wedding planner checklist
9 to 12 months before
- set the date.
- choose the style and color scheme of your wedding.
- set your budget, including who will be responsible for what expenses.
- select and reserve the ceremony location.
- select and reserve the reception location.
- book the officiant.
- create the guest list, and start compiling addresses.
- choose your attendants: bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, ring bearer and flower girl.
- book a wedding planner.
- book the caterer.
- book the photographer and videographer.
- start shopping for your wedding dress and accessories.
- shop for wedding rings.
- start making arrangements for where you will live after the wedding.
6 to 9 months before
- announce engagement in local newspaper.
- send save-the-date cards.
- register for wedding gifts.
- book florist.
- book reception entertainment.
- choose and reserve rental items for ceremony and reception.
- select and order your wedding dress and the bridesmaids dresses.
- decide on the baker for the wedding and groom’s cakes.
- start planning the honeymoon. if necessary, apply for or renew passports.
3 to 6 months before
- finalize guest list.
- order invitations and announcements.
- check on wedding dress order.
- choose and reserve men’s formalwear.
- choose and order mothers’ dresses.
- meet with officiant to go over service.
- start plans for rehearsal dinner.
- start reviewing options for hairstyle.
- if needed, begin exercise routine.
- order favors.
- purchase wedding rings.
- shop for lingerie and honeymoon attire.
- check state and county requirements for license and blood tests.
- research and reserve a block of accommodations for out-of-town guests.
- if needed, arrange transportation for out-of-town guests as well as the wedding party for the rehearsal dinner and wedding day.
2 months before
- address invitations and add postage. include accommodations information for out-of-town guests. mail six weeks before wedding.
- review and confirm contracts with all wedding vendors.
- finalize rehearsal dinner plans and book site.
- finalize honeymoon plans.
- purchase attendants’ gifts.
- purchase guest book and pen. choose attendant to oversee at ceremony and reception.
- reserve hotel accommodations for wedding night.
- follow up with guest hotel to see if more rooms are required in your block.
- book appointment with hair stylist and makeup artist for the wedding day.
- send wedding announcement to newspaper.
- start writing and designing the wedding programs.
- write and mail thank-you notes as gifts are received and shortly after showers.
1 month before
- get blood test and marriage license.
- have final fitting for wedding dress. make sure bridesmaids alterations are complete.
- schedule bridal portraits.
- complete shopping for your trousseau.
- purchase any remaining accessories such as garter, candles, toasting flutes, ring pillow, cake topper, etc.
- meet with photographer to discuss the photos you want at the wedding and reception.
- meet with entertainers to discuss song list.
- meet with videographer to discuss what aspects you want filmed at the wedding and reception.
- print your wedding programs.
- assign responsibilities for rental returns, clean up, guest transportation, pick up of related items.
- plan welcome bags for out-of-town guests.
2 weeks before
- pick up wedding rings and ensure correct engraving and sizing.
- confirm all services with vendors.
- inform ceremony and reception site managers of any requested tables, equipment and electrical needs of entertainers, caterers, etc.
- address your announcements and mail on wedding day.
- get necessary forms for name change.
- file a change of address card with the post office.
- have your hair cut or colored.
- start breaking in your wedding shoes.
- continue writing thank-you notes for gifts.
1 week before
- contact guests who have not responded, and give final head count to caterer.
- provide a map and timetable of rehearsal, ceremony and reception to wedding party.
- finalize seating arrangements.
- place final payments and tips for vendors in envelopes, and leave with friend or family member to distribute as needed on the wedding day.
- pick up marriage license.
- designate final destination for floral arrangements following the reception.
- pack for honeymoon.
- host your bridesmaids’ luncheon.
1 to 3 days before
- pack your “wedding day” bag.
- pack an “emergency” kit to handle unexpected issues.
- drop off welcome bags at hotel for out-of-town guests.
- get a manicure and/or pedicure.
- have a massage.
- take the unity candle, pew bows, guest book and pen, wedding programs, and other ceremony items to the rehearsal so they will be ready on the wedding day.
- place honeymoon bags in car, or arrange for trusted friend to place honeymoon bags in limo for transport to wedding night accommodations.
- all men in wedding party should pick up tuxedos. make sure everyone tries on their tuxedos complete with shoes and accessories before leaving formalwear store.
the wedding day
- relax in a bath prior to hair and nail appointments.
- head to ceremony site to dress and take pictures.
- make sure flowers arrive and are placed as instructed.
- have ushers take their places 45 minutes prior to the ceremony.
- start music 30 minutes prior to the ceremony.
- start ceremony as discussed.
- after ceremony, sign wedding certificate with officiant and witnesses.
- complete all formal pictures at ceremony site.
- head to reception, relax, and celebrate with family and friends.
- bid everyone farewell, and head off for wedding night and honeymoon.
after the wedding
- send thank-you notes for gifts.
- send thank-you notes to vendors.
- file wedding license with local government as required.
- file all change of name documents, and update driver’s license, credit cards and other important documents.
- file change of address documents as needed.
- have bridal gown cleaned and preserved.
- meet with photographer and videographer to receive pictures and video.