Perfect Planning for Wonderful Weddings

Wedding Decor


When planning the perfect wedding, there is so much to think about, and sometimes the little things are often overlooked. To prepare the perfect celebration, use this comprehensive wedding checklist, with a timeline based on the 16-month length of the average engagement.


Sixteen to Nine Months Before

Determine your budget.


Start the guest list. As soon as you that ring is on your finger,  everyone will be wondering who is in!


Reserve your date and venues. Decide whether you’re looking for an intimate place or something on a grander scale such as


Book your officiant.


Research photographers, bands, florists, and caterers.


Eight Months Before

Hire your photographer and videographer.


If your wedding venue doesn’t offer a catering service, look for caterers now.


Choose your dress, scheduling time for at least three fittings.


Seven to Six Months Before

Select and purchase invitations. Hire a calligrapher, if desired. Pick an invitation which fits your theme such as pocketfold style wedding invitations for a chic wedding, floral wedding invitations for a rustic country style.


Plan your honeymoon, if you are going to take one. Make sure that passports are valid, and check for visa requirements depending on location. Be sure to schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need.


Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses. Allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and sized.

Meet with the officiant. Map out the ceremony and confirm that you have all the official documents for the wedding (these vary by county and religion).


Send save-the-date cards.


Book a florist.


Arrange transportation. Are you going for a limo or a party bus? Perhaps something a little more luxurious, like Chicago Party Bus and Limousine!


Five to Four Months Before

Ask the stationer for samples of the finished wedding invitations.


Select and order the cake. Some bakers require a long lead time.


Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings. Bring your shoes along to your first fitting.

Schedule hair and makeup artists.


Three Months Before

Finalize your menu and flowers. Both food and flowers are affected by seasons, so you will need to know which works for the date you are getting married.


Choose the readings and determine who you would like read at the ceremony.


Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception.


Buy the rings. This allows for plenty for time for resizing and engraving.


Two Months Before

Post your invitations six to eight weeks before the day, setting the RSVP cutoff at three weeks after the postmark date.


One Month Before

Record RSVPs. Phone people who have not yet responded.

Visit the dressmaker for your last dress fitting.  You may want to schedule a fitting the week of your wedding.

Confirm times for hair and makeup.

Assign seating. Draw out table shapes on a layout of the room to help plan place settings.

Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts.


Week of the Wedding

Delegate small wedding-day tasks. Choose someone to bustle your dress, someone to carry your things, someone to be in charge of gifts. This may be the best man or chief bridesmaid.

Book a spa treatment. Make an appointment for a manicure and a pedicure the day before the wedding.

Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events.


After all the planning is over and done, it’s time to relax and enjoy your big day. One final reminder – don’t forget to breathe!


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