December 6, 2023

Wedding Timeline Template: A Step-by-Step Guide to Your Perfect Day


Planning a wedding can be an exciting yet overwhelming task. With so many details to consider, from the dress and flowers to the food and music, it’s easy to feel lost in the whirlwind. It’s more common than you think to overlook and underestimate how much time you have to work with. This is where a wedding timeline template comes in.

A wedding timeline template can put everything into perspective. You can rework it as often as you need until you’re satisfied. Early preparations set the stage for a splendid celebration and ultimately contribute to a stress-free and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Established in 1857, The Sixpence has years of experience as the premier wedding and event space in Indiana. We understand the need for fully planning and preparing for your special day. 

That is why, we have created a step-by-step guide to your perfect day that will help you take the load off and focus on enjoying your day at the cost of a little preplanning. 

Pre-Wedding Preparation

The anticipation leading up to your wedding day is filled with excitement, joy, and a touch of nervousness. This is to be expected and we’d like to show you three pre-wedding preparation steps to get you started.

Setting the Date

Choosing the perfect date for your wedding is a huge decision that can affect the entire celebration. You’ll find yourself having to think about the season, the availability of venues and vendors, and what days have meaning to you. It’s important to research the availability of your desired venue, officiant, photographer, and other key vendors. Popular dates tend to book up quickly, so planning allows you to put your feet up. 

When a day has meaning to you whether for cultural reasons, religious traditions, personal anniversaries, or significant dates it’s important to consider them as you select your big date.

Creating a Budget

While you’re thinking about potential dates you should also be thinking about what your budget could look like. Establishing a wedding budget early on will help you manage your finances and make informed decisions throughout the planning process. You’ll need to identify where that money will be coming from. Will it be personal savings, contributions from family members, or potential gifts?

You will also have to prioritize what’s important and allocate the funds accordingly. Do you prioritize a stunning venue or a lavish honeymoon? Research the costs of everything from the wedding venue to the various services including catering, photography, and entertainment. This will help you allocate funds realistically. Using a budgeting tool or spreadsheet to track your income and expenses, will give you a clear picture of your financial progress and ensure you stay within your budget.

As a wedding venue, The Sixpence is thoughtfully designed and expertly built with your experience in mind. There is an indoor ceremony space and multiple outdoor ceremony options. 

Hiring a Wedding Planner

Because of how overwhelming wedding planning can be, couples should embrace the idea of hiring a wedding planner. A wedding planner can give you expertise and experience as they usually have extensive knowledge of the industry and can provide valuable insight, recommendations, and problem-solving skills. 

Hiring a planner can significantly free up your time and allow you to focus on other aspects of your life. Wedding planners can negotiate vendor contracts and manage logistics, ensuring smooth transitions on your wedding day. You’re then able to enjoy the planning process without feeling stressed.

12 Months Before: Early Planning

With twelve months to your wedding day, the excitement is likely bubbling over! This is the perfect time to lay the foundation for your dream celebration by tackling some early planning tasks. Here are some things we suggest you jump on as soon as possible.

Venue Selection

Finding the perfect wedding venue sets the scene for your entire celebration and influences everything from decor to catering. What are you looking for in a venue? Does your dream wedding envision a rustic barn setting, an elegant ballroom, a breathtaking garden, or a vibrant beach location? Each venue will offer a unique ambiance and limitations, so choose one that aligns with your vision.

Give yourself time to ensure that the venue you want is available, accessible, within your budget, and can comfortably accommodate your guests.

Guest List Compilation

So you’ve selected the venue. What’s next? Creating your guest list of course. Here’s a list of things we suggest you consider while compiling your list. 

  • Start Early: Give yourself ample time to consider your invitations and RSVPs.
  • Prioritize: Differentiate between “must-have” guests and those you would like to invite if space and budget allow.
  • Consider Relationships: Be mindful of family dynamics and potential conflicts when making your selections.
  • Set a Deadline: Establish a deadline for receiving RSVPs to ensure proper planning.
  • Be Respectful: Communicate your decisions clearly and respectfully to those you cannot invite.

Save the Date Cards

Sending Save the Date cards is a graceful way to inform guests of your wedding date and ensure they have time to mark their calendars. It covers the deadline and is a simple way to have people let you know in advance if they can make it. Sending Save the Date cards this early gives your guests time to prepare especially if your ceremony falls during a peak season or requires travel.

When crafting your cards, choose a design that reflects your wedding theme and style. Include the date, estimated time, and location of the ceremony and reception. You can consider including a link to your wedding website for further details and updates.

9 Months Before: Booking Vendors

We’re down to 9 months remaining until your wedding day, it’s time to focus on securing those essential vendors who will transform your vision for your big day into reality. Feel free to go as far out as your budget will allow, but here are three vendor categories The Sixpence suggests you prioritize.

Photographer and Videographer

These professionals will be entrusted with capturing the important memories of your wedding day. Choosing the right ones requires careful consideration. Explore their website and social media pages to assess their style and aesthetic. Does their work resonate with your vision? Take your time to carefully decide while you meet with them to discuss your expectations, budget, and any specific requests. This personal interaction can help you gauge their professionalism and rapport.

Photographers and videographers usually offer tiered packages for various coverage options, from ceremony and reception to engagement sessions and wedding albums. Be sure to choose a package that fits your needs and budget. But don’t take too long! Popular photographers and videographers often book months in advance.

Caterer and Menu Selection

The caterer can either make or break the experience of your wedding celebration. The food presentation and serving options should align with your vision while staying within your budget. To select the right wedding caterer for your big day, you can start by reading online reviews and asking friends and family for recommendations. As you narrow down your options, sample their menu options and discuss any dietary restrictions or preferences you or your guests may have.

Once you feel like you’ve found a great fit and plan to go ahead with their service, review the caterer’s contract carefully before signing to ensure all details, including the menu, service fees, and cancellation policies, are clearly defined.

Entertainment (DJ/Band)

The right music can transform your wedding reception into an unforgettable experience. Your chosen entertainment is just as important as the food and should be treated with the same thoroughness from their experience down to the contractual agreement. You can start with recommendations from your wedding planner, venue coordinator, or friends. It’s important to make sure that even with those recommendations, the DJ or band’s musical repertoire aligns with your preferred musical style and your guests’ taste.

6 Months Before: Dress and Attire

We’re down to six months but there’s no reason to panic because up until now we’ve carefully taken care of the “big stuff”. With six months remaining until your wedding day and you no longer have to think about the venue or your vendors, it’s time to pour your focus into choosing the perfect outfits for yourself, your partner, and your bridal party.

Wedding Dress Shopping

Finding your dream wedding dress can be equal parts exciting and nerve-racking. Let’s take the time to give you pointers on how to have a fulfilling experience. You should start by determining a realistic budget but allowing yourself to remain flexible and to keep an open mind. This is not to say that you shouldn’t focus on choosing the dress that makes you feel the most beautiful and confident. Quite the contrary.

We encourage you to browse online galleries and magazines to identify silhouettes and styles that appeal to you. Then you can book appointments at bridal salons that carry designers and styles that resonate with your vision.

Groom’s Attire Selection

A groom’s attire should complement the bride’s dress, and reflect his style while aligning with the wedding theme. You should consider the color and fabric as well as the suitability for the weather. We encourage you to ensure the suit fits impeccably and flatters the groom’s physique. Tailoring is crucial for achieving a polished look. The groom’s attire can be completed with accessories like a tie, cufflinks, and a pocket square or by incorporating special touches like a monogrammed handkerchief or a custom tie clip.

Bridesmaid and Groomsmen Attire

Coordinating attire for your bridal party adds a touch of personalization and thought to your wedding photos and ceremony. Whether through the color palette, style, silhouette, or fabric, it’s important to make sure that your bridal party is also comfortable and flattered by your preferences. Communicating your preferences to your bridesmaids and groomsmen and soliciting their feedback, ensures they feel comfortable and confident in their attire.

3 Months Before: RSVPs and Finalizing Details

It might feel like time has flown by with three months remaining until your big day. The excitement is likely reaching a fever pitch. Don’t you worry, we’ve got this. Now’s the time to think about your RSVPs, finalize your ceremony and reception details, and obtain your marriage license. 

RSVP Management

By this stage, you should have received most of your RSVPs. You can manage them efficiently by tracking these responses in a spreadsheet or wedding planning app. Don’t be afraid to send gentle reminders to guests who have not yet responded. This is also the time to communicate and confirm any dietary restrictions and seating preferences. Once RSVPs are confirmed, finalize headcounts with your caterer, venue coordinator, and other vendors who need confirmed guest numbers. Planning for no-shows allows for a buffer in your catering and seating arrangements.

Finalizing the Ceremony and Reception

Thoroughly review all vendor contracts to ensure everything is in order and confirm final payments. Finalize the menu and music and confirm the logistics like transportation, parking arrangements, and ceremony seating arrangements with your venue coordinator. Try not to stress about this. But if at any point you feel like you need help, assign tasks to trusted family members and friends.

Marriage License

There’s no wedding without a marriage license. Be sure to research the marriage license requirements in your state or country. Prepare all necessary documents, such as identification and proof of residency. After this, you will be able to apply for the marriage license at the designated office. After the application, confirm with your officiant if they need any specific documents or information. Once you’ve acquired the license, keep it safe until the ceremony. 

1 Month Before: Rehearsal and Final Checks

With just one month left until your wedding day, the anticipation and excitement are likely reaching their peak. This final stretch requires meticulous attention to detail to ensure a flawless and unforgettable celebration.

Rehearsal Dinner Arrangements

Practice makes perfect! 

The rehearsal dinner is a delightful prelude to the wedding, offering a warm and intimate gathering for you and your loved ones. At this point, you will have ensured that all guests have received their invitations and confirmed their attendance and accommodations. Be sure to also confirm the details and logistics with the venue coordinator, and vendors and finalize the menu selections. Consider preparing small gifts or favors for guests as a token of appreciation.

The Sixpence offers rehearsal dinner packages for large parties in The Barn while The Workshop is perfect for more intimate parties and casual gatherings.

Finalizing Vendor Contracts

This is the time to ensure all contractual obligations are fulfilled and all details are finalized with your vendors. After ensuring that all signatures are obtained, you should verify payment schedules and ensure that any outstanding balances are settled before the wedding day. At this time, confirm the arrival times, contact information, and agreed-upon services for all vendors. We don’t want to be caught by last-minute changes and adjustments. 

Wedding Day: The Big Event

It’s your big day! The culmination of months of planning and anticipation has finally arrived! This momentous occasion is a celebration of love, commitment, and the joyous union of two souls. Here’s what to expect.

Getting Ready

The morning of your wedding is filled with anticipation. Remember to delegate tasks like dress steaming, food preparation, and transportation to trusted friends and family to free yourself from stress. You should be relaxing in a bath or enjoying a spa treatment to rejuvenate and refresh yourself. Then take some quiet time to reflect on your love. 

Savor the moments with your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and close family members as you prepare for the ceremony. Remember, this is a joyful occasion. Breathe deeply, focus on the positive, and let the excitement carry you through the day.

Ceremony Timeline

The ceremony is the heart of your wedding, where you exchange vows and embark on your journey as husband and wife. Here are some key aspects The Sixpence thinks you should consider:

  • Arrival and Processional: Coordinate the arrival of the bridal party and the wedding processional, ensuring a smooth and elegant entrance.
  • Vow Exchange: Prepare your vows with thoughtful intention, expressing your love and commitment to one another.
  • Ring Exchange: As you exchange rings, feel the weight of the promise you are making and the joy of embarking on this new chapter together.
  • Pronouncement and Recessional: Celebrate the official pronouncement of marriage and enjoy the joyful recessional as husband and wife.
  • Photo and Greeting Session: Take a moment to capture cherished memories with your loved ones.

Reception Festivities

The reception is a time for joyous celebration, laughter, and dancing! Make a grand entrance as newlyweds, to set the tone for the celebration. Following this with a romantic first dance as husband and wife can encapsulate the love and joy of your union. Don’t forget to enjoy heartwarming and humorous toasts from loved ones celebrating your marriage. Then delight in a delicious meal and let the music set the mood for dancing and merriment.

Savor your wedding cake as a symbolic gesture of unity and sweetness in your marriage. Consider creating fun and interactive elements like a photo booth or games for guests to enjoy.  At the end of the day, be sure to express your gratitude to your guests for sharing your special day before sending them off with well wishes.

Post-Wedding Logistics

And just like that, the whirlwind of your wedding day has passed, leaving behind a treasure trove of memories and a heart full of joy. But before you can completely settle into married life, there are a few final post-wedding tasks to handle.

Thank You Cards

Expressing gratitude to those who contributed to your wedding is a beautiful way to show your appreciation within two months of your wedding. Add a personal touch to each card, mentioning a specific detail or memory you shared with the recipient. Consider adding a handwritten note to each card for an extra touch of warmth and sincerity; as well as including gifts for your wedding day.

Vendor Payments and Gratuity

Paying your vendors promptly and generously shows your respect for their hard work and professionalism. Double-check your contracts to ensure you have paid all vendors according to their terms and preferred payment methods. You can consider offering a gratuity to vendors who went above and beyond to make your wedding special.

Preserving Memories

The memories of your wedding day are precious and deserve to be cherished for years to come. Here are some ways we suggest that you use to preserve them:

  • Professional Photography: Review your wedding photos and select your favorites for printing and album creation.
  • Video Highlights: Create a highlight reel of your wedding video to relive the special moments and share it with loved ones.
  • Guest Photos: Encourage guests to share their photos on a designated platform so you can gather them all.
  • Wedding Keepsakes: Preserve special items like your wedding dress, bouquet, and invitations as treasured mementos.
  • Journaling: Reflect on your wedding day and your feelings in a journal to create a lasting record for yourself and future generations.


Throughout your wedding day, remember to savor each moment, cherish the love surrounding you, and let the elegance and joy of your celebration fill your heart with lasting memories. This is a day to celebrate your love, your commitment, and the beautiful start of your journey together as husband and wife.

Remember, a well-planned wedding timeline template is the roadmap to your dream celebration. By following these tips and focusing on the critical points, you can ensure a smooth and successful wedding planning process, allowing you to truly embrace the joy and anticipation of your special day.

Let The Sixpence provide you with peace of mind with this guide to a successful wedding timeline template. Our venue and access to vendors and planning are sure to put your mind at ease.

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