Planning a Wedding Timeline - Calendar

The Debrett’s Wedding Planning Timeline

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Getting married and don’t know where to start? This will help.

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Struggling with your wedding planning timeline? Whether you’re a natural forward-planner or prefer a last-minute approach, Debrett’s Associate Director, Lucy Hume gives some useful deadlines to work towards (allowing for a year-long engagement)…

The Best Wedding Planners, Florists, Photographers & More

The Wedding Planning Timeline

9-12 Months Before

  • Set the wedding date and a budget.
  • Choose your wedding team and organise responsibilities for family members.
  • Choose and book venues for wedding and reception.
  • Purchase wedding insurance.

6-9 Months Before

  • Obtain a licence or marriage certificate
  • Decide on music and readings
  • Choose the caterers and see a wine merchant about wine and champagne.
  • Order the wedding cake.
  • Register for a wedding list.
  • Choose flowers.
  • Finalise the guestlist.
  • Design and order the invitations.
  • Book transport.
  • Book accommodation.
  • Book the honeymoon and time off work.
  • Buy the wedding dress.

3-6 Months Before

  • Send out save the date cards (if you’re using them).
  • Hire or buy outfits for the wedding party.
  • Choose, buy and insure wedding rings.
  • Design and print orders of service.

1-3 Months Before

  • Send out the wedding invitations.
  • Meet hair and make-up stylists to decide on a style for the bride and bridesmaids.
  • Have final dress fittings for the bride and bridesmaids.
  • Pick up wedding rings and have engagement ring cleaned or polished.
  • Make a note of favourite songs for the DJ or band and choose a first dance song
  • Hold the hen and stag parties.

1 Week Before

  • Practise putting on the wedding dress.
  • Reconfirm all details with suppliers and staff involved on the day, including cakes, flowers, photographs, hair and make-up stylists.
  • Make a list of telephone numbers in case of any emergencies on the day.
  • Chase last-minute RSVPs.
  • Draw up the final seating plan, making extra copies for the caterer, photographer and best man.
  • Make place cards and give them to the caterers laying the tables
  • Confirm final numbers, dietary requirements and special requests with the caterers.
  • Reconfirm all transport arrangements.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast; make provision for extreme conditions, for example extra umbrellas or bottles of water.
  • Pack and organise luggage for the honeymoon.
  • Draw up a list of important family and friends for the photographer, with a copy for the best man.
  • Brief the best man and chief bridesmaid on any final logistics and last minute duties.

On the Day

Relax, take a deep breath – and enjoy!

Find out absolutely everything you need to know about planning a wedding with the Debrett’s Wedding Handbook new edition, £35. 

READ MORE: Best Wedding Dress Designers / Debrett’s Guide to a Modern Wedding