Wedding Checklist – The Perfect Month-to-Month Checklist for Planning Your Wedding

Posted on March 10th, 2017

wedding checklist

Wedding Checklist

You’ve found your Prince Charming. Now it’s time to plan the best night of your lives using this wedding checklist.

From the venue to the gown, we’ve got you covered. This month-by-month wedding planning checklist will help you keep track of all the details.

Then you will enjoy the ball without worrying about the glass slippers.

8 – 12 Months Before

You will make a lot of major decisions during the first three months of wedding planning. The first thing on your wedding checklist is to determine your budget.

Once you and your spouse decide how much to spend on the event, you can then decide how much to designate for each category (venue, cuisine, beverages, gown, decorations, etc).

Consider hiring a wedding consultant or planner. They can reduce your stress level by keeping track of all the details so you don’t have to.

Think about the theme, color scheme, and ambiance. Do you want an elegant dining hall with spectacular scenery or an oceanfront hotel along the Jersey Shore?

Choose a date for the wedding and book the venue for the ceremony and reception.

Select your officiant, and make sure he or she is available on that date.

Choose your wedding party — your maid of honor, bridesmaids, best man and groomsmen. Make sure they are available on the date you chose.

Choose a photographer and videographer, and make sure they are available on your chosen date.

Decide how many people to invite. Then you can assemble your guest list.

Think about what kind of food you would like to serve and decide on a caterer.

Decide what kind of entertainment you want at the wedding. If you want a band to play and a DJ, book them for your date.

Decide on a florist and make sure he or she understands the ambiance you would like to create.

Try on wedding gowns with a friend and choose your favorite.

Make accommodations for guests coming from a long distance. This includes hotel reservations and transportation.

Create a gift registry with your partner.

Create a wedding website (such as The Knot, My Wedding, Minted or Say I do) for your guests to RSVP. Include links to local attractions, hotel reservations, and your registry.

Above all, make sure to get all details about the wedding in writing, especially the payment amount and payment schedule.

6 – 8 Months Before

During the next two months, you’ll make some important decisions. This wedding checklist will make sure the major and minor items are taken care of.

You’ll want to plan out the ceremony and decide what time the ceremony and reception will begin. You will also need to decide when the meal or refreshments will be served.

You should also meet with your officiant and compile a list of documents needed, including your marriage license.

Design and mail save-the-date cards, and start working on the invitations and thank you cards.

Pick out bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen attire (and don’t forget about your ring bearer and flower girl!)

Pick out and order the groom’s ring and the bride’s wedding band.

Sample cake and frosting flavors and order the cake. If you don’t want to serve a traditional cake, order the dessert of your choice.

Start thinking about honeymoon plans and make any arrangements needed.

Find out who will throw the bridal shower and bachelorette party and when.

4 – 6 Months Before

With four to six months to go, you’re well on your way to planning your wedding! This wedding checklist will make sure you don’t forget any important details.

You will want to create a guest list for the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Also, finalize the guest list for the ceremony and reception.

Check on the status of the wedding invitations if you ordered them.

Choose a venue for the rehearsal dinner.

Decide how you want your hair and makeup to look and hire a beautician.

Pick out your shoes and have your dress altered as needed.

If you plan on wearing different clothes to the reception, order that attire, including shoes.

Pick out music for the ceremony and reception.

Reserve linens, tables, and decorations for the reception hall.

Order wedding favors.

Discuss with your officiant what they will say or read during the ceremony.

Finalize the timeline of your wedding day.

If you would like premarital counseling, schedule it.

Start writing your vows.

Make sure your passport is up-to-date if you plan to travel for your wedding or honeymoon.

2 – 3 Months Before

With two or three months left, you may start to feel some pressure or anxiety. Keep in mind that once the wedding is over, you will have a lot of time to relax.

Spend some time each day taking care of you — your emotional, physical and spiritual health. You can use our wedding checklist to remind yourself of the details you don’t want to forget.

Send out your invitations to guests. Have your programs designed and printed.

Do a trial run of your hair and makeup with your beautician.

Contact those friends and family members you want to speak at the reception or give a toast.

Finalize your catering choices and flower arrangements.

Send detailed information to your vendors and touch base with everyone you have hired to help (officiant, photographer, musicians and DJ, florist, cake designer, caterer).

Order beverages or set up plans for an open bar for the reception.

Gather all of your name-change paperwork.

Pick out your undergarments for the wedding day.

Consider posting a notice in your local newspaper about your wedding.

6 – 8 Weeks Before

Congratulations! You’ve done most of the hard work already. Now you can focus on a few important aspects and stay on track with our wedding checklist.

Start writing thank you notes for gifts that arrive early.

Make sure your wedding party has all of their attire.

Buy gifts for your wedding party.

Consider taking ballroom dancing lessons with your fiancé. This is a great opportunity to break in your shoes!

1 Month Before

One month to go! Don’t worry, we won’t let you forget anything major. Use this wedding planning checklist to put your mind at ease.

Get your dress fitted and altered as needed. Make sure your maid of honor knows how to fasten your bustle for the reception.

Create welcome baskets for out-of-town guests.

Contact anyone who has not yet RSVP’d.

Mail invitations to the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

Send a list of songs to the DJ and musicians.

Give your officiant a program of the ceremony details.

Print directions for your driver if you hired a limo.

If you desire, assign seats for the reception and make place cards.

If you would like to have your hair cut and colored, do that right away so that you can have it adjusted if needed.

Ask a family member or friend to take care of wedding accessories such as the pillow for the ring bearer, the basket, and petals for your flower girl, a unity candle or sand and vases, toasting flutes, a cake server, and anything else you may need.

Prepare a guest book and purchase pens to sign it.

Discuss your honeymoon and wedding night plans with your fiancé.

2 Weeks Before

Start counting down! In two weeks, you’ll be married, and you can forget about this wedding checklist altogether.

Pick up your rings and proofread the engravings, just to make sure they are correct.

Have your final fitting with your gown, shoes and any accessories.

Have a final discussion with your photographer to determine when he or she will take photos and who will be in them.

1 Week Before

You might be feeling nervous as the big day approaches. Remember that your family and friends are happy to help you cross things off the wedding checklist. Use them!

Give your catering staff and cake designer a final count of the guests.

Create the right atmosphere in the reception hall by placing the DJ and musicians in the proper location. Your venue director can help with this.

Tell your florist where to display your arrangements.

Call all of your vendors to confirm the details (for the cake or dessert, flowers, decorations, DJ, musicians, photographer, catering staff and bar staff).

Designate contact people who know your schedule (set-up and tear-down times) and will communicate with each of your vendors.

Let your bridal party know the timeline of events for the ceremony and reception.

Designate a personal attendant to keep track of your personal belongings on your wedding day.

Pick up your dress.

Assemble welcome baskets for special guests.

Make any final payments to your vendors. Give a trusted friend envelopes to give out gratuities and final payments on your wedding day.

Check the forecast and develop a plan B in case of inclement weather.

Pack for your honeymoon.

Visit a spa for a manicure, pedicure and facial. Make sure you and your partner are happy and relaxed.

2 – 3 Days Before

Only a few days left! Make sure to remind your significant other how much you care about them.

You’ll want to have your gown pressed or steamed.

Ensure the groom and his groomsmen have a final fitting and pick up their attire.

Give place cards, menus, one-time-use cameras, wedding favors and other decorations or mementos to one of your contact people.

The Day Before

The day before your wedding, make sure you get enough exercise and sleep. Review this wedding checklist to be sure you’re ready for tomorrow.

Get a massage! If your soon-to-be spouse wants one too, bring them along!

Provide emergency phone numbers for your vendors.

Rehearse the ceremony with your wedding party, close family, officiant, and readers.

Make sure your unity candle or the sand and vases and all other accessories are brought to the ceremony location.

Make sure your officiant has your marriage license ready.

Attend the rehearsal dinner. Present gifts to your wedding party.

Greet out-of-town guests.

Lay out your gown, shoes, and accessories for the big day.

Give your wedding bands to your maid of honor and best man.

Ask your personal attendant to pick up your personal items after the ceremony, return your groom’s tux and have your dress cleaned after the wedding. Ask her to also show the photographer who key family members are.

Go to bed early.

The Wedding Day

It’s finally here! Try to stay focused today so you don’t miss the wonderful moments with family, friends and your new spouse.

Eat a light breakfast to settle your nerves.

Arrive on-site early enough to get ready with the bridesmaids.

Greet your guests and thank them for coming.

Above all, relax and enjoy the day.

After the Honeymoon

After the honeymoon, write thank you notes for all of the gifts you’ve received.

Finish up any name-change documents.

Enjoy your first few days as a married couple.

Wedding Checklist – Last Words

Your wedding day will be remembered fondly for years to come. We hope that this content will make planning your wedding easier and less stressful. Click here for more tips on wedding planning.

Inevitably, something unexpected will come up on your big day. Don’t blame yourself. If you choose to focus on the good things, the problems will fade from your memory.

Some of them may make you laugh a year from now.

So if you lose a shoe somewhere in the mix, just remember that your wedding is only the first day of a marriage worth celebrating.

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