How often have you felt like the summer was barely over when suddenly the holidays were right around the corner? A wedding date can creep up just as fast, so it’s best to make use of every day to help you make your wedding perfect.
Once you and your partner have picked a date, it’s time to break out your calendar and start planning your wedding. Yes, there’s a lot to do, but when you break it down into manageable steps, it’ll be much easier for you to accomplish.
11-12 Months Before Your Wedding
Brainstorm what kind of ceremony you want – large, small, any particular theme?
Formally announce your engagement to friends and family.
Start your guest list.
Work out your budget, and determine who pays for what.
Hire a wedding planner, if you choose.
Shop around for places to book your ceremony and reception location(s).
9-10 Months Before Your Wedding
Pick color scheme.
Go shopping for a wedding gown.
Meet with and choose the professionals you’ll be working with, like florists, photographers, and caterers. Set contracts with each one that state the date and details of your wedding.
Figure out any arrangements that may be needed for out-of-town guests.
Throw your engagement party. Usually a friend or family member hosts this event.
Seek out a wedding officiate. Some denominations require a couple to have weeks of marital counseling before the wedding, so book ahead accordingly.
7-8 Months Before Your Wedding
Finalize honeymoon plans.
Order dresses for your bridesmaids/maid of honor.
Determine details for your wedding registry.
Arrange for stationary you’ll need.
Send save-the-date cards.
5-6 Months Before Your Wedding
Determine the requirements for your marriage license, such as residency requirements, cost, and time frame in which you need to acquire the license.
Shop for and purchase your wedding rings. You’ll want to allow time for engraving if you’re having that done.
Make final decisions on groom’s and groomsmen attire.
Taste test and make final decisions on your wedding cake.
3-4 Months Before Your Wedding
Participate in the catering tasting and finalize your wedding dinner menu with your caterer.
Write your vows.
2 Months Before Your Wedding
Finalize music playlist.
Book bridal beauty appointments at the salon.
Send out invitations.
Confirm date and time with florist, caterer, DJ, etc.
Book rehearsal dinner.
Order the cake if you haven’t done so.
1 Month Before Your Wedding
Purchase bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts.
Schedule final fitting of your wedding gown.
Purchase any accessories you’ll need for the ceremony, like the ring pillow, decorative pen set, flower girl basket, etc.
Make transportation arrangements for out-of-town guests.
Throw bachelor and bachelorette parties. These will be organized by your best man and your maid of honor.
2-3 Weeks Before Your Wedding
Pick up wedding rings.
Get your marriage license. Make sure you have the proper documentation with you when you go. At minimum, marriage licenses require proof of identity and residency. If this isn’t your first marriage, you’ll need proof that you’re legally divorced from your ex.
Confirm all of your arrangements for your honeymoon, including your flight, hotel, and ground transportation.
Call guests that didn’t RSVP to determine whether they’ll be coming. That way you can have an accurate head count for your caterer.
1 Week Before Your Wedding
Practice your vows to shake any stage fright and to make sure it’s everything you want to say, just so! Try it in front of your best friend so you’ll know what it feels like to have a set of eyes on you.
Pack for your honeymoon, and don’t forget that special outfit you picked out just for the occasion!
Create a “wedding box” and a “reception box” where you’ll store the things you’ll need for the ceremony and reception.
Finalize your seating arrangements for wedding and reception sites.
If you’re getting your hair colored, curled, etc. this is the time to do it just in case something doesn’t turn out to your liking.
Your Wedding Eve
Relax! Have a massage, take a walk, or practice yoga; you’ve earned it!
Spend some quality time with your guests from out of town.
Get your beauty rest.
Your Big Day!
Start your day with an energy-packed breakfast. You’re gonna need it!
Go to any “day-of” beauty appointments.
Arrive early at your wedding location, so you’ll have ample time to dress and interact with your bridesmaids and attendants.
Stay calm and leave the stress behind. This is your time to shine and enjoy yourself!