Wedding Planner Checklist
When planning your wedding, the list of tasks and to-do’s seem to be ever-growing and never-ending! It is so important to remain organized and on top of everything to make sure that each detail gets handled, but it these tasks are often overwhelming if you do not have a good place to start. Our Crucial Wedding Planning Checklist will simplify your wedding to-do’s all in one place. Keep this checklist handy for uncomplicated reference and check back every few months to make sure you’re on track for your big day. We have also included a no-fuss checklist option in this article. Good luck!
Your Wedding Planner Checklist & Guide
13 to 24 Months Before Your Wedding:
This refers to longer engagements, but these tasks are often handled at the one year mark too
- Tell all of your family and friends you’re engaged!
- Insure your ring
- Set up wedding day website
- Start a Pinterest board
- Start planning your guest list to ensure you have a good idea of numbers
- Start your wedding budget
- Choose your wedding date/season
- Choose the theme for your wedding
- Host an engagement party
- Begin studying venues
1 Year Before Your Wedding:
- Book reception facility
- Book your officiant
- If your budget permits: hire a wedding planner
- Have an engagement photo shoot
- Choose your colour scheme
- Plan and book your honeymoon
- Order your passport if you intend on travelling for your honeymoon
- Start bridal gown and bridal party shopping
- Start researching your bachelor/bachelorette parties
- Get started on a health and skincare routine
6 to 9 Months Before Your Wedding:
- Finalize your guest list
- Hire your photographer
- Book your DJ, musicians or other entertainment
- Hire your florist, caterer and other wedding vendors
- Order your invitations
- Purchase your bridal gown and bridal party dresses
- Send out save the date cards
- Book any transportation needs and reserve hotel rooms for out-of-town guests
- Book a room for your wedding night
- Revisit your budget to make sure you’re still on target and make any adjustments
- Confirm any rentals you’ll need, including a tent, tables, chairs, linens and table settings
4 Months Before Your Wedding:
- Order your flowers
- Register for marriage classes
- Book your rehearsal dinner
- Decide on your hair and makeup style and book appointments with stylists
- Have several tasting sessions and choose your cake and food
- Start writing your vows and choose any ceremony readings
- Create a schedule of the ceremony and reception activities
- Schedule the dress fittings for yourself and your bridal party
- Purchase your rings
- Plan the menus for all of your pre-wedding events
- Purchase gifts for your maids of honour and groomsmen
6 to 8 Weeks Before Your Wedding:
- Send out your wedding invitations (can be done earlier if you’re expecting international guests or a destination wedding)
- Start tracking RSVPs
- Arrange for your marriage licence
- Plan any name change documents and insurance
- Finalize your reception menu
- Finalize any outstanding vendor bookings
- Purchase a guestbook
- Create a seating plan
- Confirm any travel arrangements
- Hold a meeting with your bridal party to assist you with the small things on the wedding day
- Purchase your wedding accessories including shoes, jewellery, veil, ring pillows, gloves etc.
1 Month Before Your Wedding:
- Finalize your wedding vows
- Have a full make-up and hair style appointment
- Finish tracking and following up RSVPs
- Final fitting of your gown
- Find something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue!
- Pick up your wedding rings
- Start preparing DIY elements of your wedding
- Prepare your thank you cards
- Prepare a shot-list for your photographer
- Get a facial and continue with your skin-care routine
2 Weeks Before Your Wedding:
- Finalize your guest list and confirm the final headcount to your reception facility, caterer etc.
- Confirm all final arrangements with your vendors
- Send detailed instructions to your bridal party and vendors, including the essential schedule for the ceremony and reception
- Pack for your honeymoon
- Provide a final song-list to your DJ/musicians
- Print place cards
- Prepare payment for all of your vendors
- Write speeches
- Pick up your bridal gown
1 Week Before Your Wedding:
- Build a bridal emergency kit with tissues, lipstick, band aids, a stitching kit, safety pins etc.
- Check the weather update and make any required alternative plans
- Have a spa day together with your bridal party. (Be careful about getting a facial this day – it might cause breakouts.)
1 to 3 Days Before Your Wedding:
- Get a manicure/pedicure
- Wedding rehearsal or pre-wedding dinner
- Pack all of your day items including your rings, booking receipts, passports, shoes, accessories, vows and your marriage licence
- Arrange with someone in your wedding party to collect the wedding gifts and flowers/arrangements after the wedding
- Finish DIY elements and arrangements
- Arrange for return of rental items
- Get as much rest as possible
On your Wedding Day:
- Give the rings to your maid of honour and best man
- Spend as much time as needed to prepare
- Eat breakfast
- Attend hair and makeup appointments
- Have your photographer take preparation pictures
- Give your bridesmaids their gifts
- Meet again with your vendors and officiant and re-evaluate any final arrangements
- Get dressed
- Get married!
THE QUICK GUIDE FOR NO-FUSS BRIDES-TO-BE:
Wedding planning checklists are often super useful, but they might have extra details which may stress you out. Whether you’re planning to get married in three months, six months, or eighteen months, if efficiency is what you’re after, this easy planning checklist will be the perfect go-to solution and progress report for you.
Step 1. Make Your Biggest Decisions First
A lot of couples think choosing the venue first is the most important. But it’s hard to do that without having a date in mind. Not to mention, a budget. In fact, so many of these decisions are co-dependent, that it would serve you best to tackle these choices first. As soon as you’re able to start seriously planning, first pick your date, set your budget, and then pick a venue in rapid succession. It might feel like a lot at once, but you’ll be so glad you have these three essential tent poles established once it’s time to build your dream wedding.
Step 2. Get Personal With Your Wedding Style
Once you’ve nailed down the large decisions, you’ll start getting more granular (think guest list, attire, flowers, etc.). But you don’t need to waste your time with a one-size-fits-all to-do list. Order in and sit down with your partner, outline your vision and priorities, then use an online customized checklist tool to make your own personalized plan of attack. You’ll get a clear vision of next steps and you won’t waste any time on irrelevant details. The biggest perk of all is that since the two of you have created your personalized checklist together, you’ll have to make mutually agreed-upon decisions for the ceremony and reception.
Step 3. Make That Wedding Website and Send Out Your Invitations
Once you’ve secured your venue, date and wedding vision, send the invitations to your guests (or mail save-the-dates if you’ve got more lead time). In conjunction with alerting your guests, we recommend creating your own wedding website that has all of the relevant details regarding your wedding. While you’re building it, grab a glass of wine and pizza with your partner and complete your wedding registry—it’s fun, we promise—so that your guests have all the small print and may consider a thoughtful gift too.
Step 4. Select the Other Essential Vendors
Guided by your simple wedding planning checklist, plus your wedding vision, now’s the time you’ll make those essential and extra vendor choices. Find the dress, check out wedding attire, and secure a tailor. Find your ideal DJ and caterer. Plus, book a florist who can find or suggest lush alternatives when peonies aren’t in season. We suggest maximizing your weekends, because the more you get done from your wedding planning checklist now, the less you’ll scramble closer to your wedding date.
Step 5. Have The Parties Before the Party
By the time you’re within the final stretch of wedding planning, trust us, you’ll welcome any escape—especially with friends. Now is the time to plan a bachelor or bachelorette party. It doesn’t need to be fancy or faraway (even a soothing night in with friends and pizza would do, if that’s your style), but take a while to celebrate you and your hard work with your support group. If your loved ones want to host a bridal shower, confirm your registry is up-to-date so that family and friend can buy your newlywed nest essentials like that Kirby vacuum or that Vitamix blender you’ve been eyeing for years.
Step 6. Make Final Tweaks
Now that you have your head count confirmed, finalize any rental orders and catering updates, plus your signature cocktails or drinks. Go in for that final dress fitting and make sure it’s exactly what you had envisioned. Put together your thank-you gifts and have some fun shopping together. Send through an in depth shot list to your photographer, what feeling or look you want so that this pro knows exactly what to anticipate.
One important tip: If you’re overwhelmed, this period is a great time to call upon family members, friends, and your planner (if you’ve opted to hire one) to help you tackle all the remaining items on your wedding planning checklist. Set final expectations with the wedding party members, go through those seating arrangements, meet with your officiant (and make sure any premarital counselling is completed), and finesse any legal details like your marriage licence, name change documents and more. It might feel like a lot, but you’ll cherish this time period after it’s over.
Step 7. Rehearse, Eat and Be Married
You made it! The days leading up to your wedding should be as tranquil as possible, so if you realize you forgot something at this point, let it go (especially if it’s small). Your wedding will be yours, truly, because you tackled the biggest decisions first. If something goes wrong during the ceremony and festivities, designate a person beforehand (a planner, a maid of honor or the best man) to suppress any strain on you. More than anything else: have a great time. Make it a priority to be present and enjoy it with your partner and guests. It’s the best gift you can give yourself.