wedding planning checklist

Planning your wedding

When you first get engaged the number of things that have to be done before the big day can seem overwhelming. A good wedding-planning timeline can give you great peace of mind. We've started our wedding checklist at 12 months, but if you're having a shorter engagement you still have plenty of time to get everything done -- just reduce and delegate.


  • Start your research: Visit's Savvy Scoop blog and advice section for inspiration, pictures and ideas.
  • Create your wedding pre-party and website at
  • Decide on your budget
  • Choose and hire a wedding planner, if desired
  • Finalize the date
  • Think about guest list size
  • Secure and reserve ceremony and reception venue
  • If having a religious ceremony, discuss any pre-wedding requirements with a member of the clergy
  • Start shopping for The Dress! Don't forget to check's style gallery for inspiration


  • Start compiling your guest list
  • Use's vendor search to begin researching caterers, florists, photographers, musicians and other vendors
  • Choose your wedding party


  • Reserve reception band or DJ
  • Reserve caterer
  • Buy your wedding dress!


  • Reserve florist
  • Reserve photographer
  • Finalize guest list
  • Select invitations
  • Reserve blocks of hotel rooms
  • Send Save-the-Date cards
  • Begin researching honeymoon options
  • Book wedding officiant or clergy


  • Find and order accessories such as bridal shoes, veil and lingerie
  • Create your wedding gift registry
  • Find and order bridesmaids' dresses
  • Order cake
  • If not using your regular stylist, choose a salon near the wedding site or a stylist who will travel
  • Reserve a room for the wedding night
  • Finalize and reserve wedding day transportation
  • Choose rehearsal dinner location
  • Order wedding favors (if desired)
  • Purchase wedding rings


  • Write vows and select readings
  • Mail wedding invitations
  • Create wedding day timeline
  • Have dress fitting
  • Decide on hairstyle
  • Finalize menu with caterer
  • Discuss photo wish list with photographer
  • Mail rehearsal dinner invitations
  • Submit newspaper wedding announcement
  • Have a trial run for makeup
  • Have bridal shower


  • Get marriage license, request copies
  • Finalize and print programs
  • Ask a friend or relative to harass guests who haven't RSVP'd
  • Have dress fitting
  • Make table seating chart
  • Buy wedding party gifts
  • Plan and make welcome bags for out of town guests
  • If necessary, request name change documents


  • Finalize head count with caterer
  • Make escort cards, menus
  • SPA DAY!
  • Write toasts
  • Send final payments, set aside cash for tipping
  • RELAX!

For more weddings tips;

Wedding Checklist Nirvana
Wedding Vendors are People Too
Wedding Dresses for Your Shape & Style


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