Checklist and Timeline

Our compressed timeline (using weeks instead of months):

Nine+ Months Before (Week of Dec. 11)

  • ☒ Start a wedding folder or binder. Begin leafing through bridal, lifestyle, fashion, gardening, design, and food magazines for inspiration.
  • ☒ Work out your budget. [virtually unlimited, so go by “feel” ^_^]
  • ☒ Pick your wedding party. [See Ladies of Honor and Best Men]
  • ☒ Start the guest list. [anyone who wants to attend :-)]
  • ☒ Reserve your date and venues. [See Ceremony location and Reception location]
  • ☒ Book your officiant. [Since the chapel requires use of their officiant, we’ll post those parts ourselves.]
  • ☒ Research photographers, bands, florists, and caterers. Keep their contact information in your binder.

Eight Months Before (Week of Dec. 18)

  • ☒ Book the entertainment. [DJ included in the cruise reception package]
  • ☒ Purchase a dress. Veil shopping can be postponed for another two to three months. [See The bride’s gown]
  • ☒ Register. Sign up at a minimum of three retailers. [See Gift registry]
  • ☒ Launch a wedding website. … Then send the link to invitees. [If you’re reading this, you’ve found it ^_^]

Seven to Six Months Before (Weeks of Dec. 25 & Jan. 1)

Five to Four Months Before (Weeks of Jan. 8 & 15)

  • Book the rehearsal and rehearsal-dinner venues. [skipping this; don’t really feel it’s needed]
  • ☒ Select and order the cake(s). [See Cakes and Cake Topper]
  • ☒ Organize groom’s tux and decide what groomsmen will wear [See Groomsmen’s Formal Wear]
  • ☐ Send your guest list to the host of your shower. Provided you, ahem, know about the shower.
  • ☒ Choose your music. What should be playing when the wedding party is announced? During dinner? To kick off the dancing? Keep a running list of what you want — and do not want — played. [working on, will post at the “Review the playlist” point]

Three Months Before (Week of Jan. 22)

  • ☒ Finalize the menu and flowers. [See Three months before and Flowers]
  • ☒ Order favors, if desired. [Donated through the I Do Foundation, now]
  • ☒ Make a list of the people giving toasts. Which loved ones would you like to have speak at the reception? Ask them now. [primarily the wedding party]
  • Finalize the readings. Determine what you would like to have read at the ceremony — and whom you wish to do the readings.
  • ☒ Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception.
  • ☒ Print menu cards, if you like, as well as programs. [will post on the Big Day]
  • ☒ Purchase the rings. [See Rings]

Two Months Before (Week of Jan. 29)

  • ☒ Review the playlist with the band or deejay. Though you probably won’t be able to dictate every single song played, you should come prepared with a wish list. [See Music]
  • ☒ Send out the invitations. The rule of thumb: Mail invitations six to eight weeks before the ceremony, setting the RSVP cutoff at three weeks after the postmark date. [See Invitation]
  • ☐ Enjoy a bachelorette party. Arranging a night out with your girlfriends generally falls to the maid of honor. But if she hasn’t mentioned one to you by now, feel free to ask — for scheduling purposes, of course! — if a celebration is in the works (OR, this can be closer to the ceremony date).

One Month Before (Week of Feb. 5)

  • ☒ Get your marriage license. [Long since done ^_^]
  • ☒ Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts. You’ll present them at the rehearsal dinner wedding-day brunch.
  • ☒ Write vows, if necessary. [done back at “Finalize the order of the ceremony”]
  • ☒ Groom enjoys a bachelor party (OR, this can be closer to the ceremony date, but probably not the night before).

Week of the Wedding (Week of Feb. 12)

  • ☒ Delegate small wedding-day tasks. Choose someone to bustle your dress, someone to carry your things, someone to be in charge of gifts (especially the enveloped sort), someone to hand out tips, and someone to be the point person for each vendor.
  • ☒ Send a timeline to the bridal party.