Planning a wedding is not easy! Here is an easy step-by-step wedding planning checklist including a timeline that will make your life so much easier!
1. HAVE A WEDDING PLANNER OR FOLDER
Research into what you want for your wedding through blogs, bridal magazines, etc. Choose styles and themes you may want! wedding planning checklist
2. ESTABLISH A BUDGET
Determine what you can and cannot afford. Prioritize what you “want” and “don’t want”!
3. DISCUSS OR DETERMINE A WEDDING DATE
Check availability of your preferred venues, officiants, and important guests. Be cautious of holidays or other important conflicting events!
4. SELECT YOUR WEDDING PARTY
Write down a list of all those important people you want by your side on the special day!
5. CREATE A GUEST LIST
Determine how big or little you want your wedding to be. It is important to get RSVPs as soon as possible so you can give your vendors an exact idea of what you want / need!
6. LOOK INTO EVENT PLANNERS
Planners can help save a lot of money and time. They will manage and do all the stressful duties for you. You get to tell them what they want, and they will find it for you. They take care of the contracts, timelines, set up and so much more!
7. RESEARCH YOUR VENDORS
There are lots of different vendors you might hire for your wedding. Music / DJ, Decor, Floral, Photography, Cake, Transportation, Security, Etc. Check the reviews and pricing of the vendors to make sure they are a good fit, or let the event planner handle it!
8. BOOK YOUR OFFICIANT
There are many officiants you can find online or if you would like to have an officiant with any cultural/religious aspects there are plenty of options. You can also have a close friend or family member of yours become a certified officiant online!
9. CONSIDER AND REVIEW WEDDING INSURANCE OPTIONS
This is event insurance that will protect you from any losses that affect your wedding such as extreme weather, problems with the venue, damage, injury, etc.
8 – 12 Months Before
1. BOOK YOUR VENDORS
After researching and meeting your vendors, book them so they have the date finalized in their calendar. Vendors can be busy. You want to make sure you book all of them ahead of time so you don’t run into any complications! Wedding planning checklist
2. FIND THE DRESSES AND TUX
It can be hard finding the perfect dress and tux. This is your special daysso you should be picky and make sure it is what you want. Give yourself plenty of time for researching companies, going to fittings, any alterations, etc!
3. HELP YOUR OUT OF TOWN GUESTS FIND ACCOMMODATIONS
Hotels can do room blocks which means they will hold the room at special rates. You can make a reservation at multiple hotels to accommodate any guests traveling far for your special day!
4. START PLANNING TO TAKE YOUR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS
Or take them now! Find a nice photographer and schedule a day so you can send invitations soon and of course to post online!
6 – 8 Months Before
1. START PLANNING YOUR HONEYMOON
Request work off and make sure you have a passport or if you are going out of the country!
2. MEET / INFORM THE OFFICIANT OF WHAT YOU WANT
Coordinate if you need ushers, have all the documents needed by the county and map out the ceremony!
3. START PLANNING OUT HOW YOUR WEDDING IS GOING TO LOOK
The cake design, wedding invitations, wedding favors, floral decorations, etc!
4. START WORKING ON A DAY-OF TIMELINE
Write out a schedule of your wedding, when things arrive, what time they need to set up, cutting the cake, the first dance, etc!
4 – 6 Months Before
1. BOOK THE REHEARSAL CEREMONY AND DINNER
Book the rehearsal date and time and make sure the wedding party has all of the information. Find a good place to eat after for the dinner!
2. CHOOSE YOUR MUSIC
The first dance is always a big deal. This will be a song that will be special to you for the rest of your life. Take some time to think about the perfect song!
3. SCHEDULE HAIR & MAKEUP
If you want to save time and stress, get your makeup and hair professionally done! wedding planning checklist
3 Months Before
1. FINAL INVITATIONS
If you created a Wedding Website, you should upload all the information needed (venue, time, accommodations, parking, etc.) for your guests and send an email/notification so they are updated. If not, purchase physical invitations either online or hand-written by a calligrapher, depending on your budget!
2. ORDER PARTY FAVORS, IF DESIRED
These can be anything from treats to a physical object people take home to remember your wedding (shot glasses, geodes, wine stopper, etc.)
3. FIGURE OUT WHO’S DOING TOASTS
Who would you like to speak during the reception? Ask them to start preparing now!
4. PRINT ANY PROGRAMS OR MENU CARDS
5. MAKE SURE YOUR VENDORS AND TEAM GETS THE EVENT SCHEDULE
Even if it is not yet finalized, a draft is still very helpful for them and allows feedback for any errors or complications!
6. DON’T FORGET YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE
This process can take a couple days to even or month or two!
2 Months Before
1. TOUCH BASE WILL ALL YOUR VENDORS
Make sure they know everything, have everything they need, or if they have any questions!
2. COMMUNICATE WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHER / VIDEOGRAPHER
Discuss any specific shots you want, pick out certain locations you like at the venue, etc!
3. BACHELOR / BACHELORETTE PARTY TIME!
If your best man or maid of honor hasn’t mentioned anything yet, ask and arrange a night with your best friends to celebrate!
3. CHOOSE AND ORDER WEDDING RINGS
1 Month Before
1. DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING
Make sure the number is accurate for those who have RSVPs if they’re bringing a plus one, and call anyone who hasn’t responded and let the venue/catering/event planner know if there are any changes.
2. ATTEND FINAL DRESS FITTING
3. SEND FINALIZED DAY OF SCHEDULE TO VENDORS
The final timeline should be sent to everyone and anyone you can think of, maid of honor, venue manager, event planner, all vendors, etc.
4. LET EVERYONE KNOW THE REHEARSAL INFO
What time to be there, where to park, what to wear, etc.
5. ASSIGN SEATING & TABLE PLAN
Keep in mind who is sitting at the same table, think about who you want to sit next to each other, etc.
6. PURCHASE BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS
You can present these at the rehearsal dinner or the day of the wedding
7. WRITE VOWS IF NECESSARY
Some people like to have them typed out and memorized and some people like to just say what they feel is right!
Week Of Wedding
1. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A RIGHT HAND MAN
Having a Day-Of Coordinator will help with any complications or little tasks you’ll need throughout the day. Someone to bustle your dress, carry your things, be in charge of gifts, etc. Give them a list of requests and a timetable for the day-of.
2. PUT ASIDE TIPS
Put any checks or cash in an envelope that you plan to give to any of your vendors!
3. GIVE THE VENUE MANAGER INFORMATION
Including all the company names, deliveries, set-up times and contact numbers.
4. ANY WEDDING PREP
Hair, nails, wax, tanning, breaking in the wedding heals, practicing vows, etc!
5. RECONFIRM ANY FINAL DETAILS
with vendors and discuss any last-minute substitutions!
6. DROP EVERYTHING OFF THAT YOU NEED AT THE VENUE
Whether this is any DIY projects, place cards, favors, table plans, etc.
7. PROVIDE EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBER
to all professionals for the wedding day
8. FINALIZE HONEYMOON PLANS
The Day Before
Rehearse the ceremony with the full wedding party, ceremony readers, officiant and iron out details
2. HAVE AN EMERGENCY KIT READY
3. GET A GOOD NIGHTS REST!
The Big Day
1. PREPARE YOURSELF
Eat a healthy breakfast. Give yourself enough time to get ready. Be fully present. Take mental snapshots throughout the day. Take deep breaths, close your eyes, focus on the moment to commit it to memory!
2. FIND THE BEST MAN
to give him the wedding bands to hold during the ceremony and the officiant’s fee envelope for after the ceremony.
3. FIND A FAMILY MEMBER
to assign for the photographer’s contact so he knows who is who and who is together!
After The Wedding
1. Write thank you notes
2. Pay off any outstanding balances to vendors
3. Return remaining rentals or formal wear
4. Have your wedding dress cleaned or preserved
5. Research life insurance plans
6. Officially change your name(s) if you chose to do so
8. Enjoy your honeymoon!
7. Order your wedding album
We hope this step-by-step wedding planning checklist helped you immensely! We are sure you’re wedding will turn out beautiful but if you ever need any professional help or advice, don’t be afraid to contact Weddings Till Dawn at any time! We love to help!