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Are you wondering if you can plan a wedding in 6 months’ time? YES! You 100% can do it.
Some couples don’t have the luxury of a 12-month, 18-month, or 24-month engagement. Others simply want to get married as soon as possible to begin their lives together.
So, do you really need a long engagement to pull off an amazing wedding? Nope! If you have the proper tools and step-by-step instructions, it’s totally doable to plan a wedding in a shorter amount of time than most.
If you’ve made your mind up and want to plan a wedding in six months, we’re here to tell you it’s doable and show you EXACTLY how to make it happen. Will it be busy? Sure! Will you have many tasks to get out of the way immediately? Of course! But will it be worth it? Absolutely.
In this blog post, we’ll show you how to plan your wedding in six months and keep your sanity, book the appropriate venues for your budget and needs, and have fun in the process. We won’t let you forget a thing!
Let’s get started… you have some planning to do. :)
Is it possible to plan a wedding in 6 months?
Yes! As a rule of thumb, there’s no rule! :) You don’t have to use 12 months or 18 months to plan your wedding. We’ve seen couples tie the knot in 3 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 9 months. As long as you have your set plan in place, a solid timeline, and plenty of advice (we’ve got you!), it is definitely possible to stay organized, focus, and do wedding planning in a short amount of time.
Where do I begin when planning a wedding?
Whether planning a wedding in 6 months or 18 months, there are certain task-items to complete right off of the bat. And while you may not have the luxury of time at your fingertips, you do have all the tools, resources, and tips you need right here to make it happen.
You may not have as much time to celebrate the initial engagement with parties and the such, but to many couples, this isn’t a dealbreaker when they can cross that finish line in record time.
First, once you get engaged, spend a little time reveling in it! There’s nothing quite like that newly-engaged feeling and you deserve to spend a little time enjoying it. If you aren’t having an engagement party, consider going out on a date night together to dinner to celebrate, just the two of you. If you had a surprise proposal, it’s a fun way to get together and talk about the behind-the-scenes action. I recently saw a TikTok video with a cute couple who had dinner out to revel in their newly engaged status, talking about how he went and planned it all without her figuring it out… I think that’s such a fun memory to make together!
OK — the time is here, it’s time to get planning. First, reach out to families and share the exciting news of your engagement. Let them know you intend to plan a wedding in 6 months, so that may mean a little crunch time on certain items. As such, they may need to move up any engagement party or bridal shower dates, but other than that, it should be — in the words of the great Michael Scott — business as usual, no? ;)
Then, cross these big items from your to-do list.
Decide the following with your partner:
• What is our budget?
Get our free wedding budget breakdown with exact percentages so you know how much things will cost, on average.
• Where do we want to get married?
• When do we want to get married?
• How many guests do we want to invite?
• What style or type of venue will we marry at?
Does this realistically fit within our budget or do we need to rethink the location?
• What are three of the most important parts of our wedding day?
• Will we have a wedding party?
Next, decide if you’d like to hire a wedding planner to assist in your 6 month wedding planning deadline. It may be extremely helpful to do so and a great way to take some of the stress off your shoulders. Here’s how much a wedding planner typically costs.
If you are planning to do most of it yourself, you may also find a day-of coordinator to be a terrific asset. I think a day-of wedding planner is essential, as they can handle the flow and layout of your day and ensure it goes according to your wedding timeline. In addition, they can help setup and takedown, eliminate any guesswork when it comes to vendor arrival times, make sure items are placed where they need to be, and ensure the ceremony goes off without a hitch. A great wedding day coordinator can be priceless, in all honesty.
Now that you’ve answered those preliminary questions, it’s time to get to work.
6 Month Wedding Planning Tools + Resources
Here’s what you should download to get started.
• Get your wedding timeline now: you’ll add to it later and it’s one of the most helpful tools you could ever have
• Get this helpful wedding planning checklist: it’s $15 and includes 18 tabs of templates including:
– Planning Checklists
– Budget Template
– Example Budget
– Guest List
– Addresses & Thank You’s
– Seating Chart
– Venue Comparison
– Vendor Comparison
– Bridal Party Attire
– Bridal Party Contact Info
– Bridal Party Gifts
– Selected Vendors Template
… and more. Get it here. It will be essential to keeping organized.
• Track your budget with a spreadsheet: it’s included in the pack above
• Get your FREE wedding planning journal to stay organized
Now that you have the tools you need, let’s get started. Here’s our helpful six-month wedding planning checklist that will walk you through exactly what you need to do, starting now.
6 Months Out
First things first: you need a wedding venue.
Look for local venues in the area where you plan to get married and find one you and your partner like, can realistically afford, and is available on a date that works best for you. If you’re getting married at a place of worship, call the office to find out about marriages there, what is available, and when you can come to meet with them.
For reception venues, look them up online and get an idea of the style you like.
Schedule a meeting with their staff to visit the location and, while there, ask these important questions so you are well-equipped to make an informed decision.
TIP: It is OK to get married on a Friday or a Sunday, and you may get a better rate by doing so. Be firm in your decision to get married in 6 months and let them know you’re working on the timeline.
Once you find the ceremony spot and the reception venue (perhaps they’ll be two locations or just one), book them.
► Yay! Now you have a wedding date.
Finalize your guest list.
Next, you want to work on that guest list and finalize it. This may be time-consuming, but you can do it — and it’s one of the most important parts of wedding planning, especially on a 6-month deadline. If you finalize your guest list ASAP, you’ll be able to move to the next step quickly and figure out exactly how much you can spend within your budget.
Upload your guest list into this tool
While completing your guest list, locate all of the mailing addresses of your guests. You’ll need this for the next step. I highly recommend creating an account and uploading your guest list into the tool here, as it will be extremely helpful to have on hand.
Decide on a color palette and theme
Utilize our Pinterest board for inspiration!
Fill out your budget spreadsheet
Now that you know where you’re getting married, how much it will cost, and how many guests you’re inviting, you’re ready to start filling in that budget spreadsheet. You’ll be able to estimate how much you have in the budget for each wedding vendor you hire, which we’ll be tackling next.
You are doing great at this wedding planning in 6 months thing: give yourself a round of applause! The hard part of finding your venue and finalizing your guest list, figuring out your budget, and getting a date set is behind you. Phew! That’s the part most couples are scared of, and you’re on your way.
Ask your wedding party attendants to be a part of your day
Now is a great time to propose to bridesmaids with gifts or unique, fun ways to ask: will you be my bridesmaid?
You can also simply just ask them… on the phone or in person!
Regardless of how you ask, now is a perfect time to choose your attendants and ask them to play a role in your wedding.
ALSO ASK → Now is a great time to decide on a flower girl, ring bearer, and usher(s) for the wedding and invite them to be a part of it.
Now, let’s keep the momentum going and hire the wedding vendors you’ll need for your wedding day.
Here are the vendors you’ll want to hire now, ASAP, and let them know your wedding date to find out availability and pricing.
NOTE: If you want to hire a wedding planner — as mentioned earlier — now is the time to do it. You can choose between full-service planning or day-of coordination, where they take care of the details on the wedding day itself.
If your ceremony is taking place at a religious location, a clergy member will be your officiant
Note: your venue may already have in-house catering, so you may already have this taken care of
• Photographer: now is a great time to book an engagement photo session with your photographer, too! Here’s why you may want an engagement photo session. Plus, you’ll receive the photos back in time to include favorites on your save the dates.
• Florist for bouquets, boutonnieres, petals, centerpieces, and additional decor
• DJ or band for music at the reception
• Ceremony musician (unless your DJ is doing both) and/or musician for cocktail hour
• Bartender and figure out how much wedding alcohol to buy
• Decoration Rentals: you’ll need a cake topper, cake stand, and cake server; decorations, centerpieces, linens, and more. Work with a decorator or rental company to decide everything you need and book them now. You can also try Rent My Wedding with tons of products ready to rent (and save some money!)
For wedding cake and any desserts you plan to serve
• Limousine and/or shuttle bus for transportation
• Hair Stylist + Makeup Artist
In addition to booking hair and makeup for your wedding day, schedule a trial run now (for approximately 3 months out). You’ll want to do a run-through before the big day to make sure your hair and makeup look is what you want.
Update Vendors in your Timeline
Once you’ve booked these vendors, enter them into the “vendors” portion of the wedding timeline software we recommended earlier. Include vendor names, phone numbers, and email addresses. This is going to be helpful later on because once you have a day-of timeline created, you’ll be able to send individual timelines to the vendors you’ve inputted, so don’t skip this step.
Update Budget Spreadsheet to Include Tipping
Update the wedding budget spreadsheet now with the new figures based on vendors booked. You’ll also want to update to include tips: Use this tipping calculator to help, which tells you exactly who gets a tip and how much to tip them.
Go Dress Shopping
Now is the time you’ve been waiting for… wedding dress shopping! When planning your event in six months, you’re never too early to start looking at and trying on wedding gowns. You’ll want to order yours as soon as you find it. This ensures you have enough time for tailoring and custom gown creation if you’re going that route.
While shopping for your bridal gown, you’ll also want to check the next big item from your to-do list: wedding attire for the bridal party.
Set Up Photo Sharing
Without it, you won’t be able to get all the photos your guests take at your wedding! Make sure you do this: you’ll thank me later. :)
Read: 3 Best (FREE!) Photo Sharing Ideas For Weddings for useful tips.
Rent or Purchase Bridal Party Attire
► Shop for bridesmaid dresses and have your bridal party attendants purchase theirs.
► Next, figure out what groomsmen suits or tuxedos they’ll wear, and rent or purchase them now.
Book a block of hotel rooms
If you’re planning a wedding where many guests will be out-of-town, book a room block at a hotel so you have a central place for guests to stay. Some hotels include a shuttle, while others do not; you’ll want to book a shuttle to take guests from the hotel to the wedding venue if your budget allows, and if parking is limited at your venue.
Create your wedding registry
Now is a great time to create your wedding registry, even if you just start one and add a few items to it. I highly recommend making a registry at any of these places:
Update your wedding website
Now that you have so many additional items taken care of, it’s a good time to update that wedding website you created.
You can now fill in the venue details, hotel lodging / block of rooms, a map, wedding party bios, your engagement photos, link your wedding registry, and story of how you met.
► IMPORTANT: Create a QR code for your wedding website link: you’re going to use that for the next step.
Send save the dates
You’ll want to select and send save the date cards now. The style can be as simple or as ornate as you’d like, but they should complement the tone and theme of your wedding, if possible. If you’re still unsure of the specifics for color and theme, don’t stress: it can be a simple card.
Your goal is to inform your guests of the wedding date, especially with this shorter 6-month wedding planning timeline.
Once you find a design you like (browse these cards for inspiration), edit the details to reflect your own. Include a photo from your engagement pictures taken earlier, if you’d like. And be sure to upload your QR code you created so guests can visit your wedding website easily.
► If you’re wondering who gets a save the date, the answer is… one to every household on your guest list. You only need to send one per household, rather than one per guest.
Be sure you include these important things on your save the dates, but remember that save the dates are different than invitations. Save-the-dates don’t include ALL the details just yet: you’ll include the location (city, state, not venue just yet), your names, and yes, the date. Don’t forget to include that QR code to your wedding website.
You can find cheap save the dates here that are amazing quality, so you won’t blow your budget on the first big-ticket stationery item.
Add postage to your save-the-dates and mail them out. Boom, you’re moving right along at record speed!
Plan your honeymoon
Are you going on a honeymoon after the wedding? If so, now is the time to plan the trip. Book your accommodations, transportation, and book activities.
Purchase wedding jewelry
If you haven’t done so already, purchase your wedding rings. This is a great place to shop for affordable yet high-quality wedding bands. My engagement ring and wedding bands are both from there and has lasted me so well!
You’ll also want to purchase any jewelry you’ll wear on the day-of, such as earrings, a necklace, and a bracelet.
Now is a great time to decide on a wristwatch or cufflinks, as well.
► Read: 21 Best Groom’s Watches [opens in new tab]
► Read: 50 Best Cufflinks for Groom and Groomsmen [opens in new tab]
That’s a lot of work you just completed. You should feel so accomplished! Let’s move on to month 5.
5 Months Out
Decide on your wedding menu
Get in touch with your caterer to go over possible wedding menu items. Go on a taste-testing, if possible. Have fun here: it’s a great time to learn about your partner and decide what kind of meal will resonate best on your wedding day.
Plan your rehearsal dinner
Figure out who is hosting the rehearsal dinner (or if you’re throwing it yourselves). Decide on a guest list: here’s who to invite to the rehearsal dinner, if it helps.
Find out from the ceremony venue what the rehearsal date and time will be. Update this information on your wedding timeline.
Then, book a venue for the rehearsal dinner. This is usually a favorite restaurant, although sometimes couples can book it at their venue the night or two nights before the big day. If you’ll need a caterer for it, book them now.
Now’s a great time to update that wedding timeline again, now with the finalized rehearsal dinner info.
Order wedding invitations
Now you’ll want to create your wedding invitations and have them printed. They may take some time to arrive, so this will allow plenty of time for them to be made, shipped, and assembled in time for you to mail them out — but don’t mail them just yet; we’ll remind you of this at the 2-month mark.
While you’re ordering invites, be sure to order plenty of postage here.
4 Months Out
Shop for rehearsal dinner invitations
Choose rehearsal dinner invitations. You can browse rehearsal dinner invites here.
You won’t mail them yet, but you’ll want to order them so they arrive in time.
Since time is of the essence while planning a wedding in 6 months, you can send digital rehearsal dinner invitations if you prefer. Choose a design now and edit it to your liking; don’t send it just yet, though… it’s too early.
Plan your ceremony
Now is the time to plan the most important part of your wedding day: the ceremony! You’ll want to do the following:
► Meet with your officiant or clergy member to finalize the Order of Events
► Decide on readings and songs to include in your ceremony
► Meet with your ceremony musician (or DJ) to go over the plan for ceremony music
► Invite family members or friends to be readers at your ceremony
► Order ceremony decorations, if needed.
Order ceremony programs
Once the ceremony is set, order ceremony programs. They’re going to be easy to create now that the hard lifting of the ceremony planning is done! (Wow, you’re really good at this wedding planning in 6 months thing.) ;)
► Here’s a link to ceremony programs that are super-easy to make (and look great).
3 Months Out
You’re only three months out and you’re doing great! Here’s what to do for the three-month mark when you’re planning a wedding in six months time.
Attend your bridal shower
During this month, you’ll likely be attending your bridal shower. This is traditionally thrown by your mom, future mother-in-law, or another close family member or friend, or your wedding party. Find a bridal shower dress to wear!
► You can find cute outfit inspiration here.
Attend your bachelorette party
You’ll also be attending your bachelorette party during this time! It’s an exciting time for pre-wedding celebrations. Your Maid of Honor and bridesmaids traditionally throw the bachelorette party for you, so look to them for the details.
Purchase wedding favors
Figure out the kind of wedding favors you’ll be giving to your guests. Read: 50 Best Wedding Favors (Under $5!) for 2023 for everything you need to know, including the best places to buy favors in bulk (cheap!)
Once they arrive, assemble them so they’re ready to go.
Get wedding dress alterations done
If your wedding dress is ready, it’s time to attend to your alterations to ensure it’s ready on time. There are typically three fittings. Make sure you bring your bridal accessories with you, especially your undergarments, shoes, and wedding veil so you have an accurate visual of how it will all look together on the wedding day.
Attend your hair and makeup trial
The hair and makeup trial you scheduled earlier is here now! Go to it and see how you like the look; if you’re happy with it, great! If not, work with your stylist to ensure the wedding day look is a success.
Purchase wedding party gifts
It’s also a nice gesture to give wedding day gifts to parents, so order those now.
Assemble your wedding welcome bags
For out-of-town guests, give them wedding welcome bags. Now is the time to purchase the items and assemble them ahead of the big day. These will be given to the management of the hotel lobby to give to guests upon arrival to their rooms.
2 Months Out
You only have two months to go! Yay! You’re right on track. Here’s what to do when planning a wedding in 6 months around the two-month mark.
Mail out your wedding invitations
The invitations you ordered earlier should have arrived by now, so it’s time to assemble them, add postage, and mail them out. You should put them in the mail between 6 to 8 weeks ahead of the wedding day. Read: Here’s EXACTLY When to Mail Out Wedding Invitations [CALCULATOR]
Create a seating chart
Now you’ll want to make sure you assign seats to guests and figure out exactly where everyone will sit at the reception. For tips, see 7 Worst Seating Chart Mistakes to Avoid at Your Wedding for helpful advice.
Order day-of signage and cards
Once the seating chart is created, now is a good time to order those wedding day-of essentials, including your seating chart sign.
Now is a good time to order escort cards and any additional signage you need.
Practice your First Dance
Practice makes it perfect! If you’re not used to dancing, now is a good time to select your First Dance song and practice dancing to it with your partner.
Choose your songs
In addition to the First Dance song, choose the songs you’ll use for special dances like the Father/Daughter Dance or Mother/Son Dance.
Work with your DJ or band on the ultimate wedding day playlist and finalize it.
1 Month Out
Eeeek! 1 month left to go! Lucky you, it seems you’re right on track. Here’s what to do in the four short weeks leading up to the big day.
Obtain your marriage license
Read the rules and regulations on the marriage license in your state and county. Obtain your marriage license and find out when you can pick it up. This is very important: you need to have it on hand at your ceremony, or you won’t be officially married.
Update your wedding day timeline
Now is the time to plan out your wedding day. Create your wedding day timeline here. You’re likely just adding to the one you created earlier unless you didn’t do that yet; in that case, get one now. You’ll need the wedding day timeline to ensure a smooth, relaxing day that has a nice flow.
A proper wedding day timeline eliminates any guesswork — travel time to and from the venues, how long to allow for photos, cocktail hour, when the toasts should begin when to start dancing, etc.
Pick up your wedding dress
Meet with your photographer and videographer
Whether in-person or online, discuss with your photographer and/or videographer your ideal wedding-day list of shots and photos. Decide when things will take place, like a first look or getting ready photos with your bridal party attendants.
NOTE: Once you’ve met with the photographer, update your wedding timeline accordingly with the times of First Look / Getting Ready / Family Photos / etc. now that you have these figures.
2 Weeks Out
You’re in the final stretch: here’s what to do two weeks before your wedding day.
Check in with your wedding party
► Make sure your bridesmaids have what they need for dresses and shoes, every dress has arrived on time, fits, and bridesmaids have any accessories they need.
► Ensure your groomsmen have their suits and accessories for the big day.
► Make sure the flower girl has her dress and shoes. Make sure you have checked off “basket” and “flower petals” on your checklist.
► Check in to see if the ring bearer has his suit and shoes. Make sure you have purchased your ring pillow or alternative for him to carry.
Contact any vendors with last-minute questions
Have any last-minute changes or questions? Want to make sure your vendors are on schedule with your timeline? Now is a time to send your wedding timeline to your vendors (you can send individual vendor timelines to them directly here.) Ask questions, get advice, and figure out anything that needs confirmation now that you are close to the big day.
Schedule a visit to the spa
Need a little relaxation? You’ve earned it after all this hard work planning a wedding in 6 months! Schedule a massage, a manicure, a pedicure, or something that will soothe you and eliminate stress. Don’t do any major facials at this time, though, just in case you have a reaction.
One Week Before
The week before the wedding is crunch time: now it’s getting busy! But you’ve got this!
Your caterer will be waiting for the final headcount. Now is the time to tell them exactly how many guests have RSVPed “yes” so they can plan ahead for proper food and drink amounts.
Put together your wedding day bag
Make sure you have everything you need for the day!
► Here’s exactly what to pack in your wedding day bag.
► In addition, create this wedding day emergency kit to have everything you need at the ready.
Pack for the honeymoon
Make sure you pack for your honeymoon ahead of time if you’re planning to jet-set immediately after the wedding. Read: What to Pack for Your Honeymoon so you don’t forget a thing.
You’ll be giving vendors their tips on the day of, so now is the time to get cash ready or checks. Put them in individual envelopes to have them given to your vendors on the day of. This is a great task to give to the Maid of Honor or Best Man to handle, as long as they are trustworthy and won’t forget to do it.
Pack them in your wedding bag so you don’t forget them on the day of.
Attend your wedding rehearsal
Rehearse the ceremony with your loved ones and make sure everything is set! Enjoy dinner with your close family and friends, wedding attendants, and partner. The big day is almost here!
Give your wedding party attendants their gifts at the rehearsal dinner. Now is a nice time to give your parents their gifts, too, unless you plan to do it on the wedding day.
Bring wedding items to the venue(s)
If you are able to store anything at your venue, now is a great time to unload it from your hands! Bring the items to be stored at the venue so you have one less thing to do before setting up on the big day itself.
Rehearse your wedding vows
Practice! Make sure you’re happy with how your wedding vows are written and how they sound, run through them a few times, and get comfortable with them. It’s a good time to make any changes, if needed, at this time.
Wear in your wedding shoes
Break in those wedding shoes so they don’t hurt your feet on the big day! You’ll also want to make sure you avoid major shoe mistakes. Read 7 Wedding Shoe Mistakes to Avoid for everything you need to know.
The Wedding Day
You have one thing to do today: get married! Enjoy! It’s the first day of the rest of your lives together and you deserve to relax and enjoy every minute of it.
Be sure to spend a few moments with your partner — just the two of you — on the big day. It goes by so fast and you’ll want to savor some much-needed time alone together.
There you have it: the ultimate 6-month wedding planning checklist! I hope this helps you step-by-step with exactly what to do and when to accomplish it. It may help to print out this printer-friendly checklist here and have it ready. Make notes on each heading “4 month / 5 month / 6 month” etc with your specific months so you can follow along and cross it off as you tackle each one. As you can see here, it is doable to plan a wedding in 6 months time. All it takes is a little focus, patience, and organization. I know you can do it and I’m rooting for you!
► Have questions along the way? Just ask! Leave a comment below or email me.
Then, make sure you have everything you need: download our 50 Things to NOT Forget at Your Wedding (CHECKLIST)