The following checklist is an “ideal” timetable. Couples who do not have as much time as shown should plan their wedding in much the same order, using the checklist as a guide. Some choices are optional, such as a caterer, videographer, hotel accommodations for guests, bridal registries, etc. Be sure to check things off your list as you complete them. Have fun together!

Immediately After the Engagement:

  • Discuss a budget & the size & style of the wedding with all parents if possible.

  • Decide who pays for what.

  • Consider using a wedding consultant.

  • Choose a clergy member or other wedding “officiant.”

  • Consider pre-marital counseling.

  • Reserve wedding and reception sites.

  • Choose a caterer (check references).

  • Register at local bridal registries.

  • Choose a photographer (get references).


Six Months or More Before the Wedding Day:

  • Compile the guest list.

  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.

  • Choose engagement & wedding rings.

  • Send your engagement announcement to newspapers.

  • Select & order wedding gown.

  • Select the attendants (bridesmaids & groomsmen).

  • Choose & order bridesmaids dresses.

  • Select one usher for every 50 guests.

  • Choose a videographer (get references).

  • Make arrangements for the music at the wedding & reception.

  • Check out bakers for cake, etc. Get estimates. Book the date.

  • Bride makes plans for beauty preparations
    (nails, diet, hair, skin care & makeup).

Four Months Before the Wedding Day:

  • Complete the guest list & confirm final details with the caterer.

  • Order invitations (25 extra) & personal stationery or “Thank You” notes.

  • Order napkins & purchase any other items needed for the ceremony & reception.

  • Check with the caterer to see what is included.

  • Visit the photographer again to discuss specifics. Use a “Photographer Checklist.”

  • Get estimates & order flowers & floral arrangements for wedding & reception.

  • Get estimates & order balloons, decorations & favors for wedding & reception.

  • Make all transportation arrangements to & from the wedding & the reception.

  • Consider hiring a limousine, party bus, trolley or horse-drawn carriage.

  • Book your room for the wedding night.

  • Make honeymoon plans.

Three Months Before the Wedding Day:

  • Order wedding rings. Allow time for any final engraving.

  • Order tuxedos for the groomsmen & fathers.

  • Complete all honeymoon plans.

  • If traveling outside the country, check on visas, passports & inoculations.

Two Months Before the Wedding Day:

  • Mail invitations (six weeks before the wedding; eight weeks to out-of-town guests).

  • Make appointments with the hairdresser for the bride & attendants or out-of-town guests.

  • Buy a wedding gift for your future spouse & gifts for attendants and helpers
    (bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, flower girls, ring bearers, etc.).

  • Finalize arrangements of accommodations for out-of-town attendants & guests.

One Month Before the Wedding Day:

  • Choose all accessories, shoes & lingerie for bridal gown.

  • Have final fitting for bridal gown & bridesmaids’ dresses.

  • Have beauty consultant do a trial run with bride’s hair & makeup.

  • Schedule this appointment on the day the bridal portrait is taken and/or a party is planned.

  • Have bridal portrait taken.

  • Register all tuxedo sizes with the formal wear store.

  • Check with the newspapers on wedding announcement requirements.

  • Finalize plans for rehearsal dinner.

  • Plan seating arrangements for the rehearsal dinner & reception.

  • Arrange bridesmaids’ luncheon. Often, that is when the bride gives them their gifts.

  • Complete name-change documents.

  • Complete change-of-address information for post-office.

  • Keep current with “Thank You” notes for shower & early wedding gifts.

Two Weeks Before the Wedding Day:

  • Get the marriage license. Be sure to bring all needed documents.

  • Inform or send invitations including exact time & location to those who will attend the rehearsal & rehearsal dinner.

  • Inquire about where you & your attendants will dress for the ceremony.

  • Walk through the entire event in your mind. Consider things like parking, access for handicapped guests, etc.

  • Confirm all transportation plans.

  • Check in with caterer, photographer, videographer, musicians, DJ, florist, etc. to confirm all arrangements.

  • “Break in” wedding shoes at home.

One Week Before the Wedding Day:

  • Appoint someone to act as an “organizer” to handle any last minute problems.

  • Give a final guest count to the caterer.

  • Review final details for those in the wedding party.

  • Confirm honeymoon arrangements.

  • Pack for the honeymoon. Know what you’ll wear from the reception.

  • Enjoy a day with your family and friends.

  • Visit a day spa, have a massage, a facial and relax.

One Day Before the Wedding Day:

  • Attend the rehearsal & rehearsal dinner.

  • Give the rings & clergy member’s fee to the Best Man.

The Wedding Day:


  • Enjoy the day!

  • Mail the announcements of your wedding after the honeymoon!

Couple with Wedding Officiant
Couple with Wedding Officiant
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