Wedding Timeline Checklist

Wedding Timeline Checklist

Do your wedding dreams include stranded guests, bad food, dandelion bouquets, bridal party catastrophes and a missing officiant? Of course not! Dreams are made of perfect weddings with elegance, happiness and joy carefully infused into every element of the day, where guests, family, and the bridal party is at ease and having fun. Careful planning, keeping a wedding file, and setting up a schedule will help to make your dream wedding come true! We came up with a general wedding to-do list so you know what you need to do to prepare for your wedding day!

Download Printable Wedding Planner Checklist Here!


This exciting time is where you lay the groundwork for everything to come in the next 12-16 months! This is the time to discuss your budget options and financial responsibilities of different family members, etc. (a great primer for life to come!) Don’t delay in at least picking a time frame, if not 2 to 3 specific dates.

  • Get your ring insured
  • Hire a photographer and schedule an Engagement photo session
  • Create and submit a local newspaper announcement with your engagement photo
  • Decide on a budget and wedding style including the size, formality, style, and even colors
  • Start a guest list and begin collecting addresses
  • Narrow down to a general time frame, preferably 2 or three dates
  • Research wedding ceremony and reception venues and check availability
  • Create a wedding website (there are several sites online where you can do this for free! the knot, Blueprint, and Zola are just a few.)
  • Plan an engagement party
  • Start a wedding file to store ideas, receipts, notes, vendor names and phone numbers, etc.

12 Months Before Wedding

After considering your venue options and availability, you should be able to finalize your date. If you are set on a particular photographer, wedding DJ, pastor or other service, be sure to check their availability before finalizing.

  • Finalize Wedding date
  • Confirm important preferred vendor availability
  • Hire a Wedding Photographer (don’t delay on this, many photographers are booked a year out!)
  • Hire a Wedding DJ (we can help with that!)
  • Reserve venues for the ceremony and reception
  • Begin wedding dress shopping
  • Choose bridal party
  • Book a block of hotel rooms for out of state guests

10 – 11 Months Before Wedding

A lot of decisions need to be made during this time. This is when you should flood yourself with wedding magazines and websites. Let your imagination run wild with ideas and then start narrowing them down to what is affordable and “doable.” Certain decisions like the date and venue need to be firm at this point.

8 – 9 Months Before Wedding

Most of this time period is reserved for the bride! Select a dress and have a ball picking out all of your accessories – veil, tiara, jewelry, shoes, purse, garter, lingerie. Also, if you are planning on an international honeymoon, now is the time to make all international bookings and purchase flights.

  • Choose a wedding gown and order any necessary alterations
  • Choose and order shoes, jewelry, hair pieces and any other accessories
  • Plan and book your honeymoon and travel arrangements if you are planning on an international trip for your honeymoon – don’t forget to get passports if needed!

5 – 6 Months Before Wedding

  • Select and order Save the Date cards and your formal wedding invitations and Thank You cards. You may also want to order return address labels with the couple’s new last name and address for thank your cards. PROOF your order and don’t forget envelopes and stamps!
  • Start experimenting with hairstyles so you have enough time to adjust and tweak the style to perfection
  • Make all wedding decor and party rental arrangements: linens, chairs, china, stemware, thrones, etc
  • Finalize guest list
  • Select and order wedding cake

3 – 4 Months Before Wedding

As your big day gets closer, you will begin to get much busier. Make sure you are keeping an accurate wedding file and stay organized to stay on task! Forgetting small details now can lead to trouble down the road.

  • Select and order groom and groomsmen attire
  • Purchase any final accessories
  • Send out Save the Date cards
  • Shop for wedding bands
  • Book wedding night accommodations
  • Finalize the dinner menu with your caterer – don’t forget the bar and drinks!
  • Arrange transportation and limo services
  • Order or begin making wedding favors
  • Shop for bridal party gifts
  • Plan and book your honeymoon for local or national excursions

2 Months Before Wedding

  • Address, stamp, and mail Wedding invitations
  • Select venue / make arrangements for the Rehearsal Party dinner
  • Schedule fittings for yourself and the entire bridal party, including flower girl(s) and ring bearer

4-6 Weeks Before Wedding

Work on finalizing things during this time. Confirm and finalize anything you can!

  • Confirm order with your florist
  • Design Wedding programs
  • Apply for your marriage license
  • FINAL gown fitting
  • Finish any DIY projects
  • Confirm and finalize all details and arrival/delivery times with all service providers
  • Book an appointment with a spa or parlor for manicures and pedicures the day before your Wedding
  • Book your hair and makeup appointment for your Wedding day

2 Weeks Before Wedding

  • Create a wedding day schedule and distribute to all important people including the wedding party, your Photographer, Videographer, wedding DJ, caterers, and anyone else involved in the days activities. This will help the entire day run smoother with fewer interruptions!
  • Call any guests who haven’t RSVP’d
  • Give the final head count to your caterer
  • Finalize the wedding reception seating chart

1 Week Before Wedding

  • Confirm Honeymoon flights and reservations
  • Accommodate for any last minute seating changes
  • PACK for your honeymoon – you have too much to do this week to wait!
  • Gather all necessary documents and paperwork for travel
  • Confirm reservations for any out of town guests
  • Pick up all formal wear
  • Confirm Wedding party rehearsal dinner reservations and arrangements

1 Day Before Wedding

  • Pack a wedding day emergency kit
  • Get a manicure and pedicure (make it a bridal party event!)
  • Distribute rings to responsible parties
  • Lay out or gather ALL attire and accessories
  • Read your wedding day schedule and to-do list
  • Take a relaxing steamy bath and get plenty of rest


On your big day, be sure to eat a balanced meal, avoiding excessive sugar and caffeine. You have a big day ahead of you with lots of people to talk to and you want to be fresh and vibrant! Plan your day so you have plenty of time to get your hair and makeup done. Be sure to ask your photographer to slip in throughout the day to get those great candid friends and family shots. Assign important tasks to responsible people so you can have a worry free day! For example, assign a couple bridesmaids to check the reception site and assign a trusted friend or family member to disburse final payments for any services.

Download Printable Wedding Planner Checklist Here!


Dynamic Sounds in Erie, PA has assisted hundreds of brides plan their perfect day. In addition to our professional Wedding DJ services, we also offer Uplighting, Photography, Videography, Limo and Transportation services, photobooths, wedding decor and more! Make your wedding day perfect and hassle free by calling us today at (814) 459-5921 or click here to contact us online!


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