While intimidating, wedding planning can be a thrilling experience. With so many aspects to consider, it is easy to become overwhelmed. But don’t worry, Well-Dressed Events has you covered! This comprehensive wedding planning timeline will guide you through every step of your journey, from the moment you say “yes” to the big day itself.

Before you dive in, remember every wedding is different and timelines may change. From location to time of year and venue, some of these elements will shift from month to month in your planning process. While this is a great guide, we recommend consulting with a wedding planner to get a customized checklist for you to make sure you’re always on track!

Wedding Planning Timeline

  • Start with a Vision: Begin by imagining your perfect wedding day. Do you see a grand ballroom filled with hundreds of guests, or a more intimate gathering in a garden? Your vision will guide every decision you make, from the venue to the vendors.
  • Budgeting: Discuss your budget early on. This will help you prioritize your spending and avoid any financial stress later on.
  • Choose Your Date: Now’s the time to decide on a date for your big day. Consider factors like work schedules, holidays, and even the weather in New Jersey.
  • Guest List: Start drafting your guest list. Remember, more guests mean a bigger budget.
  • Hire a Wedding Planner: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a wedding planner. They can help coordinate all the details and ensure everything runs smoothly.
  • Venue Selection: Start researching venues in New Jersey. Keep in mind your vision, guest count, and budget. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, schedule tours and book your favorite.
  • Wedding Party: Decide who you want by your side on your big day and ask them to be part of your wedding party.
  • Start Your Wedding Registry: Begin compiling a list of gifts you’d like to receive. This is also a great time to set up your wedding website.

12 - 24 Months Out: The Early Bird Gets the Worm
  • Research: In these early stages, let your imagination soar as you envision your ideal wedding day. Dive into the world of bridal magazines, Pinterest boards, and wedding blogs for inspiration. Start researching and meeting with potential vendors. This includes photographers, caterers, florists, and DJs. Remember to review their portfolios and references before making a decision.
  • Book Your Vendors: Once you’ve found your perfect match, it’s time to book your vendors. Remember, the best ones get booked up quickly, so don’t delay!
  • Wedding Dress Shopping: Start shopping for your wedding dress. This process can take time, especially if you’re having your dress custom-made or altered.
  • Send Save-the-Dates: Now that you have your date and venue, you can send out save-the-dates to give your guests plenty of time to plan.
  • Plan the Honeymoon: Start thinking about your honeymoon. Whether you’re dreaming of a beach getaway or an adventure trip, now’s the time to start planning.
  • Health and Fitness: If you have specific health or fitness goals for your wedding, now is a good time to start working towards them.

10 - 12 Months Out: Getting into the Details

  • Final Vendor Confirmations: Make final confirmations with your vendors. Ensure they have the correct date, time, and location.
  • Pack for Wedding Night: Pack a bag for your wedding night and ensure you have everything you need for the next day.
  • Delegate Last-Minute Tasks: Assign any last-minute tasks to your wedding party or family members. This could include picking up guests from the airport or setting up the reception area.
  • Prepare for Rehearsal Dinner: Finalize the guest list and confirm the reservation for your rehearsal dinner.
  • Relax and Pamper Yourself: Book a spa day or take some time to relax and unwind before the big day.
  • Check Weather Forecast: Keep an eye on the weather forecast and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Send Timeline to Wedding Party: Make sure your wedding party has the timeline for the day of the wedding.

1 Week Out: The Final Preparations
  • Final Fittings: Have your final dress and suit fittings. Make sure everything fits perfectly and is comfortable.
  • Confirm Times: Confirm the arrival times for all vendors. Ensure that they have an accurate date and location.
  • Pick Up Marriage License: Pick up your marriage license and keep it in a safe place.
  • Delegate Small Tasks: Assign small day-of tasks to your wedding party or family members. This could include tasks like handing out boutonnieres or welcoming vendors.
  • Break in Your Shoes: Start wearing your wedding shoes around the house. This will help prevent any discomfort or blisters on the big day.
  • Prepare Payments: Organize payments for vendors. Consider putting them in labeled envelopes for easy distribution.
  • Pack for Wedding: Start packing for your wedding. Don’t forget essentials like your dress, rings, and marriage license.

2 Weeks Out: Almost There

  • Confirm RSVPs: Check in on any missing RSVPs and finalize your guest list.
  • Finalize Details: Review all the details with your vendors and venue. Make sure they have a copy of your day-of timeline.
  • Pick Up Wedding Bands: Make sure your wedding bands are ready and stored in a safe place.
  • Pack for Honeymoon: Start packing for your honeymoon. Don’t forget essentials like passports, tickets, and any necessary vaccinations.
  • Create a Day-Of Emergency Kit: Pack an emergency kit with items like safety pins, stain remover, Band-Aids, and a sewing kit.
  • Send Thank-You Notes: Begin writing thank-you notes for gifts as they arrive.
  • Enjoy a Bridal Spa Day: Take a day to relax and pamper yourself. You deserve it!

1 Month Out: The Final Countdown

  • Send Out Timelines: Create a day-of timeline and send it out to your vendors, wedding party, and anyone else who needs to be in the know.
  • Finalize Seating Chart: Once all your RSVPs are in, you can finalize your seating chart.
  • Purchase Accessories: Buy any remaining accessories for your wedding day, such as shoes, jewelry, and lingerie.
  • Confirm Delivery Details: Confirm delivery times and locations with all of your vendors.
  • Apply for Marriage License: Check the requirements in your state and apply for your marriage license.
  • Finalize Vows and Toasts: If you’re writing your own vows or if speeches will be given at your reception, now’s the time to finalize them.
  • Have a Final Venue Walkthrough: Schedule a final walkthrough of your venue with your planner or coordinator to iron out any last-minute details.

2 Months Out: Crunch Time
  • Finalize Menu: Confirm your menu choices with your caterer. Don’t forget to consider dietary restrictions of your guests.
  • Order Favors: If you’re planning to give out wedding favors, now’s the time to order them.
  • Hair and Makeup Trials: Schedule trials with your hair stylist and makeup artist to ensure you’re happy with your wedding day look.
  • Finalize Readings: Confirm who will be doing readings at your ceremony and give them plenty of time to prepare.
  • Send out Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: Now that you’ve got your RSVPs back, you can finalize the guest list for your rehearsal dinner and send out invitations.
  • Final Dress Fitting: Schedule your final dress fitting. Remember to bring your shoes, undergarments, and accessories.
  • Confirm Vendors: Touch base with all your vendors to confirm details and make any necessary last-minute changes.

3 Months Out: The Final Stretch
  • Book Transportation: Now’s the time to arrange transportation for your wedding day. This could include a limo for the bridal party and shuttle buses for guests.
  • Plan Music: Meet with your DJ or band to discuss the music for your ceremony and reception. Don’t forget to think about your first dance!
  • Purchase Wedding Bands: Start shopping for your wedding bands. This gives you plenty of time for resizing or custom orders.
  • Schedule Dress Fittings: Schedule your first dress fitting to ensure your wedding dress fits perfectly. Remember to bring your shoes and undergarments to the fitting.
  • Plan Your Rehearsal Dinner: Start planning your rehearsal dinner. This includes choosing a venue, setting a date, and creating a guest list.
  • Send Invitations: It’s time to send out your wedding invitations. Remember to include RSVP cards and pre-addressed, stamped envelopes to make it easy for your guests to respond.
  • Start Planning Your Ceremony: Begin thinking about the details of your ceremony, such as readings and who you want to include.

6 - 7 Months Out: Halfway There
  • Finalize Guest List: By now, you should have a clear idea of who you want to share your special day with. Finalize your guest list and start gathering addresses.
  • Order Invitations: It’s time to order your wedding invitations. Remember to order several extras just in case.
  • Book Accommodations: If you have guests traveling from out of town, arrange accommodations for them. Consider reserving a block of hotel rooms.
  • Plan Menu: Meet with your caterer to discuss menu options. Consider doing a tasting to ensure the food is just right.
  • Order the Cake: Start meeting with bakers and tasting cake samples. Once you’ve found the perfect cake, place your order.
  • Choose Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Coordinate with your bridesmaids to choose their dresses. Remember to consider their budgets and preferences.
  • Register for Gifts: If you haven’t already, register for gifts. This will make it easier for your guests to choose something you’ll love.

8 - 9 Months Out: The Countdown Begins
The day you’ve been dreaming of is finally here - your wedding day. This is the culmination of months, sometimes even years, of meticulous planning, careful coordination, and anticipation.

  • Rise and Shine: Wake up early and start your day with a light breakfast. This is not just any ordinary day; it’s your wedding day! It’s essential to fuel your body for the big day ahead.
  • Mid-Morning: This is the time for you and your bridal party to get ready.
  • Afternoon: Arrival at the Venue You, your partner, and the wedding party should arrive at the venue early. This allows time for any last-minute preparations or adjustments. Give the wedding bands to the maid of honor and best man ahead of the ceremony.
  • The Ceremony: The moment everyone has been waiting for - the wedding ceremony. This is when you and your partner exchange vows and officially become a married couple.
  • The Reception: After the ceremony, it’s time to celebrate at the reception. Capture candid moments and cherish memories.
  • Farewell: As the night comes to a close, bid your guests farewell and thank them for celebrating this special day with you.

WEDDING DAY: The Moment You've Been Waiting For!

  • Rehearsal Dinner: Host the rehearsal dinner. This is a great opportunity to relax and enjoy time with your closest friends and family before the big day.
  • Prepare Your Items: Gather everything you’ll need for the wedding day. This includes your dress, shoes, accessories, vows, and rings.
  • Early Night: Try to have an early night. Tomorrow is going to be a big day, and you’ll want to be well-rested.
  • Self-Care: Take some time for yourself. This could be a relaxing bath, reading a book, or meditating. It's imperative to be calm and focused.
  • Check-In With Vendors: Do a final check-in with your vendors. Make sure everyone is clear about their roles and responsibilities for the next day.

Remember, it’s normal to feel a mix of emotions the night before your wedding. Try to stay calm, get a good night’s sleep, and look forward to the excitement of the day to come.

Wedding Eve: The Day before the Big Day
As the day draws to a close and you bid farewell to your guests, take a moment to reflect on the incredible journey that has brought you to this point. Remember the love, laughter, and joy that have filled your wedding day, and carry those memories with you as you embark on the adventure of marriage. With love, laughter, and a lifetime of happiness ahead, may your wedding day be just the beginning of a beautiful journey together.

Remember, wedding preparation is an endurance race, not a sprint!

Take your time to enjoy this special period.

Free Stuff

Here's what you can really expect to spend on your New Jersey Wedding.

To help you on your budgeting journey, we put together a free guide to understanding the cost of New Jersey weddings and wedding vendors, straight from real-life experience with our wedding couples! 




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