Your guide to wedding planning

We've helped 7,136 customers plan their wedding in the past year.

Planning checklist

Prepare for success by getting started now.
12 months before: Get ideas
  • Compile a collection of magazine cutouts and favorite websites to inspire you.
  • Create a budget and stick to it as best you can. Now's the time to hire a wedding planner.
  • Make a preliminary guest list. Knowing how many people you plan to invite is important for budgeting. You can refine it later.
9 months before: Start scheduling
  • Hire a wedding planner to begin finalizing some of the scheduling details involved in your wedding.
  • Settle on a date and have your planner book your venues for the wedding. Having a firm date gives you a deadline to work with, and reserving the venues allows you to begin to fill the spaces with all of your decorating ideas. Plus, your planner will have already formed business connections with plenty of area vendors, and she can help you book faster.
7–8 months before: Book pros
  • Do not forget to include photographers, videographers, entertainment, caterers and florists.
  • You and your wedding planner should meet with each pro several times to ensure that you are all on the same page.
  • Ask your planner to recommend a caterer if your venue doesn't provide one.
  • Choose a dress, suit and other wedding attire. You and the bridal party may require several fittings before the big day.
  • Register for gifts with your partner. Be sure to leave your guests plenty of time to choose a wedding gift from a range of retailers.
6 months before: Invites and bites
  • Once you have a date, the venues and the guest list your planner can confidently send out invitations to all of your guests.
  • Select a cake. Make sure that you visit several bakers and request tastings. Have your planner attend the tastings to take notes.
2–4 months before: Finalize everything
  • At this point, it's time for your planner to send your schedules to the venues.
  • Answer any questions your vendors or your venues may have.
  • Get a sense of headcount based on RSVPs

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