UPDATE: Virginia's Blue Ridge is Now Open in Phase Three

Virginia's Blue Ridge is now open in the Phase Three stage of the Commonwealth's Forward Virginia plan. Learn more about the program and what it means for various types of businesses & experiences in the region with our Phase Three Guidelines page. Phase Three >

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Wedding Planning Calendar

To help you prepare for your wedding, we've scoured different websites, guides and resources to put together this 12-month wedding planning calendar.

It will assist you in taking care of all the details leading up to your big day!

12 months prior

  • Create a budget.
  • Find the people who will help you plan your wedding. This might include a professional wedding planner or consultant.
  • Select possible dates & times. Begin checking with potential venues and important guests about a possible date.
  • Begin putting together the guest list.
  • Select your ceremony and reception sites.
  • Ask the people you want to be in your wedding party.

8-10 months prior

  • Shop for and select your gown.
  • Begin brainstorming for the menu for your reception.
  • Consider possible entertainment options - DJ, band, pianist, etc.
  • Start to think about options for floral arrangements.
  • Meet with and book the wedding professionals you'd like to use - photographer, videographer, band, florist, etc.
  • Research and reserve lodging for out-of-town guests.
  • Create a gift registry.
  • Contact rental companies to make arrangements for rentals you might need, such as tents, chairs, tables, etc.

6-8 months prior

  • Book musicians if you plan on having any perform as part of the ceremony.
  • Select bridesmaid dresses.
  • Begin planning your honeymoon.
  • Send save-the-date cards, which is of particular importance for a destination wedding.

4-6 months prior

3 months prior

  • If you want wedding invitations professionally addressed, hire a calligrapher.
  • Rent the men's formalwear for the groom and groomsmen.
  • Hire transportation for your wedding day - limousines and other car services.

2 months prior

  • Mail your invitations.
  • If you're planning to write your own vows, begin working on them.
  • Purchase gifts for parents and your wedding party.
  • Book the stylist and make-up artist. Consider trying out different options and looks.

1 month prior

  • Apply for your marriage license.
  • Have your final gown fitting and learn how to bustle your dress.
  • Check with bridesmaids to make sure their gowns look and fit well.
  • Create your wedding program.

2 weeks prior

  • Review RSVP lists and contact any guests who haven't responded.
  • Deliver shot lists to photographer and/or videographer. Include list of who you'll want in portrait shots and when they should be taken.
  • Deliver song list to band or DJ. Also include a "Do Not Play" list.
  • Get your final haircut.

1 week prior

  • Provide a final headcount to your caterer and reception venue. For the meal, don't forget to include vendors who could be expecting a meal, such as photographers or DJs. Check with the caterer about how many extra places will be prepared.
  • Check with vendors about any special requests or set-up requirements that need to be coordinated with the venue.
  • Create the seating chart for the reception, if desired.
  • Print table cards for the reception.
  • Confirm plans and arrangements with all vendors and make sure all delivery has been scheduled with the venue. Keep contact information for all involved parties.
  • Attend bachelor/bachelorette parties.

2-3 days prior

  • Have gown pressed/steamed.
  • Final fitting and pickup formal wear for groom and all groomsmen.
  • Select positions and order of processional and recessional for the wedding party.
  • Provide table cards, menus, favors, and any other items included in the setting to the venue and/or caterer.
  • Arrange pick-up times with the transportation company.
  • Check on out-of-town guests who may need assistance with transportation.

1 day prior

  • Provide emergency contact info to all vendors.
  • Arrange payment for all bills and balances due at the end of the reception.
  • Rehearsal Ceremony - include wedding party and all involved with the reception to work through the details of the ceremony. Bring any needed accessories (such as a unity candle) to the site.
  • Provide marriage license to the wedding officiant.
  • Attend your rehearsal dinner.
  • Give gifts to the members of your wedding party.

Wedding Day

  • Present gifts to parents and your soon-to-be spouse.
  • Give wedding bands to your best man and maid/matron of honor, who will hold them during the ceremony.
  • Assign a family member or member of your wedding party to be the photographer's contact so that he/she knows who is who.

After the Wedding

  • Select someone to be in charge of returning any rentals.
  • Have the time of your life on your honeymoon!
  • Write and send thank-you notes.
Roanoke Valley Spotlight

Begin planning your Blue Ridge wedding day!