Wedding Timeline Template

The below wedding timeline template is for you to reference when making your own schedule.

If you haven't read them already, you may wish to go to the main checklist page and check out the instructions for putting together your wedding planning timeline. No two wedding timelines will be alike, so adjust based on how long you have to plan your wedding, your budget, and your scheduled activities and wedding traditions.

Wedding Timeline Template

Learn how bride Lisa Spooner slashed her wedding budget to $2,000 - click here or scroll down and watch the video


9 to 12 Months Out

*If you decide to use a wedding planner, start searching for one now (they will also have a wedding timeline template to work from)

  • Open a joint checking account for wedding expenses
  • Decide on your system of organization. How will you keep track of the details?
  • Decide where you will store the physical items related to your wedding
  • Order thank you cards or stationary for the pre-wedding gifts you will be receiving
  • Pick several optimal dates you would like to get married on, you can adjust this wedding planning template once you have a firm date
  • Decide how big your wedding party is going to be, and select the members
  • Secure a venue for your ceremony and wedding reception
  • Hire the caterer if the venue does not provide the food (in any wedding timeline template this should come after the venue is settled on)
  • Hire a vendor to make the wedding cake if your caterer does not do this
  • Hire a photographer and videographer
  • Book the band or DJ
  • Hire transportation
  • Find an officiant for your ceremony
  • Check on any cultural or religious customs that may apply to your wedding and order related items and schedule related services
  • If you will be having out-of-town guests, secure group rates at a hotel for your guests
  • Put up a wedding website
  • Create a joint wedding e-mail address for the wedding (often comes w/website)
  • Start a Twitter account for your wedding
  • If you plan to announce your wedding in your local newspaper, have engagement photos taken
  • Make your wedding gift registry checklist and register for your gifts
  • Post gift registry info on your website.

More timeline below...

The Ultimate Budget Bride: Lisa Spooner saved almost 90% on her wedding, now she helps other couples save big money.


Click Here to Find Out How They Did It

6 to 9 Months Out

  • Reserve reception rentals like tents, tables, linens
  • Select and order the bridal gown
  • Choose and order your bridesmaid dresses
  • Hire a florist
  • Coordinate parents’ attire
  • Send save the date cards or evites
  • Select and order wedding invitations
  • For at home and backyard weddings, plan and begin all repairs, maintenance, yard upgrades and flower plantings (adjust this in the wedding timeline template based on seasonal plantings)
  • For at home weddings, check with your city on parking issues and any noise codes concerning a band or music
  • Review and revise the guest list and the remaining budget
  • Review and revise your wedding planning timeline
  • Finalize your wedding reception menu
  • Order the wedding favors (this can move down a little in the wedding timeline template if you need more time to decide on favors)
  • Start collecting addresses and phone numbers of guests you plan to invite
  • Secure reception detail cards from venue as well as lodging detail cards from hotel to include with your invitations
  • Book hairstylist(s) for bride and bridesmaids
  • Book make-up artist

3 to 5 Months Out

  • Purchase guest book or guest book alternative
  • Reserve the hotel room for your wedding night
  • Finalize the guest list
  • Choose and order groom and groomsmen attire
  • Purchase and engrave wedding bands
  • Apply for passports if traveling out of country for your honeymoon, check to see if you need visas, immunizations
  • Go to a doctor for blood tests, if required by your state
  • Book a “day of” wedding coordinator (if desired)
  • Compare and purchase wedding insurance

6 to 8 Weeks Out

  • Send out the wedding invitations
  • Have your wedding announcement placed in your local newspaper
  • Purchase wedding gift for fiance
  • Purchase bridal party gifts
  • Have wedding menu cards printed if desired
  • Start practicing and timing make-up and hair
  • Do a photo session with hair and make up to see if the overall look photographs well
  • Purchase wedding shoes and start breaking them in
  • Prepare maps and directions to the ceremony and reception, post on your wedding website and print hard copies to hand out or mail
  • Bride’s dress fitting
  • Choose the music for your ceremony
  • Determine what special songs you will have played at your reception (and the do not play list) and communicate them to the DJ or band
  • Choose and book a location for the wedding rehearsal dinner
  • Design and order your wedding programs, if needed
  • If you do not have a “day of” coordinator to manage your wedding day, arrange for a couple of friends or family members to oversee the schedule at the ceremony and the reception locations

4 to 6 Weeks Out

  • Apply for marriage license
  • Track RSVPs and follow up with unresponsive guests
  • Schedule an appointment with human resources at work. Complete paper work to change beneficiary on 401 K. Change life insurance beneficiaries at work if company provided
  • Find out which partner’s medical plan will be best for both of you
  • Schedule an appointment with your insurance agent. Investigate what changes need to be made to drivers’ insurance policies, home owners or apartment rental policies
  • Update your wedding planning timeline
  • Complete seating chart if applicable
  • Finalize floral arrangements
  • Groom and groomsmen fitting
  • Bride’s dress fitting
  • Bridesmaid dress fittings
  • Arrange the bridesmaid’s luncheon
  • Make a packing list for the honeymoon and purchase, clean, repair items on the list
  • Arrange bouquet preservation, if desired
  • Send out invitations or evites for bridesmaid luncheon

2 to 4 Weeks Out

  • Pick up formal wear, shoes, have shoes shined
  • Mail the wedding rehearsal invitations
  • Confirm rehearsal dinner with location
  • Wrap wedding favors
  • Purchase appropriate gifts for out of town guests’ hotel room and wrap
  • Give final guest head count to the caterer
  • Final bride’s dress fitting
  • Arrange for gown cleaning and/or preservation after the wedding
  • Confirm guest lodging with reserved hotels
  • Arrange bridal party help with post-wedding tasks (rental returns, the dress, gifts)

1 to 2 Weeks Out

  • Record and send thank you notes for gifts already received
  • Host bridesmaid’s luncheon and give gifts there, or at rehearsal dinner
  • Make final payments on everything (modify from the wedding timeline template based on your contracted vendor payment dates)
  • Follow up with florist, music, transportation, wedding venue, and church with any last minute details
  • Confirm honeymoon arrangements
  • Make a honeymoon travel day itinerary with flight info, arrival transportation info and contact number, and hotel address and number
  • International honeymoon? Arrange for an international cell phone
  • Have hair cut / colored or highlighted
  • Pack for honeymoon
  • Contact caterer with any special dietary needs for guests
  • Coordinate picking up out of town guests at airports or train stations, and their transportation to the event
  • Pick up bride’s dress
  • Make an emergency kit for wedding day
  • Make detailed wedding day timeline
  • Make your back-up plan

1 to 5 Days Out

  • Deliver guests’ gift baskets to hotel
  • Deliver favors to wedding reception venue
  • Deliver wedding menu cards to venue
  • Deliver seating chart to venue
  • Deliver place cards to venue
  • Pick up tux if renting
  • Have bikini area waxed if desired (this can move up in the wedding timeline template, never wax the day before the wedding)
  • Have manicure and pedicure
  • Arrange for a basket of food and drink to be placed in your wedding night hotel, or for the caterer to pack a care basket/box for you to take with you
  • Make sure your “day of” consultant has wedding day timeline/itinerary, contact information for all involved, as well as special instructions
  • Email wedding day timeline (or partial itinerary) to attendants and relevant participants
  • Arrange food, drink, and music for the bride’s suite/ staging room where the bride and bridesmaids will be getting ready on the wedding day
  • Greet out of town guests
  • Attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Hand out hard copies of wedding day schedule and maps/directions at rehearsal dinner

Get Married!

Of course no one will actually need to accomplish everything on this wedding timeline template, your schedule will be unique to the wedding you're planning right now.

More Articles:
Checklist of Wedding Traditions
How to Make Your Wedding Planning Timeline
How to Make Your Wedding Gift Registry Checklist
Plan Your Wedding Rehearsal & Wedding Rehearsal Dinner
Wedding Ceremony Outline for Planning The Order of Your Wedding Ceremony
Sample Wedding Photography Shot List
Plan Your Wedding Reception
Planning Your Wedding Reception Food

Go to the wedding plan checklist main page 
Return from wedding timeline template to the wedding planning page 
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