Your Comprehensive Wedding Planning Checklist
Your big day is coming up. Big or small, you’re going to need to stay organized and be able to knock off some really important tasks to ensure bookings are set and every detail that matters to you will be everything it needs to be to make your wedding day as special it can be. So, here’s your comprehensive wedding planning checklist.
12 Months Before
By this time you’re going to have to define the kind of wedding you want. This includes researching locations, the size of wedding you both desire, whether or not you want to hire a wedding coordinator/planner, and of course, what your budget will be.
It’s at this stage that you need to book the services that are high demand and often need as little as 12 months out to book.
This includes booking the:
- Ceremony Venue
- Reception Venue
- Wedding coordinator or point person to handle logistics on the day of the wedding.
- Start visiting bridal shops to try on wedding dresses.
- Booking your DJ – Some suggest this later in the process but a great DJ will need to be booked out as far in advance and the same would go for a photographer
- Make sure to get event insurance
- Marriage is a big step. Even the healthiest of relationships don’t always prepare you for handling the transition into shared living, finances and other aspects of marriage. If this is aligned with your beliefs or goals then you’ll want to schedule pre-marital counseling with a pastor/minister at this point. Most minister/clergy who officiate weddings will offer some form of this during the engagement process.
6-9 Months Before
Great news. By now you have the framework of your dream wedding set in place. Next on the Wedding Planning Checklist to bring out the detail within those choices. Here’s what to prioritize:
- Start planning and book your honeymoon
- Begin to have detailed conversations with you DJ regarding playlists and when & where you’d like music during your reception and even ceremony
- Order your wedding dress
- Order your wedding cake
- Is your wedding local or will accommodation be needed for you and your guests? It’s time to choose those hotels and reserve those rooms
- Chances are, you’ve already chosen and notified your wedding party, but now is really the latest you’d want to let them know
- Create your guest list and send out Save the Dates
- Book any remaining services that you would need including photo booths (All About You provides these as an option with our services), limos, and florist
- Notify and book ceremony musicians.
- Book your rehearsal dinner location
3-6 Months Before
- Choose and order bridesmaid dresses and outfits for the flower girl and ring bearer. You can also prioritize ordering accessories like shoes, jewelry, and other essentials for aesthetics for the wedding party.
- Start the process of selecting and reserving suits/tuxes for the groom and groomsman
- Book test appointments with hair and makeup stylists.
- Encourage Maid and Man of honor to organize and finalize bachelor and bachelorette parties within this period.
- Fine tune wedding décor including favors (DIY or ordered)
- Choose and order wedding invitations
- Decide your order of ceremony
- Send wedding invitations.
- Choose the layout of tables
- Select and order your wedding rings
- Finalize arrangements with the florist
- Are you traveling abroad? Renew that passport by now and get vaccinations scheduled if needed.
- Pursue the processing of getting marriage certificates and other legalities in place.
2-3 Months Before
- Send wedding invitations to your guests
- Get fitted for your wedding dress and tuxes.
- More dress fittings if needed
- Begin choosing the kind of gifts you want to provide for the wedding party and immediate family
- Finalize the order of ceremony and order wedding ceremony programs.
1 Month Before
- Get your final dress fitting
- Confirm your final menu for the reception
- Review all RSVP’s and contact those who haven’t yet responded
- Follow up with vendors to finalize details including refining your playlist for your ceremony and sharing important details about the programming order of your reception.
- You’ll also want to speak in detail with your photographer. This includes everything from shooting locations, your must-have shots includes family photos and who will be in them. This will allow them to plan accordingly on their end especially in regards to the small window between your ceremony and reception.
- Start breaking your those wedding shoes
2 Weeks Before
- Provide venue with the final list of guests
- Pick up wedding dress
- Finish writing speeches and vows
- Finalize seating chart and order place cards for table assignments
- Finalize any details with vendors
- Meet with the wedding coordinator or point person to cover details of the day
1 Week Before
- Communicate the final schedule to all vendors including location info
- Pack your overnight bag including passports.
A Couple Days Before
- Begin setting up the venue as far in advance as you’re able
- Prepare final checks to provide to vendors on the day of the wedding. It’s also good to assign a groomsman to handle possession of this during the wedding day.
- Ensure that the bridal party (really groomsman) have picked up their tuxes/suits.
- Contact the entire bridal party to remind them of the timing for the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner and wedding day.
- Communicate with wedding officiate about when the marriage certificate needs to be signed and account for who’s responsible for it.
1 Day Before
- Drop off all décor and things needed for full setup at the reception venue
- Meet at ceremony venue for rehearsal
- Follow up with rehearsal dinner where you’ll give gifts to the wedding party
You’ve planned it. Don’t get lost in the details because you have a team of friends and vendors working together to make this day as special as you’ve wanted it. It goes quickly so remember to slow down, look around, and absorb the excitement of the day.
Too Much to Handle?
This Wedding Planning Checklist is a guidepost. Your wedding can be as intricate or as simple as you want it to be. Either way, we have a highly regarded wedding coordinator (aside from our award winning DJ and photobooth services). She can help guide you through the planning process and ensure nothing will go amiss on your wedding day. Feel free to reach out with any questions you have!