/ Planning Checklist

The time span of a couple’s engagement averages 15 months, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a wedding in just a few months. Use this checklist to prioritize tasks and plan your wedding on your timeline.

The Beginning

____ Announce the engagement and celebrate.
____ Select two or three tentative wedding dates.
____ Choose bridesmaids, groomsmen and other bridal party members; check if they are available on tentative dates.
____ Create a budget and determine who will pay for what.
____ Compile a tentative guest list.
____ Start a wedding folder or binder with ideas and photos from magazines, blogs and wedding websites.
____ Research and book a wedding planner (if desired)
____ Choose a wedding theme and style.
____ Select and reserve a ceremony and reception venue; finalize wedding date.


Moving Forward

____ Finalize the guest list.
____ Design and mail Save the Date cards (if desired).
____ Select and order wedding invitations.
____ Try on and purchase bridal dress (six months to eight weeks in advance).
____ Invite bridesmaids and flower girls to try on and purchase dresses (six months to eight weeks in advance).
____ Create a gift registry (if desired).
____ Schedule food tastings and book a caterer.
____ Research and book a ceremony officiant.
____ Research and book a photographer.
____ Research and book a musician/band/DJ for the ceremony and reception.
____ Consider honeymoon options.


One Step Closer

____ Attend bridal dress fittings.
____ Purchase bridal accessories (headpiece, gloves, veil, shoes, jewelry).
____ Purchase bridesmaid accessories (shoes, jewelry).
____ Discuss duties and responsibilities with the bridal party.
____ Select flowers and book a florist.
____ Research bakeries, select and order a cake.
____ Decide on a reception menu and bar selection with the caterer.
____ Prepare a playlist for the ceremony and reception band/DJ.
____ Prepare a photo request list for the photographer.
____ Select and reserve an appointment with a hair stylist and makeup artist (if desired).
____ Establish a system for tracking gifts.
____ Shop for wedding rings.
____ Plan the rehearsal dinner.
____ Book a block of hotel rooms for guests (if needed).
____ Plan welcome gifts for out of town guests (if desired).
____ Make honeymoon arrangements.


The Homestretch

____ Address and mail invitations.
____ Pick up bridal and bridesmaid dresses.
____ Purchase or rent groom’s wear and accessories.
____ Purchase or rent formal wear for groomsmen.
____ Purchase gifts for bridal party, parents and fiancé.
____ Pick up wedding rings.
____ Purchase smaller items such as tasting glasses, ring pillow, flower basket, cake topper and guest book.
____ Attend bridal shower.
____ Write thank you notes for gifts already received.
____ Design and print wedding programs (if desired).
____ Obtain a marriage license (research state laws).
____ Discuss ceremony details with the officiant.
____ Write or select wedding vows.
____ Determine the order of ceremony and reception events.
____ Secure transportation for the wedding day.
____ Confirm accommodations for out of town guests (if needed).
____ Confirm rehearsal dinner details.
____ Mail rehearsal dinner invitations.


Two Weeks Before

____ Call guests who have not responded to their invitations.
____ Confirm the number of guests with the caterer and site manager.
____ Create a wedding day schedule and distribute to the bridal party and vendors.
____ Verify arrival times with the bridal party and vendors.
____ Email the names of all vendors, coordinators/planners and bridal party members to the site manager.
____ Create a seating plan for the reception (if desired).
____ Schedule pick-up/return of groom’s formal wear.
____ Break in the wedding shoes.
____ Write a thank you speech for rehearsal dinner and/or reception (if desired).
____ Confirm honeymoon arrangements.

One Day Before

____ Pack an emergency kit with sewing supplies, safety pins, makeup, etc.
____ Pick up grooms and groomsmen attire if renting.
____ Drop off décor items at the reception site.
____ Prepare and arrange checks for final balances and tips to all vendors.
____ Attend the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

Wedding Day

____ Give both wedding rings to the ring bearer or best man.
____ Meet with the hair stylist and makeup artist (if desired).
____ Dress to impress.
____ Get married!