Wedding Planning Timeline: Proposal to the Wedding
A checklist is the easiest way to stay organized and on task while planning your wedding. Planning one of the biggest days of your life is definitely extremely exciting, but we all know the overwhelming effect it can have. We're sure the jitters and nerves have settled in by now, especially when making sure you have every detail planned out and that everything is in order. Let us help you figure out exactly what to do and when.
With our event planning checklist, you'll have a stress-free time making sure you're getting everything done before the big day!
After the Proposal: What to Do After Getting Engaged
It’s never too early to start planning your wedding! Take a while to just enjoy being engaged with your new fiance. Then, when you’re ready to start planning, there are plenty of tasks you can get started on early! Creating a budget, finding a wedding venue, and booking your main vendors are your most important and earliest tasks. This is also a great time to start taking note of wedding dresses and decor that you love.
Your Post-Engagement Checklist Includes:
- Celebrate with your fiance
- Discuss financial plan with everyone contributing
- Decide on your budget
- Find a venue & choose your wedding date
- Choose a ceremony location (if it’s not the same as the reception venue)
- Book an officiant
- Hire a wedding planner (if you plan on doing so)
- Book your photographer and videographer
- Pick a caterer
- Start working on your guest list
- Take note of your favorite wedding inspiration
- Research wedding dress options
9 Months Out: Wedding Planning Checklist
At 9 months out you’ll want to start prioritizing your wedding planning. Make sure most of your vendors are booked, your family and friends are ready for their roles, and everyone has their save-the-dates. This is also a great time to go wedding dress shopping. Starting at 9 months means you can take your time visiting different shops to find the perfect dress and still have plenty of time to get it altered to perfection.
Your 9-Month Wedding Checklist:
- Take engagement photos
- Choose wedding colors, theme, or aesthetic
- Ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen to be part of your wedding
- Go wedding dress shopping
- Shop for shoes and accessories to go with your dress
- Design your wedding website
- Send out save-the-dates
- Book a DJ or band
6-8 Months Until Wedding Day Checklist
Things start to speed up as you get closer to your wedding day. Last month you bought your dream dress and decided on your wedding decor style. Now, you’ll need to find bridesmaid dresses to match. This is also a great time to start looking into your honeymoon options!
Work on These Tasks 6-8 months Before Your Wedding:
- Order bridesmaid dresses
- Complete your guest list
- Register for wedding gifts
- Research your honeymoon options
- Look at wedding bands
- Book hair/makeup artists
- Arrange a hotel block for guests
- Decide on a wedding cake bakery
- Submit time-off requests from work (for wedding and honeymoon)
- Arrange any necessary table and decor rentals
4-5 Months Out: Wedding Checklist
You’re less than half a year out from your wedding, get excited! You already secured your wedding party, but who else is going to be involved in the wedding? Talk to your parents and close friends to figure out who can fill smaller roles like usher or personal attendant (if they’re not provided by the venue). Don’t forget to talk to your officiant too!
Your 5-4 Month Wedding Checklist:
- Rent/buy groom and groomsmen suits
- Attend premarital counseling or other marriage classes (if applicable)
- Arrange wedding transportation
- Book your honeymoon
- Discuss wedding day responsibility with friends/family
- Find ushers, personal attendants, and any other wedding roles
- Meet with your officiant and discuss expectations
- Schedule final tastings with caterer and bakery
- Order ceremony accessories
- Order reception accessories
2-3 Months Until the Wedding: Planning Checklist
Around 2 or 3 months out from the wedding you’ll finally send out your wedding invitations. As you get your RSVPs back you’ll have a better idea of who’s coming to the wedding. This time period is all about finishing the remaining tasks on your wedding to-do list. Make sure you complete as many wedding tasks as possible before the final month so you have time to make changes if anything goes wrong.
2-3 Months Until Wedding Day To Dos:
- Send out invitations
- Keep track of RSVPs
- Purchase remaining decorations
- Write your wedding vows
- Determine seating arrangements
- Apply for your marriage license (depending on where you live)
- Write toasts and speeches
- Finalize playlist with your DJ
1 Month Out: Wedding Planning List
With only one more month left until the wedding, everything is starting to shape up. Most of your wedding items should be purchased, booked, and planned by now. Double check that your wedding party is ready for the big day, test out your hair and makeup, and get yourself organized.
1 Month Wedding Countdown Checklist:
- Schedule your final wedding dress fitting
- Complete hair and makeup trial and run throughs
- Finalize vendor payments
- Check in with your wedding party about their attire
- Prepare your wedding emergency kit
- Organize your wedding supplies
1-2 Weeks: Final Countdown Wedding Checklist
There’s a few things left to do right before your wedding. Mostly, you need to make sure everything is confirmed, ordered, and finalized. A lot of your appointments need to be done close to the wedding like your manicure, spray tan, and final dress fitting. Below are some of your last minute details to take care of.
2 Weeks Until Wedding To-Dos:
- Confirm all services and reservations
- Give final guest count to caterer
- Pick up your wedding dress
- Prepare tips in envelopes for vendors
1 Week Until Wedding To-Dos:
- Pack for wedding night and honeymoon
- Rest & hydrate
- Get a manicure, pedicure, wax, spray tan, etc.
- Clean engagement ring
- Finalize fittings
- Make sure your vows are ready to go!
Tips for Wedding Planning
A checklist is great and all but we know it can be a little intimidating to get started. We collected some of our favorite wedding planning tips to help you feel more at ease. Here are some tips for keeping organized, minimizing stress levels, and personalizing your wedding:
- Work on your guest list early: you’ll need an idea of how many people you want at your wedding before you can book almost anything. So, sit down with your fiance soon after getting engaged and start writing down who you want to invite.
- Create a wedding binder to stay organized: downloading and printing our wedding planning organizer and guide is a great place to start. Then add your own checklists, contracts, brochures, and more. If you prefer digital, you can use Google Drive or download a wedding planning app!
- Use your personalities as a guide: book your favorite food truck for cocktail hour, wear a pink gown, add rock climbing or cycling figurines to your cake, and find a caterer who can cook your family’s traditional foods. Include you and your fiance’s hobbies, culture, and tastes wherever you want. Weddings don’t have to be black and white traditional affairs and planning will be a lot more fun when you let yourself have fun with it.
- Save 5-10% of your budget for surprises: you will thank yourself later when you have the extra money to fix a mix-up or add something you fell in love with.
- Plan one step at a time: you can’t do everything at once. Read some checklists like ours, then get started in order. You can’t book vendors until you have a venue, you can’t book a venue until you know how many guests you want to invite, and you can’t figure out your guestlist until you have a budget.
- Remember self-care: set aside date nights with your fiance, schedule a massage, and take days where you don’t do any wedding planning. You won’t enjoy planning a wedding or having a wedding if you burn yourself out.
- Choose a venue that suits your taste: you can’t redecorate your whole venue so try to find one that fits your ideal wedding aesthetic. Then, choose decor and attire that complete the look.
- Hire a wedding planner: think of all the time, money, and stress you’ll save by letting an expert help you out. We know this isn’t always in the budget but if you can afford it, hiring a professional is worth it. If it’s not possible, see if any of your bridesmaids or family members have interest in helping you tackle your to-do list.
Get Started on Your Wedding Planning Checklist
We're so excited for your big day! We know there can be a lot of stress that comes along with planning your wedding, but our guide will help ease the process for you. This is such a memorable time in your life, although it can be a little overwhelming, make sure to have fun with it! Take it day by day and you'll end up being the perfect wedding planner.
Have you started decor shopping yet? Check out our wedding decor checklist to get started!