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The Best Timeline For a Year-Long Engagement

If you’re newly engaged, we know it seems impossible to stop staring at the sparkler on your ring finger and that you find yourself blushing every time you get to use the word “fiancé.”

The first few days and weeks of being engaged are a beautiful blur. You know you should get to planning but aren’t exactly sure when or how. Don’t believe the naysayers.

With a timeline in place, wedding planning should be fun and joyous, not stressful.

The wedding timeline below is based on a one-year engagement. Happy planning!


12 Months

First, celebrate!
Plan out a budget.
Hire a planner or select a team of helpers.
Decide on a date.
Tour venues.
Book ceremony and reception venues.
Choose bridal party.
Start planning your guest list.

8-10 Months

Shop for the dress.
Research, interview and book your vendors: photographer, food/beverage, entertainment, florist, etc.
Research and reserve hotels for wedding party and guests.
Book rental companies: chairs, tables, tents, décor, lighting, etc.
Send out save the dates.
Make your wedding website.

6-8 Months

Order bridal party attire.
Select your officiant.
Plan the honeymoon.
Book a baker for the wedding cake.
Book an engagement shoot with your photographer.
Set up your registry.

4-6 Months

Shop for and order invitations.
Book your hairstylist and makeup artists then do a trial.
Shop for additional formal wear — shoes, jewelry, veil, etc.
Renew or get passports, if needed.
Finalize menu.
Book rehearsal dinner.

3 Months

Have a wedding shower.
Hire transportation, if needed.
Purchase the rings.

2 Months

Mail invitations.
Apply for your marriage license.
Begin writing your vows.
Purchase gifts for partner and wedding party.

1 Month

Get name-change documents.
Have your final dress fitting.
Make sure all wedding party outfits are fitted.
Send must-have shots to the photographer.
Deliver song list to DJ or band.
Create a wedding program.
Make wedding guest baskets.
Have bachelorette/bachelor parties.

2-3 Weeks

Review all RSVPs. Call anyone missing RSVP.
Plan the final seating chart.

1 Week

Give final guest count to vendors.
Supply venue with vendor requests.
Determine wedding party positions.
Confirm arrival/departure times with vendors.
Set aside vendor checks.
Pack for the honeymoon.
Sometime during the week get spray tan, manicure, pedicure, etc.

Day Before

Provide emergency contact number to vendors (this should be a family member or friend in attendance — not you!)
Settle vendor balances.
Have rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
Give your marriage license to the officiant.
Give the wedding bands to the best man and maid of honor.

Day Of

Have the best day of your life!

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