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The Ultimate Wedding Planning Timeline and Checklist: A Month-by-Month Guide

Now that you've decided to tie the knot, it's time to dive into the exciting world of wedding planning. While planning a wedding can seem overwhelming, breaking it down into manageable tasks is the key to enjoying the journey to your big day. This comprehensive month-by-month guide is designed to help you navigate through each step of the planning process, ensuring nothing is overlooked.

12 Months Out

Celebrate and Envision Your Day

  • Announce your engagement to family and friends.

  • Discuss the type of wedding you envision (size, setting, theme).

Set the Foundations

  • Establish your budget.

  • Draft a preliminary guest list.

  • Choose your wedding party.

  • Start researching vendors (venues, photographers, caterers).

10-11 Months Out

Secure Key Elements

  • Book your ceremony and reception venues.

  • Hire a wedding planner or coordinator if desired.

  • Choose and book your photographer and videographer.

  • Start looking at wedding dress styles.

8-9 Months Out

Detail Planning Begins

  • Select and order your wedding dress.

  • Book entertainment (DJ, band).

  • Choose your caterer.

  • Start thinking about honeymoon destinations.

6-7 Months Out

Visual and Logistics Planning

  • Order bridesmaid dresses and decide on groomsmen attire.

  • Begin menu tastings and finalize your wedding menu.

  • Reserve rentals (chairs, linens, decor).

  • Book your florist.

4-5 Months Out

Invitations and Vows

  • Finalize your guest list.

  • Order wedding invitations.

  • Start planning your ceremony and writing your vows.

  • Book transportation for the wedding day.

3 Months Out


  • Order wedding rings.

  • Send out invitations.

  • Plan your hair and makeup looks and book trials.

  • Confirm details with all your vendors.

2 Months Out

Final Preparations

  • Have your first dress fitting.

  • Finalize playlists with your DJ or band.

  • Review RSVPs and follow up on outstanding responses.

1 Month Out

The Home Stretch

  • Apply for a marriage license.

  • Have a final venue walk-through.

  • Finalize seating arrangements.

2 Weeks Out

Last Minute Details

  • Final dress fitting.

  • Confirm timelines with vendors.

  • Begin breaking in your wedding shoes.

  • Pack for your honeymoon.

1 Week Out

Final Countdown

  • Provide vendors with final headcount.

  • Pack an emergency day-of kit (snacks, sewing kit, etc.).

  • Get plenty of rest and stay hydrated.

The Day Before

  • Rehearse your ceremony.

  • Enjoy a relaxing day with friends and family.

  • Prepare any payments or tips for vendors.

Your Wedding Day

  • Eat a good breakfast.

  • Allow plenty of time to get ready.

  • Take deep breaths and enjoy every moment.


  • Send out thank-you cards.

  • Review your vendors.

  • Ensure all vendor payments have been finalized.

Remember, this timeline is a guide and can be adjusted based on your specific needs and timeline. The most important thing is to enjoy the process and look forward to the beautiful day when you'll be married to your best friend. Happy planning!

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