Comprehensive Wedding Planning Checklists for your Wedding
The outcome of a wedding celebration relies heavily on planning and preparation. So if you wanted your wedding day to be in perfection, its best that you plan and prepare for it as early as possible.
And with the help of our checklist, you can surely make your wedding day extra amazing and memorable.
Sixteen to Nine Months Before
Create a wedding folder or binder.
The wedding folder or binder will serve as your inspiration haul. In here, you can save and store some clippings of food, bridal, fashion and lifestyle magazine pages that interest you.
Plan and set your budget.
Set a budget that you can spend on your wedding – from planning and preparation up to the wedding reception and honeymoon. Take family and friend’s contributions into budget consideration.
Select the wedding party.
As soon as you announce your engagement, your friends and family will start thinking about “who’s in”.
Create a guest list.
Create a spreadsheet that will contain your possible guest’s info. Create a column for RSVP, gifts, contact info and other relevant information.
Hire a wedding planner.
It’s best to hire a wedding planner as early as possible. The planner can help you with your preparation and since the planner has relationship with other wedding vendors, he/she can help you choose the best ones that suit your budget.
Reserve the wedding date and the venue.
If you already have a final date for your big day, then reserve it now. Decide whether to have a separate location for the ceremony and reception. If travel time and transportation is a concern especially for your guests, consider getting a venue that offers a place for the ceremony and reception.
Book your wedding officiant.
Research local caterers, florists, bands and photographers.
Keep their info in your binder so you can easily look for them whenever you need.
Throw an engagement party (optional).
If you decide to have an engagement party, make sure that all of the attendees are included in your wedding day guest list.
Eight Months Before
Hire wedding photographer/videographer.
Make sure that you already booked your chosen wedding photographer/videographer for your big day. You don’t have to talk with them with the specifics yet but make sure that you got them available the day of your event.
Book the entertainment.
If you have a list of entertainers, check out their performances live and see which one suits your taste, then book them for your wedding day.
Meet with the caterers.
Some wedding venue offers their very own food caterers so make sure to ask first before you meet with outside caterers. They also sometimes have tie-ups with other caterers so ask them about it too and see if this can give you some sort of discount. Just make sure to hire one now and book them for the date.
Buy a dress.
Schedule time for at least three fittings. Buying a dress as early as now can allow you to fit it every now and then and adjust accordingly.
Reserve hotel room for out of town guests (optional).
If you have guests that are coming from another town, make sure to book their hotel rooms as early as now. Pick the one that is close to your wedding venue.
Sign up at least three retailers.
Create a wedding website.
Creating a wedding website is way easier now than before. If you have the budget, you can buy your own domain and host it for a cheap price. There are also free providers out there that offer a free wedding website for soon to be couple. In here, you can put all the details of your wedding – date, time, location and other stuff. After launching the website, let your guest know about it by sending them the link.
Seven to Six Months Before
Choose and purchase invitations
Hire a professional calligrapher if you want. This might be a time-consuming process so better set it up as early as now.
Plan your honeymoon.
If you plan to get out of the country for your honeymoon, then check your passport and other documents. Make sure that they are up to date. Visit your doctor too to get the necessary vaccine before the big day.
Buy bridesmaid’s dresses.
This will give you ample of time for the dresses to be ordered and sized.
Meet with the officiant.
Talk with the officiant and present him/her the official documents you have necessary for the wedding. If something is missing or lacking, you still have ample of time to provide it.
Send save-the-date cards.
Reserve structural and electrical needs.
If your wedding is an outdoor event, then book portable toilets. You can also book extra chairs, lighting materials and other stuff that you might need on the event.
Hire a florist.
Florists are one of the busiest wedding vendors. They can cater to multiple clients at one day (not only for wedding but for other occasions as well) so better hire one now so they can save your date. Talk to them and tell them what you need and want so they can prepare everything as early as possible for your big day.
Consider all available mode of transportation within the vicinity of your wedding venue and choose the ones that not only suit you, but your guests and entourage too!
Compose a timeline
Starting scheduling the day including all the events like cake cutting, first dance, toasts and speeches.
Five to Four Months Before
Save the rehearsal date and venues.
Check the menu and how much they cost. Try to negotiate if it’s too much for your budget.
Check the wedding invitations.
Ask the person/company in-charge of the invitations for samples of their finished product. Revise them if needed or as you please.
Choose and order the cake.
If you already have a baker in mind, approach him/her now and tell him/he what you need or want. Some bakers requires a long lead time so it’s best to hire one now.
Provide your list of guests to the host of shower.
If you know that there will be a shower, make sure to send the guest list to your host.
Buy wedding shoes and start fitting.
After buying the shoes, bring it with you for your first dress fitting and see how it looks. This way, the dress maker can do appropriate measurement and adjustment for your gown.
Book hair and makeup artists
Ask your friend and relatives for recommendations but don’t forget to do your own research too. Start with your local hair and makeup artists and schedule appointments to try them out. Take a pick of each and every trial and compare the results.
Select and finalize your wedding music.
Create a list of the music you wanted to be played during dinner, first dance, speech, cake cutting and toast. Also make sure to include the music that you don’t want to be played around.
Three Months Before
Finalize the menu and flowers.
Food and flowers are affected by the weather and the season leading up to your wedding date. So make sure to check and see what’s available and finalize them at this moment.
Order favors (optional).
If you plan to give wedding favors, order them now. You might want to consider your wedding motif or theme in choosing the favors. If you will have a beach wedding, then a favor that represents the sea or the beach will be fitting.
List down people giving toasts.
Don’t surprise your guests for the wedding toasts. Better list down the people you like giving the toasts and tell them now so they will be prepared for it.
Finalize the readings.
Finalize the words and paragraphs that you would like to read at the ceremony and who you want to do the readings.
Bring the undergarments with you for your next fitting.
Finalize the schedule of ceremony.
Print menu cards and the programs.
You can easily do it yourself or ask a friend to do it for you.
Purchase the wedding rings.
Select the right wedding ring and ask for engraving. If the size of the wedding ring that you like doesn’t fit, then you still have time to ask for its adjustment.
Send your event schedule to vendors.
Send them the program for the whole day along with the timeframe. This will give them an idea on how to do their respective duties and responsibilities at your event efficiently.
Two Months Before
Meet with your vendors.
Ask them if everything is ok for your big event. If there’s a conflict, now is the time to find a solution for it.
Meet with photographer/videographer.
Bring them to your venue and tell them the spots or areas that you wanted to be captured. Tell them the shots you like and ask for their recommendations and advice too.
Review your music playlist with the wedding band or DJ.
Ask them if the music you want is all good to go. If not, ask for possible alternatives to be played.
Send out the wedding invitations.
Send your wedding invitations now and tell the recipients that the RSVP cutoff is two weeks after receiving their invite.
Submit a newspaper wedding announcement (optional).
Check your local newspaper for their requirements and how much it will cost.
Enjoy the bachelorette party.
This is usually the maid of honor’s task but if she hasn’t talked about it yet, ask her about the plan.
One Month Before
Write the RSVP to your final list of guests.
For people who haven’t responded with a yes or no, contact them through their phone numbers.
Apply for marriage license.
Marriage license typically takes 6 days to be processed. Apply now to get it as early as possible.
Send out the rehearsal – dinner invitations.
Visit your dressmaker for the last dress fitting.
Bring the shoes, undergarments and other accessories with your for the last dress fitting. This can give you and the dressmaker a final look of the gown. If all is good, then it’s final. If not, you can still ask for minor adjustments as you still have few days left before the big day.
Stock the bar.
Now that you have a concrete list of guests, you can stock the bar and order accordingly.
Send out final payments.
Confirm time to all vendors.
Print and e-mail directions for drivers of transport vehicles.
You can send this to your out of town guests and people who are visiting the place for the first time.
Write the names of female guests on pink sticky notes and male guests on blue. This way, you can easily attach and detach them as you please without redoing the entire seating again.
Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts.
Give them early on, perhaps on the rehearsal dinner.
Get a haircut and color (optional).
Week of the Wedding
- Contact wedding vendors again and remind them about the schedule.
Delegate wedding-day tasks.
Ask someone to carry your personal things, a person to be in charge for the gifts (especially the monetary), someone to bustle your dress and another person to keep up with the wedding vendors on the date itself.
Send the timeline for the bridal party.
Create a list and input member’s contact info. Also include the contact number of point people you asked for the wedding day-tasks.
Pick-up your dress.
Check the dress before leaving the dressmaker. This will ensure that everything is perfect.
Meet with your photographer/videographer.
Again, tell him/her about what you wanted to see at the photos of your big event.
Organize check for the vendors.
Don’t forget to include necessary tips on the envelope.
Book a spa treatment (optional).
Wedding planning is quite a stressful process. So book a spa appointment a day before your wedding to feel refreshed and pampered.
Send the list of guests to the caterer and hosting venues.
This will give them an idea of what to expect and how to deal with them accordingly.
Break in your shoes.
Pack for honeymoon.
Organize the stuff and things you’ll bring for your honeymoon vacation.
Distribute welcome baskets.
Do it now so you don’t have to worry about it at your big day.
With this checklist, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your wedding day will be fine and perfect!