Weddings are so intense, but a wedding checklist can be your guide and your peace of mind. This wedding checklist will briefly go through a year’s worth of preparation, so use this as a wedding checklist depending on what you have already done!
Twelve Months Before the Big Day
- Work out your budget.
- Collect design inspiration.
- Pick wedding party.
- Consider guest list.
- If your budget allows it, hire a wedding planner.
- Book a venue and your wedding date.
- Consider hiring photographers, videographers, florists, and caterers. This will depend on who you choose, for the more professional vendors book a year in advance at times.
Nine Months Before the Big Day
- Attend gigs of potential bands and hire your favorite in this month or the next.
- Start planning your drinks, dinner menu, and desserts.
- Purchase a wedding outfit, whether that’s a suit, a dress, or a jumpsuit. You will need to have at least 3 fittings, so make sure you are at least close to a purchase.
- Create a registry. It is suggested to get a registry in three retailers, but to not overwhelm yourself or your guests, choose your favorite one and register everything you can.
Six Months Before the Big Day
- Select and purchase invitations. If your budget allows it, hire a calligrapher to get personalized and elegant invitations.
- Start planning your honeymoon. Don’t just choose where to go, make sure your passport is up to date and any doctor appointments that you need.
- Shop your bridesmaid’s dresses, or if you trust your girls, give them a theme or color scheme and let them choose, with the supervision of course.
- Meet with your officiant. Make sure you let them know the plans of the ceremony and have your official documents. If you are planning an out-of-state or country wedding, definitely check your documents and laws surrounding officiants and official documents.
- If your wedding venue does not have its own structural or electrical necessities, meaning for an outdoor wedding, make sure you book portable toilets and extra chairs or lighting. Assure that you have your plans for your wedding and determine what extras you would need.
- If you are getting any limos, minibusses, or cars, arrange your transportation at this time.
- Create your itinerary. Draw a schedule of the day’s events: the toasts, the cake cutting, and the first dance.
Five/Four Months Before the Big Day
- If you decided on a calligrapher, check on your invitations and finalize them. Double-check any spelling or date errors and correct them before the final delivery.
- Book the rehearsal dinner venue and account for the cost and menu.
- Cake tasting! If you don’t know who to order from, compile a list and attend several of them to see choose your favorite.
- Purchase wedding shoes if you haven’t already and try your first fitting on your wedding outfit. Make sure any changes are made in this fitting, figuring out length and size.
- If you have the budget, schedule hair and makeup artists that you can try out before. Take photos to look back at them when you decide who to schedule for the big day.
- Finalize your playlist by getting specific songs for the wedding party, during dinner, and for dancing. If you have a DJ, make sure you make a list of songs you definitely want and those you do not want to hear.
Three Months Before the Big Day
- Finalize the menu and flowers. You can match what is available with what is in season and determine it by that.
- If you plan to have party favors, now is a good time to order them. Try for monogrammed cookies or personalized candy jars. If you want to make welcome baskets instead, now is the time to plan them.
- Make a list of those planning to give a toast. Ask them now and find out who wants to make a toast.
- Definitely finalize any readings, whether they’re verses or a personalized speech by the officiant.
- Purchase undergarments and schedule your second fitting.
- Finalize the order of the ceremony and reception. Print whatever you can on your own, like menu cards and programs, especially if you are within a budget.
- Purchase and size the rings. Take that time to engrave them as well to make them extra special.
- Send out your schedule to the vendors and make sure you tweak anything that you get feedback on.
Two Months Before the Big Day
- Reach out to all of those vendors and hired officials. If you need to make any alterations or if they have any changes, it is best to work them out now.
- Meet with the photographer and discuss specific shots. Walk the area so you both have a sense of what the pictures will look like.
- Review the playlist with the band or DJ and make sure that the songs you don’t want to hear are not on it. If they come with their own tracklist, at least you can avoid the ones that could potentially ruin your day.
- Send out the invitations, usually 6 to 8 weeks before the big day. The RSVP responses should be sent back around 3 weeks before.
One Month Before the Big Day
- Enjoy your bachelor/bachelorette party! Some people wait till the day before, but it is not necessary to wait till that day.
- Confirm your guests and contact those who haven’t responded.
- Get your marriage license. Some couples do this earlier, but it takes about a week to receive. This may depend on your state or country, so definitely get this at the start of the month to avoid any late mailings. If you’re changing your name, there will be more paperwork and a longer wait, so plan accordingly.
- Contact those for the rehearsal dinner, whether through mail or other means.
- Go to your last fitting and if all is well, then protect your dress! If it needs a little more work, schedule one last fitting for the week of your wedding.
- With your final headcount, stock the bar and assign seating. Be super organized so that you can make changes without starting from the beginning by using sticky notes or magnets.
- Make any final payments and confirm any final appointments, like hair and makeup.
- If you haven’t written your vows, do them at this time and purchase thank you gifts for your wedding party.
The Week of the Big Day
- Managing time: confirm arrival times of your vendors, assign tasks to various people, meaning those carrying products, handing out tips, or being the point person for vendors.
- Pick up your dress or suit if you haven’t already and break in your shoes days before the big day.
- Send the guest list to the caterer and venues that are hosting the wedding. Set aside checks and tips in envelopes for the vendors to hand out at the event.
- Don’t forget to pack for your honeymoon and make sure you book a spa treatment on the trip.
- Enjoy your wedding and don’t stress your big day!
Congratulations! I hope this was a helpful wedding checklist for you! Let us know if this wedding checklist was valuable in advising your preparation for the big day! Comment below!
Featured Image Source: https://www.instagram.com/amyanaizphoto/
Hi! I'm Lucely, an aspiring editor and avid reader, completing my master's in publishing at Pace University. I was born and raised in the South Bronx and hope to travel the world soon. I will eventually get back to writing poetry and short stories when I graduate in the spring.