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Month-by-Month Wedding Planning Timeline + Excel Template

Posted by Antoinette Abrahamsen on

Are you a Type-A bride who’s always creating to-do lists and calendaring events? If you’ve got a personality that was born to plan, your wedding wheels have probably been turning since before you got engaged. With countless details and decisions to get to, you may be wondering what comes first on your wedding planning timeline. Organizing your to-do list by the month will help you get each task checked off your list at the right time without any last-minute frenzies. To help you get started, we’ve outlined a month-by-month wedding planning timeline that will keep you organized, calm, and prepared for what’s to come.


12 Months Before Your Wedding

❒  Announce your nuptials! Inform friends and family of your engagement and post to social media.

❒  Set a wedding budget and open a joint savings account with your hubby-to-be.

❒  Start thinking about what size wedding you’ll have and draft a guest list.

❒  Create a Pinterest board for wedding inspiration.

❒  Browse wedding dresses online!


11 Months Before Your Wedding

❒  Find a wedding venue and lock down your date!

❒  Finalize your guest list and reach out for mailing addresses.

❒  Create a detailed wedding budget outline.

❒  Take engagement photos.


10 Months Before Your Wedding

❒  Order or print your save-the-dates.

❒  Consider hiring a wedding planner or same-day coordination help.


Months Before Your Wedding

❒  Ask your bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, and ring bearer to be in your wedding.

❒  Hire a wedding planner, if needed.

❒  Mail out your save-the-dates.


Months Before Your Wedding

❒  Purchase your wedding dress.  

❒  Brainstorm dresses and suits for your wedding party.

❒  Decide on a color scheme and wedding day aesthetic.

❒  Research music options (DJ, band, ceremony musician).


Months Before Your Wedding

❒  Choose your wedding ceremony officiant.

❒  Reserve music vendors for your ceremony and reception.

❒  Book your photographer and videographer.

❒  Brainstorm decor and flowers.

❒  Start thinking about honeymoon destinations.


Months Before Your Wedding

❒  Set up your wedding registry.

❒  Create your wedding website.

❒  Book your florist.

❒  Book your honeymoon.

❒  Purchase wedding bands.

❒  Research cake or other wedding dessert options.


Months Before Your Wedding

❒  Review your guest list and decide if plus-ones and kids are welcome.

❒  Order your wedding invitations.

❒  Figure out who you’ll invite to the rehearsal dinner.

❒  Reserve an arch, chairs, tables, linens, and other rentals needed for the ceremony or reception.

❒  Go over the dinner menu and catering options.

❒  Have your first dress fitting.

❒  Plan your bachelor/bachelorette parties.


Months Before Your Wedding

❒  Book your rehearsal dinner restaurant or venue.

❒  Secure your day-of transportation to the wedding venue.

❒  Book a hotel room for getting ready before your wedding and your wedding night.

❒  Book your day-of hair stylist and makeup artist as well as hair and makeup “practice run” dates.

❒  Order your wedding cake.

❒  Create song lists for your rehearsal dinner and wedding day.


Months Before Your Wedding

❒  Review the ceremony service with your officiant.

❒  Invite guests to the rehearsal dinner.

❒  Choose your rehearsal dinner outfit.

❒  Have your bridal shower.

❒  Buy a cake topper.

❒  Order bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen suits.

❒  Purchase wedding party gifts and guest party favors.


Months Before Your Wedding

❒  Mail out your wedding invitations.

❒  Purchase a guest book.

❒  Go to your second dress fitting.

❒  Purchase your wedding day shoes, jewelry, undergarments, and accessories.

❒  Plan toasts and speeches for the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception.

❒  Plan your first dances (bride-groom, father-daughter, mother-son).

❒  Confirm your final guest count with your caterer and other vendors.

❒  Create a seating plan.


Month Before Your Wedding

❒  Apply for your marriage license.

❒  Review your wedding registry.

❒  Confirm toasts and wedding day timelines.

❒  Go to your final dress fitting.

❒  Write your vows.

❒  Finalize and send your song lists to each music vendor.

❒  Print name cards, table numbers, and dinner menus.

❒  Go out for your bachelor/bachelorette parties.

❒  Get your hair cut.


2 Weeks Before Your Wedding

❒  Confirm your day-of transportation.

❒  Decide on the order of your wedding party processional and recessional.

❒  Confirm times and final details with all your wedding vendors and provide them with day-of contact phone numbers.

❒  Assemble your party favors and centerpieces.


1 Week Before Your Wedding

❒  Pack all clothes, beauty products, wedding day decor, and other items needed for the big day.

❒  Practice your vows.

❒  Collect and organize cash to tip each vendor.

❒  Get your marriage license.

❒  Deliver name cards, table numbers, menus, party favors, and decorations to the wedding venue.


2-3 Days Before Your Wedding

❒  Have your wedding dress pressed or steamed.

❒  Confirm day-of arrival time with the wedding party.

❒  Try to relax!


Let the Wedding Planning Checklist Guide the Way

While 12 months is average for planning a wedding, each couple will be different. If you’ve got more than a year to plan your wedding, that’s great! If you’re on a more crunched timeline, rearranging this checklist is no problem. Planning a wedding can definitely feel like a part-time job at times, but don’t forget to enjoy your engagement and embrace the planning process!

A monthly delivery of handpicked bridal goodies will make your wedding countdown so much sweeter. Our subscription boxes include some of the best wedding planning products and accessories including vow booklets, decor, party favors, cake toppers, beauty products, and so much more. The Ring Boxes offers 12-month, 6-month, and 3-month options for our monthly bridal box. Sign up today!

Need an extra boost planning your perfect wedding? Download our free 12 Month Wedding Planning Google Sheet & Excel Template here!


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