Cape Cod Wedding Planning Timeline by Tom Tuttle: Use this to create a timeline for planning your Cape Cod Wedding
(You can print this from your browser.)
12+ Months Before Date: _________________
[ ] Announce your engagement. Tell important family and friends the good news. Parents of the bride traditionally come first.
[ ] Envision your wedding and draw up a budget.
[ ] Pick your wedding date and time and book an Officiant. Select several options, then check with location site, Officiant, and important guests to finalize.
[ ] Start planning the guest list.
[ ] Look for and book ceremony and reception sites.
[ ] Ask friends and relatives to be in the wedding party.
[ ] Optional: Have an engagement party. You may want to register for gifts beforehand.
8 – 10 Months BeforeDate: _________________
[ ] Bride: Think about, shop for, and order your gown.
[ ] Envision reception food
[ ] Decide what type of entertainment you want. Cocktail hour musicians, DJ or band?
[ ] Think about your floral decor.
[ ] Research and book your wedding professionals. Interview vendors: photographer, videographer, reception band or DJ, florist.
[ ] Send save-the-date cards. This is a particularly good idea if you’re marrying during a tourist or holiday season or having a destination wedding.
[ ] Research and reserve accommodations for out-of-town guests.
[ ] Register for gifts.
[ ] Contact rental companies if you need to rent anything for ceremony / reception. Chairs, tables, tents, etc.
6 – 8 Months BeforeDate: _________________
[ ] Book ceremony musicians.
[ ] Order bridesmaid dresses.
[ ] Start planning honeymoon.
4 – 6 Months BeforeDate: _________________
[ ] Attend pre-wedding counseling, if required.
[ ] Shop for invitations and wedding rings.
[ ] Shop for formalwear.
[ ] Renew or get passports, if necessary.
[ ] Envision your wedding cake and research, interview, and book a cake designer.
3 Months BeforeDate: _________________
[ ] Order invitations.
[ ] Order wedding cake.
[ ] Order rings.
[ ] Hire a calligrapher, if you want your invitations professionally addressed
[ ] Attend your shower. Maybe earlier, depending on when hosts decide to have it !
[ ] Groom: Rent the men’s formalwear.
[ ] Hire wedding-day-transport. Limousines, other cars. Look into transportation soon if you’re considering renting streetcars or over-the-top travel.
2 Months BeforeDate: _________________
[ ] Mail your invitations.
[ ] Write your vows.
[ ] Purchase gifts for parents, attendants, and each other.
[ ] Book your stylist and try out big-day hairstyles.
[ ] Book a makeup artist and go for trial run.
1 Month BeforeDate: _________________
[ ] Apply for a marriage license. Check with the local bureau in the town where you’ll wed.
[ ] Bride: Have final gown fitting. Bring your maid of honor along to learn how to bustle your dress. Have the dress pressed and bring it home.
[ ] Call all bridesmaids. Make sure they have their gowns ready for the wedding.
[ ] Make last-minute adjustments with vendors.
[ ] Create a wedding program to hand out to guests.
[ ] Order and plan in-room welcome baskets for out-of-town guests.
2 Weeks Before Wedding
[ ] Run over final RSVP list and call any guests who have not yet sent a response.
[ ] Deliver must-have shot lists to photographer and videographer. Include who should be in formal portraits and determine when portraits will be shot.
[ ] Deliver final song list to your DJ or bandleader. Include special song requests and songs you don’t want played.
[ ] Bride: Get your last pre-wedding haircut and color.
1 Week Before Wedding
[ ] Give reception / site catering final guest head count. Include vendors, such as the photographer or band members, who will expect a meal. Ask how many extra plates the caterer will prepare.
[ ] Supply location manager with a list of vendor requests such as a table for DJ, setup space needed by florist, etc.
[ ] Plan reception seating chart.
[ ] Print place and table cards, or finalize list with the calligrapher you have hired to do so.
[ ] Call all wedding vendors and confirm all arrangements.
[ ] Give ceremony and reception site managers a schedule of vendor delivery and setup times, plus contact numbers.
[ ] Groom: Get your hair trimmed.
[ ] Attend bachelor/ette parties.
2 – 3 Days Before Wedding
[ ] Bride: If you need to, have your gown pressed or steamed (make sure the bridal salon approves).
[ ] Groom: Go for final fitting and pick up your formalwear.
[ ] Groom: Ask the best man to make sure all groomsmen attend fittings and pick up their outfits.
[ ] Determine wedding party positions during ceremony and the order of the party in the processional and recessional.
[ ] Hand off placecards, table cards, menus, disposable cameras, favors, and any other items for setting the tables to the caterer and/or site manager.
[ ] Reconfirm final details with all vendors. Discuss any last minute substitutions.
[ ] Call the limousine or car rental company for pickup times and locations.
[ ] Arrange for guests without cars to be picked up from the airport or train station. Ask friends, attendants, or relatives to help.
[ ] Deliver welcome baskets to the local hotel concierge; make sure to include names and delivery instructions.
Day Before Wedding
[ ] Provide all wedding professionals with an emergency phone number to call on the day of the wedding.
[ ] Write checks and/or talk to wedding hosts (usually your parents, if not you) about any final balances to be paid at the end of the reception.
Night Before Wedding
[ ] Rehearse ceremony. Meet with wedding party, ceremony readers, immediate family, and your officiant at the ceremony site to rehearse and iron out details.
[ ] Bring unity candle, aisle runner, yarmulkes, or other ceremony accessories to the site.
[ ] Give your marriage license to the officiant.
[ ] Attend rehearsal dinner.
[ ] Present the attendants with gifts at the rehearsal dinner. You’ll want to do this especially if the gifts are accessories to be worn during the wedding.
Day Of Wedding
[ ] Present parents and each other with gifts.
[ ] Give wedding bands to the best man and the maid of honor to hold during the ceremony.
[ ] Give best man the officiant’s fee envelope, to be handed over after the ceremony.
[ ] Introduce your reception site manager to your consultant or maid of honor for questions or problems during the reception.
[ ] Assign a family member or attendant to be the photographer’s contact so he knows who is who.
[ ] Arrange for someone to return any rentals.
[ ] Arrange for attendants to take the bride’s gown for cleaning and return the groom’s tux to the rental shop.
[ ] Write and send thank you notes to gift-bearing guests and vendors who were especially helpful.