Planning your wedding is an exciting time, but there is a lot to do. Here is a checklist to remind you of important things that need to be done and a rough timeline for them. Sometimes things will take a lot more time than you think they are going to take. If you are planning your wedding yourself, use this guide to help keep your wedding on track.
Just after the Engagement
After you become engaged, you’ll need to stop by Ben David Jewelers to buy your engagement ring and have your engagement announcements printed. Once those announcements are mailed, you will plan your engagement party, if you’re having one. Once all of the engagement festivities are over, it is time to get down to the real business of planning your wedding. About one year before your wedding you’ll need to start working on:
- Create a budget for your wedding.
- Set a tentative date. That will likely change later in the planning, but have a date in mind for now.
- Create a wedding guest list.
- Look through Pinterest, magazines and bridal websites to come up with a color scheme and theme for your wedding.
- Shop for a wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses.
- Starting interviewing caterers, bakers, and venues for your wedding ceremony and reception.
- Browse vacation websites and bridal magazines for honeymoon ideas.
Six to Nine Months before the Wedding
You should have your wedding taking shape by this point, with some hurdles yet to overcome with vendors or the renting of a hall. If you are feeling completely overwhelmed, it might be time to bring on a wedding planner to take the pressure off. If you’re just born to plan parties, these are the next steps to tackle:
- Set the wedding date in stone.
- Confirm all plans with the church or other ceremony location, caterer, baker, officiant, photographer, etc. and pay their deposits. Get it in writing and save the receipts in a safe place.
- Hire the band or DJ for the reception.
- Decide which florist you’ll be using and pick out the flowers that you’ll have for your wedding and reception. Pay the deposit to the florist to make sure they are scheduled for your wedding day.
- Order your wedding invitations.
- Purchase your wedding dress
- Pick out hotels that are in at least two price ranges for out of town guests.
- Work with the best man and maid of honor to put together guest lists for the bachelor and bachelorette parties.
At Least 3 Months before the Wedding
- Have your bridesmaids and flower girls purchase their dresses.
- Sign up for guest registries on at least two websites.
- Order wedding favors that you will give to your guests.
- Make arrangements for the wedding rehearsal dinner.
- Place a reservation for the groom’s suit, and formalwear for his groomsmen.
- Mail the wedding invitations and RSVP cards.
- Order your keepsakes like engraved toasting glasses, cake service items, guestbook, etc.
- Confirm with your officiant, all vendors and venues that you are still on their schedule.
At Least Three Weeks until the Wedding
- Decide on your marriage vows.
- Confirm with your photographer and take care of any preliminary work he or she needs.
- Make a plan with the musicians or DJ for certain songs and when they will be played.
- Obtain the marriage license.
- Stop by Ben David Jewelers to pick up your engraved wedding rings.
- Have a final fitting for your wedding gown.
- Confirm with caterer and give the final guest count.
- Reserve a hotel room and limousine for you and your new spouse for after the ceremony, if you are not boarding a plane right after the wedding.
- Confirm with your hairdresser and cosmetologist for your hair and make-up.
- Work up a seating plan for guests at the reception.
- Confirm honeymoon reservations and make sure the airline tickets have been purchased.
- Pack for the honeymoon.
One Day before the Wedding
- Put tips and final payments in individual, addressed envelopes and give them to a relative or trusted friend to hand deliver to vendors, officiants, etc.
- Put a trusted friend in charge of accepting gifts and keeping them in a safe place. Have them deliver them to your home after the reception. Be sure to give them a key to the house.
- Lay out your clothing for the wedding.
- Pack an overnight bag for the hotel, or make sure your suitcase is packed for the honeymoon. Put your airlines tickets and honeymoon reservation information with your bags.
- Put the wedding rings and marriage license with your clothing or give them to your best man.
- Put a person in charge of returning the groom’s rented attire.
- Go to the rehearsal dinner and try to relax.
Your Wedding Planning
Starting early with a lot of extra time throughout this wedding planning process is usually a good idea. This allows you to be able to easily find another caterer, photographer or replace a venue if needed without being in a time crunch. Time will give you some peace of mind. Planning your wedding is stressful, but it is also a lot of fun. Try to stay calm, relax and enjoy the process.