The final countdown

Wedding planning timeline

You can plan a wedding in less time than is shown here. You also don’t have to do everything listed. But here’s a suggested timeline for some of your wedding plans:

Six or more months to go

Envision your wedding. Is it to be fancy or informal, quirky or classy, inside or outside? What time of year?

Finalize a wedding date

Send an engagement announcement— this can be an E-vite or stationery

Set your budget. Try to stick to it.

Choose your attendants

Book your officiant

Order your dress and accessories

Consult wedding planner

Book venue

Hire caterer

Hire florist

Book music for ceremony and reception

Hire photographer and videographer

Order wedding cake

Plan and book honeymoon

Send save-the-date cards

Four to six months to go

Buy wedding rings

Delegate some of the planning to willing friends and family members

Order invitations and any other stationery

Compile a guest list and addresses

Order groom’s cake

Register for gifts

Groom, reserve your attire

Choose attendants’ attire

Choose favors and items like flower girl basket and ring bearer pillow

Choose gifts for the wedding party

Reserve rental items, such as chairs, tables, etc.

Reserve accomodations (most hotels offer discounts for blocks of rooms) for guests

Reserve room for the wedding night

Make reservations for rehearsal dinner

Two to four months to go

Discuss ceremony with officiant

Write your wedding vows

Go over menu with caterer

Choose readings for ceremony

Mail invitations

Have first dress fitting and get alterations

Arrange guest transportation

One to two months to go

Get your marriage license, and request certified copies. (If marrying out of state, check that state’s requirements. Some require blood tests; Nevada does not.)

Prepare documents for changing your name, if doing so

Contact local paper about wedding announcement

Print programs

Buy a guest book

Send out an RSVP reminder to guests (email is fine)

Two weeks to go

Notify caterer of guest count

Have final dress fitting with accessories and lingerie

Write toasts for rehearsal dinner and reception

Find out where guests are staying if you decide to leave welcome notes in their rooms

Get someone to look after your pets or house while you’re on your honeymoon

One week to go

Assign duties to wedding party

Pick up dress

Confirm details with caterer and rehearsal dinner location and give final guest count

Confirm honeymoon

Pack for honeymoon

One more day

Confirm tranportation for ceremony and reception

Bride, have manicure and pedicure

Hold wedding rehearsal

Hold rehearsal dinner

Have tip and payment arrangements made for vendors.

Wedding day

Get married, already!