Wedding Preparation Timeline

If you are not a professional wedding planner, then without a proper timeline, the entire event can become a catastrophe of gigantic proportions. In this article we give you a checklist that will ensure that your wedding is well planned out.
They say that one's wedding is the happiest day in one's life. Maybe the day itself is extremely happy but the days preceding a wedding are maddening enough to send even the sanest of human beings to the mental asylum. With the number of things to decide and the details to pay attentions to, one's wedding day generally starts resembling an oncoming Titanic, without proper planning. So how does one ensure that the wedding planning leaves no stone unturned? Well, a great option is to just hire a wedding planner who will take care of all the big worries of the day. But, if that is not an option you are looking at, then planning your wedding can become an easy task with the help of a timeline. It is basically a wedding checklist and timeline that will allow you to tick mark all those things that you need to do before the wedding, so that there are absolutely no hassles on the final day.

While there are many wedding planning and preparation tips that need to be taken into account while making your timeline, it is not a very difficult task. Depending on the time left for your wedding, your checklist will comprise things that need to be done immediately or on a later date. A wedding preparation checklist is basically a to do list for the wedding that is drafted months before the wedding.

Wedding Checklist Timeline

Wedding planning tips are very useful in case you have no one to help you with all the tasks at hand. This is also where a preparation timeline comes into the picture. It makes your life less stressful as it organizes for you, your days before the wedding. Given below is a timeline that gives you a list of all those things you will need to take care of before your wedding day.

Marriage Preparation Timeline
12 Months
  • The first and foremost thing to plan is your wedding date. Choose a date based on where you want to get married as this will enable you to get the venue you want.
  • This may be the right time to start a file for your wedding with all the necessary documents and detailing. Proper organization will ensure that there is no mix-up at the last minute.
  • It is also at this stage that you should decide on what the style of your wedding should be and if there are any themes that you want to decide on.
  • While not mandatory it may be a good idea to announce your engagement in the local newspaper.
  • One of the most important decisions to take is to decide on your wedding budget.
  • If you think that the entire process of planning a wedding is going to take a toll on you, then opt to hire a wedding planner. This will ease your stress levels.
9 Months
  • If you have finalized your wedding location, then it is also time to decide on where you are going to have your reception. Many couples prefer to have the wedding and the reception at the same place but if you decide otherwise now is the time to finalize a location.
  • For the bride this may also be the best time start her search for her wedding gown. Most custom-made gowns take almost a year to be designed and tailored. The earlier you give the order for the wedding gown, the less stress on the last day. Also start your search for the veil and tiara.
  • This may also be the perfect time to decide on who the people are who are going to make up your bridal party.
  • Once you have decided on the pattern of your wedding gown, it is important that you start designing the bridesmaids' dresses as well.
  • You also need to decide on and fix the following details.
    • Who is going to officiate your wedding
    • Wedding catering company
    • Wedding videographer
    • Wedding photographer
    • Band or DJ
  • Decide your guest list and make a detailed list of all their names and contact details.
  • This will also be a good time to decide on signing up for a gift registry.
  • It may also be a good idea to hold an engagement party for your friends and family to announce the date of the wedding.
6 Months
  • Now is the time that you will draw up your final guest list and determine the number of wedding cards that you need to order to send out. This will mean that you need to finalize on the stationery that you need to use for your wedding.
  • If there are guests in your list who are from out of town then you will need to arrange for accommodations for them.
  • Now is the perfect time to decide on your wedding cake.
  • Decide on where you want to go for your honeymoon and discuss the different packages that are available to you for the same. The earlier you plan this the less you will need to spend on the hotel and travel.
  • Six months before the wedding is also the best time decide on your wedding flowers and place your order with the florist.
  • This is also the best time to go shopping for your wedding bands with your fiance.
  • This is also when you will need to get your medical checkup done for your marriage license from the state. In some states, you will need to get a doctor's certificate that gives you a clean chit of health.
3 Months
  • Send out the wedding invitations to all your guests and double check with them to ensure that they have received the invitations.
  • For the groom now will be a good time to start selecting the tuxedo for himself and also for the groomsmen, best man, and the fathers of both the bride and the groom.
  • Place and order and rent out all the items you need for the ceremony and the reception like the china, crystal, silver, arches, etc.
  • Finalize your menu and decide on the costs. Confirm the time of arrival at the venue and other details.
  • Rent the transportation for the d-day like the limousine service.
  • Arrange for the wedding decorations, imprinted napkins, bridal party gifts, wedding favors, etc.
  • You may be required to attend counseling sessions with the person officiating your wedding. Start these sessions.
2 Months
  • Two months before the wedding is the perfect time to meet with the band or DJ again and decide on the wedding music for the ceremony and reception.
  • Book a place for the rehearsal dinner and make the reservations for the same.
  • The final fittings for the tuxes and the bridal party dresses should take place now.
  • Reserve places for any pre-wedding parties or events that you are having.
1 Month
  • One month before the wedding is also the perfect time to design your wedding program, which will allow everyone attending the wedding to know how they are involved in the same.
  • Now that you have your doctor's certificate you can apply for your marriage license.
  • The bride will need to have her final fitting and decide on the accessories she should wear for the wedding.
  • Visit your stylist and makeup artist and discuss your styling options for the wedding. It is also a good time to get your bridal portraits done.
  • Finalize all the details with the different service providers for the wedding.
2 Weeks
  • Start calling up those guests who have not send back the RSVP.
  • Give the wedding caterer a final head count of number of people attending the wedding.
  • You should also pick up your marriage license from the concerned authorities.
  • Confirm details about your wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Sit down with your fiance and plan the detailed seating plan for the reception.
  • Check parking arrangements at the venue of the wedding and reception.
1 Week
  • Check any last minute details in the planning of the wedding.
  • Confirm all hotel bookings, for your honeymoon and for the out-of-town guests.
  • Confirm the wedding rehearsal plans with everyone who is expected to attend the same.
  • Finalize on your formal wear for the wedding rehearsal dinner.
Day Before
  • A day before the d-day should be a relaxed affair as you have done everything in your capacity to ensure that the wedding is a success. Just give a final run through and ensure that everything is covered.
  • Pamper yourself by going for a massage and other such self-rejuvenating therapies.
  • Place your wedding clothes and accessories properly so that you do not rush around in the morning.
  • Do not forget to give the rings to best man.

Now that you know what the things are that you need to take care of, thanks to the timeline, you can also create a wedding planning checklist where you can keep ticking off all those things that you are done with. A proper file with all these details will ensure that your wedding day will be exactly the way you had dreamed it.
By Tulika Nair
Last Updated: 9/22/2011
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