Need a little help figuring out your wedding planning timeline?
Here's a little checklist to get you started!
Planning weddings is serious business! There are a lot of moving parts that go into making your wedding day the event of your dreams, and the best way to ensure a positive planning experience is to stay organized! If it is an option, I highly recommend involving a wedding planner when preparing for a once in a lifetime event like a wedding, mostly because they bring a ton of experience to the table and can help with everything from keeping your budget intact to helping you stay on track with your planning timeline.
Regardless, knowing when to take care of certain important elements of your day is a key factor in keeping everything on track and (relatively) stress free. Here's a checklist with many of the major wedding planning tasks to give you an idea of ideal times to handle your business -- from booking vendors, to finalizing details.
9 - 12 Months Before the Wedding
Announce your engagement to family and friends
Plan an engagement party
Set your wedding date
Create a budget
Hire your Wedding Planner
Book your ceremony and reception venues
Hire your Photographer and Videographer
Schedule your engagement photos (especially if you want to use them for photo Save-the-Date cards or a sign in book!)
Start thinking about your guest list
6 - 9 Months Before the Wedding
Hire your caterer
Hire your DJ or band
Select an officiant
Hire your florist for centerpieces, bouquets, and arrangements
Finalize your ceremony details (readings, music, officiant, etc.)
Design and order wedding programs
Begin writing your vows
Schedule a hair and makeup trial session
Prepare a photo and video shot list
Finalize the day of details with all of your vendors
3 - 4 Weeks Before the Wedding
Get the marriage license
Send out rehearsal dinner invitations
Have a final venue walk through
Verify that you have finalized the details with all of your vendors
1 - 2 Weeks Before the Wedding
Pick up the wedding dress
Schedule a manicure and pedicure
Make sure final payments have been arranged for all vendors
Finalize the wedding day schedule and share any updates with vendors and the wedding party
Give your caterer the final head count
Reconfirm all plans with your vendors (I know, it's a lot of confirming -- but it's better to double and triple check than wait for surprises on wedding day)
Confirm rental delivery times
Finalize seating arrangements
Prepare place cards
Pack for the wedding and honeymoon!
The Day Before
Prepare payment envelopes if any payments are due on wedding day
Rehearse your ceremony with the wedding party and officiant
Confirm travel arrangements for the honeymoon
Sit back, relax, and trust your vendors
Get ready with hair & makeup
Make sure to have something to eat!
Say "I DO"
Enjoy your reception!
Bonus Tip: It's OK to delegate! Let your wedding planner or a member of the bridal party step in and act as the main point of contact for your vendors so you can focus on the most important thing - enjoying the beginning of your married life.