Wedding tips & Timeline Guide

12+ Months Before

▢ Start a wedding folder or binder.
▢ Decide on your wedding date and time.
▢ Gather inspiration.
▢ Choose a color palette. Browse our color palettes for inspiration.
▢ Create a budget.
▢ Pick your wedding party.
▢ Create your guest list.
▢ Hire a wedding planner. Browse our Event Planners & Designers to find your perfect match.
▢ Reserve your ceremony and reception venue(s). Browse our Venues to find the right location to say I Do.
▢ Research vendors. Photographer, videographer, band/DJ, florist, caterer, officiant, etc. Our Vendor Guide features wedding vendors locally to help you.
▢ Take engagement photos. Browse our Photographers to find the right one.
▢ Throw an engagement party. Register for gifts beforehand if needed.

12 to 9 Months Before

▢ Hire your vendors. Photographer, videographer, band/DJ, florist, caterer, officiant, etc. Our Vendor Guide features local wedding vendors.
▢ Purchase your wedding dress.
▢ Think about the menu you͛d like to have for your reception.
▢ Decide on the type of entertainment you͛d like.
▢ Envision your dream floral decor.
▢ Reserve a hotel block for out-of-town guests. 9 to 6 Months Before
▢ Hire ceremony and reception musicians.
▢ Purchase your invitations.
▢ Start planning your honeymoon
▢ Order your bridesmaids͛ dresses.
▢ Order and send out your save-the-dates. It͛s a good idea to send these out 6 months before your wedding. If you͛re planning a destination wedding or plan to have a lot of out-of-town guests, you can send them 8 months before to be courteous.
▢ Draft your wedding day timeline.

6 to 4 Months Before

▢ Attend pre-marriage counseling if needed.
▢ Create your rehearsal dinner guest list.
▢ Book your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner venue(s).
▢ Send the bridal shower guest list to the host of the shower.
▢ Check on the status of your invitations.
▢ Envision your dream wedding cake. Hire a cake designer.
▢ Book your hair and makeup artists. Do a trial run with a few stylists to find the right one for you.
▢ Hire wedding transportation. Think about the wedding party and out-of-town guests
▢ Purchase wedding accessories. Buy your shoes, undergarments, hair pieces, jewelry, etc
▢ Have a dress fitting.
▢ Purchase your wedding rings.
▢ Shop for men͛s formalwear.
▢ Renew or get passports if necessary. If you͛re planning a destination wedding or honeymooning in another country, don͛t overlook this important step! 3 Months Before
▢ Finalize your wedding menu and flower selection.
▢ Order your wedding cake if you haven͛t already.
▢ Book childcare for guests͛ kids.
▢ Finalize your guest list.
▢ Order additional stationery. Menu cards, programs, escort cards, etc.
▢ Attend your wedding or bridal shower(s).
▢ Order favors. Decide whether or not you͛d like to give your guests favors.
▢ Meet with the officiant. Finalize readings and decide on anything else that will be presented during the ceremony.
▢ Make a list of who will be giving toasts.
▢ Groom: rent your formalwear.
▢ Finalize your wedding day timeline.
▢ Send the final wedding day timeline to your vendors.

2 Months Before

▢ Check in and confirm details with all of your vendors.
▢ Meet with the photographer. It͛s a good idea to meet at the venue if possible so the photographer can start planning shots.
▢ Review your playlist with the bandleader or DJ. Provide a ͚don͛t play͛ and ͚must play͛ list, if any.
▢ Do a hair and makeup trial run. Decide on the style and look you͛d like for your big day.
▢ Write your vows.
▢ Take dance lessons. If you͛re not comfortable on the dance floor or want to do an elaborate dance with your spouse, it͛s a good idea to take dance lessons to be prepared.
▢ Write and send thank you notes for shower gifts and early wedding gifts received.
▢ Purchase gifts for your parents, wedding party, and each other.
▢ Send out your invitations. It͛s recommended to send these 8 weeks before your wedding, and have the RSVP cutoff at 3 weeks after the postmark date.
▢ Submit your wedding announcement to the newspaper. 1 Month Before
▢ Check-in and confirm details with all of your vendors.
▢ Obtain a marriage license.
▢ Deliver your ͚must-have͛ shot list to the photographer and videographer.
▢ Mail out your rehearsal dinner invitations.
▢ Confirm the bridesmaids are ready and have their dresses.
▢ Email and print directions for transportation drivers.
▢ Plan your reception seating chart.
▢ Purchase/collect your something old, something new, borrowed, and blue.
▢ Purchase your guest book, toasting flutes, cake servers, unity candle, etc.
▢ Plan the welcome baskets.
▢ Purchase alcohol, if needed, and finalize your signature cocktails.

2 Weeks Before

▢ Check RSVPs. Follow up with any guests you haven͛t heard from.
▢ Deliver the finalized playlist to the bandleader or DJ.
▢ Bride: Get your hair cut and colored.
▢ Put together a bridal emergency kit.
▢ Enjoy your bachelor and bachelorette parties.

1 Week Before

▢ Check-in and confirm details with all of your vendors.
▢ Confirm roles and duties of the wedding party. Give them the wedding day timeline so they know what͛s expected.
▢ Delegate any small wedding-day tasks you can to friends and family.
▢ Break in your shoes!
▢ Book a spa appointment. Enjoy a massage and facial to decompress.
▢ Send the final guest list/headcount to the caterer and/or venue.
▢ Assemble and distribute your welcome baskets.
▢ Pack for your honeymoon.
▢ Connect with the venue manager. Provide them with any special requests for vendors, i.e. setup spaces needed, cake table, DJ table, etc.
▢ Give the ceremony and reception venue manager(s) a schedule of vendor delivery and setup times. It͛s also a good idea to include a contact name and phone number for each vendor.
▢ Groom: Get your haircut.

2 to 3 Days Before

▢ Check in and confirm details with all of your vendors.
▢ Get the wedding dress pressed or steamed, if needed.
▢ Groom: Have your final fitting and pick up your formalwear.
▢ Have the Best Man check in with all groomsmen. Confirm they have attended their final fittings and have their formalwear.
▢ Determine the wedding party positions for the ceremony and order for the processional and recessional.
▢ Give the place cards, table cards, menus, favors, etc. to the caterer or reception venue manager.
▢ Call the transportation companies to confirm pickup times and locations.
▢ Deliver the welcome baskets to the hotel concierge with names and delivery instructions.

The Day Before

▢ Give all vendors an emergency number to call on the day of the wedding. Designate someone you trust to handle all questions and concerns.
▢ Write final checks for vendors. Give them to the Best Man along with tip envelopes to be handed out at/after the wedding.
▢ Assign someone to pack up the gifts/belongings after the reception.
▢ Assign someone to take the Bride͛s gown to cleaning and to return the Groom͛s rentals.
▢ Rehearse the ceremony.
▢ Drop off ceremony accessories at the venue.
▢ Give the marriage license to the officiant.
▢ Get a manicure and pedicure.
▢ Attend your rehearsal dinner.
▢ Present the wedding party with gifts at the rehearsal dinner.
▢ Go to bed early!

The Day Of

▢ Present parents and each other with gifts.
▢ Give the wedding bands to the Best Man and Maid of Honor.
▢ Give the Best Man the officiant͛s fee envelope to be presented after the ceremony.
▢ Introduce the reception venue manager to your designated contact person for questions or concerns.
▢ Assign someone you trust to be the photographer͛s contact. This person can help the photographer gather necessary people for photos and point out who is who.

After the Wedding

▢ Write and send thank you notes.
▢ Complete your registry. Exchange or return unwanted or duplicate gifts.
▢ Preserve your wedding dress.
▢ Follow up with your photographer and videographer for albums, DVDs, etc.
▢ Get your name changed.