Basic Ceremony Planning Timeline

Simple Steps to Your Perfect Day!

Simple steps to Your Perfect Day!

The engagement was perfect: romance, wonder, laughter, tears and one gorgeous little band of gold. It had been everything you’d envisioned, and everything your partner had longed for it to be.

And now the pressure’s really on – Can the moment be topped?  Can the two of you pull together the seemingly endless details necessary to create your Dream Wedding Day?

Take a few deep breaths and read on:  We’ll help to get you started with the basics…   and see you through all the way to the honeymoon!

Remember, every big project is made up of many smaller steps, taken one at a time.  When the ceremony preparations feel overwhelming, keep this in mind.

Also, planning details and schedules are, for most couples, vital.  Whether you’re the type who makes notes on your smartphone, on the calendar on the fridge, or whether you go out and purchase a novel-sized official ‘Wedding Planner…’ do what it takes to keep yourselves organized.

But First… What’s the utmost important factor that all magnificent ceremonies are built upon??  Communication.  Talk with your fiancee (yes, you’re engaged now!), talk, talk and talk some more.

At first, and for a few weeks, when you’ve both decided you’re really serious about getting started, just let yourselves indulge and brainstorm and listen to each other.  Hold back from calling that caterer or running down referrals from friends.  Out at dinner, snuggling in bed, through email at work… find a variety of times and places to share your ideas and just simply talk.

When you were a child, did you dream of Your Wedding Day?  What was it like?

If we had no budget limit, what crazy and exciting additions would we indulge in for our ceremony?  our honeymoon?

What are some ideas you’ve seen or heard about at other couples’ weddings, that you really thought where incredible?  Think of decorative ideas, favors or particular ceremonial aspects that were truly inspiring.

Rate the facets of the wedding, in order of importance to you:  the spiritual aspects, rituals, music, gathering the family, honoring your commitment with your partner, the party…

As you chat, take notes, prioritize… and take another deep breath:  You are already on your way to planning Your Dream Ceremony!


  24 ms – 12 ms prior to Your Wedding Day


•         Set Date!

•         Create working Budget

•         Reserve ceremony and reception sites; interview other top-priority vendors (DJ, Musicians, Officiant, Photographer, Videographer)

•         Select Event Coordinator (most offer a la carte services – it’s worth considering for peace of mind!)

•         Begin Guest List

•         Research seasonal restrictions regarding butterfly or dove releases

•         Engagement Photos!

•         Destination Wedding?  Send out Save-the-Date cards!


  12 ms – 6 ms prior


•         Refine Budget

•         Meet and set pre-counseling sessions with Officiant

•         Create your wedding webpage

•         Register for gifts

•         Pre-plan for Honeymoon (and consider a Honeymoon Registry)

•         Fitness Plan

•         Set appointment with Lawyer; research Marital Laws in your state

•         If customizing, pick out and order Rings

•         Explore options for guest accommodations

•         Select Invitations


  6 ms – 4 ms prior


•         Order Invitations & Stationery

•         Send out save-the-date cards & options for out-of-towners’ accommodations

(if using email e-vites, be sure to look for definite confirmation of receipt!)

•         Have fun beginning to plan Honeymoon and Shower/s

•         Finalize arrangements with chosen Vendors, Rental Companies, etc.

•         Begin composing original Music or choosing music selections

•         If you haven’t yet done so, select your Wedding Rings

•         Apply for passports; reserve honeymoon travel tickets, etc.

•         Consider a personalized caketopper (these still can be hard to find for LGBTQ couples, so plan ahead!)


10 wks – 6 wks prior


•           Mail Invitations

•           Create Vows

•           Plan / make Favors and additional Decorations

•           Final Ceremony overview with Officiant

•           Finalize Passports & other documents

•           Fashion & Ceremony Accessories (guest book, goblets, etc.)

•           Engagement Announcement to news outlets


One month prior


•           Final Fittings, Beauty & Style Appts

•           Shower/s!

•           Purchase Attendant & Officiant thank-you gifts

•           Confirm Reservations – remember out of town Guests

•           Pick up Rings

•           Prepare any Toasts / Speeches / Thank-you’s

•           Plan Seating Arrangements and Name Cards

•           Shop for Honeymoon – surprise your sweetie!

•           Pre-pay Officiant and other Vendors to avoid carrying checkbook on Your Day




•           Rehearsal & Dinner

•           Remember just-in-case supplies:  sewing kit, aspirin, tissues, extra cosmetics & hosiery,

crackers or granola bar, important phone numbers

•           Keep Honeymoon Itinerary handy

•           Bring the Rings!

•           Eat, Drink and Be Merry!  CONGRATS!