The Only Wedding Planning Checklist You Will Ever Need

So we hear you are getting married? Congrats!  Now that the excitement has settled down from your engagement, it’s time to start planning your wedding.  To help ease the stress, we have put together this wedding planning checklist of just about every aspect of the planning process.  This is literally the only wedding planning checklist you will ever need and it’s a long one!  But, before we dig in, we just wanted to give you some tips to get you started. Since this post has TONS of links and resources, it’s a good idea to favorite this page since you will want to refer back to it often. The world is an ever-changing place and the wedding industry is no exception.

Instead of a checklist, we like to think of this as a “roadmap for your wedding planning journey.” Each section will guide you through a treasure trove of resources and advice so take the time to read through the sections that are relevant to your vision, budget, and timeframe. Enjoy every minute of the planning process and let’s have some fun!

12-24 Months

Get Inspired – Now is the time to start dreaming and swooning over all the pretty things! Read up on all the latest wedding trends and find your wedding style. During this part of the process, you will also pick your date and use that as your starting point.

Set a date!

Subscribe to online wedding blogs and pick up some magazines

Create a wedding board on Pinterest and get pinning!

Begin to assemble a wedding binder or folder

Set your budget

Consider purchasing a wedding insurance policy

Hire a wedding planner

Hire A Photographer

Choose a venue

11-12 Months

Let’s start putting some of those ideas to work. This month you will create a rough draft of your guest list, choose your wedding party, and have your engagement photos taken. This is also a great time to have an engagement party if that is part of your plan.

Draw up your guest list

Ask the special people in your life if they would like to be in your wedding party

Choose your ceremony site and book your officiant

Schedule your engagement photo session

Plan/have an engagement party

Start a skin care regimen

Create your wedding website

10 Months

Finalize your wedding theme and choose your colors

9 Months

Shop for and buy your wedding dress

8 Months

Pick your bridesmaid dresses and schedule a fitting with your bridesmaids

Send out a Save the date

7 Months

Interview and choose a photographer and videographer if you have not already done so.

Hire a DJ and decide if you want any live music as well

Choose your florist

Reserve a block of hotel rooms for any out of town guests

Meet the caterers, plan the menu and schedule a tasting

Set up your wedding registry.

Begin planning your bridal shower

Meet with your officiant to confirm the details of your ceremony

Make a list of all the rental equipment you need for the ceremony or reception

6 Months

Book your transportation for the day including any limos or party buses to and from the venue

Book a hotel room to get ready during the day and for the wedding night

Schedule and attend your 6-month dress fitting

5 Months

Book your ceremony musician

Hire a hair stylist and makeup artist 

Book your honeymoon

4 Months

Order your invitations

Hire a calligrapher to hand address your invitations

Purchase your wedding rings

Schedule your rehearsal dinner

Choose your wedding favors

3 Months

Attend any pre-wedding retreats or counseling that may be required

Shop for formal wear for your Bridal Shower and rehearsal dinner

Choose your wedding cake

Choose and schedule a time for the Groom and Groomsmen to get fitted for their formalwear

Book dance lessons for your first dance

Attend your bridal shower

2 Months

Meet with your officiant to finalize the details of your ceremony

Choose any readers and finalize the readings with each of them

Obtain the paperwork needed to change your legal name

Mail out the invitations

Write your vows

Purchase any gifts for your parents and each other

Purchase gifts for your bridal party to be handed out at the rehearsal dinner

☐ Don’t forget Something old, new, borrowed and blue!

Schedule a spa and beauty day for you and your bridal party

Gather your RSVPs and contact anyone who has not yet responded

Prepare a seating plan

Confirm the final headcount with your vendors

Prepare your speech for the rehearsal dinner

Write your vows

Deliver final song playlist to your DJ

Review finalized photo list with your photographer

Circle back with your vendors to make sure they have everything they need and that they are clear on expectations

1 Month

Finalize the your wedding day logistics

Schedule your final dress fitting

Contact all of your bridesmaids to make sure their gowns are altered and ready

Create a wedding program to hand out to your guests as they arrive

Purchase wedding day accessories

Obtain your marriage license

Get your last haircut and color before your wedding

Print place cards or table numbers

The Groom should go for his final fitting and pick up his suit along with all of the groomsmen

Choose an outfit for your Bachelorette party

Keep breaking in those wedding shoes!

Make sure all ceremony/reception items for the day are packed up and ready to go

Prepare any tips or final payments ahead of time for your vendors

Attend Bachelor/Bachelorette parties

Prepare a wedding day survival kit

The Week Before

Pack for your honeymoon

Attend your rehearsal dinner

Get a manicure and pedicure & Massage

Deliver any gift baskets to the hotel with instructions on who the deliver them to

Circle back with your vendors one last time

Get a spray tan no more than two days before

Arrange transportation for your out of town guests to and from the hotel

☐ Deliver ceremony and reception accessories to the site 

Give your marriage license to your officiant

The Day Before

Get to bed early

The Day Of!

Eat a good breakfast

Present parents and each other with gifts

Give wedding bands to the best man for the ceremony

Assign a family member as a point of contact for vendors during the day if you don’t have a planner or on-site coordinator

Sit back and let your vendors do the work as you get ready

Enjoy every moment of your day

After The Wedding

Arrange for someone to return rental equipment

Make sure tuxes are returned

Write and send thank-you notes to guests and vendors. Leave reviews online and share your experience

Get your gown cleaned and preserved if you choose to keep it