You’re engaged to the love of your life! Congratulations are in order! Now that you’ve told your friends and family, taken pictures of the ring, and received multiple well-wishes, it’s time to start planning your dream wedding!
It’s well known that planning a wedding can be stressful. Many details must come together to create the perfect day. But there’s no need to feel overwhelmed.
As much as there is to do, wedding planning should be fun. So, to make creating your special day easier here is the ultimate wedding checklist.
12+ Months Before the Wedding
Keep a wedding planning binder to organize everything you will need for a wedding. You’ll be able to refer back to your binder with all your plans and ideas to make planning easier.
Start your research on your vendors like your venue, photographer, florist, caterer, and wedding cake baker. Check out the work each vendor has done for previous weddings and choose the styles you like for your event.
You can also start thinking of design features like the theme, decor, and color schemes. These will affect your stationery and other design features.
A year in advance, you can start making a list of potential guests and refine the final count later. Have you and your partner make separate lists of who you want to be invited to and compare. You can also ask your parents for a list of potential guests.
At this time, you’ll want to discuss a budget and your wedding priorities with your partner. Choose an approximate wedding date, wedding party, and create a wedding website. Now you can celebrate with an engagement party.
9-12 Months Before the Wedding
Now is when you want to think about what the wedding party will wear. Most women’s and mens wedding attire will take some time to arrive after ordering, so be sure to give yourself enough time.
Start taking tours of venues for the ceremony and reception and make a deposit on the one you love most. Now that you have the date and location, you can start booking the vendors.
During this time, book your officiant, photographer and videographer, caterer, entertainment, and florist. You can also do your cake and dessert tasting. If you want a wedding planner, this is the time to get one.
You can send save the dates to your final guest list, especially if you’re having a destination wedding or your event is around a holiday. Research accommodations for out-of-town guests.
At this time, you can ask your friends and family to be a part of your wedding party.
6-9 Months Before the Wedding
This is when you should have your vendors finalized. Meet with your caterers to discuss the menu, your photographer and videographer to discuss your style, and your band or DJ to choose your favorite music. Also, plan your ceremony with your officiant.
Start shopping for your wedding dress and suit and schedule follow up fittings. You can also start looking at bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen suits.
Reserve accommodations like a block of rooms in a hotel. Plan your honeymoon, bridal shower, and bachelorette party. You can also take engagement photos with your photographer.
4-6 Months Before the Wedding
We’re coming down to the wire. It’s time to book the venue for the rehearsal dinner and decide your rehearsal dinner guest list.
Discuss your flower arrangements and decorations with your florist. Go shopping for your wedding rings, finalize your wedding party’s attire, and purchase the undergarments and lingerie you’ll wear for your wedding night.
Make a spreadsheet to keep track of the guests’ addresses and RSVPs.
3 Months Before the Wedding
Now is the time to finalize everything. The menus, flowers, and decor should all be set. Create an event schedule to keep yourself on track. Make a list of people who will give toasts or speak at the wedding and include that in the order.
Plan the ceremony and reception seating. Finalize your ceremony details with the officiant. Be sure to include any cultural customs and traditions in the conversation.
If you’re writing your own vows, now it the time to start your first draft. Do you fittings for dresses and suits and make any final alterations.
Three months before is a great time to have your bridal shower.
2 Months Before the Wedding
The big day is approaching, so connect with your vendors and ensure everything is in order. Send out your wedding invitations now to give your guests time to respond. Keep the RSVPs organized with your spreadsheet.
With the final guest count, finalize your seating charts and send the number to vendors who need it, like your venue and caterer.
Have your final fittings and purchase your wedding rings. Start writing your thank-you cards and make as many payments as you can to all your vendors and rentals.
2 Weeks Before the Wedding
Delegate wedding duties. Make sure your family and wedding party know what responsibilities they have. This includes setting up and tearing down the venue space, returning rentals, and making toasts.
Now is the time to get your hair cut and colored, so it looks natural on your wedding day. Put together a bridal emergency kit for small issues and break in your wedding shoes.
1 Week Before the Wedding
The homestretch! Be sure all vendors know their arrival times and send a timeline to your wedding party. Pick up your wedding dress and veil. Have the groom and groomsmen get haircuts and confirm their clothes are ready.
Make any backup or contingency plans for weather or transportation issues. Treat yourself to a spa day with your bridal party.
Your Wedding Day
It’s finally here! You’ll want to eat a filling breakfast and give yourself plenty of time to get ready. Give the wedding bands to the best man to hold onto.
Get hair and makeup done for the bride and bridesmaids. Have your photographer take photos of your day. Arrive at the venue on time, take it all in and say, “I do.”