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Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist

There's no need to be  overwhelmed with the thought of planning your big day. Sit down, take a deep breath, grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine and look over our popular 12-month planning guide. Planning a wedding is simply a matter of getting organized.

11-12 Months Before the Wedding
  • Officially announce your engagement online and in your local paper.
    Bride's Planning Tote
  • Decide on a time and date for the wedding.
  • Decide style of ceremony (size, setting, formality, etc.).
  • Contact a wedding officiate.
  • Arrange for your families to meet if they haven't met before.
  • Develop a budget and decide who will pay for what.
  • Begin compiling your guest list.
  • Visit and reserve your reception venue.
9-10 Months Before the Wedding
  • Order your wedding gown and determine who will make any necessary alterations.
  • Choose your wedding party.
  • Decide on a color scheme (consider the reception site).
  • Meet with potential wedding professionals for your ceremony & reception. Interview local videographers, photographers, florists, DJs & Musicians, caterers, and bakeries. Be sure to get a contract that states wedding date, time, and location for each vendor, as well as the schedule for payments.
  • Scout out accommodations for out-of-town guests.
7-8 Months Before the Wedding
  • Start shopping for wedding rings.
  • Decide on honeymoon plans and take care of any special travel requirements such as passports or visas.
  • Decide on and order attendants gowns.
  • Order invitations and other stationery needs.
    Design and Preview Online here: Invitations by Carlson Crafts 
  • Register for wedding gifts at select stores and online outlets. Don't forget to register for shower and engagement party gifts as well!
5-6 Months Before the Wedding
Save the Date Magnets
  • Let your out-of-town guests know the date of your wedding so that they reserve the date and make any necessary travel plans. Find Save-the-Date cards & magnets at: Carlson Craft
  • Complete guest list.
  • Shop for and taste test the wedding cake.
  • Select and reserve attire for men in the wedding.
  • Determine marriage license requirements for the state in which you are getting married. (If in the US, contact the county clerks office; if abroad, your wedding coordinator will have this information.)
3-4 Months Before the Wedding
  • Finalize the menu with your caterer.
  • Order wine, champagne, liquor, etc., if not included in the caterers service.
  • Finalize flowers, including those needed for the reception decorations.
  • Mail out information about hotels and city attractions to your out-of-town guests so they can make their plans.
  • Order wedding favors.
  • Order wedding rings to allow time for engraving.
  • Begin working on vows, especially if you are writing your own.
Check out our Wedding Favors here!

2 Months Before Wedding
  • Finalize and book honeymoon.
  • Mail invitations.
  • Do hair/make-up dry run, complete with your veil or headpiece.
  • Book wedding day beauty appointments.
  • Complete name change paperwork for bank accounts, insurance, etc.
  • Finalize music play list.
  • Finalize order of service and write the wedding program.
  • Touch base with your florist, caterer, and DJ to confirm date and times, etc. Get their cell phone number if you don't already have them.
  • Book rehearsal dinner.
  • Order wedding cake, if not ordered already.
1 Month Before
  • Order any rental items needed such as chairs, tents, lighting, if not included at wedding/reception sites.
  • Purchase bridesmaid gifts.
  • Purchase groomsmen gifts.
  • Schedule final fitting for wedding gown. Remember to bring wedding shoes, veil, and proper lingerie needed.
  • Purchase your accessories: guest book and pen set, ring pillow, flower girl baskets, unity candle, etc. You might want to do this a little earlier if you are having items personalized.
  • Arrange for transportation needs for wedding party and out-of-town guests for the rehearsal and wedding day. Be sure to give the driver the addresses and schedules for all who will need transportation.
2-3 Weeks Before
  • Get marriage license. Call ahead to make sure you know what is required to bring.
  • Organize any accessories needed such as ring pillow, flower girl basket, garter, and "something old, new, borrowed, and blue."
  • Contact guests who haven't sent in RSVPs so that you can give the caterer a final headcount.
  • Pick up wedding rings and check engraving before leaving the store. Store in a safe place!
  • Confirm honeymoon hotel, airline reservations, and wedding night reservations, if not leaving until the next day.
1 Week Before
  • Pack for honeymoon.
  • Host attendants party and give out gifts along with a thoughtful thank you note to each bridesmaid.
    Bridesmaids Gifts
  • Make final payments to vendors. Put gratuities in envelopes and arrange to have a trusted friend distribute the envelopes on the big day.
    Order gratuity envelopes here.
1 Day Before
  • Take a long walk or schedule a massage to reduce stress. Gather your thoughts and mentally prepare yourself!
  • Greet out-of-town guests.
  • Make some time for each other to exchange gifts and a congratulatory kiss (or several)!
  • Attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
  • Get in bed at a reasonable hour so that you'll look and feel your best for your wedding.
Wedding Day
  • Awake early and eat a good breakfast.
  • Go to beauty appointments.
  • Arrive at wedding site early enough to dress and to visit with bridesmaids.
  • Allow enough time for photography.
  • Relax, smile, and enjoy your well-organized day!

     
The WhereBridesGo.com Team
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Comments

Carmelina said…
This is a great post and a very comprehensive checklist. As a wedding planner, I love ones that I can direct brides to so that I know they are on task for their big day! Another good one I use that also includes other planning tools is Event By Me. Thanks again for sharing!
Carmelina said…
This is a great post and a very comprehensive checklist. As a wedding planner, I love ones that I can direct brides to so that I know they are on task for their big day! Another good one I use that also includes other planning tools is Event By Me. Thanks again for sharing!

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