Wedding Planning Countdown Calendar

12 Months or more ahead

-Gather ideas for the style and overall level of formality of your wedding.
-Decide on the approximate number of guests.
-Purchase or make an organizing system to keep all your ideas, contacts, and contact information for vendors and attendants.
-Do a little research on local vendors to see what things cost in the place you want to wed.
-Set priorities. Decide what aspects of the wedding are most important to you (dress? Photos? Indulging guests?)
-Create a working budget that reflects your priorities (you can do this online at and talk with anyone who may be helping to finance the wedding.
-Pick a wedding date- but be flexible since you haven't booked your ceremony or reception site or key vendors.
-Invite your closest friends and family to be your attendants.
-Consider hiring a wedding consultant.
-If you are having an engagement party, register for gifts.
-Start looking for your reception site. Popular venues and vendors are booked over a year in advance.

10 months

-Send your engagement announcement to the newspaper.
-Start pulling your guest list together.
-Start researching gowns and bridesmaid dresses.
-Research and book key wedding pros- caterer, photographer, videographer, band or DJ, florist, cake baker.
-Research invitations and other paper products.
-Find a wedding-insurance policy to protect your deposits and future payments.
-Look into local accommodations for guests in case large conventions or events will prevent you from finding space for everyone.
-Send save-the-dates as soon as you know the city and wedding date.

8 Months

-Order your gown if you're choosing couture, if not, you have a couple more months.
-Register for gifts.
-Start planning honey moon
-Start shopping for wedding rings.

6 Months

-If you need to rent anything for the wedding, like tents, tables, or chairs, or other decor items, contact rental companies.
-Order your gown ( if you haven't already).
-Order bridesmaid and flower-girl dresses.
-Order invitations and other stationery.
-Shop for formalwear for groom and groomsmen.
-If you will be honeymooning out of the country, order or renew passports.
-Book ceremony musicians.

4 Months

-Send out invitations, earlier if you are marrying on a holiday of have not sent save-the-dates.
-Hire wedding-day transportation for yourself and if applicable, your wedding guests.
-Find and book a hairstylist and makeup artist. -Book your honeymoon.
-Make an appointment for your first dress fitting.
-Schedule the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. 3 Months
-Keep on top of the thank-you notes for incoming gifts.
-Book a hotel room for your wedding night.
-Find and order wedding favors.
-Order wedding rings.
-If you are changing your name, gather name change forms from the department of motor vehicles, Social Security office, credit-card issuers, etc.

2 Months

-Shop for gifts for attendants and parents.
-Write your vows.
-Create a wedding program.
-Find out the marriage requirements in the county where you'll marry.
-Check in with the bridesmaids to make sure their gowns have arrived and alterations are underway

1 Month

-Have a final gown fitting. Learn how to bustle the dress so you can show your bridesmaids.
-If providing welcome baskets or other products for out-of-town guests, place necessary orders.
-Deliver list of requested photos with names of must-shoot friends and family to the photographer.
-Create a seating plan.
-Create place cards and table names/numbers.
-Ask family or attendants to help pick up guests from the airport.

2 weeks

-Review final RSVP list and contact guests who have not responded.
-Deliver final song list to your DJ or bandleader. Include songs youdon'twant played.
-If you plan on having a facial or your hair cut or colored, do so.
-Hand off any requests made by vendors to the reception site manager-for example, space for the baker to store the cake, or room in the refrigerator for the florist's flowers.
-Break in your shoes. Scuff the soles to avoid slipping.
-Write toast for the rehearsal dinner and reception.

1 Week

-Confirm all start times, locations, or directions with the wedding vendors.
-Create a document for yourself with the contact information for all the vendors, along with the names of the attendants and family members who will be helping to organize the day.Hand this off to the reception-site manager.
-Create a schedule of the day, including delivery times, and give copies to all vendors and the site manager.
-Call all wedding vendors and confirm arrangements.
-Assign various wedding-day duties to willing attendants and family (photographer's contact so he knows who's who, guest book attendant, person who will pay vendors, person who will make sure your gifts or personal effects reach your home, person to arrange the return of rentals, person to contact in case of problems during the day, person to return groom's formalwear and/or preserve bride's gown, flowers, cake top, etc.)

2-3 Days

-Pick up your gown once it has been pressed or steamed.
-Pick up your formalwear.
-Hand off any decor items in your possession, like place cards or favors, to the site manager.
-Have checks for final balances written and placed in marked envelopes to hand off to vendors.
-Pack for your honeymoon if you are leaving right after the wedding.
-Host a party for the bridesmaids and give them their gifts.

The Wedding Day

-Be sure to eat a solid breakfast.
-Hand off rings to the best man and maid of honor.
-Introduce those who have been assigned wedding-day duties to the vendors they will need to interact with.
-Turn off your cell phone, put down your clipboard, and enjoy the day.