Hey babes! Today I’m going to share something that is going to help you tremendously. It’s a comprehensive wedding planning checklist—because there’s nothing worse than realizing a month before the wedding that you forgot to do something! I want you to have the most magical, stress-free, and smooth wedding planning experience—because this is a day to dream about and look forward to. We want you glowing and happy with the knowledge that all is on track and taken care of! So, without further ado:
One Year Before
- If you haven’t done so, announce your engagement! Celebrate with your friends and family!
- Set a budget for yourself, and confer with your parents, partner, and anyone else helping with financing the wedding.
- Start your list of attendants (the hard part is deciding who gets a plus-one!) and choose your wedding party. This is the time to put together a cute maid-of-honor proposal 🙂
- Make a list of the venues you love, then a shortlist of venues to visit. Decide and make a deposit on your venues early on. Same goes for your caterer.
10 – 8 Months before
- Choose a color theme and overall style.
- The best part! Wedding dress shopping! Ideally, you want to find one as soon as possible in case the dress needs significant alterations. Find a tailor and ask if they can alter your dress in time for the wedding. If you need advice on dress shopping – you can find plenty right here!
- Send save-the-dates!
- Find bridesmaids dresses and start alterations.
- Hire a photographer (oh hey, that’s me) and/or videographer, band / DJ.
- Find a florist and explore Pinterest for bouquets and arrangements you love!
- If you and/or your partner are religious, chances are you need to attend premarital retreats or counseling (it’s a good idea if you aren’t religious as well—they share some great tips about budgeting and conflict resolution, etc.).
6 Months Before
- Take engagement photos. If you need some tips, check out this post for my suggestions on what to wear, and contact me here with any inquiries 🙂 This would also be a great time to have a Hair & Makeup trial!
- Start your registry(s)! Another fun part—shopping without paying, woohoo!
- Book your Hair and Makeup. You can find plenty advice from my favorite beauty planner right here.
- Book your rehearsal dinner or party venue.
- Hire ceremony officiant and musicians. Also, sign up for dance lessons!
- Book a block or two of hotel suites for your out-of-town guests and inquire whether they have special discounts for weddings and/or brides!
- Another good idea is to find out if the hotel offers free / discounted shuttles or transportation for guests.
- Research and book your honeymoon! Earlier is better so you don’t pay premiums on flights and hotels! Make life easier by having someone else book all your travel plans – I highly recommend Shelby with Simply Classic Travels.
5 Months Before
- Book your limo—personally, I love when couples hire a chauffeur and vintage car for their wedding. It has such romantic flair.
- Find and buy / rent the tux and groomsmen’s suits.
- Purchase your wedding bands! If you want to get any inscriptions, this is the time to do that as well.
4 – 3 Months Before
- Have your hair & makeup trial. Please don’t be afraid to tell your stylist that you don’t like something!
- Have a catering and cake tasting, then plan your menu for the dinner and/or cocktails. How can you say no to lots of delicious food and dessert?
- Order your wedding invitations and send them out or send out e-invitations through a wedding site.
- Decide whether to give out wedding favors—if yes, then it’s a good idea to order them at this point.
- Find some sort of entertainment for your wedding guests, like a caricaturist or photo-booth. If you’re inviting children, it’s a really nice touch to add something personal just for them!
2 Months Before
- Start writing your vows! Read some of your favorite poetry, watch rom-coms—anything to get you in the romantic mood. Write a few lines down here and there, and before you know it, you’ll have your vows written!
- If you are planning to have readings at your ceremony, start researching them.
- Gather your bridesmaids together and have a white wine / bubbly & DIY party for any small items you need to put together. Here’s the chance to practice your charcuterie board making skills.
- Have your first dress fitting and schedule the rest.
- Research and buy gifts for your bridesmaids and groomsmen—I love when there’s a personal touch like engravings, or gifts catered to each person’s taste, etc.
- Ask your florist for a mock-up, and send them your favorite bouquet photos, pins, etc.!
2 – 1 Month Before
- Work with your DJ to select your music for the reception.
- Purchase any remaining accessories or décor.
- Pay all your vendors (and assemble tip envelopes and thank you notes).
- Plan your seating chart—ask your partner, maid of honor, your mom, and your mother-in law for help! It’s more difficult than you might think, so set a pot of tea to steep and take deep breaths! You’ll get through this, girl.
- Purchase or DIY seating or place cards.
- Put together your Emergency Kit – AKA “Oh SHIT! Kit.” Or designate one of your bridesmaids for this! Visit here for a printable checklist of what to include.
- If your shoes are new, break them in! Same goes for the groom (and wedding party)!
- As the gifts arrive, start writing thank-you notes—add a little sweet, personal touch to each one if you can!
- Write any toasts for your wedding reception, and compile any photos for slideshows, etc.! I love when couples put little photos of themselves (when they were young, from the engagement shoot, etc.) around the venue, dessert table, etc.!
1 Week Before
- Schedule a spa-day for yourself, for you and your spouse-to-be, or for the girls. Get all the waxes, facials, massages, mani/pedi’s, and more.
- Have your final dress fitting and get your dress pressed and steamed! Inspect your dress for any loose threads and make sure any zippers close smoothly.
- Pack your bags for the honeymoon (don’t forget the cute new bikinis and the lingerie you spent so much time looking for).
- Don’t forget to take your engagement ring in to the jeweler’s for cleaning and any necessary maintenance!
- Notify your venue(s) and vendors of the final head count and final meal orders.
The Night Before
- After the rehearsal dinner, the most important thing is to get a good night’s sleep! Drink some warm milk or chamomile, or anything that works for you, and tuck yourself in early.
- Eat a healthy dinner and drink plenty of water. You won’t bloat (skip the salt and any raw veg) and you’ll have lots of energy.
- Pack a small bag of emergency / personal items and give it to one of your bridesmaids.
- Pack the car or one of the wedding party members’ cars with any other items you will need.
- Eat breakfast and drink water—I promise you won’t regret it! Your skin will look insanely ah-mazing, and you won’t have as many wedding jitters.
- Steam your dress and veil, and set out all your accessories, invitations, etc. that your photographer will want to capture before you put them on. Same goes for your partner and their outfit!
- Have your maid of honor bring a note (and maybe a little boudoir photograph) over to your spouse-to-be. Leave a little lipstick kiss or spray it with your perfume for an added personal touch 🙂
- Have a little (or a lot of) bubbly and enjoy!
Contact me here with any questions, I’d love to chat about your big day!