6 Month Wedding Checklist: Plan A Wedding In 6 Months Or Less
This 6 month wedding checklist will help make sure that all of your planning is complete before your big day. It includes tasks such as scheduling a venue, finding a caterer, booking vendors and more!
So, you’re engaged and have started to think about the wedding planning process. The first question is often, “how long do I have to plan my wedding?” The answer is that it depends on a few factors, including when you want to get married, if you need time to save money to afford a wedding, or if you have other life events to factor into your schedule.
Most couples spend around 12 months engaged before getting married. But if you’re hoping to tie the knot sooner, don’t worry! You can absolutely plan a wedding on a shorter timeline if that’s your preference.
If you want to plan a wedding in six months or less, or you haven’t planned yet and only have less than six months before your big day, then you’ll love this 6-month wedding checklist! Planning on a shortened timeline may require some extra effort, but it can be done!
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Planning a Wedding in 6 Months: Timeline & Checklist
Below, we’ll break down the steps you’ll need to follow to plan your big day (the savvy way!) on a 6-month timeline.
6 Months Before The Wedding
When you’re planning a wedding with six months or less to go before you wed, the wedding planning process should begin as soon as possible. The earlier you can start planning, the more time you’ll have to complete all the steps.
Generally, having a longer engagement gives you more options. Plus, you’ll have more time to do proper research to ensure you’re getting the best deals. There are lots of moving pieces, so follow our checklist to make sure you don’t miss a single important step!
Decide on the type of wedding you want to have:
To begin, you want to start with the basics and the overall vision for your wedding. Think of what your wedding style might be. Start with the “big picture view” and as you plan, you’ll narrow that view into smaller, more detailed views.
I’m sure you’re aware, but there are many different types of weddings, and in our experience, no two are exactly alike. From cool, uniquely-themed weddings to beach weddings, destination weddings, and more, the possibilities are endless. Start by deciding on the type of wedding you want. Need help? Check out our 20 Questions of Wedding Planning to get started. Let your vision help guide you when planning a wedding in 6 months!
Establish a tentative wedding budget:
No matter how much or how little money you plan to spend, it’s important to set a wedding budget before you start planning anything else. You don’t need to have an exact number yet, but having an idea or a generally good sense of your budget and what you’re comfortable spending will help guide the rest of your planning process.
This will not only help you prioritize which elements are most important, but it will also help keep you from overspending if you plan ahead and stick to your budget from the start.
Get a wedding checklist:
The next thing you’ll need to do is make a to-do list. That’s right! You may choose to make your own checklist or download our free checklist to save yourself time. You could also get a wedding planner book, or hire a wedding coordinator or planner.
Having a detailed wedding checklist is essential for 6-months-or-less weddings. This list is a great way to include everything that needs to be done before the big day in the time frame, including tasks like booking venues and vendors, sending out invites, organizing decor, and any other details associated with your wedding planning.
Brain dump absolutely everything you’ll want in the wedding, and then organize this by category. Like if you want fish and chips for the reception, you can put that in the reception category or food category.
From there, you’ll look into each item on your checklist in more detail when you come to it. For example, when it’s time to “Start searching for suppliers/vendors” (big picture), you’ll call around for what you want (smaller picture). And since you already know what your budget is, you have a pretty decent idea of what you can afford.
Make a guest list:
When you’re planning a wedding in 6 months or less, you have to be quick to make a guest list of who will be attending your wedding. Think about family members, friends, coworkers, and anyone else who may want or need an invitation.
Making this decision ahead of time also ensures that no one is left out, and you can properly plan for the number of guests attending your special day.
Pro Tip: Just remember, the more people you invite, the more your wedding will possibly cost! So be sure you set your budget before making your guest list. More guests = more food = more money on catering = bigger space for a venue = [again] more money. Make sense?
Assemble your wedding team:
As part of knowing what type of wedding you’re going to have, you’ll also decide who will be part of that wedding and who will marry you. This could be your best friend, immediate family, or anyone you choose.
Unlike in the olden days, you have a lot more options for choosing who will marry you, from your sister getting an online officiant certification to your local church pastor or priest to a judge and more. Decide who will be the one to marry you and get in contact with them right away.
You’ll also want to pick who will be in your bridal party. You don’t need to have a full, blown-out wedding party with many bridesmaids if you don’t want to. But here are your options for who will be in your wedding:
- maid of honor
- best man
- flower girl
- ring bearer
Once you have the basics down and know what kind of wedding you want to have, the 6-month wedding checklist can really be narrowed in on. You’ll know exactly where your priorities lie and what needs to get done first.
Choose a wedding date and wedding venue:
Make sure to look at all the factors that come along with renting a venue, such as included catering costs and room size, and if they have special packages for 6-month weddings. Researching wedding venues is a crucial step as it’s one of the most expensive aspects of any wedding. Look into options that fit your budget and create a list of potentials.
Once you’ve decided on the type of wedding and where you possibly want to have it, it’s time to choose a date and check availability. Think about what time of year works best for you and your guests, and consider any potential holidays when choosing your date. This will help ensure everyone can attend without conflicting plans or commitments during your special day.
Remember that you have six months or less to book your wedding somewhere. Because of this, you may have limited availability for your dream venue, so you may need to be more flexible on the date and time. Just make sure your wedding date is available at venues before booking anything else. Start with your favorite venue and then go to the next best venue and on down the list to find a good option!
Pro Tip: Ask them what they include as you look around for your wedding venue. For example, if they include food and a reception venue, you have it covered and could also save more money this way. But consider all options.
Send out your “save the dates” early:
When you know the date for your wedding, and you have the venue booked, you’ll send out save the dates. This is an optional step and isn’t the same as sending out your wedding invitations. The purpose of Save The Dates is to let your guests know you’re getting married, as well as where and when.
The sooner you can let your guests know the date of your wedding, the better. This will give them plenty of time to make travel arrangements and ensure they can attend if they choose.
Another note is getting a wedding website! This is a good idea to keep your guests, family, and friends in the loop about anything wedding related. If you don’t think Save The Dates are a timely or financial option, go digital with a wedding website!
Start searching for vendors:
You’ll definitely want to start looking for potential suppliers early in the 6 month timeline. Like your wedding venue or your ceremony and/or reception locations, your vendors will also need to book your order in advance to ensure they’ll be available on the big day.
A good place to start is by browsing online for reviews from past customers and checking out local vendors near you. However, it’s a good idea to not only look online or call but also to meet with your vendors, see things in person, and to evaluate each vendor in general via their first impression. Sometimes things aren’t what they seem, or they look completely different in person versus the computer screen or iPhone screen.
And if you don’t have a good vibe from the vendor themselves, you may just want to pass. Maybe they came late to your meeting, which tells you they could possibly be late to your wedding. Or perhaps they are a wedding planner but everything from their outfit to their hair to their office is in shambles and completely disorganized. You won’t want that person to be in charge of planning your wedding, I promise you!
To properly choose your wedding vendors, start thinking about your wedding day vision – and who could help make the whole wedding planning process happen the best way possible in the little time you have available. Do you need a full-service planner? Or maybe a day-of coordinator is all you need? Decide what level of assistance you need and start looking for your vendors.
- wedding planner or wedding coordinator
- wedding photographer and/or videographer
- transportation (i.e., limos, carriage, etc)
- wedding dress/suit
- Anything else that you need for your wedding
It’s important to get these booked early so that you can rest assured knowing that all the elements necessary for a successful wedding day will be taken care of.
Make sure to thoroughly research your vendors, read reviews and look at past customers’ weddings. Be sure you’re comfortable with the final product of each vendor – and that it aligns with your vision for the day.
Again, keep your 6 month wedding checklist in mind for timeliness as well as your wedding budget as you do this. If you go over, you may need to dwindle your list down to stay within your budget. And if you have to do that, don’t stress about it. You’ll still have an amazing day!
Order your wedding cake:
Your wedding cake can be as big or as little as you want it to be. Usually, you get one for the bride and one for the groom. A traditional type of white icing with vanilla cake so that all can eat the cake as well, but don’t let this limit you on making your cake as unique as you want it to be!
Buy your wedding dress:
With the short timeline, you might have a wedding dress in mind for your big day but be forewarned – there are so many different beautiful dresses out there! It can be so tough to pick just one.
When deciding which wedding dress to buy, make sure you consider the design of your venue and the overall vibe for your big day. Are you having an outdoor wedding? Or is it an indoor ballroom affair? Knowing this will help you decide on a dress style that fits with your event.
If you don’t want to spend too much on a dress, you can always rent one or buy a pre-loved one. Or if you don’t have the 6 month timeline to wait for your dream dress to be made, consider buying off the rack. Whatever you decide, just make sure it’s the dress of your dreams!
Wedding party wedding attire:
You’ll also want to make sure you have outfits for your wedding party included in your 6 month wedding checklist. Whether it’s tuxedos or bridesmaids’ dresses, try to pick something that complements the theme of your day and represents your personalities as a couple. Look into stores online or visit a local bridal shop to find something perfect for everyone in your bridal party.
Get your wedding rings:
Also, don’t forget to get the rings! Assuming you already have your engagement ring, it’s time to get your wedding rings! If you are planning on getting them custom made, 6 months of lead time is needed in order for your jewelry to be properly crafted and ready in time for the wedding day.
However, if you’re going to pick it in the store, you won’t need 6 months. But knocking it off your checklist now is a good idea because you’re going to be super busy the last 3 months until your wedding!
Start Decor Shopping:
Start looking for items that will be necessary on your wedding day, such as centerpieces, favors, linens and more. Make sure to order them in advance so they can arrive in plenty of time before the big day. You might fine some places offer a payment plan or exclusive offers for weddings. And several places have special items just for the wedding industry!
Book a group reservation at a hotel:
Book a room block at a nearby hotel for any out-of-town guests who may need it and book one for yourself if needed. You’ll want to esure your guests will have somewhere to stay and to avoid any non-vacancy issues that could arise. Book a wedding hotel room block once you have a general idea of the number of out-of-town guests you’ll have.
A group reservation doesn’t always have to be an exact number of rooms booked, but they do have deadlines for reservations. And any rooms still available in that group block will go back into their hotel inventory, so encourage your guests to book their reservations if needed by the deadline the hotel gives you.
2-3 Months Before The Wedding
The final 2-3 months should focus on the details of your wedding day such as decor, favors, legal processes, and taking action. The previous months were more about planning, now the final months are more about doing.
Send out invitations:
Once you have all the details of your wedding planned, it’s time to send out those invites as the next important thing on your 6-month wedding checklist! It’s important that you give your guests enough time to plan and arrange their schedules accordingly.
If you didn’t send out save the dates, you may want to do this sooner than 3 months before the big day. If you sent out Save The Dates early on, then a 2-month timeline for invitations is good. Not only will the official invite serve as a reminder to your guests, but it will also include important official information like location, date, and theme (such as outside on the beach or inside in a church, for example).
Schedule Dress Fittings:
If you haven’t already, schedule fittings for your wedding dress as soon as possible so that any necessary alterations can be made in time for the wedding. Don’t forget about measurements for any accessories you might need such as a veil, headpiece, or jewelry.
And make sure your groom and the entire wedding party are scheduled for fittings too.
Finalize Decorations & Favors:
Your decorations and favors should also be finalized in the final 6 months. You can either DIY or hire a professional to help you out with this. It’s important that everything is ready and set up correctly for your day.
Make sure all legal paperwork is done:
Be sure to check off all the legal paperwork required before your big day. This includes obtaining a marriage license from your county clerk and any other documents needed for a ceremony.
Consider doing a makeup trial or hairdo trial:
It’s a good idea to do a trial run with your hairstylist and makeup artist 6 months in advance. This way, you can make sure that the look is exactly what you want for your wedding day.
Finalize the guest list and any other last-minute details:
This part can be stressful as there are often a lot of essential details to think about when planning a wedding, and because you have a short period of time, start early! A 6-3 months checklist comes after most of your planning has been taken care of and you’ll transition into the action part of the plan.
For example, you don’t have a lot of time so in your checklist, you’ll be making sure all RSVPs are returned and finalized, reviewing contracts with vendors to make sure they understand their roles on the day of the wedding, making a detailed timeline for those involved in the wedding (i.e., bridal party members or family).
Make sure you double-check everything and if there is something that needs to be changed or updated last minute—like a venue change due to weather—be ready to adjust accordingly.
1 Month Before The Wedding
At this point of 6 month wedding planning, you should be able to relax a little as most of the important elements are taken care of. This is the time to focus on small details that will make your day unique and special.
Finalize Rehearsal Dinner Plans:
This is the time to finalize plans for the rehearsal dinner. Make sure you have a plan in place with regards to who will be attending, what food will be served, and any other details that need to be taken care of.
Confirm all details with your vendors and make sure they have all of the information they need as far as location, time, and any other special requests.
Have a bridal shower:
This is the fun part of your wedding! Let your loved ones celebrate your big day and all your hard work! Have fun with your closest friends and family as you lead up towards the wedding ceremony!
Organize Seating Chart & Place Cards:
This is also a good time to start thinking about seating arrangements and a table plan as well as organizing place cards, if needed. This should be done in advance so that there are no last-minute issues or confusion.
Week of the Wedding
At this point, you’ve made it to 6 months of wedding planning and are now in the final stretch. This is an excellent time to double-check all details and ensure everything is in order.
Confirm Final Details:
This is the time to confirm any last-minute details with vendors, family, and friends. Make sure they all have the correct information regarding time, location, attire, etc.
Pack for Honeymoon:
You should also start packing for your honeymoon destination at this point so that you can relax and just enjoy yourself after the wedding.
These 6 month wedding checklist items are essential for planning a successful wedding in 6 months or less. With the right planning and preparation, you can plan an unforgettable wedding day without stressing out over every little detail. Good luck!
Plan A Wedding In 6 Months Or Less With This 6 Month Wedding Checklist
Being organized and planning ahead is essential to having the wedding of your dreams in 6 months or less. As you can see, 6 months is more than enough time to plan a wedding. By following this 6 month wedding checklist and staying organized, planning your big day should be a breeze! Good luck with the 6 month planning process! Best of luck for an amazing wedding day!
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