First look for the bride and groom - Bellwether Events


Wedding PlanninG



I’ve put together this at-home wedding planning timeline to help make sure that you don’t miss any important steps, which could lead to you missing out on something great. I know how exciting being newly engaged and diving into wedding planning can be. But while you start building a Pinterest board, there are some other things you should work right away.

Getting Started…

    1. Set your guest list and budget. Then set the date, or decide on the range of dates that you are looking at. Hire a wedding planner if desired.
    2. Procure proposals and hire a tent company, revise the budget if needed.
    3. Hire a photographer and entertainment. Then hire a caterer and florist.
    4. Hire more vendors: lighting professional, invitation designer, calligrapher, hair and make-up artists, cake baker, videographer, valet/transportation.

Less than One Year to the big day…

    • 6 – 9 months out: Select wedding day attire for the entire wedding party.
    • 5 – 7 months out: Finalize your guest list and collect all mailing addresses.
    • 4 – 6 months out: Send out save-the-dates if so desired.
    • 2 months out: Have your catering tasting, do a final walkthrough at the home with all the major vendors (tent, catering, lighting, florist, at least).
    • 8 weeks out: Mail the invitations to the wedding and the rehearsal dinner.

One Month Left…

    • 30 days out: Apply for all the permits you may need for your event and obtain your marriage license. Finalize your floor plan and review all vendor contracts to see if changes need to be made (such as the number of table centerpieces needed). Send song requests/choices to entertainment, and send your family portrait list to your photographer. Meet with your seamstress for your dress fitting.
    • 14 days out: Give your minimum headcount to your caterer. Send wedding day timeline to vendors. Start work on ceremony programs, escort cards, and menu cards.
    • 10 days out: Decide on your final tent plan. Confirm all rentals and installations with your vendors.

One Week Left…

    • 7 – 8 days out: Have underground lines marked before the staking/digging begins.
    • 4 – 6 days out: Installation will begin on your floor; give your final headcount to your caterer.
    • 2 days out: Installation will begin on your tents. Deliver welcome bags to hotels. Get a mani/pedi.
    • 1 day before: Make final adjustments to your plan based on the forecast, rehearse your ceremony.

sample at-home wedding planning timeline infographic

I hope you found this at-home wedding planning timeline helpful. Want more help? Check out our sample at-home wedding budget breakdown.

You can check out our daily blog if you would like even more information about weddings in the DC area.