The Ultimate Month-By-Month Wedding Planning Timeline to Follow

24th June 2020
wedding planning timeline

Are your wedding bells ringing?

Your wedding will be one of the most memorable days of your life and you want everything to be just perfect. Although the wedding planning process can be tedious, overwhelming, and stressful, it is mostly a wonderful and enjoyable project that leads up to a great reward at the end.

Soon after you get engaged, you’ll want to dive into wedding planning. It’s hard to know where to begin, what steps to follow, or in which order to complete every part of it.

A wedding planning timeline can help. Following a guide can help you to remember every piece of the puzzle and keep you on track over many months.

Read on to discover a perfect wedding planning timeline to help you and your fiancee every step of the way. When the big day finally arrives, you will know for sure that you didn’t miss a thing.

How Long Does It Take to Plan a Wedding?

Most experts suggest that it takes between thirteen and eighteen months to properly plan a wedding.

That’s a very long time, but adhering to a wedding planning checklist of about that length will allow you to focus on all the details without feeling too rushed. 

Of course, it’s possible to plan a wedding on a shorter timeline than that, or you can even stretch the planning process out longer. If you choose to go the shorter route, an intense focus will be required. If your wedding is instead further off in the future, be careful not to procrastinate; you’ll regret it later as your date approaches.

The Best-Ever Wedding Planning Timeline

For our purposes here, we’ve put together a wedding timeline that is right in the middle of experts’ suggested planning range. Our timeline starts at the fifteen-month mark, but you can adjust it in either direction to suit your specific needs.

Fifteen Months Before the Wedding

Congratulations! You’re engaged!

Bask in your love and happiness for a bit. Being engaged is a special feeling and you and your fiancee should take time to enjoy it. Tell your friends and family the good news, pop some champagne, and have a romantic dinner or getaway to celebrate. 

Once you’ve climbed down from your cloud, start thinking about your budget and make a list of possible locations and venues. Make a loose, first draft of your guest list.

Ask your friends for recommendations of wedding planners and hire one to help with the process if you plan to use one. Wedding planners can be especially helpful in many ways, especially if you are getting married abroad. However, many couples prefer to do all the wedding planning themselves.

Twelve Months Before the Wedding

About a year before the big event, choose and reserve a venue and shop around for a caterer you like. You may not officially hire your caterer yet, but it’s never too early to do so; if your wedding will be during the busy wedding season, the best ones often book up quickly.  

You’ll also want to hire other vendors that may be in high demand, like a photographer and videographer, and a  band or DJ.

Ten Months Before the Wedding

At this point, your wedding still seems so far away, but it will be here before you know it!

Ten months before the wedding, choose your colors and theme, and also start shopping for your wedding dress. Start looking at save-the-date cards and invitations, as well.

You can begin building your wedding website at this point too, even if all you have is a landing page; you should get some engagement photos taken as well and you can add them to the site when they are ready.

Eight Months Before the Wedding

Don’t forget to book a block of rooms for your guests before it’s too late! Also, send out save-the-dates at this point to let everyone know your wedding date and location. 

Buy your dress around this time and also select dresses for your bridesmaids. While you’re at it, you can start meeting with florists to discuss the flowers. Also, start building your gift registry online as well.

Six Months Before the Wedding

About six months before the big day, you’ll want to hire an officiant and begin meeting to discuss your vision for the ceremony. Why not add a celebrant for a little something different? 

Call to reserve rental items like chairs, tables, linens, and your dance floor at this point, too. If your guests will need transportation, book that at least six months in advance as well.

If you plan to take your honeymoon immediately after the wedding, you’ll want to plan that around this time. Consider having a specialist plan it for you.

Four Months Before the Wedding

Now is the time to finalize your food planning; four months before the wedding, have your final tasting with the caterer and choose your wedding cake. 

This is also a good time to finalize the groom’s attire and for the bride to participate in a hair and makeup trial with her stylists. Don’t forget to pick out your wedding bands!

Two Months Before the Wedding

It’s finally time to send out your invitations at the two-month point. Start thinking about guest favors or gift bags and you can begin putting them together, and if you want to have a photo booth at your reception, this is a perfect time to reserve one.

You and your fiancee should also start writing your vows before it’s too late. You certainly don’t want to leave this important part of your wedding to the very last minute!  This is also a great time to pick up your marriage license as well.

One Month Before the Wedding

Your wedding is almost here! In the final month before the big event, you’ll want to create your seating chart, plan your music with your band or DJ, buy smaller items like your guestbook and gift bag components, pay all your vendors in full, and have a final walk-through of the venue.

Break-in your wedding shoes so your feet don’t hurt all day and night, and put cash tips in envelopes to be distributed by your wedding planner or a good friend. 

The Final Week

The focus of your last week before the wedding should be on you. Refresh your hair color and get manicures and pedicures. Consider a couple’s massage and pack your bags for your trip and your honeymoon. Practice your vows and try your best to calm your nerves.

The night before, eat a good meal, drink a lot of water, and get a good night’s sleep. On the morning of your wedding, eat a good breakfast, stay off your feet as much as you can, thank everyone who has helped you thus far, and get ready for one of the most special days of your whole entire life!


After all of the above, it’s been a long time coming but your wedding day is finally here. Thanks to your careful planning and adherence to this wedding planning timeline, you can enjoy this incredible day knowing that everything has been taken care of and that all is ready to go. Peace of mind is so important, and when you have it, you can be the best bride and groom you can be. Congratulations! 

If you are looking for a photographer for your wedding, please contact me today. I have years of experience and many wonderful references, and I would love to help you capture the memories you never want to forget.

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