Congratulations Miss Soon-to-be-Mrs! There aren’t many moments in life as exciting as getting engaged. However, sometimes so much excitement can seem a little (or extremely) overwhelming. From setting a date, to picking a venue, to even trying to figure out what song to have your first dance to, there are so many decisions to make in seemingly so little time.

No worries! Happy H Ranch has seen weddings of all shapes and sizes and knows exactly what you need to have the wedding of your dreams! We created the Happy H Wedding Planning Timeline Checklist so you won’t miss a thing!

12 Months Before

First thing’s first, make a budget

Some things to keep in mind are what kind of wedding you are wanting, how many people to invite, who is chipping into the budget, and what are some of the “must-haves” at your wedding

Book your officiant

Pick your wedding party

Set the date and book the venue  

Start planning the guest list

Optional: Throw an engagement party

8-12 Months Before

Think about everything you are renting (chairs, sound equipment, tables, etc.) and check with your venue see if it provide these things as part of their wedding package

Book your wedding professionals

Consider a wedding insurance policy to protect your deposits

Register for gifts

Research and book accommodations for out-of-town guests

Say yes to the dress!

6-8 Months Before

Arrange transportation

Meet with officiant

Order bridesmaids dresses

Reserve rentals, as needed

Send save-the-date cards

Start planning honeymoon

Start planning day-of timeline

4-6 Months Before

Begin dress fittings

Purchase formal wear

Purchase wedding rings

Purchase wedding shoes

Schedule hair and makeup artist(s)

Send guest list to your bridal shower host

Optional: Attend pre-wedding counseling

Optional: Renew or get passports

3 Months Before

Break in wedding shoes

Confirm honeymoon details

Finalize menu and flowers

Make a list of people giving the toast

Order favors for important guests, parents, each other, etc.

Send event schedule to vendors

Write your vows

Optional: Begin teeth-whitening treatment now

Optional: If you are wanting a faux glow, experiment with tanners now

2 Months Before

Confirm final must-have shot list with photographer and videographer

Follow up and confirm with entertainment, hair, makeup, vendors, videos, etc.

Have second dress fitting.

Take bridal photos

Optional: Enjoy a bachelor/ette party

Optional: Submit a newspaper wedding announcement

One Month Before

Apply for marriage license

Assign seating

Call bridesmaids and make sure their dresses are ready

Create a wedding program

Follow up with people giving the toasts

Enter RSVPs into guest-list database

Have final gown fitting

Mail rehearsal-dinner invitations

Send as many final payments as possible

Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts to present at rehearsal dinner

Optional: Stock the bar

Two Weeks Before

Book a spa treatment (manicure, pedicure, possibly a massage) the day before the wedding

Get your last pre-wedding haircut and color

Review final guest list and call anyone who has not yet responded

Review final playlist with the DJ or bandleader.

Finalize and send wedding day timeline to bridal party

Send the final guest list to the caterer and venues

One Week Before

Delegate small wedding-day tasks

Follow up one last time with photographer and videographer

Get any waxing done, if necessary

Get your last facial done

Give venue a schedule of vendor delivery and setup times along with contact information

Groom: Get your last pre-wedding haircut

Groom: Go for final fitting and pick up formalwear

Groom: Ask best man to make sure groomsmen pick up their formalwear

Pack for honeymoon

Reconfirm with all wedding professionals

Supply location manager with vendor requests such as setup space for the DJ or florist

Optional: Attend bachelor/ette parties

Optional: Have a deep-conditioning hair treatment done

2-3 Days Before

Confirm transportation times and locations

Determine wedding party positions for ceremony and reception

Groom: Attend final fitting and pick up formal wear

Groom: Check with groomsmen that everyone has attended their fittings and picked up their formalwear

Optional: Have dress pressed or steamed

Day Before

Confirm that all final balances are paid

Attend your spa treatment appointment

Give wedding professionals an emergency contact number for the day of the wedding

Night Before

Attend your rehearsal dinner

Bring ceremony accessories to the venue

Confirm that your officiant has your marriage certificate

Present rehearsal dinner guests’ gifts

Day of

Assign a trusted attendant to be the photographer’s contact if he/she has any questions about who’s who and the pictures he/she is taking

Give wedding bands to the best man and maid of honor to hold during the ceremony


Assign wedding party to take the bride’s gown for cleaning and return the groom’s tux to the rental shop, if necessary

Delegate someone to return any rentals

Write and send thank-you cards to wedding guests and vendors.


Whew! There’s a lot that goes into a wedding from the looks of this checklist. Fortunately, Happy H Ranch provides services to meet virtually any of your wedding needs. Happy H Ranch not only has beautiful wedding venues, onsite venue management and clean-up services, but we can also provide recommendation lists of the best vendors and rental companies for your big day. With these vendors, we are their point of contact, so you can just sit back and enjoy one of the most memorable days of your life. We also work with you or your event planner on every detail to ensure that your wedding day will be everything you dreamed it would be. 

Getting married can seem like one giant to-do list, but with Happy H Ranch, we make your engagement a smooth journey to your happily ever after.