Wedding Timeline & Checklist

Jewish Wedding Planning Timeline & Checklist

Stay stress-free and happy with this interactive Jewish Wedding Planner. We thought of everything so you don’t have to! This easy-to-use timeline organizes everything you need to think about into timeframes, so that you don’t get overwhelmed. We sincerely hope you find this helpful and allows you to ENJOY this wonderful time in your life!

Click the image below to get started!

Jewish Wedding Checklist, Timeline, Planning

Jewish Wedding Planning Checklist & Timeline

** Download the Interactive Jewish Wedding Checklist **

Bar & Bat Mitzvah, Wedding Venues & Vendors

  • One Year in Advance (Or once you’re engaged)
    • Congratulations on your engagement!   Enjoy it!
    • If your families haven’t met yet, or even if they have, invite them all together to celebrate the coming marriage of the families.
    • Have a nice evening with your fiancé and envision the type of wedding you would like to have – Traditional? Formal? Beach? Themed?  Think about your top 3 priorities (Venue, Food, Music, Dress, Décor, etc)
    • Select a Wedding Date (see Dates to Avoid)
    • Determine a budget, and discuss with your families who will be contributing what.  Our Wedding Budget and Guest List Manager can provide assistance
    • Begin to work on a guest list with your families.   It may be helpful to separate the list into “Must Haves” and “Nice to Haves”.  Enter names into our useful Wedding Budget and Guest List Manager
    • If desired, hire a Wedding Consultant
    • Find a Wedding Reception Venue, and a Ceremony Location (if not the same).  Consider having your ceremony and reception in a Synagogue
    • Begin looking for Musicians, Photographers, and Videographers – the good ones can get snatched up early so be sure to commit when you find the ones you love.
    • If you don’t have one already, find a Rabbi that will perform a ceremony that fits with your personalities.  Get familiar with the Jewish Wedding Traditions & Customs.
    • Brides – feel free to start shopping for the perfect Dress!
  • 11 Months in Advance
    • Select your wedding party and inform them in a unique and memorable way
    • If necessary, meet with Caterers and set-up tastings.  This can be a fun experience for you and your families!
    • Select a Florist, discuss ceremony and reception décor, and determine whether they will provide the Chuppah (view traditional, modern & unique Chuppahs)
    • Start planning your Honeymoon
  • 10 Months in Advance
    • Reserve a block of rooms at a Hotel for out-of-town guests at a negotiated rate
  • 9 Months in Advance
    • Set up meetings with your Rabbi for pre-marital counseling and to personalize the ceremony.   Make sure you understand Jewish Wedding Customs
    • Begin thinking about Wedding Invitations – style, wording, and whether you would like a stationer that is capable of Hebrew text
    • Brides: Order your Wedding Gown
    • Brides: Decide what you’d like your bridal party to wear, and shop for dresses if necessary.
    • Create your Wedding Registry
  • 7 Months in Advance
    • Find a Ketubah, and determine the Ketubah text.  Check out 5 Steps to the Perfect Ketubah.
    • Book wedding day Transportation for the bride and groom, families, wedding party and wedding guests, as necessary.
    • Grooms: Decide what you’d like your groomsmen to wear
    • Order your Wedding Invitations, Save the Dates, Thank You Cards, Place Cards, and other Stationery needs
  • 6 Months in Advance
    • Send Save the Dates, either to all guests or just to out-of-towners.
    • Start planning your Rehearsal Dinner
    • Think about meaningful ways to incorporate Tzedakah into your wedding
    • Shop for Wedding Rings and think about Engraving Options
    • If your Caterer is not providing the Wedding Cake, find a Baker
    • If necessary, coordinate Event Rentals, including a tent, chairs, china, linens, etc.
  • 4 Months in Advance
    • Grooms: Buy or rent Wedding Attire and Accessories including cufflinks and shoes.
    • Make honeymoon reservations
    • Reserve a room within the hotel or another location for the Post-Wedding Brunch
  • 3 Months in Advance
    • Work with your Rabbi to determine ceremony elements, and begin working on your Wedding Programs, and coordinate printing
    • Begin coordinating the Pre-Wedding Rituals you would like to have, such as an aufruf and Kiddush, mikvah ceremony, Shabbat Dinner, etc.
    • Research local Marriage License requirements
    • Obtain or make invitation inserts – hotel information, directions, etc.
    • Make appointments with your hair stylist and makeup artist for trials and wedding day
    • Discuss your musical selections with your ceremony and reception musicians/dj, including  your “Do Not Play” and “Must Play” list
    • Brides: Confirm your Wedding Gown and Bridesmaids Dresses delivery dates, set up your fittings, and think about who you would like to be with you at your fittings.
    • Purchase Wedding Favors, if desired
    • Make sure you have the necessary travel documents for your honeymoon – valid passport, visas, etc.
  • 2 Months in Advance
    • Discuss the Ketubah signing ceremony with your Rabbi and who should be included.  Ask your witnesses if you haven’t already.
    • Enjoy your shower, and/or bachelor/bachelorette parties!
    • Have the Post Office weigh your invitation, complete with RSVP card and all inserts.  Purchase the appropriate stamps.
    • Mail Wedding Invitations.  Have the Post Office hand stamp them if possible
    • Shop for Ceremony Objects, including Kiddush Cups, Breaking Glass, a Challah Knife and Yarmulkes.
    • Buy gifts for your families and wedding party
    • Brides: Buy a special gift for your fiancé if desired
    • Brides: Arrange for a dressing room for your bridal party for the wedding day
    • Schedule a Rehearsal Time
    • Select menu for Post-Wedding Brunch
    • Brides: Have your hair and makeup trials.  Be sure to bring your veil and accessories, and wear a color similar to your dress color
    • Grooms: Have your wedding attire fitted
    • Purchase honeymoon attire and luggage
  • 1 Month in Advance
    • If you are having an aufruf, give a list of special honors, or aaliyot, to your Rabbi
    • Review Ketubah text and confirm there are no errors
    • Inform invited guests about rehearsal dinner, or send rehearsal dinner invitations
    • Put together Welcome Bags for guests staying at the hotel.
    • Make a shot list for your photographer
    • Create a Wedding Day Schedule
    • Confirm date, time, location, and Wedding Day Schedule with all vendors, including delivery times, arrival times, and departure times.  Make sure you have a cell phone number and enter it into our Vendor Manager
    • Organize RSVPs and contact anyone who hasn’t responded
    • Start putting together a Seating Chart (be sure to obtain the room layout from the venue or caterer)
    • Discuss Wedding Party Duties with your bridesmaids and groomsmen.  Delegate your wedding day tasks so that you can fully enjoy the day!
    • Pick up Wedding Rings
    • Get started on those thank you notes!
  • 3 Weeks Before
    • Discuss with your venue contacts or caterer about a stand to display your ketubah during the ceremony and/or at the reception
    • Determine the distribution of Wedding Programs at your ceremony
    • Arrange the table card set-up and place card placement with the venue or caterer
    • Confirm wedding weekend and honeymoon reservations
    • Make arrangements for your pets, plants and mail while you’re away for your wedding weekend and honeymoon
    • Schedule a manicure-pedicure appointment for the day before the wedding (or earlier if using gels or shellac), and massage if desired
  • 2 Weeks Before
    • Brides and Grooms: Have your final fitting and arrange for pickup or delivery
    • Finalize your Guest List and give the final headcount to the caterer
    • Make Place Cards, or have them made.  Leave the table number blank if possible
  • 1 Week Before
    • Enjoy your Aufruf
    • Pack for your Honeymoon
    • Finalize Seating Chart and fill in the table number on the place cards
    • Touch base with your wedding party to confirm date, time, locations, directions, and responsibilities
    • Prepare your wedding/rehearsal dinner speeches
    • Put together a basket for the bathrooms including band-aids, a sewing kit, deodorant, etc.
    • Confirm all final payments with vendors
    • Brides: Pick up dress and veil
    • Grooms: Pick up your tuxedo or wedding attire
    • Grooms: Get your final haircut before the wedding
  • 1 Day Before
    • Relax and enjoy your manicure, pedicure and/or massage
    • Confirm wedding day beauty appointments
    • Make arrangements for final payments and tips to vendors.  Give clearly labeled envelopes to the person you’ve chosen to be responsible for distributing on the wedding day
    • Choose someone responsible for your wedding gifts
    • Distribute wedding day schedule and vendor contact list to parents, vendors and wedding party, if desired
    • Brides: Organize wedding gown, accessories, and emergency kit
    • Rehearse the ceremony
    • Enjoy your Rehearsal Dinner!
  • Wedding Day
    • Eat a wholesome breakfast
    • Get your hair styled and wedding makeup applied
    • Relax, take some time to meditate and take it all in, and fully enjoy this wonderful day!

After the Honeymoon

  • Don’t worry – the honeymoon’s not over!  But you do have to do a couple more things
  • Get your Wedding Gown and Veil cleaned and preserved
  • Write and mail out your Thank You Cards
  • Take the appropriate actions to change you name, if desired
  • Return Groom Attire if necessary

Also Check Out:

Jewish & Interfaith Wedding Tools & Resources – budget tool, guest list manager, timelines & checklists

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