Mini-Guide to the Perfect Wedding Timeline

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Mini-Guide to the Perfect Wedding


Not every wedding timeline is exactly the same. Depending on your religion and the

length of time between your engagement and the actual wedding date, you might have

more time or less time to complete wedding planning essentials. Planning a wedding,

even a simple one, can be stressful. It is important to make a list and a timeline of what

you expect to accomplish and set specific goals and deadlines. Here is a sample,

simplified mini-guide to the perfect wedding timeline.

Up to One Year Before

Engagement Party. Some couples forgo this party, but family members may

appreciate an engagement party to celebrate the event.

Set the Date. Once you set the date, you can start making actual plans. Therefore,

setting a date should be a priority after you are engaged.

Choose the Wedding Party. The sooner you do this, the better. Your wedding party,

particularly the maid of honor and best man, should be put in charge of specific tasks to

alleviate the stress on the bride or groom.

Establish Colors and Themes. Choosing these early on will save you stress. When

you choose your colors early, you can also start hunting for sales with decorations,

stationery, and anything else you need with your colors or themes.

Start Shopping Around for a Venue and Decorations. Many venues will allow

you to at least put down a deposit for use on a specific date up to a year in advance. Try

to limit the amount of deposits you make, however, as many are non-refundable.

Start Wedding Dress Shopping. While it’s true that a lot can happen in a year, the

wedding dress shopping can take a while. Keep your eyes open for that perfect gown

starting now.

8 Months Before

Shop for Bridesmaids Dresses. Whether you’re making your own or purchasing

from a designer, get your bridesmaids together for fittings and get this taken care of well

in advance.

Plan Honeymoon. If you’re going somewhere exotic for your honeymoon, now is a

good time to jump on purchasing tickets, reserving hotels, applying for passports, and

anything else you need to do to make the experience go smoother.

Send Out Save-the-Date Cards. While these are common for most weddings, Save-

the-Date cards traditionally go out six to eight months before the big day. This gives your

guests ample time to prepare for your big day.

Cute Wedding Invitations

3 Months Before

Send Out Invitations. Official wedding invitations should go out two to three months

before the wedding day, but you can always send them out a bit earlier. Always give your

guests the plenty of time to prepare

Order Cake. Your cake designer will want to sit down with you to discuss your

expectations and make plans for delivery and setup.

Take Care of Wedding Day Transportation. Whether you’re arriving and leaving

in a carriage or limo, make sure you know how you’re getting to and from the wedding

venue, including transportation to the salon if you’re getting your hair styled.

Arrange for Tuxedo Rentals. Ideally, the groom should take care of this.

Groomsmen should be fitted for their tuxedos. Arrangements should be made to ensure

the tuxedos get to where they need to be on time.

Hire a Photographer. You can hire a photographer sooner, but you definitely want to

have one booked by the time you’re three months from your wedding date.

1 Month Before

Bridal Gown Fitting. Have your final fitting and any last alterations made to your

wedding dress.

Create Wedding Program and Timeline. This will help you to visualize how and

when everything should happen on your big day.

Take Care of Marriage License. Find out what you need to do to apply for a

marriage license. Some areas require drug testing or a waiting period before the license

is granted, so it is important to take care of this in advance.

1 Week Before

Confirm Reservations, Guest Count, Caterer, and Everything Else. With one

week to go, you need to make sure that the venue will be ready, the caterer will have food

there, and who is and is not coming. Confirm all other important events as well,

including honeymoon arrangements, transportation, and roles of the wedding party


Create a Guest Seating Chart. Make a visual chart of who will sit where so there is

no confusion and everyone has a place.

Arrange for Post-Wedding Cleanup and Returns. You and your spouse should

be able to focus on the honeymoon after the party is said and done. Arrange for someone

else to clean up the venue and return any rental items.

1 Day Before

Go to Rehearsal. If you are having a rehearsal, go to it and enjoy.

Make Sure You Have Rings, Marriage License, and Other Essential Items.

The maid of honor and best man should hold onto the rings on the big day. The night

before your wedding, ensure that you have the rings with you, the marriage license, and

any other essential items such as passports for honeymoon travel.

The Big Day

Enjoy. You’ve spent the last year planning for this big day, so let it all unfold and try to

enjoy it. It can be a whirlwind of emotions, but it will also be satisfying to see all of your

careful planning come to fruition.

Bryan Passanisi is an online marketer, he currently writes for Shutterfly