The Ultimate Pre-Wedding Timeline and Checklist

Planning a wedding takes a lot more time and effort than simply dreaming about one. With so many details to plan, it can be hard to know just how long it should all take. According to wedding experts, the ideal engagement length is between 13 and 18 months.

Most also agree that it takes about 12 months to properly plan a wedding. So it’s not long after you say, “Yes!” that you need to start planning for “I do.”

Get started with this ultimate pre-wedding timeline below. It will help you stay focused so you don’t feel overwhelmed while you plan for your special day!

10-12 Months Before

  • The first thing you need to do is figure out your wedding budget. Then, make a guess list that reflects your budget.
  • Hire a wedding planner, if you can afford it, and decide on the wedding’s theme and formality. You should also narrow down a venue and start researching caterers.
  • Book vendors like a photographer, videographer, DJ, and band as soon as possible.
  • Start looking for a wedding dress and create a wedding website to keep guests updated. You can even start booking blocks for guests to stay in nearby hotels.
  • Send out save the dates as soon as you have the date and venue finalized.

6-9 Months Before

  • It’s time to buy your wedding dress so you have time to have it altered if needed.
  • Start registering gifts and meeting with potentials florists. You should also put in orders for rental items like chairs, tents, dances floors, etc.
  • Finalize who you want as bridesmaids and what you want them to wear.
  • Decide on an officiant and start writing your vows so you don’t end up doing them last minute.
  • Research and book your honeymoon and any transport needed to get there.

3-5 Months Before

  • Find and rent the groom’s tuxedo. You should have a final tasting with your caterer and choose your cake.
  • Pick out wedding bands for the bride and groom. Select special gifts to thank the bridal party for being a part of your special day.
  • Figure out the groomsmen’s clothing and get them fitted. The bridesmaids and bridal party can research hairstyles and test out wedding day makeup.
  • Send out official invitations to anyone who received a save the date. Come up with some fun guest favors and book a photo-booth rental.

1-2 Months Before

  • Pick up your marriage license and start selecting songs that you want the DJ to play, if you have a DJ.
  • Talk with the band about their setlist if you have live music and plan flowers with your florist.
  • Start assembling gift bags and buy any small items you haven’t pick up yet like baskets, a guest book, hangers, etc. If you’re having an outdoor wedding, plan for possible weather issues.
  • Finally, pay your vendors and conduct a final walk-through at the venue to create a seating chart. You should also make tip envelopes for anyone who has helped make your dream day come true.

Add Researching Relationship Advice to Your Pre-Wedding Timeline

We’ve counted down the 12 months of wedding planning and now you know what to focus on and when.

It will make coordinating easier and ensure nothing gets forgotten.

One more thing to add to your pre-wedding timeline is to research some relationship advice for just married couples. You’re both taking a big leap forward into a beautiful new life and that can be scary and challenging.

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