If you don’t have the luxury of a long engagement, it doesn’t mean your wedding will be any less magical.
After just a quick Google search, you will have noticed that the average timeline for a wedding checklist is more than 6 months. In fact, it’s typically at least double that. But, just because the lead up to your big day doesn’t fit into the traditional schedule, there’s no reason why your celebration should feel different from any other. You just might have to work a little faster, that’s all!
One of the major benefits of having a shorter wedding planning checklist is that there’s no waiting around on your timeline. It’s all action. No chance for second guessing, worrying, or self-doubt. You simply make a decision together, finish the task and move onto the next. Before you know it, you’ll be standing at the altar saying your vows!
Wedding Planning Checklist for a 6 Months Timeline
If you’re worried about what your next few months of wedding planning will be like, don’t panic. We’ve condensed our tried and tested wedding planning timeline down to a fun-filled 6 months checklist. Ideal for those not rich in time, but ready to plan the best wedding ever!6 Months Before the Wedding
Decide on Budget
No matter the timeline of a wedding, every planning checklist should start with the budget. Working out how much you can afford, and want to spend on this celebration, will dictate every further decision you make.
Research Wedding Themes & Vendors
This step comes hand in hand with setting a wedding budget. As for most couples, it’s hard to know just how much to set aside, if you don’t know the cost of certain things.
Research the key vendors you’ll need to book early in the timeline, such as venue, photographer, music, dress – and create a rough estimate of each cost.
Aside from calculating a budget, you’ll need to confidently research wedding themes and figure out quickly the type of celebration style you desire. But don’t worry if you can’t decide on something straight away, as your venue choice may well dictate your theme.
Choose a Wedding Venue
Wedding venues often get booked up well in advance, typically around a year in peak season. Which means if you have your heart set on a particular space, you may need to consider marrying on a weekday to secure that venue.
Alternatively, you could opt for a non-traditional wedding venue such as a restaurant, gallery, brewery, or even a friend or family member’s house/backyard.
Book Critical Vendors
Much like venues, the most sought after photographers, florists, musicians, officiants etc. get booked up well in advance. Don’t delay in booking the people who could make or break your big day.
Order Your Wedding Dress
On a traditional wedding checklist timeline, the 6 months mark is typically when you would be ordering your wedding dress. As most custom bridal gowns take months to be made, and then still need to be altered to fit correctly.
If you want a dress created especially for you, but you are short on time, you may be able to pay a rush fee on top of the cost of the dress. If you’d rather a more cost-effective solution, maybe consider a dress off the rack, or a non-bridal gown. After a bit of customization, and a few alterations by a talented seamstress, you’ll feel like you’re wearing a bespoke piece.
Create a Wedding Website
Considering how short your wedding timeline is, this task should certainly feature on your checklist. As you’ll need to update guests rapidly with news about your celebration.
A free wedding website maker, such as ours, allows you to quickly and easily create a site that reflects your big day style, while also hosting all the information your loved ones will need.
Decide on Your Guest List
You will not be able to accurately choose a wedding venue, or create a budget, without deciding on the number of guests you would like to invite. Of course, you can’t be expected to have a final guest list on day one of wedding planning. But you should at least be able to formulate a preliminary list.
When considering the number of guests you’re going to invite, think first about your budget and the vibe you want your big day to have. For example, a wedding with hundreds of guests will be costly, traditionally, and will certainly feel less personal, and intimate than a smaller celebration.5 Months Until the Wedding
Choose Your Wedding Party
Not only will you need lots of help to get certain parts of this wedding checklist done within a 6 months timeline. But you’ll also need to order bridesmaids dresses, and suits. Which, do not typically take as long as bridal gowns to arrive, but can still take time.
If the options for ordering are looking a little tight, time-wise, consider renting or buying nontraditional bridesmaids dresses. You’ll certainly save money taking either of these paths, and your timeline won’t be affected.
Send Save the Dates
If you’d like to stick with tradition, then now’s the time to send your save-the-dates. And while you’re organizing these with your stationer, we’d suggest getting the ball rolling on your wedding invitations too.4 Months Until the Wedding
Book All Other Vendors
If there are any wedding vendors left on your checklist, now’s the point in your timeline to book them. Stylists, makeup artists, wedding cars, entertainment. Any vendor you didn’t deem pivotal one month ago, need to be hired now.
Order or Purchase Your Wedding Rings
Wedding rings/bands do not typically take as long to order as an engagement ring, but they still take time, up to 90 days in some cases.
Shop for Wedding Decor
Considering your 6-month wedding window, it will be challenging to DIY the bulk of your wedding decor. Meaning items such as favors, centerpieces, welcome signs etc will all probably need to be ordered, or bought.
Don’t leave choosing and purchasing decor to the last minute as you’ll only cause yourself undue stress, and likely end up with a look that doesn’t match your fantasy.
Book Your Honeymoon
After this super busy 6 months of wedding planning, you deserve a fantastic vacation! Be sure to put time aside to plan your dream honeymoon, as this time spent away together is just as important as the big day itself.3 Months Until the Wedding
Decide on Your Wedding Menu & Cake
What do most guests remember about a wedding? The food. Therefore, it pays to get it right.
This task on the wedding checklist is typically one of the most enjoyable on the timeline, for obvious reasons! But it is essential to decide on a menu that not only you like, but that also reflects the day. While also satisfying your loved ones… Just remember, you can’t please everyone.
The type of cake you choose should have more to do with your personal preference than the menu, as it’s your wedding cake! These days, most couples serve a separate dessert as part of the wedding menu anyway. Meaning you don’t have to try to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth with your cake choice.
Send Wedding Invitations
If you’re marrying abroad, it’s vital you send your wedding invitations out now. As guests will need at least 2 months to prepare for the trip. For local weddings, between 2–3 months should be enough time.2 Months Until the Wedding
Enjoy Pre-Wedding Celebrations
It’s a good idea to schedule your bachelorette/bachelor/hen party/stag do and bridal shower for a date maybe a month or so before the big day. Just in case there are any injuries during celebrations! Plus, you’ll probably be able to relax more if your wedding is not right around the corner.
Have Your Hair & Makeup Trial
Be sure about your big day look well before the wedding, by going through ideas and trying out styles with your hair and makeup artist. If you’re having an engagement shoot, then perhaps move this part of the wedding checklist up in the timeline, and schedule them both for the same day. That way you’ll have a professionally put together look for your photos!
Sort Out Wedding Related Paperwork
Depending on where you are in the world, there will be certain admin that has to be done before you can officially tie the knot. Be sure to do your research and get all of this organized ahead of time to avoid any last minute headaches.1 Month Until the Wedding
Finalize the Seating Chart
At this stage of the wedding checklist and timeline, you should have all the RSVPs back. There will, of course, be guests who don’t send their response on time, and they will have to be chased up. But by now the majority will have confirmed.
Your seating chart will be needed by the caterer, and possibly, your planner/coordinator too. They’ll need a map that is clear, easy to read and understood. Which is why using an online seating chart maker, such as ours, is the best option. Effortless to create, free and straightforward to forward onto vendors.
Check in with Vendors
It’s good practice to get in touch with all of your vendors in the lead up to the event, just to confirm everything is good. Share your timeline with them, and any contact details they’ll need on the day while also making sure any special requests you made are in hand.
Explore additional pertinent subjects that are interconnected with the checklist
The online Wedding Planning Assistant features an extensive suite of professional tools and checklists meticulously curated to help you organize your celebration.
We offer an international wedding planner service, open to all. Soon we hope to make our software available in all languages, so far, we have created versions for these languages: