Careful planning and scheduling will enable you to truly enjoy every moment of your Wedding Day. Arrangements for a large formal wedding should begin at least 6 months in advance. Following the time frame of this guide will enable your suppliers to provide the best quality and service. Note: We recommend sharing some of the planning duties in this article with your fiancé.

Six to Twelve Months 

  • Review Grooms Checklist with your Fiancé
  • Discuss Financial Obligations
  • Decide budget
  • Decide type of wedding (informal/formal)
  • Choose location of ceremony
  • Choose attendants
  • Select gown, veil & accessories
  • Select attendants’ gowns
  • Compile bride & groom’s invitation list
  • Select reception site
  • Plan details of reception
  • Select men’s formalwear
  • Select photographer
  • Select videographer
  • Select florist
  • Select caterer
  • Select bridal registry
  • Select music for wedding ceremony
  • Select music for reception
  • Discuss honeymoon plans
  • Reserve limousine transportation 

Four Months 

  • Order invitations, personal stationery and wedding programs
  • Finalize honeymoon plans
  • Shop for trousseau
  • Find a new place to live
  • Shop for home furnishings
  • Set an appointment for a complete physical exam and update your immunizations
  • Set appointment for blood test (requirements vary from state to state) 

Two Months 

  • Address wedding invitations
  • Check with local newspaper on wedding announcement deadline
  • Select attendants’ gifts
  • Buy wedding rings and order engraving
  • Set a date with your fiancé to get your marriage license (state laws vary as to length of valid license)
  • Reserve rental items necessary for ceremony or reception
  • Order wedding and groom’s cake 
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One Month 

  • Mail invitations
  • Arrange for final fitting on your gown
  • Remind bridesmaids of final gown fittings
  • Test new hairstyles you may be considering
  • Make reservations for rehearsal dinner
  • Have formal wedding portrait taken
  • Arrange for ice sculptures
  • Buy groom’s wedding gift
  • Confirm honeymoon trip reservations and check luggage 

Two Weeks 

  • Record wedding gifts as you receive them and write thank-you notes promptly
  • Double check attire and accessories for all members of the wedding party
  • Confirm time and date of wedding rehearsal with members of your wedding party
  • Review reception seating plans and prepare place cards if necessary
  • Arrange to move your belongings to new home
  • Schedule appointment with hairdresser and manicurist
  • Complete trousseau shopping
  • Arrange for name and address changes on your bank account, credit cards, driver’s license, social security, and utilities

One Week 

  • Have final consultations with caterer, florist, musicians, and photographers
  • Give final guest count to reception facility or caterer
  • Host bridesmaid’s luncheon
  • Begin packing for honeymoon trip
  • Relax and get plenty of rest… the planning is complete so let the festivities begin!

Who’s in Charge of Details

Complete this checklist by identifying the person who’s responsible for each category and be sure your bridesmaid and best man also have a copy.

  • Gifts on Table (Guarding Gifts)
  • Guest Book Table
  • Securing Invitations to Gifts
  • Paying Officiant
  • Transportation
  • Flowers
  • Videotaping
  • Photographer
  • Food
  • Cake
  • Cake Cutting
  • Announcing the Couple
  • The Reception Decorations
  • Rings
  • Music
  • Limousine (other transportation)
  • Decoration on Cars
  • Hotel Room Accommodations
  • Makeup
  • Bride’s Wedding Gown
  • Groom’s Tuxedo
  • Bring Marriage License (signed by clergy and witnesses)
  • Cake Toast
  • Toast for Bride and Groom