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A Complete Wedding Planning Checklist and Timeline

Updated on January 27, 2011

Your wedding day should without a doubt be one of the happiest moments of your entire life. Sadly, many people become overly stressed out during the wedding planning stages, and sweet, docile brides can quickly turn into crazed bridezillas. Fortunately, there are many ways to help combat the pre-wedding stress that many brides face. You can hire a wedding planner, choose to have a wedding that is more low-key, or follow a step-by-step wedding timeline and checklist that can help you stay on schedule with all of the many things that need to be done before your big day! I have compiled a wedding timeline that really helped me to stay on top of everything that needed to be done when I was planning my own wedding. Good luck to all of the brides out there and may you have a beautiful, perfect wedding!

Nine to Twelve Months Before:

  • Announce your engagement
  • Choose a wedding date
  • Decide the time of wedding
  • Choose locations for wedding ceremony and reception and book them
  • Choose the individual who will be performing your wedding ceremony
  • Choose the photographer and book him/her
  • Choose the videographer and book him/her
  • Choose the florist and book him/her
  • Choose the baker of your wedding cake and book him/her
  • Choose the caterer and book him/her
  • Set the wedding budget and decide how it will be financed
  • Determine what your wedding colors or theme will be
  • Choose your wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer, etc.)
  • Start shopping for your wedding dress and order your perfect dress and veil
  • Send out save the date cards, if desired

Six to Nine Months Before:

  • Begin writing or choosing your vows
  • Choose the ceremony music you will have for your wedding
  • Choose a soloist/band/DJ for wedding music and reception
  • Start looking at bridesmaid dresses and order them
  • Pick out tuxes for everyone in the wedding party who will need one
  • Choose and book location for the rehearsal dinner
  • Choose the invitations you want to use and order them
  • Begin making an invite list
  • Start a bridal registry
  • Set up a time with your photographer to take your engagement pictures
  • Begin planning the honeymoon


Cake by Julie Harrill
Cake by Julie Harrill

Four to Six Months Before:

  • Buy or make favors for your gifts
  • Buy or make centerpieces to go on the tables at the reception
  • Meet with your baker to decide the flavors and style of your wedding cake and groom's cake
  • Get measurements for the tuxes that will be rented
  • Buy a pillow for the ring bearer and basket for the flower girl
  • Order the wedding bands if you do not have them yet
  • Choose and buy wedding accessories (jewelry, shoes, purse, etc.)
  • Arrange for transportation to and from the wedding and reception


Two to Four Months Before:

  • Choose the food for your reception
  • Design your program layout and order them
  • Determine the seating arrangement at reception (if necessary)
  • Determine the order the attendants will walk down the aisle and how they will stand at the ceremony
  • Choose reception music
  • Buy gifts for wedding party and parents
  • Schedule a hair and nail appointment for the wedding
  • Make sure you have correct addresses for all of the individuals on your invite list
  • Order monogrammed napkins for the reception
  • Reserve rental items and decorations for the ceremony
  • Mail wedding invitations
  • Finalize your honeymoon plans
  • Go to premarital counseling, if desired


One Month Before:

  • Determine the order of events and the wedding and reception
  • Determine your "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue" for your wedding day
  • Buy guest book and pen

Two weeks Before:

  • Final wedding gown fitting
  • Confirm your hair and nail appointments
  • Call any guests who have not RSVP'd
  • Confirm everything!
  • Let your photographer know if there are any specific photos you want taken

One Week Before:

  • Pack for honeymoon
  • Make sure everyone knows the time of the rehearsal and how to get there
  • Get the marriage certificate
  • Finalize seating arrangements

The Day of Your Wedding:

  • Leave plenty of time for getting dressed, and getting hair and make up done
  • Make sure to eat something and drink plenty of water
  • Enjoy your big day!



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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      It's so a lot of excited regarding the marriage one amongst my friend however very little tense regarding the marriage favors. awing post! it's sensible to pay additional hours for your wedding. arrange your wedding slowly and steady.

    • steffer profile image

      Stef Verheyen 

      7 years ago from Belgium (Europe)

      thanks for the great tips, i am gedding maried in september, it's till a long way to go, uet some many things must be arranged, sometimes you don't know where to start or go anymore, so this hub is really helpful


    • profile image

      Donna Hewitt 

      7 years ago

      My hopes for a wonderful future for the couple. You are a girl who will have her prince charming good luck to the both of you and Congratulations.

    • Donna Janelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Janelle 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thank you KoffeeKlatch! I really enjoyed planning my own wedding, but it would have been much harder withuot a checklist to help me out!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Donna, Well researched, informative hub. We all need a little help when planing a wedding. Great checklist.

    • Donna Janelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Janelle 

      8 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading and commenting DIY!

    • DIYweddingplanner profile image


      8 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks, I think this is way more comprehensive than a lot of the checklists I've seen! Thanks!

    • Donna Janelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Janelle 

      8 years ago from Oklahoma

      I'm glad it was able to help you!!

      Pamela - thank you! I know this was very beneficial to me when I was planning my own wedding!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a very good hub since it lays out each event in the perfect time frame.

    • profile image

      Affordable Gift Bskets 

      8 years ago

      Hi Donna, this is exactly what I was looking for. I'm getting married in the summer - thanks so much! :)


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