Traditional wedding timelines will include advice on when to interview the vendors, select your flowers, and pick a videographer. Screw that. Yes, that junk all has to happen, but if you spent your time stressing over all that, well, you’d be bridezilla.
Instead, we’ve streamlined the wedding planning checklist to focus only on the things that you actually need to care about.
5-10 Years Before the Wedding
- Have as much meaningless sex as possible.
- Drink an unhealthy quantity of alcohol.
- Spend more time with your buddies than family or girlfriends.
- Care more about fantasy football than a relationship.
- Have at least one pregnancy scare.
3-5 Years Before the Wedding
- Have a serious girlfriend.
- Break up with her in a spectacularly irresponsible, immature fashion.
- Start to feel like maybe, kinda, don’t-tell-anyone, maybe you should settle down and find the right girl.
1-3 Years Before the Wedding
- Meet your fiancée.
- Think that okay, maybe it wouldn’t suck so bad if you were in a long-term, serious relationship with her.
- Rethink that last point. Damn. Maybe you’re not ready? Go back and forth.
- Meet her parents.
- Move in with her. Wonder how that difers from marriage. Wonder how that differs from marriage.
- Push off her engagement ultimatum.
- Finally, after hemming and hawing, decide that what the hell, she’s the one.
- Save up for an engagement ring. Figure out how much to spend.
- Buy the engagement ring.
- Ask her father for permission…Or not.
- Plan your wedding proposal.
- Pop the question.
- Announce your proposal to the world.
- Fantasize about eloping.
- Negotiate the length of your engagement.
9 Months – 1 Year Before the Wedding
- Figure out your role in the wedding and the groom’s responsibilities
- Understand how wedding porn is corrupting your bride.
- Suffer through an engagement party.
- Start planning the wedding guest list.
- Begin planning the wedding budget.
- Approach the parents about awkward money stuff.
- Ensure she doesn’t set the wedding date on Super Bowl Sunday.
- Seriously consider a destination wedding.
- Pick your best man and groomsmen.
6-9 Months Before Your Wedding
3-6 Months Before Your Wedding
- Sign up for dance classes. Start practicing.
- Pick a DJ/band for the wedding reception.
- Be thankful you’re not your fiancée who has to deal with much, much more detailed junk.
- Purchase your wedding bands.
- Help your parents plan the rehearsal dinner.
- Embellish like hell: submit a wedding announcement to The New York Times.
- Pay just a little, little bit of attention to the wedding reception venue selection.
1-3 Months Before Your Wedding
- Knock out the marriage license.
- Taste the wedding cake.
- Buy (yes, buy) your tux.
- Make sure the groomsmen have taken care of their formal wear.
- Handle the wedding day transportation.
- Attend your bachelor party.
- Buy gifts for the groomsmen.
- Buy a gift for your bride.
- Understand the marriage tax consequences.
1 Week – 1 Month Before
A Few Days Before
- Pick up formal wear.
- Get your hair cut.
- Confirm transportation.
- Check on logistics for your family’s share of out-of-town guests.
- Keep plenty of cash on you for emergencies.
- Practice vows.
- Confirm honeymoon logistics.
- Start packing for honeymoon.
- Give marriage license to officiant.
- Give gifts to groomsmen.
- Attend the rehearsal dinner.
- Stay sober. (But just in case, learn how to fight the hangover.)