wedding planner

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

  • eat!
  • 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.