The Wedding Planning Checklist Every Bride (and Groom) Needs
Here's everything you need to do to prepare for your big day.
12+ Months Before
♦ Set a budget.
♦ Look for and book ceremony and reception sites.
♦ Pick a wedding date and time, then check with all the major vendors (reception venue, ceremony site, etc.) and close family and friends to make sure that date works.
♦ Put together a planning team. Decide whether you will have a wedding planner or if you will tackle things on your own or with a few trusted friends.
♦ Start putting together your guest list.
♦ Choose your wedding party.
♦ Throw an engagement party.
9 Months Before
♦ Register for gifts.
♦ Shop for and order your gown.
♦ Book your caterer, band or DJ, and photographer and/or videographer.
♦ Meet with florists to determine your floral décor.
♦ Research and reserve hotel room blocks for out-of-town guests.
♦ Order stationery.
♦ Choose an officiant.
6-8 Months Before
♦ Make a wedding website.
♦ Book musicians for your ceremony.
♦ Order bridesmaid dresses.
♦ Start planning your honeymoon.
♦ Send save-the-date cards.
4-6 Months Before
♦ Contact rental companies if you need tents, tables, chairs, furniture, etc.
♦ Attend pre-wedding counseling, if required.
♦ Shop for wedding rings.
♦ Shop for the groom’s and groomsmen’s attire.
♦ Meet with bakers, and order your wedding cake.
♦ Hire wedding-day transportation.
♦ Have your first dress fitting. Remember to bring the shoes and lingerie you will wear on the big day.
♦ Plan your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
♦ Renew passport for your honeymoon, if necessary.
♦ Research and book transportation for the day of.
4 Months Before
♦ Hire a calligrapher for your invitations. Your stationer may have someone they recommend or use regularly.
♦ Book your stylist and try out your wedding-day look.
♦ Book a makeup artist and do a trial.
2-3 Months Before
♦ Attend your shower.
♦ Mail your invitations.
♦ Write your vows and/or meet with your officiant to discuss the run of the ceremony.
♦ Purchase gifts for your parents, bridal party, and each other.
♦ Send your rehearsal invitations.
1 Month Before
♦ Apply for a marriage license in the town you will be marrying. Check with the town clerk to see what information/documents are needed.
♦ Attend your final gown fitting. Have someone present to learn how to bustle your dress the day of the wedding.
♦ Check in with your bridal party to make sure they have everything they need.
♦ Make last-minute adjustments with vendors.
♦ Create a wedding program to hand out at the ceremony.
♦ Plan and put together welcome baskets for out-of-town guests.
♦ Attend bachelor/bachelorette parties.
2 Weeks Before
♦ Book spa and mani/pedi appointments.
♦ Review final RSVP list and call any guests who have not responded.
♦ Put together a shot list for the photographer and videographer, including a list of formal shots and when they will be taken.
♦ Deliver final song list to your band/DJ, including songs on your “do not play” list.
♦ Break in your shoes.
1 Week Before
♦ Give reception site/caterer the final head count, including vendors like the photographer, videographer and band/DJ to ensure plates will be made for them.
♦ Supply location manager with a list of requests from other vendors.
♦ Create reception seating chart.
♦ Print place and table cards or give to calligrapher.
♦ Put together a timeline for the day of (when vendors will arrive, who is doing what) and share with the ceremony and reception site managers and vendors.
♦ Call wedding vendors to confirm details.
♦ Groom: Get haircut.
♦ Start packing for your honeymoon.
2-3 Days Before
♦ If needed, have your dress pressed or steamed.
♦ Groom and groomsmen: Go for final fittings and pick up formalwear.
♦ Give place cards, table cards, favors, menus, etc., to the reception site manager.
♦ Call the limousine or car rental company to confirm pickup times and locations.
♦ Deliver welcome baskets to the hotel.
1 Day Before
♦ Get manicure and pedicure.
♦ Provide emergency contact information to the vendors.
♦ Write checks or coordinate with wedding hosts about final balances due.
The Night Before
♦ Bring unity candle, aisle runner, yarmulkes or other ceremony accessories to site.
♦ Rehearse the ceremony.
♦ Give marriage license to the officiant.
♦ Attend rehearsal dinner.
♦ Present bridal party with gifts.
♦ Give wedding bands to the best man and maid of honor.
♦ Assign a family member or attendant to be an emergency contact person for the ceremony and reception site managers and photographer.
♦ Present parents and each other with gifts.
♦ Make sure to stay hydrated and eat something.
♦ Arrange for rentals to be picked up.
♦ Have someone take your gown for safe keeping and return groom’s attire (if rented).
♦ Write and send thank-you notes for guests and vendors who were helpful.
♦ Change your name. For help with this, sign up for the name-change service at www.MissNowMrs.com.