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Wedding Calendar: Timeline & Checklist

Planning a wedding can be as challenging as it is exciting!
Here is a rough outline of what you need to do to prepare for your big day…

Preliminary decisions
       • Decide on theme/style of wedding
       • Decide wedding date and time of day
       • Create a budget with all involved
       • Select bridal party and other special participants
       • Plan color scheme
       • Determine the size of the guest list

Six to twelve months before the wedding…
       • Engagement and wedding rings
       • Bridal gown, headpiece, shoes, and accessories
       • Attendants' gowns
       • Ceremony location
       • Reception location
       • Wedding consultant, if applicable
       • Ceremony officiant
       • Ceremony musicians, soloists, organists, etc.
       • Florist
       • Caterer
       • Photographer
       • Videographer
       • Band or DJ
       • Baker for cake
       • Honeymoon destination
At this time…
       • Announce your engagement and wedding date
       • Plan to attend pre-marriage counseling at your church,
         if applicable
       • Register with bridal registries
       • Begin planning ceremony and reception details/timelines as 
         much as possible

Three to Five Months Before the Wedding
       • Invitations, matches, napkins, favors, pew cards, thank-you notes, programs, etc.
       • Rental items (everything from tents and tables to linens and silverware)
       • Flowers, bouquets, boutonnières, decorations for the wedding ceremony & reception
       • Attire for groom, groomsmen, and fathers
       • Correct postage for invitations and thank you notes
       • Rehearsal dinner location
       • Block of rooms for out-of-town guests
       • Honeymoon tickets and accommodations
       • Limousine service and/or other transportation
       • Dress delivery dates for bride and attendants, if applicable
At this time…
       • Plan to have mothers select attire
       • Complete the guest list and begin addressing the invitations
         and thank you notes as printed
       • Prepare maps and directions for invitations
       • Begin to finalize ceremony and reception details/timelines
       • Make doctor’s appointments for physicals and update your
         immunization shots and records

Two months before the wedding
        Mail all invitations to allow time for RSVP’s
       • Wedding cake and arrange for delivery
       • Hairdresser and make-up artists: schedule practice and real
       • Select seamstress/tailor to make dress alterations
       • Honeymoon arrangements
       • Rehearsal and rehearsal dinner arrangements
At this time…
       • Arrange to get marriage license
       • Schedule first fittings for bride and attendants including all
         shoes and accessories
       • Finalize all details with the caterer, photographer, florist,
         reception hall, musicians, etc.
       • Finalize all ceremony details with the officiant
       • Plan the bridesmaids’ luncheon

One month before the wedding
       • Gifts for bridal party and special participants
       • Gift for fiancé, if gifts are being exchanged
       • Wedding props: pillow for ring bearer, candles, guest book etc.
       • Attendant for and placement of the guest book
       • Music to be played during the ceremony and reception
       • Accommodations for out-of-town guests
       • Men’s attire order and delivery date
       • Transportation arrangements for wedding day
       • Time and date with florist, caterer, photographer, musicians/DJ, etc.
       • Time and date with church and reception locations
At this time…
       • Have formal bridal portrait done
       • Begin to record gifts received and send thank you notes
       • Plan rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
       • Schedule final fittings for bride and attendants including
         accessories and shoes
       • Pick up wedding rings and make sure they fit
       • Complete all physical and dental appointments
       • Get blood tests and marriage license
       • Prepare wedding announcements to be sent to the

Two weeks before the wedding
       • Mail bridal portrait or alternate picture with announcement
         to newspaper
       • Arrange to change name on license, Social Security card,
       • Turn in change of address card to the post office, if
       • Prepare wedding announcements to be mailed on or after
         the wedding day
       • The groom should have his hair cut
       • The bride should have her hair colored, if necessary
       • Continue to record gifts and send thank you notes as they
         are received

One week before the wedding
       • Start packing for honeymoon and reconfirm all reservations
       • Finalize number of guests with caterer and review the
       • Plan seating arrangements
       • Review and finalized details with all wedding professionals
       • Confirm desired pictures and shots with photographer and
       • Style your hair with headpiece and practice applying
       • Make sure that all wedding attire is picked up and fits,
         including rings
       • Confirm receipt of marriage license

A day or two before the wedding
       • Have the bridesmaid’s luncheon, if you haven’t already
       • Have the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
       • Instruct the attendants and special participants on their roles in the
         wedding and reception
       • Go over special seating or pew cards with the ushers
       • Make sure everyone knows what time they need to be at
         the church/ceremony location
       • Review important information with everyone such as what
         type of transportation is provided, where the reception is, etc.

Your wedding day
       • Try to relax and pamper yourself-take a long bath, have a manicure, etc.
       • Eat at least one small meal
       • Have your hair and make-up done a few hours before the ceremony
       • Start dressing one to two hours before the ceremony
       • Have photographer and attendants arrive two hours before
         the ceremony, if there are to be pre wedding pictures
       • Arrange for music to start one-half hour prior to ceremony
       • Have mother of the groom seated five minutes before the ceremony
       • Have mother of the bride seated immediately before the processional
       • Arrange for the aisle runner to be rolled out by the ushers
         immediately before the processional


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