12 Month Wedding Planning Outline

Getting married? Congrats!

It can be hard to know where to begin, and if you’re feeling stuck, you’ve landed in a good place to be. This planning outline can be used as a checklist, or just as a general guideline for your planning process.

Engagements vary in length, but the planning process remains similar, so you can still apply this list to a different planning time frame!

If you see an asterisk, it just means that this step may not be necessary for all weddings. Every wedding is different, so take what you need and leave the rest. Now, let’s get started!

12 Months +

  • Set a budget, think of priorities, and allocate your budget with approximate amounts in each category ( See: How to: Choose a realistic wedding budget)
  • Start writing a guest list that you will narrow later
  • Create a wedding email- it helps for everything to be in one place
  • Hire a planner *
  • Decide on a theme or atmosphere that you want for your wedding (See: Your Event Theme: Where to Begin)
  • Choose a date and book a venue (or choose your date based on the venue)
  • Book a photographer/videographer

10-12 Months

  • Pick your bridal party
  • Create a wedding website and registry
  • Narrow guest list
  • Order save the dates *
  • Start dress shopping *
  • Book hotel blocks for guests *
  • Consider wedding insurance

8-10 Months

  • Book caterer
  • Book florist
  • Collect guest addresses
  • Send save the dates *
  • Order bridal gown *

6-8 Months

  • Take engagement photos
  • Order stationery samples
  • Book officiant
  • Order bridesmaid attire
  • Book honeymoon *
  • Book entertainment (DJ, live band, entertainer, etc.)
  • Book rentals

4-6 Months

  • Order stationery
  • Create rough day of timeline (See: The Average Wedding Day Timeline)
  • Book rehearsal venue *
  • Attend cake tastings and order cake
  • Start any DIY projects *
  • Book hair & makeup artists
  • Purchase rings
  • Rent or purchase suits
  • Book guest transportation *
  • Book bride and groom transportation *
  • Book tech/AV company *
  • Begin dress alterations *

3 Months

  • Send DJ/band song lists (play/do not play)
  • Finalize menu with caterer
  • Book rental/purchase decorative items
  • Finalize florals with florist
  • Finalize selections with rental company
  • Begin premarital classes *
  • Purchase accessories
  • Order wedding favors *
  • Adjust day of timeline as necessary

2 Months

  • Send invitations
  • Create floor plan/seating chart
  • Aquire marraige licence

1 Month

  • Delegate day of tasks to willing individuals/meet with coordinator
  • Finalize day of timeline
  • Send day of timeline to vendors
  • Send photographer/videographer shot list
  • Pick up bridal gown *
  • Print programs, menus, seating cards, and other stationery *
  • Send vendor payments
  • Begin writing vows (See: How To: Write Your Own Vows)

2 Weeks

  • Call guests who have not confirmed attendance/non-attendance
  • Finalize seating chart
  • Send vendor payments
  • Give final headcount to caterer & venue
  • Break in wedding shoes
  • Pack for honeymoon *
  • Make an emergency kit

1 Week

  • Finalize vows
  • Deliver supplies to venue/decorator/coordinator
  • Pick up suit *
  • Rehearsal & rehearsal dinner
  • Have attire steamed *
  • Have nail and beauty treatments *
  • Send vendor payments
  • Pack vendor tips in envelopes
  • Prep bridal party gifts
  • Give vendors day-of emergency contact info (not yourself)

Remember to breathe and take it one step at a time, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task, feel free to send me an email and we can chat about how to make the process easier for you!