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Wedding Timeline Checklist

Congratulations! You're engaged! Now let the wedding planning begin!!!

Planning a wedding can be very stressful as there are tons of details to take care of. The most important thing is to stay organized. This Wedding Timeline Checklist is carefully modified by our wedding expert, Jonah Solano, for the Solano 888 Brides. Don’t feel overwhelmed by all the To-Do-Things pointed out here. Just pick the ones that best suit your dream wedding.

9-12 months before

  • Officially announce your engagement
  • Decide on who pays for what and set an overall budget
  • Set a wedding date (consult with registry office and officiant)
  • Decide on the type (style and formality) of wedding (formal, semi-formal, informal…)
  • Hire Wedding Planner/ Event Stylist: www.solano888.com
  • Choose and book reception site (liability insurance necessary?) and arrange parking
  • Choose and book ceremony location (liability insurance necessary?)
  • Create a wedding website to share your engagement (optional)
  • Decide whether you need/want pre-marital counseling/ seminar
  • Start first draft of your guest list (Column A, B & C)


6-9 months before

  • Alert out-of-town guests of wedding date and/or send a FREE Save-the-Date email
  • Start shopping for wedding dress, shoes, jewelry etc.
  • Choose your wedding party; Decide on bridesmaids dresses
  • Hire wedding photographer/s: www.solano888.com
  • Hire wedding videographer/s: www.solano888.com
  • Hire catering service (if not included in the venue)
  • Hire DJ/band/lighting
  • Organize (flower) decoration and bouquets
  • Choose officiant and discuss ceremony process
  • Start thinking about gift registry options
  • Reserve hotel rooms (in varying price ranges) for out-of-town guests
  • Have an engagement party if you wish
  • Book honeymoon


4-6 months before

  • Select and order wedding invitations and stationery; Set RSVP date 4 weeks before wedding date; Consult event stylist for patterns/ wedding monogram
  • Choose wedding cake; Arrange schedule for cake tasting
  • Discuss menu ideas with catering service
  • Arrange for rental items (chairs, arches, candelabras, china, crystal, flatware…)
  • Buy wedding rings
  • Organize grooms tux and decide what groomsmen will wear
  • Make sure bridesmaids ordered their gowns and decide on accessories
  • Look for wedding favors
  • Confirm dates for bridal shower and bachelorette parties
  • Start gift registry (before sending bridal shower invitations)
  • Get ideas for wedding hair and makeup
  • Organize helpers (readers, musicians, guest book attendant etc.)
  • Organize additional management staff, bouquet/ gift person, babysitters etc.
  • Give guest list to shower hostess/es
  • Decide whether you want wedding insurance (optional)


2-4 months before

  • Finalize guest list and send invitations
  • Select place for rehearsal dinner
  • Finalize rehearsal dinner plans
  • Schedule food tasting and finalize menu with reception
  • Select music for ceremony, reception etc.
  • Consider signing-up for dance classes
  • Schedule Engagement Session with Photographer
  • Schedule shoot for “Love Story” video with Videographer
  • Schedule hair & make-up trial on engagement session/ film day
  • Book make-up artist and hairstylist
  • Check tuxes for groom and groomsmen have been ordered
  • Book wedding transportation/ limo (for you and your guests)
  • Order wedding favors / Book photobooth
  • Find gifts for each other, your attendants, shower hostess, parents etc.
  • Buy wedding accessories (candles, baskets, ring pillow, money box, cake knife, etc.)
  • Look into joint bank accounts, insurance and merging your money
  • Send invitations 8 weeks before wedding date


1-2 months before

  • Have first bridal gown fitting
  • Finalize ceremony readings, songs, etc.
  • Design wedding programs/ menu cards
  • Meet with Officiant to finalize ceremony
  • Arrange “Bridesmaid Luncheon” and other “Pre-Wedding Parties”
  • Order liquor/ beverages not handled by caterer
  • Write vows
  • Check requirements for marriage license in your state
  • Discuss and finalize details with wedding service providers


3-4 weeks before

  • Get marriage license (normally no earlier than 30 days before wedding)
  • Arrange name change
  • Mail rehearsal-dinner invitations or send out E-vite
  • Confirm hotel arrangements for out-of-town guests


1-2 weeks before

  • Call guests who have not responded to invitation (RSVP)
  • Make final payments for all services that require payment
  • Have final wedding gown fitting
  • Finalize wedding-day “Timeline” and share with attendants, parents and all vendors
  • Pick up wedding dress and make sure all accessories are together
  • Reconfirm all wedding plans: ceremony, reception site, florist, photo/videographer, musicians, limo, rentals, DJ, cake, honeymoon
  • Give caterer/reception site final head count
  • Provide wedding party and out-of-town guests with itinerary and maps
  • Prepare emergency kit with needle, thread, safety pins, tape, mirror, band aid, etc.
  • Give someone at home emergency numbers of honeymoon locations, credit card numbers etc.
  • Finalize seating arrangements
  • Prepare place cards
  • Prepare “wedding box” for ceremony accessories
  • Prepare “reception box” for reception accessories
  • Prepare wedding favors for transportation
  • Complete seating plan for reception
  • Confirm all rental and floral delivery dates and times
  • Confirm arrival times for attendants
  • Pack for wedding night and honeymoon


The Day Before

  • Prepare a list of payment envelopes – including TIPS – endorse to your Wedding Planner or whomever is responsible for distributing to vendors
  • Hand-out assignment lists and checklists to ensure everyone knows their tasks
  • Hand-out ceremony box to appropriate person/ Wedding Planner
  • Hand-out reception box to appropriate person/ Wedding Planner
  • Hand-out favor box to appropriate person/ Wedding Planner
  • Hand-out Master Guest List and Place Cards to Wedding Planner
  • Give rings to best man
  • Gather wedding dress, accessories and bridal emergency kit
  • Get a manicure, pedicure and massage
  • Rehearse ceremony with officiant and wedding party
  • Confirm flight arrangements for honeymoon
  • Compile an emergency list of all wedding vendors with phone numbers


The Wedding Day

  • Take a relaxing lavender bath
  • EAT breakfast
  • Be sure to wear a button-down shirt for your hair and make-up
  • Don’t forget to wear your wedding garter on your left thigh
  • Donʼt forget rings (to the best man) and wedding license to the Officiant


After Wedding

  • Get wedding gown cleaned and preserved
  • Preserve bouquet
  • Write and send thank-you notes
  • Complete process of name change
  • Check into your store’s bridal registry completion program


   CLICK to download your FREE Solano 888 Wedding Timeline Checklist (pdf file)