The Typical Timeline For Planning Your Own Wedding

Planning for your big dayYour wedding day is going to be unique. But your wedding timeline should be based on time-tested wisdom that has worked for brides in every age. Follow this schedule and you will have everything lined up at the right time. Build in some extra time if you have it. You’ll be ahead of the game when the last minute crunch hits.

12 to 16 Months Before the Wedding

This is the time when you’ve just gotten engaged. You’re excited and you should be. However, don’t rush through the planning. Remember that you have lots of time in front of you. You’ll be able to get the best deals because you are starting early. Ask for discounts for early booking. You’ll be surprised at how many you get!

  • Choose your wedding date
  • Decide how you will keep your wedding records
  • Choose a theme for your wedding
  • Select your wedding reception site
  • Select a ceremony site
  • Put your engagement announcement in the paper
  • Set a budget

8 to 11 Months Before the Wedding

  • Send out save the date cards if you’re using them
  • Start shopping for your gown
  • Hire a caterer if your reception site doesn’t provide the food
  • Start looking for a videographer
  • If you haven’t already, select the pastor, priest or rabbi who will perform your ceremony
  • Decide who will be in your bridal party
  • Start looking for a photographer
  • Start looking for a band or DJ
  • Set up your gift registry
  • Set the color and style of your bridesmaids’ dresses
  • Begin a preliminary list of who you’ll want to invite

Planning a Wedding5 to 7 Months Before the Wedding

  • Shop for your wedding cake
  • Have your invitations printed (and thank you cards, too)
  • Finish your guest list
  • Call hotels and book rooms for out of towners
  • Start planning your honeymoon

4 Months Before the Wedding

  • Choose your florist or decide which flowers you will need to make on your own
  • Be sure of your state’s wedding license requirements. If you need blood tests, get them now.
  • Buy your wedding bands

3 Months Before the Wedding

  • Rent the tuxedos for the men
  • Send out your wedding invitations
  • Make or purchase wedding favors
  • Finalize your menu
  • Shop for gifts for the bridal party
  • Hire limos or other transport for the bridal party

Wedding gown2 Months Before the Wedding

  • Have your wedding gown altered
  • Schedule times for the bridal party to be fitted for their gowns
  • Select an outfit for the flower girl and ring bearer
  • Confirm your flowers and cake orders
  • Plan for the rehearsal dinner (the groom’s family should pay for this)
  • Finalize the wedding music songs with the DJ or band
  • Order address labels with your new name and address

1 Month Before the Wedding

  • Design your wedding program and print them
  • Have your final wedding gown fitting
  • Finalize wedding ceremony and reception decor (bows for church pews, wedding envelope box, guest book, etc.)
  • Get your marriage license
  • Decide on a hair style and make up with your beautician. Do a trial run.
  • Call all vendors to finalize details

2 Weeks Before the Wedding

  • Have your bridal party or mom help call any guests who haven’t responded
  • Design your seating plan
  • Give final head count to the reception hall or caterer

1 Week Before the Wedding

  • Confirm hotel and honeymoon reservations
  • Pack for honeymoon including passports
  • Confirm rehearsal dinner plans
  • Pick up your wedding gown and any other formal wear

Wedding Day1 Day Before the Wedding

  • Get your manicure and pedicure
  • Give rings to the best man
  • Check your list to see if everything is done
  • Relax!

Wedding Day

The day of the wedding, just get up and enjoy the day. Eat breakfast so you have something solid in your stomach, have your hair done and get dressed. Take lots of photos of all of you getting ready before the wedding.

Plan to write your thank you notes as soon as you arrive home from your honeymoon. The sooner, the better.

2 Responses to The Typical Timeline For Planning Your Own Wedding

  • Albert says:

    Great post and so informative. I had a lot of typical timelines for planning my own wedding. That is why now i am so glad, and fully unaware about all the problems related to this field. Good work..

  • chanel says:

    Great advice. Planning a wedding can drive you nuts, but posts like this help things to stay much calmer! Thanks!

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