Planning a wedding involves lots of details. Most people have no idea where to start, so TheFreeWedding.com has provided an ideal wedding planning schedule that will help you determine what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by. Remember, this is an ideal schedule, but when it comes to wedding planning things never go exactly as planned. Don’t stress, and feel free to tailor this to your wedding as you see fit. After all, it is your special day.
Wedding Planning Schedule – One Year to Six Months Before the Big Day
- Announce your engagement
- Arrange for both sets of parents to meet if they haven’t already
- Figure out how you’re paying for the wedding (yeah, weddings cost money)
- Create a budget (a VERY important step)
- Review the budget with anyone who will be helping to pay for the wedding
- Select a time-frame for the wedding (early Spring, Summer, etc.)
- Book the venues for ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner. Lock in your date ASAP.
- Send Save-the-Date announcements to your guests
- Plan an engagement party. Woohoo!
- Decide on the style of wedding you want – formal, casual, courthouse?
- Make a preliminary guest list
- Determine whom you want to have in your wedding party
- Book a block of rooms at a local hotel for out-of-town guests
- Hire an officiant for your wedding
- Where necessary, book the House of Worship
- Interview all your wedding professionals (photographers, florists, musicians)
- Make reservations for vehicles (limo, transportation)
- Make plans for your honeymoon
- Select your wedding gown, schedule fittings
Wedding Planning Schedule – Six Months Before the Big Day
- Order invitations, programs and any other printed materials (or make them yourself)
- Register at several stores
- Start a list for gifts received and thank you notes sent (so you won’t forget anyone)
- Submit engagement announcements to your local newspapers
- Create a proposed wedding schedule for your wedding day
Wedding Planning Schedule – Three Months Before the Big Day
- Make up your final guest list
- Purchase wedding rings
- Select bridesmaid dresses and schedule fittings for the wedding party
- Have the groom select and order tuxedos for himself, his groomsmen and the fathers. If people are in different locations, get their measurements or use a nationwide tuxedo rental chain
- Call the wedding professionals and anyone from whom you have ordered supplies and reconfirm your bookings
- Select gifts for your wedding party (attendants, ushers, flower girl, ring bearer and parents)
- Bride, select your wedding gift for the groom
- Groom, select your wedding gift for the bride
- Shop for and order wedding favors
- Find a hairdresser and do a trial run with your veil
- Prepare programs for the wedding and assign someone to distribute them
- Meet with the caterer to set the menu.
- Order the wedding cake (if caterer is not supplying)
- Arrange your rehearsal and notify those who will participate.
- Select guests for honors (readings, toasts, speeches, blessings, etc.)
Wedding Planning Schedule – Two Months Before the Big Day
- Mail the invitations and collect response cards as they are returned
- Make an appointment for your hair and nails for as close to the wedding day as possible
- Meet or speak with your caterer to confirm the menu
- Select the music for your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception (first dance, etc.) and discuss your choices with the people who will be providing your entertainment
- Make or purchase any wedding-related items that you will not be borrowing, or have received as a gift, e.g., ring bearer pillow, money bag, flower girl basket, guest book, etc.
- Distribute schematics, schedule and any other information to your attendants and anyone else who will be participating in your wedding
- Meet with the florist to discuss requirements and place the order
- Review your needs with your photographer and videographer
- Put Guest Baskets together and assign someone the task of distributing them
- Go for a wedding gown fitting and schedule your final fitting
Wedding Planning Schedule – One Month Before the Big Day
- Reconfirm all the reservations and accommodations
- Check again on clothing for yourself and attendants
- Confirm honeymoon plans
- Throw bachelor and bachelorette parties
- Create the seating plan for the reception
- Final wedding gown fitting
Wedding Planning Schedule – 2 Weeks Before the Big Day
- Confirm day and time for wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner
- Pick up your wedding bands
- Give your caterer the final head count
- Write out the table cards
- Put the fees and tips in envelopes (officiant, musicians, maitre d’ etc.) and give it to whomever you put in charge of making the payments (usually the Best Man)
- Arrange with someone to bring items to the wedding venue
- Arrange for someone to return the rentals after the wedding
- Pack for your honeymoon.
- Create a “day of the Wedding” schedule with times and tasks and share it with the key “players” in your wedding, such as your Maid of Honor and Best Man
- Pick up your wedding gown
Wedding Planning Schedule – It’s Your Wedding Day!
- Your plans are complete, everyone knows where to be and when to be there. Relax and enjoy your wedding!