I think the wedding timeline you have here is really great, I wont hesitate to recommend it to my clients. Thanks. Aly

  3. Great post. I’ve been looking for this exact info for a while now. I’ll bookmark it in the public bookmarking sites to get you more traffic.

  4. Just wanted to say I really liked the post. You have really put a lot of energy into your posts and it is just awesome!

  5. [...] So how do you get started on planning a wedding? Well I’ve looked around on the internet and the best checklist/timeline of what has to be done I found was at http://www.myweddingchecklist.net/wedding-timeline-checklist: [...]

  6. I like that you included a notation for wedding insurance in your timeline. Many brides do not know that it exists.

  7. I have been looking for some personalised party banners for my sons birthday. Can any one let me know a good site where I can get personalised banners? Any help would be great. Thanks John

  8. This checklist is great!!!!! It will keep me from stressing out.Ive started a llittle early though my wedding is not unitl 2013. This checklist helps out a lot, now I know I can relax and have everything planned according to the timeline.

  9. This timeline is very detailing. I am going to recommend this to my clients, you can’t get no better than this. Thank you so much, Keep it up!

  10. I love your comprehensive list- Perfect for helping brides get organised for their special day.
    If you are a bride who is feeling a little stressed at the overwhelm of planning your wedding, then you are welcome to access a complimentary brides relaxation audio from http://www.relieveweddingstress.com/prewedstress
    Warmest wishes,
    Nomiki

  11. This is a brilliant list. Thank you so much. I will definitely refer your website to my friends and family. Now that I know about everything that should be considered in planning my wedding, Im even more excited!!

Leave a Reply