Wedding Planning Checklist

Wedding planning can be so intimidating, especially for a first time bride. There is so much to do! Planning ahead can help keep the stress down plus allow you to actually enjoy the journey towards your big day. Is that possible? I believe it is! We started planning my daughter's wedding about 13 or 14 months in advance. We quickly decided who would pay for what. We met with vendors early on. And we loved every minute of it.

This is a checklist created by Bride's Magazine that I think is perfect:

Your 12-Month Wedding-Planning Checklist /react-text

react-text: 195 12 Months Out /react-text

  • react-text: 198 Determine your budget /react-text

  • react-text: 200 Make a guest list /react-text

  • react-text: 202 Hire a wedding planner /react-text

  • react-text: 204 Decide formality and overall theme /react-text

  • react-text: 206 Select the venue /react-text

  • react-text: 208 Select the caterer /react-text

react-text: 210 11 Months Out /react-text

  • react-text: 213 Choose color theme and start thinking of overall design /react-text

  • react-text: 215 Hire vendors who book up /react-text react-text: 217 quickly /react-text react-text: 218 , including your photographer, band, DJ, and videographer

10 Months Out /react-text

  • react-text: 223 Start shopping for your wedding dress /react-text

  • react-text: 225 Book hotel-room blocks for guests /react-text

  • react-text: 227 Create your wedding website /react-text

  • react-text: 229 Take engagement photos /react-text

react-text: 231 9 Months Out /react-text

  • react-text: 234 Buy your wedding dress /react-text

  • react-text: 236 Send save-the-dates /react-text

react-text: 238 8 Months Out

  • Register for gifts

  • Select the bridesmaids' dresses and schedule fittings within the month

  • Meet with potential florists

7 Months Out

  • Book the rehearsal-dinner venue

  • Hire the ceremony musicians

  • Order rentals items, such as specialty chairs, linens, draping, lounge furniture, white dance floor, etc.

  • Hire an officiant

6 Months Out

  • Start looking at invitations

  • Hire a lighting technician

5 Months Out

  • Book transportation for guests, if needed

  • Book the bride and groom's transportation (limo, specialty car, etc.)Book the honeymoon

  • Buy or rent the groom’s tuxedo

  • Begin premarital counseling

4 Months Out /react-text

  • react-text: 281 Have your final tasting with the caterer /react-text

  • react-text: 283 Choose your cake /react-text

  • react-text: 285 Buy wedding bands /react-text

  • react-text: 287 Select groomsmen's attire and schedule fittings within the month /react-text

  • react-text: 289 Hair and makeup trial /react-text

react-text: 291 3 Months Out /react-text

  • react-text: 294 Order the invitations and hire calligrapher /react-text

  • react-text: 296 Create or plan your menu /react-text

  • react-text: 298 Brainstorm guest favors and gift bags /react-text

  • react-text: 300 Book a photo-booth rental /react-text

  • react-text: 302 Write your vows /react-text

  • react-text: 304 Select readings /react-text

  • react-text: 306 Meet with the officiant and invite him or her to the rehearsal dinner /react-text

  • react-text: 308 Start crafting any DIY items if you haven’t already /react-text

2 Months Out

Send the wedding invitations (with RSVPs due one month before the wedding) /react-text

  • react-text: 315 Send out rehearsal-dinner invitations (these can be included with the wedding invitations if you like) /react-text

  • react-text: 317 First dress fitting /react-text

  • react-text: 319 Pick up your marriage license /react-text

  • react-text: 321 Buy wedding-party gifts /react-text

  • react-text: 323 Do a floral mock-up with your florist /react-text

  • react-text: 325 Give the song selections to your band or DJ /react-text

  • react-text: 327 Give the song selections to your ceremony musicians /react-text

  • react-text: 329 Buy all small items, including table numbers, toasting flutes, cake topper, cake stand, cake knife, guest book, card box, ring-bearer accessories, flower-girl accessories, a cute hanger for your dress, and a garter. Also consider purchasing pashminas, flip-flops, and sunglasses for guests to change into at the reception, as well as baskets for them. You'll also need to buy any signs (“Welcome,” “Guest Book,” “Dancing Shoes,” etc.). /react-text

1 Month Out /react-text

  • react-text: 334 Assemble gift bags /react-text

  • react-text: 336 Pay your vendors in full /react-text

  • react-text: 338 Create a seating chart /react-text

  • react-text: 340 Order or make your escort cards and place cards /react-text

  • react-text: 342 Have a final venue walk-through /react-text

  • react-text: 344 Put cash in tip envelopes for your planner to distribute. It’s customary to tip vendors.

Final Week /react-text

react-text: 348 At this point, your wedding-planning checklist is basically complete. “I want brides to be doing as little planning as possible during the final week. That last week should be focused on personal care,” says Brand. /react-text

react-text: 350 Take care of things like: /react-text

  • react-text: 353 Refreshing your hair color /react-text

  • react-text: 355 Getting your eyebrows done /react-text

  • react-text: 357 Manicure /react-text

  • react-text: 359 Pedicure /react-text

  • react-text: 361 Getting a massage (why not make it a couples massage?)

Other than that, the only things left to do: /react-text

react-text: 366 Final dress fitting (a friend or bridesmaid should come with you so she can learn how to bustle if your dress requires it) /react-text

react-text: 368 Pack your bags for the honeymoon (don’t forget your passport if you’re leaving the country!) /react-text

react-text: 370 Any edible crafting /react-text

Day of the Wedding

The big day is finally here! All your careful preparation and creative planning have come to fruition, and it’s time to enjoy the wedding. Here’s what to do the morning of:
  • Stay off your feet as much as possible

  • Eat breakfast

  • Drink water

  • Take your dress and veil out of the bag early on and have someone steam them if needed

  • Lay out all the items (rings, invitations, etc.) that you want your photographer to capture

Happy Planning!

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