Wedding planning checklist

Wedding Planning

Once your engagement is announced, the planning process begins. This timeline will help keep you on track when it comes to planning a stress-free wedding. (Yes, it’s possible, right?)


One year or more


    • Announce your engagement.
    • Meet with both families to discuss budget, style, priorities and dates.
    • Start looking at the ceremony and reception sites.
    • Start looking at wedding gowns.
    • Start interviewing florists, caterers, entertainers and photographers/videographers.
    • Select and invite attendants.
    • Select your ceremony officiant.
    • Create a new email address just for wedding correspondence.
    • Attend a bridal show.
    • Set up your gift registry.

6-9 months


    • Reserve your reception site.
    • Reserve your caterers.
    • Finalize your guest list.
    • Decide on the invitations.
    • Decide on your entertainment.
    • Plan your engagement party
    • Start thinking about your honeymoon.
    • Start planning your menu.

Three months

    • Order the invitations.
    • Shop for the bridal party dresses.
    • Shop for the rings.
    • Book your honeymoon and make passport arrangements, if necessary.
    • Order the wedding cake.
    • Shop for bridal party gifts.
    • Reserve formalwear for the groomsmen.
    • Confirm orders with the florist, entertainers and reception site.
    • Set up the bridal gift registry.
    • Make any special arrangements for the wedding party, like spa treatments or hair and makeup appointments.
    • Reserve blocks of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.
    • Plan all parties, showers and luncheons

Two Months

    • Address and send invitations.
    • Book transportation.
    • Choose all music for the ceremony and reception.
    • Determine ceremony protocol.
    • Confirm ceremony details with participants.
    • Purchase bridal party gifts.
    • Finalize rehearsal dinner plans and reception menu.
    • Design and print wedding programs.
    • Arrange fittings for the bridal party.

One Month

    • Submit wedding announcement to local media.
    • Choose all accessories.
    • Sit for bridal portrait.
    • Write thank-you notes for any gifts received.
    • Apply for your marriage license.
    • Send rehearsal dinner invitations.
    • Draft a seating chart, if necessary, for the reception.
    • Finalize details with all hired professionals.
    • Finalize jewelry.

Two weeks

    • Complete floor and seating plans for the reception.
    • Wrap gifts for everyone involved.
    • Start working on speeches and toasts.
    • Finalize the receiving line.

One week

    • Pick up formalwear and ensure it fits appropriately.
    • Make sure passports and marriage license are in hand.
    • Pack for the honeymoon.
    • Pamper yourself with a massage, manicure and pedicure.

Day before

    • Put rings and license in a safe place.
    • Attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
    • Pack wedding-day items.
    • Pay the vendors.
    • Give gifts to attendants.

Wedding Day

    • Deliver bridal clothing and honeymoon clothing to the reception venue or staging area.
    • Have hair styled and makeup applied.
    • Review your checklist.
    • Have candid pre-wedding pictures taken.
    • Get dressed.
    • Enjoy your special day.