You are engaged! Now is time to start the planning and it’s never too early to begin. If you have a year before your big day, here is a starter guide for helping you check things off your list, as you prepare to tie the knot!
12 Months Out
Determine your budget.
Make a guest list.
Hire a wedding planner.
Decide formality and overall theme.
Select the venue; while selecting your venue, throw out that pros and cons list and trust your gut—this decision is about how you feel when you’re there.
Select the caterer.
11 Months Out
Choose a color theme and start thinking of overall design.
Hire vendors who book up quickly, including your photographer, band, DJ, and videographer.
10 Months Out
Start shopping for your wedding dress.
Book hotel-room blocks for guests.
Create your wedding website.
Take engagement photos.
Start looking at invitations.
9 Months Out
Buy your wedding dress.
Send save the dates.
8 Months Out
Register for gifts.
Select the bridesmaids’ dresses and schedule fittings within the month.
Meet with potential florists.
7 Months Out
Book the rehearsal dinner venue.
Hire the ceremony musicians.
Order rental items, such as specialty chairs, linens, draping, lounge furniture, white dance floor, etc.
Hire an officiant.
6 Months Out
Hire a lighting technician.
5 Months Out
Book transportation for guests, if needed.
Book the newlyweds’ transportation (limo, specialty car, etc.).
Book the honeymoon.
Buy or rent the groom’s tuxedo.
Begin premarital counseling.
4 Months Out
Have your final tasting with the caterer.
Choose your cake.
Buy wedding bands.
Select the groomsmen’s attire and schedule fittings within the month.
Do a hair and makeup trial.
3 Months Out
Order the invitations and hire a calligrapher.
Create or plan your menu.
Brainstorm guest favors and gift bags.
Write your vows.
Select readings with the officiant.
Start crafting any DIY items if you haven’t already.
2 Months Out
Send the wedding invitations; (with RSVPs due one month before the wedding).
Send out rehearsal-dinner invitations.
Have your first dress fitting.
Get your marriage license.
Buy wedding-party gifts.
Do a floral mock-up with your florist.
Give the song selections to your band or DJ.
Give the song selections to your ceremony musicians.
1 Month Out
Assemble gift bags.
Pay your vendors in full.
Create a seating chart.
Order or make your escort cards and place cards.
Have a final venue walk-through.
Put cash in tip envelopes for your planner/delegate to distribute.
Break in your wedding shoes.
YAY! Final Week!
You made it! Make sure you’re breathing and power through!
Practice your vows out loud.
Chase any RSVP stragglers and deliver the final head count.
Get your eyebrows done.
Have a manicure/pedicure.
Pack your bags for the honeymoon; don’t forget your passport if you’re leaving the country and confirm all travel arrangements.
Can you believe it’s here?! It’s going to be a perfect and great day!
Eat a healthy meal.
Pack a clutch or small bag of personal items.
Drink plenty of water!
Get a good night’s sleep.
Put any boxes, suitcases, bags, and survival kits to bring to the ceremony or reception in the car! Prep for next day madness!
YOUR BIG DAY IS HERE!
Drink even more water.
Take your dress and veil out of the bag early on and have someone steam them if needed.
Lay out all the items that you want your photographer to capture.
Exchange notes with your partner.
Say thank you to everyone around you.