You just got engaged...now what? Here is a comprehensive to do list to make sure that you don't forget anything before your special day.
11 Months Before Wedding
- Decide on the budget.
- Start the guest list.
- Determine a time frame for your wedding date. Narrow down your wedding date to a few weekends that don’t conflict with other family events.
- Choose a color scheme for your big day.
- Click for sample color themes
- Search for a ceremony venue.
- Search for a reception venue.
10 Months Before Wedding
- Book your ceremony venue. Create deposits/payments schedule.
- Choose the members of your wedding party - maid of honor and best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring bearer, flower girl as well as your ushers - and invite them to take these roles.
- Create your wedding website.
- The Knot
- Search for a caterer.
- Click for wedding food ideas.
- Search for a photographer/videographer.
- Search for a florist.
- Click here for flower ideas.
- Search for a band or a DJ.
- Select save-the-date cards and order.
- Click here for save the date cards.
9 Months Before Wedding
- Book your caterer. Create deposits/payments schedule. Begin working on a menu.
- Spring Food Menu Idea
- Book your DJ and/or band. Create deposits/payments schedule.
- Set up your registries. Add registries page to your wedding website.
- Book your photographer/videographer and schedule engagement photo shoot. Create deposits/payments
- Book your florist. Create deposits/payments schedule.
- Click here for flower ideas.
- Search for an officiant.
- Book your officiant. Create deposits/payments schedule.
- Reserve blocks of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests. Add accommodations and travel info to your wedding
- website, so your guests know what to expect.
- Send save-the-date cards (be sure your guest list is finalized first). Include hotel information for out-of-town
- Save the Date Cards
- guests, if it’s available, plus your website address.
- Start shopping for your gown.
- Click here for wedding dress ideas.
8 Months Before Wedding
- Select your wedding dress and place the order. Create deposits/payments schedule.
- Search for a wedding cake baker.
- Wedding Cakes
- Order your wedding cake. Create deposits/payments schedule.
- Finalize floral arrangements and design with florist.
- Search for a wedding stationer for invitations, plus place cards, menus, announcements (if you’ll use them) and thank-you stationery (which you may need to order now)
- Search for a ceremony musician.
- Book your invitations vendor. Create deposits/payments schedule.
- Book your ceremony musician. Create deposits/payments schedule.
- Discuss rehearsal dinner — who will host? Whoever is hosting should begin searching for a venue. You will also need to negotiate who will be invited.
7 Months Before Wedding
- Attend engagement photo shoot with photographer.
- Search for a vendor to help with your hair, makeup, or any prewedding pampering.
- Select your bridesmaid dresses and flower-girl dress, and have your attendants place their orders.
- Purchase accessories for your gown, such as a veil, shoes, undergarments, and jewelry.
- Choose groom’s attire.
- Rehearsal-dinner host should finalize venue.
- Book accommodations for your wedding night.
- Book your hair and makeup trial appointment.
- Plan and book your honeymoon, including travel, accommodations, and activities.
- Finalize the text for your invitations and place the order. Also consider purchasing thank-you notes and wedding announcements from the same vendor.
- Finalize the menu and service details with your caterer.
- Choose your bridesmaids’ accessories (shoes, jewelry, etc.). Purchase or pass along the purchasing information.
- Choose groomsmen’s and ring bearer’s attire (including a rental shop if they’ll be renting formal attire). Send them the information necessary to purchase or rent.
- Purchase your wedding bands.
- Check your gift registry. If items on your list have been discontinued, you may want to update the registry.
- Design and start creation of favors.
5 Months Before Wedding
- Discuss and confirm party plans for bachelor and bachelorette parties, as well as any shower that is offered, with your maid of honor and best man.
- For an international honeymoon, begin to get your papers in order (passport, birth certificate, visas, vaccinations, etc.).
- Ask your readers to be a part of your ceremony. Begin a search for readings, and discuss them with your officiant.
- If you are handling the bridesmaid dress order, confirm the delivery date.
- Schedule gown fitting appointments. Your first appointment should be directly after you receive the gown, and the last appointment should fall no later than three weeks before the wedding.
- Provide guest lists to your maid of honor and best man for your shower, bachelorette party, bachelor party, and other social events.
- Search for a transportation vendor (limo, bus for guests, etc.)
- Book your transportation vendor. Create deposits/payments schedule.
4 Months Before Wedding
- Stuff and send out wedding invitations.
- Track gifts received from guests and send thank-you notes.
- Check on your hotel room blocks to ensure important guests have made their travel arrangements.
- Design your ceremony programs and print them. Create menu cards for the reception tables, if you’ll be using them.
- Research local marriage license requirements. Schedule a blood test appointment if one is required in your state.
- Don’t forget to check when the license expires and if there is a waiting period.
- Decide on a guest book option.
- Purchase or make gifts for your bridal party and close family. Don’t forget ushers, flower girls, ring bearers, and readers!
3 Months Before Wedding
- Alert your wedding party to the rehearsal. The rehearsal-dinner host should send rehearsal dinner invitations.
- Obtain a marriage license. Follow your state’s guidelines concerning how soon you can apply, and how long the license is valid for.
- If you have a DJ/band, work on a list of ‘must-play’ and ‘do-not play’ songs. Be sure you also send them selections for your introductions, first dance, cake cutting, father/daughter dance, anniversary dance, and last dance.
- Determine your ceremony music selections and send the list to your ceremony musicians.
- Shop for all additional accessories like undergarments, jewelry, headpiece, bridal purse, etc.
- Create a wedding day schedule. Send the information to your wedding party and vendors.
- Finalize any special preferences, readings, or other ceremony details (in writing) with your officiant.
- Notify your maid of honor/mother/or friend to attend your final gown fitting so they can learn how the bustle will be tied.
2 Months Before Wedding
- Verify with your reception venue to make sure your vendors will have access to the site when they need it.
- Confirm delivery locations, times, and final arrangements with your florist. Make a list of who will get bouquets,corsages, and boutonnieres, and recruit someone to oversee this on the wedding day.
- Confirm the rehearsal details and wedding day schedule with your officiant.
- Pick up the tuxedo/suit and try it on at the shop. See if there are any additional alterations to be made.
- Confirm location, date, and time with your photographer. Create your ‘must-take’ photo list.
- Confirm location, date, and time with your videographer.
- Confirm all honeymoon travel plans. Give someone a copy of your itinerary and contact information in case of an emergency.
- Shop and pack for the honeymoon.
- If you’re having a receiving line, determine the order everyone will stand in.
1 Months Before Wedding
- If you have guests attending from out of town who have children, help them by locating babysitting options for
- Write your vows if you choose to personalize them. Send a copy to your officiant.
- Pick up wedding rings and check the inscriptions before you leave the store.
- Call guests who have not yet RSVP’d for the wedding and rehearsal dinner to get a final head count.
- Create your seating chart. Make place cards or give typed names to your calligrapher.
- Give the seating chart to your caterer, reception venue manager, and wedding coordinator.
- Prepare your toasts and thanks to friends and family.
- Send your transportation vendor the schedule, addresses, and contact phone numbers for the wedding day.
- Confirm all final payment amounts with your vendors. Mail your payment checks or make arrangements for the wedding day.
1 Week Before Wedding
- Give final head count to the caterer. Confirm set-up instructions and menu items.
- Confirm number of bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces with your florist.
- Confirm head count, delivery time, and location with your wedding cake vendor.
- Pick up your gown. Before leaving the shop, try it on to make sure there are no additional alterations to be made.
- Drop off favors, placecards, guest book, pens, cake knife, toasting flutes, and all other reception items at the reception venue.
- Pull together wedding gown, veil, shoes, stockings, and a last-minute emergency kit (aspirin, makeup, hairspray, safety pins, mints, etc.).
- Arrange for gown and veil to be cleaned and preserved. Make sure the provider is experienced in preserving wedding gowns.
- Take the bridal bouquet to be preserved, or save a petal to be pressed for your scrapbook.
- Do paperwork for official documents if you are changing your name.
- Write thank-you notes for all the gifts you received at the wedding and before. Traditional etiquette gives you an 8-week grace period.