Congratulations on your engagement! It’s a time where your will, wit, organizational skills, and humor will be put to the test. Weddings take a lot of planning and you may spend over 100 hours on the phone, visiting with vendors, planning, and chasing after details. To help you get off to a good start, Here’s an outline of some of the typical things you may need to do for your wedding and the approximate timeline for getting those things done!

Remember, this is your day and you should do as little or as much with your wedding ceremony and celebration as you would like.

6 – 12 Months Before Your Wedding

  • Select a wedding date and time & possibly a backup date
  • Announce your engagement in the paper
  • Plan an engagement party with family and friends
  • Talk with a bridal consultant or wedding coordinator
  • Find out what bridal shows are in the area and plan on attending
  • Agree on a preliminary budget
  • Decide who will pay for what and how expenses will be shared
  • Call yourJP, church or synagogue for an appointment with the Officiant
  • Consider and ask friends and family to serve as wedding attendants
  • Start a “planning system” and system of organization
  • Start your wedding guest list
  • Start thinking about ideas/themes for your reception and catering plans
  • Determine what type of entertainment you want to have for your reception
  • Decide the type of wedding you would like to have (size, formality, and setting)
  • Think about your color schemes
  • Explore pre-marital counseling
  • Start health and fitness plan if you’re not already in one!
  • Select your reception location
  • Select your professional photographer
  • Select your videographer
  • Select menu(s) for your reception
  • Select Musician or Disc Jockey
  • Select your florist
  • Shop together for your wedding rings
  • Select wedding dress and headpiece, and set a date for fittings and delivery
  • Select your bridesmaids’ dresses and accessories
  • Select and plan a honeymoon and location

4 Months Prior to the Wedding

  • Check the requirements for marriage license
  • Select and discuss your color schemes with the florist/decorator of choice
  • Reserve your wedding day rental equipment
  • Decide upon a gift registry and select your gift choices
  • Order your invitations and related stationery needs
  • Start shopping for the men’s’ wedding attire
  • Reserve your wedding day transportation
  • Research and select readings for ceremony
  • Make music selections for ceremony and reception
  • Decide upon and order favors
  • Select your baker, then choose your cake, and groom’s cake
  • Help parents coordinate and find their wedding day clothing
  • Review your contracts with all of your vendors and service providers

2 Months Before Your Wedding

  • Have engagement portraits taken
  • Place your engagement announcement in the newspaper
  • Mail out invitations and announcements
  • Decide on the men’s wedding attire
  • Arrange and plan your rehearsal dinner
  • Purchase your wedding day accessories
  • Arrange attendant’s parties
  • Prepare accommodations for out-of-town attendants and guests
  • Consider a hairdresser and/or makeup artist and book appointments
  • Finalize all honeymoon plans

1 Month Left

  • Final wedding dress fitting
  • Final fitting for your wedding attendants
  • Obtain marriage license
  • Have your attendant’s parties
  • Purchase your going-away outfit
  • Create a calendar of events for the wedding day
  • Make sure your accessories are in order (rings, pillow, garter, etc.)

2 Weeks Remaining

  • Finalize arrangements with the entertainer(s)
  • Provide a list of music you would like played (or not played)
  • Finalize music during special events such as first dance, dance with dad, etc.
  • Pick up your wedding rings and make sure that the engravings are correct and make sure they fit!
  • Contact the guests who have not responded to your invitations.

1 Week to Go

  • If you can, take the week, or part of the week off from work!
  • Make sure your marriage license is in order
  • Prepare seating arrangements, if necessary
  • Confirm honeymoon reservations
  • Pack your baggage for your honeymoon
  • Have your wedding ceremony rehearsal
  • Instruct your wedding party on what they will be doing on the day of the wedding
  • Have your rehearsal dinner
  • Make sure all wedding attire fits properly
  • Give the best man the amounts your vendors are to be paid on the wedding day
  • Inform your caterer of the total guest count
  • Confirm out-of-town guests have transportation and sleeping accommodations
  • Check with your florist and/or balloonist to make sure they will arrive when scheduled

Your Wedding Day

  • Your primary goal today is to get married! Have fun!
  • Relax, enjoy yourself, and remain calm!
  • Allow at least two hours for dressing
  • Allow plenty of time to apply your makeup and style your hair
  • If professionals are doing your hair and/or makeup, determine the time they need
  • If photographs are to be taken before the ceremony, allow plenty of time for that!
  • Remember to bring the rings and marriage license
  • Seat guests as they arrive
  • The groom’s parents should be seated about 5 minutes before start time
  • Mother of the bride is normally seated last
  • Take a deep breath, don’t worry, be happy and smile!