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The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist

When planning a wedding, the list of tasks and to-do's seem to be ever-growing and never-ending! It's so important to stay organized and on top of everything to ensure that every detail gets handled, but it can be overwhelming if you don't have a good place to start. Our Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist will simplify your wedding to-do's all in one place. Keep this checklist handy for easy reference and check back every few months to ensure you're on target for the big day. Good luck! 

13 to 24 Months Before Your Wedding 

This refers to longer engagements, but these tasks can be handled at the one year mark as well.

  • Tell all your family and friends you’re engaged!

  • Insure your engagement ring

  • Set up a wedding website

  • Start a Pinterest board

  • Start planning your guest list to get a good idea of numbers

  • Start your wedding budget

  • Choose a wedding theme

  • Host an engagement party

  • Begin looking at venues 

1 Year Before Your Wedding

  • Book reception facility 

  • Book your officiant

  • Hire a wedding planner (if necessary and budget permits)

  • Have an engagement photo shoot (hint – this is a good way to find out in advance if you’ve chosen the right photographer for your wedding)

  • Choose your wedding party

  • Choose your color scheme

  • Plan and budget for your honeymoon

  • Order your passport if you plan to travel for your honeymoon

  • Start wedding dress and bridal party shopping 

  • Start researching your bachelor/bachelorette parties

  • Get started on a health and skincare routine

6 to 9 Months Before Your Wedding

  • Finalize your guest list

  • Hire your photographer 

  • Book your DJ, musicians or other entertainment

  • Hire your floristcaterer and other wedding vendors

  • Order your invitations and thank you cards

  • Purchase your wedding dress and bridal party dresses

  • Send out save the date cards

  • Book any transportation needs and reserve hotel rooms for out-of-town guests

  • Book a suite for your wedding night

  • Revisit your budget to make sure you’re on track and make any adjustments

  • Confirm any rentals you may need, including a tent, tables, chairs, linens and table settings

4 Months Before Your Wedding

  • Order your flowers

  • Register for marriage classes

  • Book your rehearsal dinner

  • Decide on your hair and makeup style and book appointments with stylists

  • Have several tasting sessions and choose your cake and food

  • Start writing your vows and choose any ceremony readings

  • Create a schedule of the ceremony and reception activities

  • Schedule dress fittings for yourself and your bridal party

  • Purchase your rings 

  • Plan the menus for all your pre-wedding events 

  • Purchase gifts for your wedding party

6 to 8 Weeks Before Your Wedding

  • Send out your wedding invitations (can be done earlier if you're expecting international guests or a destination wedding)

  • Start tracking RSVPs

  • Arrange for your marriage license

  • Plan any name change documents and insurance

  • Finalize your reception menu

  • Finalize any outstanding vendor bookings

  • Purchase a guestbook

  • Purchase favors

  • Create a seating plan

  • Confirm any travel arrangements

  • Get together with your bridal party to help you coordinate the details of the day

  • Purchase your wedding accessories including shoes, jewelry, veil, ring pillows, gloves etc. 

1 Month Before Your Wedding

  • Finalize your wedding vows

  • Have a trial hair and makeup day

  • Finish tracking and following up RSVPs

  • Final fitting of your gown

  • Find something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue!

  • Pick up your wedding rings 

  • Start preparing DIY elements of your wedding

  • Prepare a shot-list for your photographer

  • Get a facial and continue with your skincare routine

2 Weeks Before Your Wedding

  • Finalize your guest list and give a final headcount to your reception facility, caterer etc.

  • Confirm all final arrangements with your vendors

  • Send detailed instructions to your bridal party and vendors, including the final schedule for the ceremony and reception

  • Pack for your honeymoon

  • Provide a final song-list to your DJ/musicians

  • Print place cards

  • Prepare payment for all your vendors

  • Write speeches

  • Pick up your wedding dress

1 Week Before Your Wedding

  • Build a bridal emergency kit with tissues, lipstick, band aids, a sewing kit, safety pins etc.

  • Check the weather forecast and make any required alternative plans

  • Have a spa day with your bridal party. (Be careful about getting a facial this close to your wedding day. It may cause breakouts.)

1 to 3 days Before Your Wedding

  • Get a manicure/pedicure

  • Wedding rehearsal or pre-wedding dinner

  • Pack all your wedding day items including your rings, booking receipts, passports, shoes, accessories, vows and your marriage license 

  • Arrange for someone in your wedding party to transport any gifts or flower arrangements before and after the wedding

  • Finish DIY elements and arrangements 

  • Arrange for return of rental items

  • Get as much rest as possible

Your Wedding Day

  • Give the rings to the best man and maid of honor

  • Spend a lot of time getting ready

  • Eat breakfast

  • Attend hair and makeup appointments

  • Include your photographer in the wedding preparation process

  • Give your bridesmaids their gifts

  • Meet with your vendors and officiant and go over any final arrangements

  • Get dressed

  • Get married!

Written by

Chloe Taylor-Blais

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